Let’s start with some notes and free-association thoughts on Citation Labs/Garrett French’s link building book :
A – The first chapter got off to a good start with some clever tips.
1) See how building links can support various departments. It makes me think of the interaction between links and sales (e.g. rank the lead gen whitepaper page) or links and PR (linkbait, publicity stunts, contests…).
2) In large organizations, you may need sign-off from multiple departments. That slows the campaign. So keep your activity within the scope of a single department to speed things up.
B – One thing I disagreed with in the next chapter was:
“You’ll have little to no ability to guide the keyword impact of these kinds of links (unless you’re buying the links or you’ve developed clever campaigns).”
Garrett and Ben at Ontolo are experienced enough to know that the name you give your content impacts how it’ll be linked to. My Internal Link Building plugin got loads of links that mostly use the name as anchor text.
That’s probably what was meant by clever campaigns, but given that that’s the case, why say you’ll have ‘little to no ability’…? Perhaps because some existing internal linkable assets can’t have their names changed for political reasons?
Ontolo and I are probably thinking the same thing but in different words, but I think the book could be clearer here.
Update: Garrett followed up with me and recognized this was just a little oversight. They certainly do recognize that names play an important part in determining anchor text.
C – Back to positive things:
– The point in chapter 2 about links having a brand impact is very true – assuming you’re doing the quality content distribution. E.g. Guest posts, expert interviews, etc – as Ontolo advocate. Directory submissions may boost rankings, but they don’t build your brand and do leave you vulnerable to the next algo shift.
– I find chapter 3’s idea of considering staff members as linkable assets a fresh idea. Likewise, the notion that inventorying your linkable assets leads to figuring what link opportunities are available …
D – Their link opportunities section introduced me to something new… I won’t share what because at this point I’d get to spoil the book.
The bottom line is this:
1) Beginner and intermediate SEOs, and especially in-house SEOs will get A LOT of value from the book. There’s a lofty breadth to the book that means you can quickly learn a lot of what is essential to quality link building campaigns.
2) Advanced SEOs and advanced link builders will get less from the book because you know a fair amount of what’s there. But there are still a large number of actionable nuggets! If you’re at this level, the links you can build are worth $100 – $1000 a pop… so the value of a single of these ideas is ridiculous. The ROI is definitely positive.
3) Inhouse SEOs, in particular, will benefit, as a lot of the book is written with them in mind. There are considerations of working with different teams, getting help from the C-level execs, etc.