The Missing Link: Selling the Link

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McDonalds…They pretty much have nothing to do with links, except that I ate there today. I changed my usual order of three McChicken sandwiches without lettuce to two McChicken sandwiches without lettuce.

I was driving away and I got a huge hunk of lettuce in the first bite. They screw up that simple order frequently. How does that relate to the internet?


People buy the McChicken because it is fast and it only costs a dollar. There is no added value. It’s a stupid sandwich.

If they did not screw up my sandwich. about 10% to 20% of the time perhaps they could charge more for their sandwich. The errors they make are priced into that $1 sandwich.

The Problem With My Sandwich

The people who special order things are typically the most opinionated and vocal people. Some people are allergic to certain foods. Others are entirely disinterested in the meal if it is not their specific way.

These people will talk about the sandwich. good or bad. On the web though it is not that simple. People usually speak negatively about stuff or just ignore it. The web is chuck full of rapid feedback loops and parots which repeat information.

The powers that be may even help that angry person decide to work with and support a competitor Burger King, its just that easy.

These vocal people are viewed as leaders on the web. Their links are frequently more powerful than those from the average un marketed website. People who eat, sleep, and breath their subject are know for their otaku (sick obsession.) – Hi Seth!

Special Order

There are restaurants that charge over 10 times that price for the same sandwich, how do they do it? They provide a service with the product.

On the web you can get “search engine optimization” by bla bla bla links at the bottom of customers sites. Here is the catch though: you don’t get those links until you have already done search engine optimization on that site.

As a single person training myself every aspect of the internet, I do not have the financial resources or time to compete with large search engine optimization firms in the number of links I can buy or number of sites I can work on.

Despite this, I have been on the web for just a year and three months now, but already my sites are ranking well for competitive terms.

  • Google Search: Search Marketing
  • Google Search: Search Engine Marketing
  • How Can I Compete Then?

    I write articles like the one you are reading right now. I provide an added service by creating my own original content. These articles have helped me to get free links from sites that would never sell links (or from sites I could not afford to buy links from.)

    I also use a blog which places information in a quick paletable format (for those who do not want to read through my whole articles.)

    These articles and quick posts are how the lettuce NEVER APPEARS on my McChicken sandwiches. My own personal style is what they represent. This articles are what SELL THE LINKS.

    The Risks of Linking

    When people link to you (in the way linking was intended) they are casting a vote for you. They also a taking a risk. They are gambling their visitors on the quality of your site. If your site gets banned, their site might get banned too.

    If you find ways to take yourself out of the risk category and place yourself in the reward category, then you succeed.

    How Can You Compete Then?

    On the web certain links have a value which can never be figured in tangible terms. Those are the links you need to be competitive for competitive terms. Articles do not make sense for every site. Other suggestions which may work

  • A construction site can have conversion charts and calculators.
  • A product site can have personal reviews (notice my own negative remarks on the other end of that link.)
  • A product site can have side by side comparisons.
  • A travel site can have a city guide.
  • A travel or regional site can have a picture gallery.
  • A community site could have a forum.
  • A business site can enable it’s employees by letting them blog.
  • A drug site can provide user feedback.
  • Any site can add a resource directory to it. Since you will be limited in what you can do, depth is more important than breadth.
  • Even if you use link analysis software there are still only so many free links that will help you. Add the extras (or remove the lettuce) to sell the link :)

    Aaron Wall is the author of SEO Book, an ebook offering the latest
    search engine optimization tips and strategies. From SEOBook.com Aaron
    gives away free advice and search engine optimization tools. He is a
    regular conference speaker, partner in Clientside SEM, and runs the
    Threadwatch community.

    The Missing Link: Selling the Link
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