Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Link Brokers According to Jim Boykin

Link Brokers... (according to Jim Boykin)
Well, there's certainly a market for high value advertising on other sites. Some brokers hold auctions that are a bit of a gamble, because often the exact URL's are kept secret and only given to the paid winning bidder. Another danger is if you win an auction, you may find your link sandwiched between links for Viagra and online gambling, and it seems like things like this may throw red flags when found on sites that are completely non-related, and often have their PR blocked from passing. If your link is found on a site like this, then you could find the eyes of engines reviewing Your site as well. Link Brokers can be good...but there can be risks with buying what you don't know what link you're buying. PR is not everything.

If you have a good relationship with a broker, you can often hear of new opportunities or totally relevant opportunities and know the URL before paying. If you use your broker right, they can be a good friend to those with a competitive market.

Much of the brokered links are "site wide" links, and these may cause attention....again, like link trades, I think it's a Ratio that may throw filters. A site with only 10 links, but from 10 different sites, will often do better than the site with 1000 links but only from 5 sites. Buying a bunch of site-wide links isn't always the answer.

In my opinion the guy with 10 "really relevant" links to a site can beat the guy with 100 non relevant links, and I see this often in search results today.

Many SEO's, including myself, are very cautious in their linking actions. Once you've been hit, or seen others hit, you tend to treat your sites with more care, and that often means "going underground", even if your intentions are "white hat". I think that just recently the SEO world is starting to admit that link advertising is real, and being aggressive on links is not in itself "black hat".

Still, everyone sees sites that have been penalized, either by gray bars or by not passing PageRank. Many of the best SEO's are very quiet about how they get links for the fear of being considered "overly aggressive" by Google.

We've changed our linking techniques a few times over the years, and are constantly experimenting with different tools, and expanding our repertoire of techniques. We have seen the ups and downs of linking campaigns. We've been know to be aggressive about our linking campaigns, but today we're trying to get it down to a "science". I've seen the hand of Google come down on sites before, so a lot of what we do today is geared towards making linking appear to be as natural as possible. In today's changing SEO world, the engines are getting smarter at analyzing links, and are sure to continue to improve their analysis of back links.

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