chicken and egg dilemma solved
Finally, the chicken and egg dilemma solved on a t-shirt

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Being the new kid on the web is hard. You need links to boost a site’s visibility, but it’s awfully hard to get links naturally without visibility in the search results. Sites can’t link to you if they don’t know you exist, right? It’s a little like the classic chicken & egg causality dilemma. But not really since if you don’t have a site you wouldn’t care about links anyway. Whatever.

The point is, link acquisition is hard work. Researching topically relevant sites and crafting the right approach for each takes time and creativity. Cutting corners leads to poorer conversion to links at best, and outright spam at worst.

subservient chicken
BK's Subservient Chicken

On the surface, link bait seems like an easier way to build links. After all, you just have to think of something totally cool that could go viral. “Subservient chicken? Ha, I coulda thought of that.” OK, fine, dreaming up a great idea is a good start, but what about content creation and promotion. The “If you build it, he will come” theory only worked when the interwebs were very, very small. And not really then, either. Let’s assume the audience actually gets to the bait. Once they devour it, cross your fingers that it will cause enough of a reaction to convert to links.

Frankly, if link building was easy, everyone would do it. It would be easy to spam. Which means that it wouldn’t remain valuable for long in the search engines’ eyes. Which also means it would cease to be effective for SEO, and we’d all be talking about something else.

For now, links rule the roost. What’s your go-to link building tactic?

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1 Comment on Chickens, Eggs & Link Building: Visibility Requires Links, which Require Visibility

  1. Eric Gehler says:

    Many facets to link building, but the most tried and true is creating your own network of websites focused on the niches. Creating the pyramid approach and having links pointing to client passes weight.

    Separate C-Class IP Addresses and self hosted WP blogs on a niche theme in which the client wants rankings. Adding content and links in that blog, and building the value of the “network of blogs” provides a stable source of powerful back links.

    Of course, you do all the other linkbuilding tools as well, articles, directories, social bookmarks, web 2.0 property, etc etc.

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