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The broken link building strategy may be one of the most effective, white-hat link building strategies in years. In today’s post, Russ Jones outlines everything you need to know (really, everything) about how to effectively use this strategy in your next link building campaign.
As a link building tactic, broken link building is an effective, white-hat, scalable, content-focused link building strategy that builds links through finding broken links, recreating that broken content, and helping webmasters replace broken links with your corrected link.
Broken link building may perhaps be the most effective, white-hat link building strategy in years. In particular, broken link building is appealing because the success of the campaign is directly proportional to how much good you do for the web. You profit only if you create good content to replace lost or abandoned content that webmasters still want to link to. This is the type of strategy that marries so many of the competing interests our industry: content vs. links, link earning vs link building, inbound vs. outbound, etc.
Below, I attempt to organize as much as I know about broken link building tactics. Throughout the piece I mention tools that will help you make the broken link building process scalable and less monotonous. Let’s begin.
Broken link building is a link building tactic where a marketer contacts a webmaster who has a broken link on his/her site and recommends one or more alternatives that include his/her target site. For the purposes of this piece, we will use a pediatrician in Raleigh, NC as an example client.
The first step in any Broken link building campaign is to find relevant dead pages. However, there are different methods of prospecting depending upon the broken link building strategy you are employing. There are essentially three types of broken link building strategies:
Keyword based is the the most common and, in my opinion, straightforward method of broken link building. The method involves searching Google for keywords relevant to your site’s interests, finding resource pages that link to content related to your keywords, extracting all the links from those resource pages, finding missing pages among those links, and finally qualifying those opportunities.
Select Prospecting Keywords Like so many things in SEO, we begin with keyword selection. A successful broken link building campaign lives and dies by the keywords used. There are a couple of characteristics we want to look for in an ideal keyword.
Prospecting Phrases: Once you have identified your keywords, you will want to pair them with prospecting phrases. These are searches to use in Google or Bing to find relevant resource and links pages like “intitle:resources” or “inurl:links.” Below is a list of prospecting phrases you can use to help find relevant linking pages.
list of links
list of resources
list of sites
list of websites
list of blogs
list of forums
Search Results Scraping: You now have the arduous task of finding all the results for all these prospecting phrases. Google is not fond of sending in automated requests, so you have a couple of choices. You complete the task by hand and use the MozBar to extract results, you can use a SERP scraping tool and risk Google’s ire, or you could look into use the Bing API, which would necessitate changing many of the search operators in the above list of prospecting phrases. Ultimately, you will want to pull down the top 100 results for each of the prospecting phrases you use. You will have quite a bit of crossover, so you will want to de-dupe those lists. You can use Virante’s free “Duplicate Deleter” tool to accomplish this, or you can simply use Excel’s remove duplicates function.
Link Extraction: Once you have a culled list of potential “linking pages,” you need to extract every external link from these pages and begin the process of finding all the 404s. You can also combine this step with the 404 header check using a tool like Domain Hunter+or Check My Links.
Link extraction and 404 header check
404 / Error Checking: Once you have extracted all the links, you will have to check the headers on each link to determine whether or not they are 404s, our ultimate target. If you used Domain Hunter Plus or Check My Links, you can skip this process. The easiest way to do this is with a simple HTTP Status Code checker. There is a free bulk tool here. Just copy and paste all your URLs here, without the http:// and it will find all the 404s for you.
Backlink acquisition: Once you have found a set of 404 pages, you now have to filter them to determine which are actually strong targets. The more backlinks pointing to a 404 page, the more opportunities you have for link replacement. These linking domains will be the sites you contact to replace the broken link with your own. There are several ways to do this, but the easiest at the moment is likely Majestic SEO’s bulk backlink checker. Remember, at this point you are trying just to get an idea of those with the most links and ignore those with very few. This will limit the amount of time you have on checking relevance.
Relevance analysis: Now you filtered your list of 404 opportunities to those with a good number of unique linking domains. Let’s say that number is 50 or more. You now have to determine the relevancy of that content. You can do that a few ways:
Visit the Wayback Machine (also known as the way back machine) to find cached copies of the URL in history. If the page is well linked and did not block web crawlers, you should be able to find the content here.
If this is not available, you can look at the anchor text of the links pointing to the page. You can use SEOMoz Open Site Explorer to get an export of the anchor text.
You can look at the URL itself for hints as to how relevant the content would be.
You can visit the linking pages to see if those links have descriptions of what the previous content was.
Unlike using keywords, this method starts with a known site and mines their backlinks to relevant resource pages that, in turn, produce broken link building opportunities.
