[Editor’s Note: That’s really what they talked about.] This post is part of our continued live blogging coverage of the SES New York conference. The session covered here is the session titled ‘Beyond Linkbait: Getting Authoritative Online Mentions’.


The days of reciprocal linking (as a primary means of link building) and link farms to secure better rankings are long gone. Google has evolved. So too have the strategies of reputable search firms.

Terms like ‘link exchange’ and ‘reciprocal’ are today replaced by terms like ‘authority‘ , ‘linkbait’ and the like. There’s also an inherent understanding today that the quality of the link matters more than quantity, and reaching key influencers with the right content is the holy grail of search.

This new ‘understanding’ begs the question though … how to get these coveted authoritative online mentions? Today’s panel of experts are amongst the very best in the industry today at doing just that … getting authoritative mentions. Here are their thoughts and ideas.


Sally Falkow, President, Expansion Plus Inc.
Why do you need authoritative links? Matt Cutts said, authoritative links carry more weight. But we also know they consider where it is.

What is an authoritative site?
– strongly themed content about one topic that is frequently updated
– a larger site with many pages

One way to get good links … go to media sites. These sites are looking for news stories. There is a news story in every business … its all a matter of perspective.

Case Study (HerRoom.com):
They market lagerie and sports bras. This company began testing the ‘bounciblity’ of various sports bras, and put the videos online for women to watch. She then came to Falkow with the problem … it was attracting guys and not girls. So Falkow found a scientist in Europe who focused on bouncing and problems with women’s health. She then did an interview with the scientist (podcast), and suddenly all kinds of media people were interested. Its become a serious women’s issue, with mentions in USATday, MSNBC, and many other places. Search results for related terms have obviously improved exponentially, as has the quality of traffic.

Conclusion … find the news angle, get links from very authoritative sites, and enjoy the benefits. It takes looking at things from a different perspective though!

Chris Boggs, Manager, Search Engine Optimization, eMergent Marketing/BRULANT, Inc.

Why go beyond linkbait?
– the long term value of social media links is still in question
– a lot of link bait becomes stale quickly … value of link declines
– can become confusing to clients
– a holistic approach is natural and effective .. this is what engines want!

Back to the Old School
– monitoring inbound links
– reciprocal linking (everything in moderation)
– building directory links

Good directories = good deep links! Directories still have a role, especially good quality ones. Its a great way in some cases to secure deep links to specific pages and products. Best of the Web was an example, as was Yahoo Directory!

Offsite linkbait:
– using YouTube and other channels to drive links from the “linkerati”
– no more ‘top 10s’ … they are overdone.
– be creative and not salesy

Advanced link development services:
– link remediation
– link requests and relevant content sites
– directory submissions
– many many more!

Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing

Media and Blogger Relations:
Push – Pull Strategy

Push PR strategies are outreach type programs, such as wire services, networking, pitching, and RSS.

Pull PR has to do with optimizing news content to help journaists find your content, such as press releases, social media, media coverage.

PR needs to be news, relevant. You need to build relationships with those who can extend your message.

Here are some guidelines:

– do your homework and be relevant
Medias biggest compaint: irrelvant pitches
Research target market – articles, blog posts
Use tools: MyEdcals, Cision
Technorati, blogrolls, social media monitoring
Journalists’ need relaible sources
Bloggers need compelling content

– understand the difference between journalists and bloggers.
journalists will hang up
bloggers will embarass you

– make it easay!
for journalists, make sure the pitch is meaningful for their needs and audience
provide high res images, video
provide extra resources
for bloggers, write a summary of the item you’re pitching

publicize your publicity
blog about your MSM coverage
archive media coverage
offer RSS feeds
invite social bookmarks

– be sloppy or spammy
avoid broadcast email pitches w/o qualifying list
avoid impersonal irrelvant pitches
be sure to QA a broadcaster email pitch
QA efforts to personalize pitches

– be a one trick pony
once you get coverage, keep coming back.
Develop a relationship!
be a trusted consistent resource

– be arrogant
never assume they have to write about your company
don’t treat bloggers a second rate
don’t skip lesser know blogs or pubs
many journalists are also bloggers

– ignore multiple promotion channels
such as Business Wire, Flickr, YouTube, Reddit, Digg

– forget to say thank you
journalists and bloggers are people too
a little appreciation goes a long way

– do your homework
– be personal
– be relevant
– make it easy
– develop a relationship

Jeff Quipp is President of Search Engine People Inc., aToronto SEO, SEM, SMM firm .

  • Charlene Jaszewski

    I personally thought this seminar should have been named. “The Day the PR Machine Ate the Blogosphere.” But that’s just me.