Why Does a Link Builder Link to Someone?

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Why Does a Link Builder Link to Someone?

Have you ever wondered why a link builder links to someone?

Search Engine Land Contributor, Julie Joyce It takes us through a couple of failure and success stories that can help you better understand why people link.

I'm sure you get hundreds of emails a day. I feel like I spend half my time reading them because I'm afraid I'm going to miss out on something legit. I might open one in 30 emails that come from someone I don't know.

The last email that really caught my attention had several things going for it:

First of all, it was very personalized, but not overacted. I am a big fan of the English character Alan Partridge, and Josh (the sender) knew this from my Twitter account. The subject line had a famous quote from Alan (“Smell my cheese!”), and the entire email was very funny and clever.

It was obvious that he knew how to get my attention, but he did it with more than just an offer or a “please please please!! Please do this!!!”

It was short and sweet.: five lines. I knew what he was asking me to do. It sounds simple, but I've pored over some broadcast emails where I don't really understand exactly what I need to do. I receive so many emails every day that if I mark them to read later in a quiet moment, they will never be read.

This information was 100% relevant to me. It was a post about link building, and I'm a link builder. This wasn't some course on machines or meditation or selling cheap watches. (And yes, I get a lot of these types of emails.)

Let's take a look at some lines from the emails that, in my opinion, totally missed the mark.

Broadcast Emails That Fail Test

“Hello, I was looking at your website and I liked it. In fact, I was wondering if you accept guest posts.”

Error: My name is pretty easy to find on the site. There are no articles on the site, none at all. There is no blog, there is no blog section. Obviously, this person didn't really look at my website.

"Hi sir,"

Error: It is not known who the email is addressed to, whether a man or a woman. If you look at the site, it is obvious who will receive the email. If you see that a man and a woman run the site, don't assume that the man is in charge and will receive your email.

“I visited your website today and just wanted to congratulate you on such a well presented and informative website. I have a site that has content relevant to your site.”

Error: This message was sent to my webmaster email from an old site that we haven't updated in many years. It is not well presented, nor is it informative. In fact, it was created by an intern when there was nothing else to do in the afternoon of one day. It's nothing at all.

It's really just one page, and most of that page is an image. What kind of site must this person have that's relevant to my old monstrosity? Why waste time sending an email to a site like this?

So what makes me link?

What has made me a link builder? Social media is easier since I just Retweet something, but what makes me link?

First, the subject line has to grab my attention. Seriously, it's very important, and this becomes more and more important as you get busier and receive unsolicited emails. If it's something generic like, “Don't miss this partnership opportunity!” I won't open it.

Second, while on the subject, I don't tend to open emails that use emojis, have grammatical or spelling errors, or look dangerous.

As for the content of the email, it has to mean something to me in some way – which brings me to my main criteria for granting a link:

The content, no matter what it is, has to be useful and relevant to something I'm writing.

Let's look at some links that I have gotten 100% organically.

Examples of editorially earned links

As you will see later, in one of my articles, I have linked to Glenn Gabe's resources on how to find pages affected by Panda.

The report truly is one of the most useful reports I've ever learned to run on sites, and I use this idea for many other things besides panda. I saved the page and sent it to clients who want to know how to do some simple comparisons and have little experience in Analytics.

The reason for the link? It is useful and relevant.

On my own site, I have a page that lists the top resources I find useful. As you will see in the image below, I have linked to Kerboo because it is my primary analysis tool. I recommend it to clients who want to do their own analysis, and it is my first step in any audit.

The reason for the link? It is useful and relevant.

In an interview I did many years ago, I mentioned Evernote. I've probably linked to Evernote almost every time I've linked to linking and SEO tools – because it's amazing.

The reason for the link? It is useful and relevant.

Do you notice a pattern here?

I'm not going to say that you can't get links with boring/redundant/useless/irrelevant content. However, it's definitely easier when you have something link-worthy, no matter how you get the links!