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March 12, 2008

SEO Headlines – Create a Link Magnet

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Stopping Competitors Who Snoop

IncrediBILL’s recent Slow Down Nosy SEO’s and Snooping Competitors post has received some legs over at Sphinn. I’m going to be honest; posts like these give me the same dirty feeling that Jake Baillie’s Competitive Intelligence presentation did. I’m all for competitive search engine optimization, I just wonder if it has to be so damn sneaky. Is your competition really going to find out valuable trade secrets by reading your robots.txt file? Go grab a cookie and chill out.

Sure, you can worry about people checking out your site via the Wayback machine, copying down your Meta tags or spend your precious time cloaking pages so your competition gets porn instead of your Web site, but really, why bother? Don’t you have a site to run and a search engine optimization campaign to worry about? Unless your competitors are outright trying to harm your site by messing up your link profile and making you look like a spammer, this all seems a bit extreme to me. Competitors are like annoying neighbors. We all have them, it doesn’t mean you should start throwing dead animals over the fence.

Just my two cents. Feel free to handle your SEO and competitors the way you see most appropriate. We’ll be over here with our souls. ;)

Matt Cutts: Want Links? Create A Link Magnet

Matt Cutts finally finishes a post he started in 2005 (I know I’m slow, but geez, Matt) and offers up some link building SEO advice. The gist of his post: If you want people to link to you, you have to give them a reason to. Provide a useful service, become a resource, offer up valuable information or open up your product to make it hackable.

It sounds to me like Matt is basically advocating that everyone go out and create themselves a valuable link magnet, whether it’s something you physically create or a new business model that you adopt. See, now that’s advice we can get behind.

Eventually this whole link bait thing is going to mature and people are going to be forced to dig deeper and create content that actually matters, sort of like Bruce’s now famous Search Engine Relationship Chart. Creating a successful link magnet will help you stand out in your field and increase your visibility to your target audience. Like Matt hints at, it’s really about doing the research necessary to uncover an opportunity to create something useful that searchers can come back to time and time again. It’s less about the baiting and more about creating quality, link-worthy content. There are only so many hours in a day, you may as well use your time wisely. Let those other guys create yet another Top 10 list. Boring.

Fun Finds

Greg Jarboe has a great interview with the legendary Ralph Wilson and they dish about the importance of fine tuning your landing pages to maximize conversions.

Jonathan Hochman talks about using Wikipedia as a way to reveal Web traffic.

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One response to “SEO Headlines – Create a Link Magnet”

  1. Miguel Salcido writes:

    Lisa, I could not agree more regarding the competitors in the SEO field, or others. We take the same stance and are not all paranoid about it and sending out cease and desists, like one of our other industry competitors down the street that shall remain nameless (Bruce should know who). We also feel that there are plenty of clients out there and there is no reason for us to trash other firms in order to score a deal. We pride ourselves on being very transparent with our clients and teach them what we know, just like you all do. Feels good to have soul.

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