Blow Your Mind Link Building Techniques (at SMX London)

5 Nov

This week, during the Blow Your Mind Link Building Techniques session at the SMX in London, I had the opportunity to share a panel with Lyndon Antcliff, Tom Critchlow and Jay Young. It turned out to be an awesome session.

Overview of the SMX, by Mark Bovenkerk,

Lyndon kicked it off with a breakdown of his famous 13-year-old-hooker-bait and explained which psychological factors the story contained. He made it perfectly clear that his story wasn’t just a lucky shot, but that every aspect of it was a well thought through. His lemon-colored Powerpoint has to be one of the best ones I’ve seen during the SMX.

Up next was Will Tom Critchlow, who showed a loophole in the (British?) tax system, that lets you buy links on charity websites tax free. Of course, you shouldn’t buy them for the link, but to support the charity. He also discussed how expired pages, abandoned websites and even bankruptcies can be (or lead you to) possible link targets. He closed off with a few examples of how niche forums (did you know there are even forums for lemon juice fanatics?) can be awesome sources to pick up linkbait ideas.

After Tom, it was my turn to do some stuttering on stage. The attendees didn’t start throwing lemons at me, so I guess I did an acceptable job for a first timer. I’ve included my presentation below. I know watching just a few sheets isn’t the same as attending the session, but it’s the best I can do :)

Jay Young closed it off with a presentation about negotioting links and other useful tips. His points that intensifying your link building efforts during seasonable peaks (to look more natural) and to adjust your anchor text every now and then are worth highlighting.

After these four sessions, Rob unleashed a discussion about paid links. Bottom line of this discussion: buying links is something that you should do with care and variation, and you should be aware of the risks.

The SMX has been pretty interesting (and LondonSEO was excellent as well), so I’m already looking forward to next year’s edition.

21 Responses to “Blow Your Mind Link Building Techniques (at SMX London)”

  1. Linkbuildr November 6, 2008 at 3:45 am #

    Awesome stuff Wiep! The “minitation” left me wanting more lol. I never thought to hit up some big name – now out of business companies for links. I hope to be able to hit up a SMX in london one of these days.


  2. Bas van den Beld November 7, 2008 at 2:00 pm #

    You did a great job Wiep, no stuttering noticed on this end :).

    Was an interesting session, also the discussion at the end. SMX was fun!

  3. Doug Heil November 7, 2008 at 6:33 pm #

    “He made it perfectly clear that his story wasn’t just a lucky shot, but that every aspect of it was a well thought through”

    So; did the attendees and SEO’s and you and anyone else who cares find that asking someone to speak at SMX who thoroughly and completely thought about how they were going to lie and deceive ALL readers, and the entire SEO community,….. a good thing?

    Frankly; I find the entire idea of asking this guy to speak about his deception and greed totally disgusting. Most of this industry is disgusting at best. Was this guy praised and cheered as well at this crappy conference?

  4. Firstwebsearch November 7, 2008 at 8:23 pm #

    The info at the SMX events is always great.

  5. Wiep November 7, 2008 at 8:38 pm #

    @Ryan; There will be another SMX London next year ;)

    @Bas; SMX sure was fun and it was nice meeting you

    @Doug; Lyndon explained why the post went hot (the psychology behind it), not if it was a good thing to do or not. About finding the entire industry disgusting, well, everybody’s entitled to their own opinion…

  6. Doug Heil November 7, 2008 at 9:57 pm #

    My point being the idea he was allowed to speak at all is the fact that concerns me. I could care less about what the heck he said. The idea that I’m very sure not one single attendee to that session said one single word about things either. The entire fiasco is what is disturbing and why I think the industry is disgusting. Also why I think that conference is crappy. And yes indeed; I am entitled to my opinion just like you are entitled to promote that session and conference.

  7. Thomas November 8, 2008 at 7:59 am #

    I have seen what store bought links look like….Not very tasty. But someday I will maybe open my own link biz! I should check out one of these conventions.

  8. Julie Joyce November 8, 2008 at 1:31 pm #

    @Doug: “The idea that I’m very sure not one single attendee to that session said one single word about things either.” Um, what does this mean?

    Also, Lyndon wasn’t just ALLOWED to speak. He was asked to speak, which says that there are people in the industry who realize that, even when you disagree with something, you should still realize that there IS value to understanding why and how it came about.

