F%$#! Link Building : Rand Fishkin Link Love 2012

This is the first of my blow by blow account of Link Love London 2012, in what I hope will be a nine or ten part roundup of my take-aways from Distilled Link Love 2012. I’ll be running through one session at a time, giving my key points, links to the relevant resources and a little of my own take on things.


Rand Fishkin. Link Love 2012

F%$#! Link Building (Content Marketing FTW)

Rand Fishkin : SEOmoz @randfish

Rand’s presentation (see deck here) was almost a “state of search” round-up which then led in to more actionable material. The presentation also served as a good introduction to the rest of the day, putting most of what followed in to the frame of why such approaches are a smart way forward. The following are some of key points from the 3 pages of notes I took during his presentation. I’m rather unstructured in my note-taking,and I’ve deliberately not referred back to the slide-deck yet in order to maintain the emphasis I took from the day, so don’t worry if things don’t seem to tie up.


  • Classic link building is  slow, hard work and never gets easier. However, it works
  • Temptation to use short cuts is always there
  • 14% of net users blog. 15% have personal sites. There have never been so many publishers, so why bother with a network?
  • In the last few weeks almost 700,000 un-natural link warnings have been issued by Google
  • Since the close-down of BMR people have been looking for “alternatives” which will presumably face the same fate.
  • Google is clearly at least trying to move beyond links and ARE using data from other networks despite carefully worded statements that suggest the contrary
  • Your Google social connections (hardest to find page on Google) gives some insight in to that. [click here to check your own connections]
  • Facebook may or may not be readying themselves to enter search space launching a product after the IPO (note recent images of Zuckerberg’s supposed search bar). If it does  then Facebook search is likely to be a very different beast and links less important.
  • Duck Duck Go is gaining momentum with geek types, as Google did at the beginning [MB: UK results suggest that they have a hell of a lot of progress still to make]

What Really Matters

  • Have a lower cost per customer acquisition than your competitors. SEO is a great way to do that
  • COLA/CLTV < Cost Of Customer Acquisition / Customer Life Time Value [MB: This is also a great way to sell SEO and a metric we should be demonstrating to clients]
  • Use strategies that will last WHATEVER comes next.
  • Rand’s publish button is his “Give me 400 linking root domains” button. Why?…
  • Brand Brand Brand Brand Brand Brand Brand Brand Brand Brand Brand Brand

Content Stategies

  • What is your audience interested in? Find out! Crowd source them, survey, whatever
  • Serve THEIR interests, not just your immediate topic : Example The Fiskars blog is about so much more than scissors
  • or.. Re-align your product to match their interests (like SEOmoz did)
  • Other examples cited of exceptional content:
  • Make it easy to link
  • Taglines are a great way of controlling/influencing anchor text
  • Big data – any excuse for a graph or chart!
  • Providing Zemanta with great imagery [MB: I hate sites that don’t even give an indication of prices!]
  • Use Quora, forums etc to research the questions your audience wants answered. Use this as content ideas, then offer your content as the answer.
  • Moving fast – appearing in Google News results often means you will be the source that others link, and journalists cite to as something breaks.
  • Topsy to see both what is being shared in your sector and who is sharing
  • Be a cause like Romanians are Smart
  • Ego-baiting still just works

Summing up

No surprises that they key message was “build great content”, however there was due consideration given to the fact that most people can’t just hit the publish button and pick up 400 linking roots like Rand can. The examples cited were realistic ones and the strategies they used could be employed on projects of any size.  The presentation wasn’t flooded with short-term actionable take-aways, but there were enough to get keep you busy for a while if you weren’t already on them.

A good start to the day.

Next up was Mike King’s “Making Outreach Effective”. More on that later.

3 thoughts on “F%$#! Link Building : Rand Fishkin Link Love 2012

  1. Topsy is a great one. Just looked at one of my sites and see all the latest twitter links. Really smart. Always wondered how to find out who was talking about my site. Now need to try to work out what to do with this information.

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