Getting Golden Links : Jane Copland Link Love 2012

This is part 4 of my blow by blow account of Link Love London 2012, featuring a full run down of each presentation.

Jane Copland - Link Love 2012

Getting Golden Links : Building Links Like Michael Winner

Jane Copland : Ayima @jane_copland

The thought of doing anything like Micheal Winner is probably off-putting to many. Those living outside the UK and not familiar with Mr Winner should just think themselves grateful and move quickly along without worsening their lives by finding out more on this particular point. However, Mr Winner made it in to the title of Jane Coplands presentation due to the way he responded to the introduction of a £60 fine for private vehicles using bus lanes in London. Whilst many complained about the fines, Mr Winner is quoted as having responded  “They only charge you £60 to use them, and you get no points. Wonderful value!”

By approaching the issue from a different angle he turned the problem around. Jane’s presentation kicked off by encouraging this sort of lateral thinking in our link building and using that as part of an approach to get “golden links” – then few that count for lots.

Should Jane Copland ever read this post I would like to apologise in advance for choosing the picture of her stood in front of a big naked arse. I would though like to raise 3 points in my defence: 1. When you made the decision to use a slide of a naked man you must have been aware that this was a risk. 2. Despite the big arse, it is actually one of the better pictures I took, and 3. I am really quite childish.

Look at roadblocks differently

  • Streaking at the Olympics with your website address emblazoned on your naked arse could earn you a hefty £20,000 fine. However, compared with the £700,000 that major sponsors are paying this is peanuts.
  • Note: Jane is not encouraging us all to streak at the Olympics
  • is apparently doing “some cool stuff” in the travel space. No elaboration given

Identify your targets, then work backwards

  • ID the sites that you want those golden links from, then work backwards to find the link opportunities
  • e.g. The BBC is a dream site to get a link from, but the band Karn8 got a link here


  • Invest in exposure
  • Examples given of content like the Romantic break for 3 and the Zombie Mall experience from Wish
  • Real trumps made up. ie the above worked better than 10 Downing Street experience, although this was still cheap & effective!
  • Turn lemons in to lemonade
  • Don’t be shy about outreach
  • It all gets easier when you have something great / It’s hard to get golden links when your content is crap
  • Don’t bullshit people
  • People will say bad stuff about you whatever. Don’t be put off, but don’t make it worse
  • Use past successes as part of your outreach
  • It all gets close to traditional PR
  • It’s hard to get golden links when your content doesn’t deserve it
  • Remember – journalists are always looking for stories
  • If you are in a boring niche tweak the product and make it different


The examples that Jane used all had the sort of budget that I think many in the room could only dream of, however the principals can be applied across the spectrum. For me the main lesson is to find the link, rather than to dismiss an opportunity too quickly: When weighing up prospects it’s easy to just write off a site that you already know (like the bbc) rather than delving deeper to find an opportunity that will work for a particular project.

Using the time-machine of post-event blogging, I’d also say that Jane’s presentation sits alongside Wil Reynolds talk on “stalking”. I think that lessons from the two would work well together.

If you enjoyed this write up please see the rest of my blow by blow account of Link Love London.

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