SES San Francisco, Live Blogging, How to Become a Link Magnet; Brett Tabke, Rand Fishkin, Aaron Kahlow, Jim Boykin
By: Ben Wills |

Always great to see another Austinite (Brett Tabke) at these conferences. ;)


Jim Boykin

Jim's busting on himself for how he bought links in the past ;)

EDU and GOV links have been easy to get.

How do you become a link magnet for trusted sites? Content.

Link bait magnets vs. trust bait magnets.

Link bait is built for bloggers and social media audience. Almost all links come from blogs. Link value fades as it's old news.

Trust bait is built for educators and research audiences. Links from non-blogs. Link value is constant and permanent.

What to write....

  • Search: site:.gov [keyword]
  • Cull through results to find pages that link to other sites.
  • When you find one, contact them and email a suggestion.
    • THEN contact the people linking to the .gov and request links.

Great content from Jim. Really fantastic process!


Rand Fishkin

Rand's taking a more product-based/strategic approach.

"A link magnet is a piece of content that naturally incentivizes."

Link magnets emotionally reward the linker. Awesome point.

Linkerati; the people who control the means of linking. Must appeal to them.

"People still do link when it benefits them. ... They don't need much of a nudge in that direction."

Yelp example...sending stickers to businesses...yelp gets promotion and store gets benefit of reviews. Next step: send emails to biz owners with at least X stars of ratings with links/badges to add to the restaurant's site. LOTS OF LINKS BACK.

(Sitenote: fantastic presentation structure and flow by Rand. Best I've seen in a while. Begin with concept and questions, then demonstrate answers to give gravity to the concept. Well executed.)

Another example: Facebook like buttons.

From there, all you need is scalability and strategy for promotion.

More examples of great link magnets:

  • Vimeo; three links back to profile, video page, etc.
  • OKCupid; Great content with social dropdown when you reach the end of the article. Interesting stats on dating emailing.***
  • Techmeme leaderboard; encourages people to link to the leaderboard. "get them to link back to you by saying great things about them."
  • SimplyHired salary comparison

*** I think Rand might have a crush on Aaron.

Really dig Brett Tabke's moderating. Great questions between speakers that draw out really fantastic insights from the speakers.


Aaron Kahlow

* Aaron has done more than 20 conferences in the past 2.5 months. The guy's a machine.

Two things to cover: four tenets of a link magnet, then some other observations of his.

Four Tenets of Being a Link Magnet

  • You do not need to try so hard. It's all about quality, not quantity. You've gotta have some engaging content. It's not about writing a single page about X, it's about consistently having great content about X.
  • You need to have some sort of personality behind it. How are you going to connect?
  • Know your audience. You can't do it just for SEO, have to do it for your audience.
  • Discipline. If you're gonna get in this game and do it right, you've gotta have a plan in place and see it through.


Brett Tabke

Great story on using Klout to get, what he believes, was 200 PubCon paid attendees that they wouldn't have had otherwise. Used Klout to find some unknown influencers, invited them to speak, influencers then blogged and promoted PubCon so well, it led to, what they believe, was about 200 paid attendees. Amazing.

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