Our Blog

04 Mar 2008

Calling All Link Building Success Stories!

The main purpose of this blog is to present link building best practices so that others can learn from our experiences – good and bad.  We have written many posts giving tips and advice, but we would really like to hear from our faithful readers. 

We realize most of us in the business do not want to give away our "very best secrets", but surely some of you have had one or two nice successes that you can provide that will help others and still not reveal any strategic concepts you may have developed. 

As always we will certainly give you credit and link juice if you add your story below.  Feel free to change the name of your client to protect them. We will get things started with this success story…

Flower shopWe have a major client that has many related websites, all different domains, most on unique class C IP addresses.  For this example we will say they are flower shops.  There are 15 franchises, all with their own unique names and locations around the United States.  They have outsourced their link building to us, asking us to get as many contextual links on quality sites as possible, using a mix of their business name and some important keyword phrases for the anchor text.

We are tasked with getting them about 5 – 8 new links each month for each store.  We look for links in a variety of places, including niche directories, appropriate bloggers, some articles, etc.  But we also do some very basic approaches to link building that many often over look.   Some webmasters think link builders cheat or use some magic to get the job done, but really it just boils down to working hard, smart  and efficiently.

In this example, we just conducted a Google search for something like "flower shop links", which is about as simple as it gets.   We went through the results and quickly found a few sites where we could add links to links pages on their site.  The pageranks were decent, but these were link pages, so not the best link juice (although later some of them showed in Google’s backlinks). 

But then we hit on a nice success.  Down on page 2 or 3 of our search results, we came across a site that was all about the flower industry.  It had a few pages that were categorized by "flower types", "flower wholesalers", "flower growers", etc., but no "flower shops".  These pages were perfect.  Nice descriptions for the sites listed and only 10-20 sites in each category.   So we wrote to them asking if they would be interested in adding a page called "flower shops", we would provide all the content for 15 different flower stores across the US.  They would get fresh, unique content, and we would be willing to compensate them for their time to add the page. :)

They responded with an offer to add the content for $150 which we quickly accepted.  We sent over our page of content which included 15 paragraphs of great, highly relevant text and our text links back to our client’s 15 flower shops.  The best part is, this would be considered an authority site, as it was old, had a PR6 home page and many PR4 & PR5 inner pages.   All of their "category link pages" were PR4 and we are certain this new page will provide plenty of link juice to all 15 of our client’s stores in no time (we also sent a few links to the new page as insurance).  Not bad!


  • Paul Burani, Clicksharp Marketing Mar 05, 2008

    Well–that was a good approach with the flower sites, but I would be a little apprehensive about how sustainable this paid link approach really is…especially since you just broadcast it to the world! Google is on a mission to stop those.

    As an alternative, consider this. I installed the SEOquake plugin for Firefox, which allows you to see a variety of useful stats for each site on the SERPs. Then you can sort by PR or by indexed backlinks (those are the two that I usually pay attention to)… this improves the likelihood that these potential link partners are in your strike zone…

  • Vertical Measures Mar 05, 2008

    Paul, I am not sure that the approach with the flower shops would truly be considered a “paid link”. Just because cash exchanges hands, does not automatically mean it’s an “illegal” paid link.

    Google has no problem if you purchase links for traffic and advertising. And this site has plenty of traffic in a very related field. The site was not offering to sell paid links (footer, sidebar, or any others), this was simply a nice piece of content for them.

    BTW – just started using SEOquake and it is very handy.

  • Mark.Jones May 23, 2008

    That is an interesting article. In our experience website owners find it difficult to understand visitor behaviour even with good systems such as Google Analytics.

    We have recently come across an excellent piece of software that not only allows them to monitor individual user behaviour in real time, but also facilitates direct engagement between visitor and user. This has been increasing conversions by an average of 15% in the websites we have implemented it in.

    It seems that the individualised data gives a more enlightening perspective.

  • Christian Feb 23, 2010

    I have two little stories, I hope I’m not giving out too much, nothing amazing but might light that light bulb above the head for someone.

    1. When building links to a website dedicated to music education I was trying to find links from relevant sites and authority sites (duh). I visited a website of a world famous dj and he had a links page and I just requested a link on basis of it being useful to any starting dj (as the site was about music education) and I got it!

    2. When optimising a page for an eco friendly shop, with ethical clothing etc etc. I found a website of an organisation that protects animals and I requested a link from a relevant page, in the end I just got a link from the links page, but still, got it for free and from a good domain.

    So, nothing great, but it gives you a clue how much easier it is to optimise a website and request links when you have a good “hook”.
    Much harder to promote websites without great content or genuine value to a visitor (ie. just another small business with same/similar services that lots of other businesses provide as well).

    I think this is where the good measure of link building vs content is, as you mentioned on your interview that I’ve just read.
    If you can spend just 20% of the budget of a client on developing a part of their website that will provide genuinely useful content, it is money very well spend!

  • Cupid Dec 19, 2010

    SEO is time intensive and not a lot of fun, but something we have to do to find some success. I have found that reaching out to site owners with related content can go a long way in terms of getting good back links.

  • Nathan O'Leary Dec 22, 2010

    It is amazing to me when I hear about link building shops that don’t ask for the links like you did on that one site. They only go after links they can leave as a comment or submit the link to a directory. You took it to the next level and just asked. You ended up with an entire page of links and content on a very relevant site. Congrats! I find just asking and providing value to the person you ask, goes a long way and keeps your clients happy.