10
Feb
2009
55 Link Opportunity Qualifiers Within Large Scale Link Prospect Data Sets

Once you have identified your goals and KPIs and created your list of 100-250,000 targeted, rank-influencing link prospects (we crawl to build our large scale link prospect lists) you must further analyze them to identify those that will help you meet your link building goals. Remember, the criteria you set for qualifying link prospects must follow from your goals.

Even if you don't create link prospect sets in the hundreds of thousands you may find our qualifiers useful. At the end of the article you'll find all 55.

We recommend a 2-step approach in the qualification stage. First, use automated methods to focus on easily measurable factors to cull the list down to those urls most beneficial to your goals. Then use a by-hand, human review to further qualify and segment the best link opportunities.

In 3 Goals and 20 KPIs for Large Scale Link Building Campaigns we proposed 3 possible goals for link building. For the sake of continuity we'll stick to those goals as we discuss data points for automated and by-hand link prospect analysis.

Sample Link Building Goals:
1) Increase conversions through targeted search traffic
2) Increase conversions from targeted referral traffic
3) Increase conversions from positive mentions by influential media

Even if our sample link building goals don't match yours, walking through our automated and by-hand qualifiers will help you to brainstorm possibilities for your large scale link building campaign.

1) Increase conversions through targeted search traffic
Conversions are valuable actions that people can make on your website, including direct sales, signing up for a newsletter, requesting more information, downloading a white paper and more. By now you have identified your high-conversion key phrases and can use these as seeds for generating your link prospect list. Links from the sites that currently influence rankings for your converting search terms increases your rank for these terms.

Goal 1 Automated Qualifiers:
Primarily these metrics and measures help you identify the most rank-influencing web pages from amongst your prospects. Each one of these data points is a knob you can twist to fine tune your target urls to your goals. This is far from a comprehensive list, but will give you a good starting point.

-Keywords appear in target URL
-Keywords appear in target URL title tag
-Keywords appear in H1 tags
-Keyword occurrences in body text
-Keyword occurrences in Meta keywords and description
-Number of outbound links on target URL
-Number of inbound links to target url
-Number of inbound links to domain
-Followed/NoFollowed outbound links
-Competitor URLs
-Excessive Ad Placements
-PageRank of URL
-PageRank of Domain
-Domain age
-Page type (social network, blog, answers page, forum, links page, etc)

Goal 1 By-Hand Qualifiers:
Once you've whittled your stack of URLs down considerably using the automated qualifiers it's time to start going through your URLs one by one. Get out your magnifying glass, fine toothed comb and whatever elixir you prefer that helps you concentrate for long periods of time (we prefer coffee ;).

-Is there genuine relevance between the page and the page you're building links to?
-Is it a previously-unidentified competitor?
-Is the text human-generated?
-Are there excessive, obtrusive ads?
-What motivated the current links on the target URL?
-Recent posts, recent site updates, updated copyright date?
-At first pass is the text correct in grammar and spelling?
-What is the design and image quality?
-How thorough and well tended does the resources/links page seem?
-Is there more than one links page?
-When was the last update?
-Is the site owner/moderator easily accessible by email or phone?
-Is there a comments box?
-What is the quality of comments and conversation there now?

2) Increase conversions through targeted referral traffic
Referral traffic are your site visitors who clicked links on other websites to get to your website. Targeted referral traffic - from sites that cater to your target market - can deliver higher conversion rates than search traffic. When targeting this type of traffic growth you need not be concerned with nofollow tags. You DO need to be highly concerned with tracking conversions.

Goal 2 Automated Qualifers:
In targeting this type of link opportunity you're less concerned with the signals that the site deliberately gives to search engines and more concerned with what they say to visitors and their standing in their space.

-Keywords appear in H1 tags
-Keyword occurrences in body text
-Number of inbound links to target url
-Number of inbound links to domain
-PageRank of URL
-PageRank of Domain
-Site Type Inlinks
-Page type (social network, blog, answers page, forum, links page, etc)
-Number of comments in comment threads

Goal 2 By-Hand Qualifiers:
Pages likely to be good sources of targeted referral traffic show up as a subset of your search-influencing link prospects. Here are some other factors that help to identify these types of sites.

-Discussion related to your product or service
-Established community in comments or adjunct forum
-Q/A forms on the site
-Strong content
-Site editors
-Links out to other known influencers
-Written reviews
-Email newsletter or other signs of reach and distribution
-"In The News" section with quotes by major news papers and industry publications

3) Increase positive mentions from influential media
You'll find that segments of your link prospects may respond well to public relations-styled outreach including offers of sneak previews and executive access for interviews. Your objective here of course is to influence these influencers by discovering first and foremost how your organization can help them. In the realm of analyst influence the offer of data related to area of focus reigns supreme. Links from these sources are valuable, but always keep your eyes on the bigger prize here: purchase recommendations by influentials.

