Notes from a link building conference in London. OK, the link building conference in London.  Read all of Joel”s coverage here.

Martin MacDonald
from Expedia EAN

A lot of linkbuildings are fighting alone.

So, you can develop a linkbuilding army! (sparmy?)

Do you do what others do? The problem is that everybody does that.You can do it harder and better, but alternatively you can do it the easier way and still win.

build communities

Martin provided some examples e.g. cloud hosting company giving more storage to students who linked from .edu blogs, and poker sites offering free bets for links from social profiles.

can’t do this on your site?

You’ve still got Twitter and Facebook etc, so just get out there and get involved with relevant communities.

haven’t got any followers?

Use someone else’s community. Hijack!

Sometimes linkbuilding opportunities come out of nowhere. Martin described a situation where he jumped into an argument and significantly contributed, and – yay – he got a retweet from Rand at SEOmoz.

Then, his blog post on the argument started to rank. #2. For almost every related and brand term that the argument was related to. He even ranked for ‘facepalm’. Crazy!

He’s still not found any links pointing to his blog post, yet for a while it ranked very highly and received a big increase in traffic, just from social signals.

But this is about links, not social.

Eventually he managed to get a link from the BBC internet blog through some other activity. It was accidental and he didn’t set out to get it. But it would be nice to get it deliberately, so…

spider target site with Screaming Frog

Find out what pages they link to external sites from (Martin used a macro to clean up the data), then it’s a case of “Please Sir can I have a link?”. There are real opportunities out there, including quick and easy links from the BBC. It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true.

big scale linkbuilding

The only way you can scale mass linkbuilding is to build really good s**t. Widgets, tools, anything like that.

Read the book ‘Professional WordPress Plugin Development’ and you could develop a basic, scalable widget that could start acquiring links.

get competitors to linkbuild for you

Martin went through some clever techniques to use affiliate links to gain links, but it’s a bit too in-depth to go into here.

be different

Almost all SEOs are using the same tools. So we’re just competing against each other!

Sod competitors links – target those guys in your niche that aren’t linking out to anyone!Just use Google…

How do you get it? Give stuff away.

Look at – link to them and they will send you stuff! Very funny and really cool. That’s the key – be different.

the final word

In SEO there are too many people following the crowd. If you follow the crowd you’ll make friends, but won’t get the prize.