Posted June 24, 2008 2:26 pm by with 10 comments

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By Vinny Lingham

Other than the weather in Seattle, my trip to SMX Advanced was fantastic.  Danny Sullivan & co have done an amazing job by creating a conference circuit that even the most advanced Search Marketers found stimulating.  My key takeaway from the conference was that there is a fine line between so called “White Hat” & “Black Hat” SEO – and most people don’t know where one begins and the other ends.

One of the most important sections of SEO is link building, which was one of the main focuses on the conference.  I’ve purposefully removed all the tactics that I considered to be “Black Hat”, as I don’t think it’s in anyone’s interest to have these tactics promulgated.

Roger Monti spoke first about .edu Link hunting

Two main link building initiatives:
•    Industry heavyweight backlinks

Check the backlinks of the largest, most important companies in your sector.

o “bookmarks”
o “links”
o “favorite sites”
o “your product of service”

•    Charitable opportunities

o sponsors
o donors
o sponsors
o benefactors

Separating fact from myth:

.edu links are not special… but more can’t hurt!

They are generally desirable because:
•    Usually are not in bad neighborhoods
•    In maps of link relationships, these pages are generally going to fall outside of relationships that are known for link manipulation

.edu’s may not be desireable because:
•    Pages may not be authoritative content
•    Link pages may be a total link fest
•    Pages may not have many inbound/rarely crawled
•    Non-expert pages are going to be where your links are acquired

Use the following with your product/niche keywords and .edu modifies:
Pay attention to what type of sites the targets are linking to.    Don’t bother them.

Jay Young from Link Fish Media then gave his approach:

Brass Balls & Big Bucks – You are going to need them!

Places to get links:

Directories (seriously)
•    Best of the Web
•    Yahoo
•    Dmoz
•    Joe Ant
•    Blog Catalogue

More places to get links:

Non-profit Sponsorships
•    Arguably editorial
•    Tax deductible
•    Normally very good neighborhoods
•    Helps a cause you believe in

Even more…

Join the SEOcialists:

•    Digg
•    Reditt
•    Stumble

•    Big Name Text Link Brokers
•    Blog Advertisers
•    Smaller brokers (2,000 to 10,000 sites)
•    Specialist Brokers
•    Amateur Brokers

Link Bait

Buy Them (this is very gray – Google does not like!):
•    Vital for the success of a competitive campaign
•    Be as relevant as possible
•    Be as natural as possible
•    Vary your anchor text
•    Use Co-citation

Outside the box:
•    Widgets
•    Templates
•    Template Sponsorship
•    Contents (Free iPhone)
•    Content Trades

Avoid buying links from forums
Avoid any site with hidden links
Use moderation and common sense

About Vinny Lingham

Vinny Lingham is the CEO of Synthasite, a Web 2.0 publishing platform, that aims to revolutionize web publishing.