I recently read an article which I would like to reference but because it was so ridiculous I have deleted it from my mind and obviously now I can’t find it. The article was implying that link building, in this day and age, can be automated. As an Off-Page SEO Executive, with almost two years’ experience, the notion of automating the link building process is so ancient that it should be banned from ever being mentioned in the SEO community.
I recently read an article which I would like to reference but because it was so ridiculous I have deleted it from my mind and obviously now I can’t find it. The article was implying that link building, in this day and age, can be automated. As an Off-Page SEO Executive, with almost two years’ experience, the notion of automating the link building process is so ancient that it should be banned from ever being mentioned in the SEO community. The modern Off-Page SEO’er is a true artist. We build creative natural links that only a year ago would have seemed impossible to achieve and we do it in a strictly white-hat way. If the process was automated, acquiring these links would be out of the question. I personally believe that Off-Page SEO guys and gals do not get the credit which we more than deserve for their hard work and creativity. The process of just getting one relevant link that meets the criteria is so complex and varied it’s really hard to explain in just one post. It starts by using all the tools available to trawl the vast internet to find the ‘needle in the haystack’ website that fits perfectly with your -sometimes extremely- niche clients (we all have them!). In fairness it would be possible to automate the trawling process, but you would only be creating a list of sites that meet certain criteria e.g. Domain Authority, Page Authority and Page Rank. That’s as far as you can go with automating the process. The experience of the Off-Page SEO’er is needed in order to identify if the site is relevant and worthwhile contacting. On the other hand, once an Off-Page SEO’er finds that ‘1 in a million’ site, they immediately start formulating an outreach plan. You simply cannot just send a generic email which asks for a link. The Off-Page SEO’er has to actually invest some time in the website. They must: - Read published posts and not just the last post but go back a few months to get an idea of topics covered (this will help you when identifying the article gap) - Get a better understanding of the site by reading the “About us” section -this seems obvious but so many people don’t - Check through the site comments/feedback to get a feel for the audience - Research the site using all social media outlets Only then, when we feel confident that we have an understanding of the site and the webmaster, do we approach. An automated process would not provide this level of insight. The most important point is that the approach has to be personal; an automated process is far from this. If the site has a phone number give them a call, if they don’t then the email message has to be as personalised as possible. Not like this joker:
Hi Sir/Madam, I am Marketing Manager. We have SEO discount offer on the New Year 2012 occasion going for the following package: - Note: We send weekly report to each of our clients so that they can have regular updates on their website. Also, this shows that we work regularly on the website in a very elegant way. We use only white hat SEO techniques for each website. Our Best rate for this is: USD 250 per month per project
*Genuine email I received this year*If you have a blog, you have almost certainly been bombarded with these types of emails and unsurprisingly site owners are a bit cautious when approached by anyone from the SEO community now (thanks spammers!). Because of this, Off-Page SEO’ers need to overcome webmasters natural reservations.Convincing them we are legitimate can be difficult through an email, that’s why a phone call can be much more effective. To get that impossible link, we have to genuinely offer something of value to the site. In collaboration with the webmaster, we start by identifying a gap in current content/offering. You simply cannot rehash generic articles just for the sake of a link. At Epiphany, our goal is to produce unique, relevant, informative resource pieces for the sites audience. If you produce a high quality informative piece, it will do all the hard work for you. The webmaster that has had an input will feel proud of the piece and will do the social seeding for you. Audiences will reference and link to the source and your client creating a knock on effect and increasing the sites and clients social footprint. Once you build this relationship with the webmaster, he will approach you for content in the future. This would never be achievable if the process was automated and with the new Google algorithm changes, any site that has unnatural looking links will be in trouble. This is just a glimpse of what an Off-Page SEO Executive has to do to acquire a link. There is so much more that an automated process can never achieve. What are your thoughts about an automated link building process?