Goal 3 Automated Identifiers:
As you cross over into the realms of relationships and "influencing the influential" the signals become increasingly subjective. You can still use machines and spreadsheets to identify the following factors though.

-Inlinks from news sites, .edus or .govs
-Inlinks from blogs and other sites within your prospect set
-Forum signature inlinks
-Inlinks from niche/industry news sites
-Inlinks from industry groups and organizations
-Social media inlinks
-Social media/industry group badge outlinks
-Page type (blog, review page, links page, etc)

Goal 3 By-Hand Qualifiers:
This type of site typically "jumps out" at you. Here are some indicators that you're dealing with someone who influences the market as well as the search rankings.

-Person's name is the URL
-Industry analyst/consultant site
-Niche industry news coverage site
-Robust commenting community with a great deal of response from author
-Writing about recent industry news and developments
-Obviously attends conferences
-Multiple media formats
-You've seen this url on multiple blogrolls

Qualifying your link prospects, while sometimes agonizingly tedious, makes quick and efficient work of link prospect segmentation and link acquisition efforts. By qualifying your prospects based on your goals you ensure maximum impact on your link building KPIs.

55 Link Opportunity Qualifiers:
This list of 55 qualifiers will help you to separate true link opportunities from your link prospects. Without large link prospect data sets in the hundreds of thousands, some of these qualifiers lose some significance. These qualifiers gain value to your efforts when you choose those that best serve your link building goals. These lists are far from exhaustive, nor are they representative of the entirety of qualifiers we use in our services.

24 Automated Qualifiers:
-Keywords appear in target URL
-Keywords appear in target URL title tag
-Keywords appear in H1 tags
-Keyword occurrences in body text
-Keyword occurrences in Meta keywords and description
-Number of outbound links on target URL
-Number of inbound links to target url
-Number of inbound links to domain
-Followed/NoFollowed outbound links
-Competitor URLs
-Excessive Adsense placements
-PageRank of URL
-PageRank of Domain
-Domain age
-Page type (social network, blog, answers page, forum, links page, etc)
-Number of comments in comment threads
-Inlinks from news sites, .edus or .govs
-Inlinks from blogs and other sites within your prospect set
-Forum signature inlinks
-Inlinks from niche/industry news sites
-Inlinks from industry groups and organizations
-Social media inlinks
-Social media/industry group badge outlinks
-Page type (blog, review page, links page, etc)

31 By-Hand Qualifiers:
-Is there genuine relevance between the page and the page you're building links to?
-Is it a previously-unidentified competitor?
-Is the text human-generated?
-Are there excessive, obtrusive ads?
-What motivated the current links on the target URL?
-Recent posts, recent site updates, updated copyright date?
-At first pass is the text correct in grammar and spelling?
-What is the design and image quality?
-How thorough and well tended does the resources/links page seem?
-Is there more than one links page?
-When was the last update?
-Is the site owner/moderator easily accessible by email or phone?
-Is there a comments box?
-What is the quality of comments and conversation there now?
-Discussion related to your product or service
-Established community in comments or adjunct forum
-Q/A forms on the site
-Strong content
-Site editors
-Links out to other known influencers
-Written reviews
-Email newsletter or other signs of reach and distribution
-"In The News" section with quotes by major news papers and industry publications
-Person's name is the URL
-Industry analyst/consultant site
-Niche industry news coverage site
-Robust commenting community with a great deal of response from author
-Writing about recent industry news and developments
-Obviously attends conferences
-Multiple media formats
-You've seen this url on multiple blogrolls

Comments

  1. Awesome work guys. Kudos to

    Awesome work guys. Kudos to you for putting this together.

  1. The automated link qualifiers

    The automated link qualifiers are key this process. Although it takes a human eye to review the more subjective data, having the initial automated qualifiers is a tremendous help in honing your list. Thanks for the info.

  1. [...] list of link

    [...] list of link opportunity urls - which you qualified out of your link prospect data set - must be segmented to increase the efficiency and conversion rate of your link acquisition phase. [...]

  1. @Brian - Thanks for reading

    @Brian - Thanks for reading and thanks for stopping by! I look forward to meeting up soon :)

    @David - You got that right - there's no way that large scale link building could scale if we had to go through 250k opportunities by hand ;) I hope we helped to add to your list of automatic link qualifiers. I'd love to hear from you about link building in Spain and France.

    G

  1. [...] you have set link

    [...] you have set link building goals then prospected, qualified and segmented your influential link prospects you must begin the actual work of link acquisition. [...]

  1. [...] 55 Link opportunity

    [...] 55 Link opportunity qualifiers within large scale link prospect data sets - Garrett French [...]

  1. [...] sites, keywords and

    [...] sites, keywords and bloggers to get yourself a list of sites and pages that are perfect for your link acquisition target. This is by far the most time consuming task in link building. Looking at page relevance, domain [...]

  1. [...] 55 Link opportunity

    [...] 55 Link opportunity qualifiers within large scale link prospect data sets [...]

Post a New Comment