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Russ Jones #Linklove Summary

John Doherty —  March 21, 2011
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Up next was Russ Jones of Virante. Russ talked about “Where to get the old ‘linkbait on Digg’ effect”. Russ has been around since Digg was born, and has seen the demise of Digg as a link opportunity.

The main issues with Digg

1) Home page links are 301d to an internal page, then to the target;

2) Links on the homepage have a short lifespan, therefore whatever link power they pass is minimal and short-lived;

3) Nofollows will soon be implemented site-wide, thus not passing power;

4) Traffic rank has decreased; and

5) Average FrontPage traffic to his site has decreased from 40k to 12k visitors.

Russ then went on the explain the concept of subReddits within Reddit, another popular social bookmarking site. He says that there are over 9k sub-Reddits available that pass link power, are niche-specific, and are better for gaining qualified, interested traffic because of their focus. He said you can also search within these sub-Reddits, and he recommends filtering your search thus.

Filtering Sub-Reddits

1. Choose the minimum PR you are willing to try to gain links from;

2. Choose the minimum time since the blog or site’s last post, since trying to gain a link from a site not updated since 2007 might be a fool’s errand; and

3. Choose the maximum vote average for the entry on Reddit.

Then, I think Russ was getting at, go and create a list of potential link prospects and create some linkbait for them. Get involved with them, get involved with their site and get them on your site, and try to get links from these focused sites.

*note* Please do not spam Reddit. They get pissy and will ban you.

Pros and cons of other social bookmarking sites

  • 1) Delicious (PR7)
    • Links are nofollowed;
    • Links are syndicated widely, thus giving entries more exposure;
    • Delicious is easy to game with paid endorsements.
  • 2) Plime (PR5)
    • It is a small community
    • Many eclectic niches are represented; and
    • They are quick-to-ban spammers (so don’t do it)
  • 3) StumbleUpon
    • Links are iFramed;
    • Entries can send good traffic to your site; and
    • Gets good links
  • 4) Pligg (PR?)
    • Russ says to be selective with what you submit, as it only takes 10 votes to get to the homepage;
    • You can choose Pligg installs with custom searches. He recommends sites with:
      • High mozRank (found on your moz Toolbar)
      • Followed links; and
      • Sites that do not 301 outlinks.

How to find those who tweet or Share your links

*Good tip* Use Clicky to find people who have tweeted your link. Use PingoMatic to find those who tweeted and those who Shared your link on Facebook. Also, according to @jezweb on Twitter, Click has out-of-the-box plugins for Joomla and other CMS platforms, plus an iPad app. Productivity ++!

Russ pointed out that social links and shares have a very short lifespan, so you need to run these tools within the first 24 to 48 hours of releasing your linkbait. Clicky gives you real-time analytics on your shared links.

Russ Jones Linklove

Russ Jones

How to Use Clicky

1) Watch for forum inbound traffic that you can nurture (and get to vote and link);

2) Catch reposts and direct them to link to the original posting location.

Now we get into some slightly dodgier territory. I’m not so sure about this tactic, but I think that if it is used in moderation, even rarely, it could be useful.

Russ said about Digg: “Everyone trusts Imgur. No one trusts you.” By this he meant that if you have not been involved previously on Digg, no one will trust that you are not there for self-promotion. He suggested that you should create a fake image site currently in private beta. This gives the old “rare and wanted” effect for people. Then you can upload your infographic/linkbait to this site and submit it to Digg. Afterr a while, you can use the old “Linkbait & switch” tactic, where you 301 redirect (or cross-domain canonical) to your real site. You could even get competitors linking to your site this way! You can also use the image site to publish re-submits of other popular content, and use the same “linkbait and switch” tactic to get the links to your site.

Finally, Russ gave up a way to get Digg voters to link to you. He suggested keeping a record of those who vote on your articles. After a while, you can ask them to link from their site to the real source of the content (not to Digg). Russ said you should offer (or be willing) to pay for the link. Since we try to be whitehat here on The Beginner SEO, I say ask nicely, and if your content is worth it to them, they will link.

Finally, Russ recommended using boardread.com to find forums within your client’s niche. There, you or your client can get involved with the community, and if you structure profiles and such well, with links back to the client site, you can gain quality, relevant links and traffic.

John Doherty

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I'm the Senior Marketing Manager of HotPads.com, based in San Francisco. Previous to Hotpads I worked at Distilled for 2 years as an online marketing consultant. In my spare time I shoot lifestyle photography, ski, rock climb, and update my Twitter and Google+ accounts.