Link Building Job Interview? Here’s 5 Questions to Ask

21 Apr

I’ve seen several SEO job interview related posts pass by, but I haven’t seen a link building related one yet. If you’re looking for a somewhat experienced link builder (I’m not talking about hiring a newbie that you’ll be training intensively here), there are a few questions I’d suggest asking your candidate.

1. What is it that you think that a link builder does all day?
Because having ‘link builder’ as a job title sounds like you’re either working on a construction ground or in a factory, I like to hire link marketers in stead. You need passion, determination, knowledge, vision and excellent communication skills, so it really isn’t that boring, simplistic task that lots of people think it is.

This would probably keep you in the race:
Things like creating content, networking, following SEO news, following general news, negotiating terms, researching link profiles and advising clients in their communication strategy are also part of a link marketer’s job.

This probably wouldn’t:
“It’s a mix of spamming forums, hunting for blogs with the dofollow plugin and playing pong.”
Well, actually, that last part is true…

2. What’s your personal stance in the paid link discussion?
There are only two answers that would bug me off here. If you either don’t care about Google’s guidelines and keep buying links like you always did, or if you agree with the big G for the full 100% and fill out paid link reports on a daily basis, I probably wouldn’t hire you.

This would probably keep you in the race:
If you can separate your personal, greyish hat, affiliate website that has around a hundred anchor text rich paid links pointing at it (most of which are for testing reasons, of course :) ) from a client’s website, you’re pretty safe here.

This probably wouldn’t:
“Well, the reason why I applied here, is because Google trimmed the PageRank of most of my websites. Because my income was based solely on text link ads on those sites, and I have absolutely no clue how to monetize the sites now, I thought I’d give it a shot…”

3. Which link or which achievement are you the most proud of?
Pride is a sign of passion and that’s what you need in this job. Not everyone can live with promoting someone else’s website for a living. If you’re able reach the top 3 for a highly competitive keyword, you might be good at building links. If you can be proud of a client that you’ve helped to reach the top 3 for a highly competitive keyword, then you might be a good link marketer.

This would probably keep you in the race:
“Are you familiar with the ‘web promotion’ category in the Yahoo Directory? I was the one that requested Jerry Yang to create that one a while ago…”

This probably wouldn’t:
“I guess getting banned from MSN because of link spamming is quite an achievement…”

4. Let’s say, a website that sells books online, is one of our customers. How would you start such a campaign?
I have to admit that this is a tricky one, but it’s very easy at the same time. How tempting it may be to start listing several websites and tactics that you could use, you really need more info here. What if the homepage was the nightmare of every search engine robot? What are the goals and what’s the current situation? What’s the background of the store and to what countries do they ship? There’s just too many questions that have to be answered first…

This would probably keep you in the race:
Ask questions! You can only provide the best service if you know all the details.

This probably wouldn’t:
“I’d use an Indian directory submission program to get listed in about 2,000 general directories for about $249,-. With anchor text variation, of course: you can pick two different ones!”

5. What determines the value of a link?
There are numerous different factors that you could list here, but the main point here is that you can tell that no two links are equal and that the value of a link depends on the situation.

This would probably keep you in the race:
Naming factors like traffic, relevancy, anchor text, authority and/ or link age would make you score a few points. Mentioning the link value factors document would be a bonus point. :P

This probably wouldn’t:
“It’s a combination of the page’s PageRank, Alexa ranking and the asking price of the link at Text Link Ads.”

Besides information (and perhaps a bit of entertainment), this post also has another function; we‘re actually looking for people that breathe search, including for someone with link marketing experience. So if you’re interested and/ or if this post triggered you, feel free to drop me a note ;)

3 Responses to “Link Building Job Interview? Here’s 5 Questions to Ask”

  1. Eric Ward April 29, 2008 at 8:54 pm #

    “Are you familiar with the ‘web promotion’ category in the Yahoo Directory? I was the one that requested Jerry Yang to create that one a while ago…”

    Hey, I thought I did that?


  2. Wiep April 29, 2008 at 10:11 pm #

    Well, I guess that automatically brings you to the next round ;)

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    […] Link Value Factors is a good starting location. More recently, he’s also got this post on link building job interviews which touches on some of this stuff (his Internet Marketing company is hiring, […]