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June 05

Where is Ian Turner?

From Threadwatch:

Ian Turner has been missing since Sunday. He was due to fly back from New Orleans (wmw show) and has not been seen since. His wife and family are all very worried about him, and so are we.

If you think you may have any information, or even if you were at WMW New Orleans, please click over to the Threadwatch thread.

June 05

Don’t Hate on Link Begging

Today’s post marks our 3rd installment of the 57 post "Don’t Hate on…" LBB entry series. [Part 1: Don’t Hate on Reciprocal Links (No, seriously!). Part 2: Don’t Hate on Graphical Links.]

It all started when I read the latest of Stuntdubl’s awesome link building-related posts, The Art of Writing a Good Link Request (check out the "sister post", too, Examples of Bad Reciprocal Link Requests).

Since we’ve all received about a zillion link requests in our life (most of them complete bollocks*), you have to be a bit creative if you want to be successful with them.

*thanks for the adding that word to my vocabulary, Nick W

That being said, if your content is truly unique and if you appeal to a certain audience, "link begging" can still be a powerful (and cheap) method. It worked with my most "famous" site, and has worked for many others.

Two Tips for a Link Begging Campaign (Worked for Me!)

1) Increase Your Open Rate

Try setting the subject of the email to THEIR site title. That will pique anyone’s interest. If I get an email with the subject "Link Building Blog", my heart flutters, I’m flattered (hey, someone is interested in my site!). Trust me, this will get the highest open rate of almost anything with the webmaster crowd.

Under no circumstances should you put the word "link" in the subject, that will often get your email deleted straightaway.

2) Appeal to the Heart

If you’re lucky enough that they even open your link request email, your message had better be good. I have found that sounding "like a beggar" (in a good way) actually works sometimes–if people think you are honest, they will help you out as often as not. I even go as far as to say "If you could find it in your heart to link to our site…" ;)

By now, everyone knows about PageRank and link building, you’re not going to trick anyone… just be sufficiently humble! And whatever you do, please Don’t Hate on Link Begging.

June 05

Don’t Hate on Graphical Links

Along with obsessing about anchor text (circa 2002), the SEO community in general has long held graphical links in contempt. They ought not to.

Evidence That Graphical Links Work

Search for a term like mesothelioma or diet pills, and a few sites come up near the top which have nothing but graphical links linking to them.

Alt text = Anchor text?

The trick is, all of the links are using the target keywords in the alt text. This leads me to beleve that alt text is nearly or equally as powerful as anchor text.

How they’re doing it: they’re giving away free graphical visitor counters to n00bie webmasters, who cluelessly implement them… the counters are actually graphical links to meso or diet pills sites with optimized alt text. Gotta give ‘em points for creativity!

And Don’t Forget Authority

Even if a graphical link does not have keyword rich alt text, if it is an authority site, or a site within your theme, it’s still probably a good link.

Bottom Line

Don’t hate on graphical links.

June 05

Find ALL of Your Backlinks

I’ve never even looked at MSN Search’s WebLog, but for some reason today I did, and I’m glad. They’ve finally integrated the "linkdomain:" command:

Link: and LinkDomain:

We shipped 1.0 with the Link: keyword, which allows you to find pages that link to a single page, ala Weâve added a variation of that, LinkDomain:, which returns pages that link to any page in a given domain. This is a great way for all you bloggers out there to see how many people are linking to you some way some how, and where theyâre linking. For example, to see pages that link into MSN, you just issue the query

This is great news. I’ve long felt that MSN gives you the freshest and most comprehensive look at your backlinks, and this command will making sorting through them a bit easier.

For "links at a glance", I prefer Yahoo!, which seems to give backlink results in order of their importance (e.g., your "strongest" backlink is the first one listed).

For you n00bs out there: Google gives just a random sampling of back links and is not a good place to check your links.

June 05

Linking on a Dime

Barry Schwartz wrote an awesome recap of the "Linking on a Dime" panel here at WebmasterWorld New Orleans. Patrick was of course on the panel, as were linking experts martinibuster, oilman and stuntdubl (Todd Malicoat).

If you’re not in New Orleans, I highly recommend you check out Barry’s recap, it’s pretty extensive.