SES London 2011 | How to Be A Link Magnet

Moderator – Gillian Muessig

Speaker – Dixon Jones

Speaker – Judith Lewis

Speaker – Ken McGaffin

Looks like Gillian is MIA so Judith is warming up the crowd with some @greenandblacks good stuff.

Judith Lewis – Beyond fills in, to intro for Dixon. Hands over to Dixon.

Dixon Jones – MajeticSEO

We’re looking at what defines success; correlatrions between links and traffic.

1st Case Study:

Dating site, pretty common, competetive, not particulalry newsworthy.

Aim was to create a storm by kicking out all the fat member (7000) of the site, which worked extremely well as linkbait and in terms of articles.

“Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model” (CEO quote). Perfect linkbait, got national coverage.

Story came out 4th January 2010, and looking at link graph using domain discovery report (Majestic) shows that the links go bang in Q1 2010.

Activity was stoked by follow-up press releases about brits being ugliest people in the world etc.

In this particular case the link graph and traffic correlated highly, which is the hallmark of a great link campaign.

Press releases were the main communication method for this – but the question is – is there something stickier?

Case study 2. – became the authority on the web, which they did by creating  a link-magnet of a widget. They are number 1 for their headline phrase, however they are beginning to lose traffic. Possible loss of site-wide links? Usurped by better/slicker conversion widget?

Lesson – being number 1 is not always enough and do not assume that links are forever.

Case Study 3 –

Collates a personalised “best of” tweets and RT’s from those in your feed. Dixon calls this “technobait”. Content is collated and geared to the individual, but the fact the is “published” via twitter, showing which users are featured as content contributors, combined technobait, with egobait, meaning their non-cumulative link generation has seen phenomenal growth.

Campaign is therefore exponential. Doesn’t matter if Google sees this as good or bad, as “duplicate content” or less than original.


Social link elements have added virality

Play to vanity (even wordpress plays to this with pingbacks)

Good links = good traffic

Press can be good but technology can be more powerful

Anne Kennedy steps in for Gillian and introduces Judith.

Judith Lewis – Beyond

What is the motivation for becomming a link magnet?

Sharing is one way, becomming a useful resource in your community.

Create a strategy – why dictates the strategy

  • Personal fame
  • understand voice
  • choose name, register, publish
  • Register domain, and all social spaces

be careful, if you want to be a personal link magnet as a representitive of company, then who owns that intellectual property.

Copy a winning strategy – e.g. drinkbait campaign

Project Your Voice

Obligatory top 10 link magnet ideas

  • controversial
  • be the font of all knowledge
  • take a stand
  • personality
  • share
  • funny
  • prolific
  • mysterious
  • buy links

That’s why Judith does the chocolate thing! Now using this strategy Judith pwns all bar one on the top 10, as opposed to previously 2 out of top 7.

Anne Kennedy asks Judith for a comment on JCP – “don’t buy stupid links”.

This is a liveblog in progress and will update…

Final speaker is Ken McGaffin of Wordtracker, who is going to offer a slightly different stance.

Ken is going to look at creative ideas/products/tools as link magnets.

1. Free tools ( a good idea will continue to bring traffic and links months and months, if not years after launch)

Creativity is a skill that can be learned. Ken quotes Kipling “I keep six honest serving men they taught me all I knew; Their names are What and Why and When, And How and Where and Who.” (I have no idea where this point went – NS).

How many people watched the Golden Globes? Very few – however all the coverage and re-views came from the Ricky Jervais publicity. Who was Jervais’ audience? Not those at the awards, not really even those at home. His audience was the press, bloggers, online sharing (linkerati).

Whole event and the selection of Jervais as host is an absolute ratings coup.

Ken asks – how can we apply this kind of traditional PR mentality/creativity to a magnetic link campaign.

Key Lessons:

  • Get creative
  • Identify top targets (using link analysis for influential links not competitor links)
  • Create something oustatnding
  • Generate direct income
  • Prime your top targets
  • Write customised press releases
  • Tweet about the launch extensively
  • Monitor results and add new linking sites to target lists

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