  9. Doug Heil November 8, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    “understand why and how it came about.”

    um, oh yeah? I’m not sure many give a shite how it came about someone deceiving all readers while writing and promoting a fake story for a trusted financial website. How the heck hard is that? Don’t you think you or anyone with a clue could think about writing something very fake and then submitting it as news? I do. I could. I can’t write very well at all and even I could have wrote crap like that. Come on.

    The fact is that this industry is full of BS and crap. Period. The fact this person was “asked” is even much, much worse. Goes to show the intelligence and integrity of whoever had the bright idea of asking this person to even wipe anyone’s butt.

  10. Julie Joyce November 8, 2008 at 2:58 pm #

    OK well this is not a post about why Lyndon’s a bad monkey really…out of all the sessions I’ve attended over the years, this link building session gave me the most interesting information that I can actually USE. Lyndon’s bit on the psychological hooks was quite good, as it can be applied to many other things other than linkbait. Everyone did a fantastic job, and for the first time I wasn’t sitting there wondering what I was going to wear the next day. Well done to all of you.

  11. Doug Heil November 8, 2008 at 7:28 pm #

    I think I learned about psychology from the psychology class in college. Not a mind-blowing thing about how his linkbait was done. The idea that this industry does not give a hoot about who they promote via conferences is pathetic at best. Trust me; I’m not the only one in this industry who feels exactly the same way. Just think how many might actually go to SMX if it stopped promoting the worse of the industry?

    Things will be changed in due time. You can bet on it.

  12. Wiep November 9, 2008 at 11:38 am #

    @Doug: I assume you’ve learned a LOT in college, but you’re probably only using a small part of that knowledge, just like me. You pick out what ever is relevant for you and what you think is important. The same goes for conferences like the SMX. Some attendees might not have liked Lyndon’s presentation, some might not have liked mine, some might not have liked multiple presentations. What I do know, is that there’s something that you can use in every presentation, no matter if you’re a white hat, grey hat, blue hat or wearing any other color hat.

    However, like Julie said, this post isn’t just about a specific presentation or speaker, it’s about a session that I thought was actually pretty good.

  13. Doug Heil November 9, 2008 at 4:39 pm #

    You are skirting around my point. I know that there is good info at conferences that you can learn from. I think many out there could have spoke about the same darn things, and would have deserved to be promoted via a conference. Do immoral characters deserve this kind of promotion? I don’t think so. That’s the real point and issue. It’s also the main reason why outsiders view the industry in the way they do. No one seems to give two shites about it though… obviously. Unless or until this industry grows up and actually has an organization of best practices that is actually enforced, the industry will keep on keeping on as it is currently… pathetic.

  14. Lyndon November 9, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    I hope people at the presentation understood that it wasn’t the point that people were fooled or not, the point is did they link or not. It confuses me when people seem to think I get my fee when people get fooled, it’s a red herring.

    It’s all about the links baby.

    So when people say it’s fake linkbait, I don’t get it. As I don’t care if people do not believe it, I only care if people link.

    How do you get people to link? You excite them. The interesting thing is the people who hated what I did actually helped me by keeping the debate going and keeping me in the public eye. Most of these people have a very low rep in the industry and are not really known for anything except complaining about others success.

    I didn’t have one person come up to me and say they didn’t like what I did, in fact quite the contrary. I have found only a small, vocal group didn’t like it and when I ask people what they think of them, no one seems to have a good word to say about them.

    No juice. No credibility. No problem.

  15. Doug Heil November 9, 2008 at 10:23 pm #

    Now does everyone see what I mean? That’s pretty clear and made my point nicely.

  16. Str0ud November 10, 2008 at 12:17 am #


  17. Gab Goldenberg November 10, 2008 at 1:38 am #

    Congrats on your first SMX presentation Wiep! I like the unique tactic ideas like monitoring for bankruptcies and following up search results for the same.

  18. Tertius November 10, 2008 at 5:18 pm #

    Agreed some great information.

    I personally try to be as white-hat/ethical as I can be. So if I have the opportunity to go to a conference like this I’ll befriend those who have the same values as me and take in information that aligns itself with my values.

    I think some part of every industry is bad. There is little regulation in this industry because of it’s enormous and international nature.

  19. Thomas May 5, 2009 at 11:03 pm #

    I do love some of the ideas presented here…especially the bit about closed sites. Sparked a real thought process in my mind!

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