Site / URL Selection: This is by far the most important part of the process. Choosing the right site will make or break this strategy. I do want to give a nod to Garrett French for pointing this method out to me a few months ago. There are a couple of factors you want to use in identifying the perfect site or URL.
Backlink Acquisition: Following the example above of a Raleigh, NC dentist, let’s assume that we selected the American Dental Association (ADA.org). Using Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO, or A Hrefs, export all of the links pointing back to this site. This list of URLs should be treated in the same way as the list of URLs in the keyword method that were pulled from searching Google with prospecting phrases. You can now skip to the Link Extraction section in the previous description and follow from there. The steps are identical, no need to repeat them.
This is the least scalable of the strategies and is used specifically to target a single link prospect. Unlike the previous two methods where you are trying to find potential broken content to replace and your link prospects are those who link to that broken content, in this method you have already chosen your link prospect and you simply want to find broken links on his/her site as an excuse to start a conversation. I hesitate to include this strategy because it is weak and unscalable, but it is a part of the grouping of strategies known as “broken link building” so I will include it.
Let’s assume that you are the Raleigh, NC dentist and you have decided that all you really want is a link from ADA.org. You feel that you have some great content they would link to if only you had a reason to open up a conversation that didn’t sound completely like begging. Well, the first step is to try and find a broken link on their site so you have a reason to reach out to their webmaster.
Site Crawling: Site crawling can be problematic because you must balance your need for relatively quick responses and a general respect for the site owner’s bandwidth and uptime. Do not turn on a crawler that you are not certain follows polite crawling policies and obeys robots.txt. Your best bet would be one of the following:
Opportunity Selection: You now have a list of broken links on your ideal linking website. Identifying the best opportunity will greatly increase the likelihood of succeeding with this strategy. Here are a couple of pointers.
The next step in the broken link building process is creating content that matches or improves upon the broken page. The first step you will need to take is actually determining what the broken page is. We assume that you have already vetted this page for relevance so you should have a general idea, but getting as specific as possible will help you create content that meets the expectations of all of those who previously linked to the now defunct resource. There are two tools that can help with this right off the bat…
Raised Expectations: Chances are the site for which you are replacing content has greater authority in the industry than does yours. Chances are it is less commercial, more informative, and more trustworthy in general. If you want to acquire a decent return on investment, you need to focus intently on content quality.
So, you have found your opportunity, created your list of link opportunities, and you are ready to start outreach. Here is how to make the most out of that link list you have.
There are many strategies you can employ in the outreach, here are a few of them depending on how transparent you want to be. We find, in general, that if you write good enough content you can be very transparent.
Below is an example of a broken link building outreach email. The most important part of the outreach process is that you should tailor your outreach at least to the specific campaign and industry if not to each target specifically. If you can add even a sentence of plausible, relevant customization to each email you send out you will greatly increase your conversion. I promise you if you copy and paste this template you will waste a lot of your opportunities, no matter how good it is.
SL: quick note – dead resource on your site
I’m a licensed (industry specialist) and a health writer – I recently visited your site while researching for an article I’m working on…
This is a note for your webmaster, as I found a dead resource on your site that visitors like me surely miss.
It’s on this page: http://www.theirsite.gov/linksandresources
I got an error message when I tried to click on this site: http://DeadURL.org/index.jsp
It looks like they made a change to their home page but didn’t update it… anyhow, the correct link is here: http://www.FixedURL.org/
And while you’re updating your page, I wondered if you’d be open to including some further resources that could help people struggling with similar issues.
Compelling Content Title
Compelling Content Title 2
Thanks for your help and for providing great resources!
First Name Last Name
Anthony Nelson has some fantastic templates here from his excellent piece “Broken Link Building Guide from Noob to Novice”.
Like nearly any link building technique, sweat equity is ultimately going to make the difference between a successful campaign and a failure. The devil is always in the details. With that, I would like to see that this becomes a living document. Broken link building, while not a new technique, is becoming more and more scalable. As more agencies, consultants and business owners jump on the bandwagon, their voices need to be heard as well. Subsequently, I am requesting that if you know any tips or tricks that you feel free to include them in the comments here. Thanks, and happy broken link building!
While I would like to pretend that most of my knowledge came from divine inspiration or on-the-job learning, the truth is that many thought leaders have chimed in on broken link building. This posting can be attributed in part to conversations with or content provided by the following great SEOs:
This list was initially 5x – 10x the length it is today, however changes to the Twitter API have caused the majority of tools on this list to fall off due to lack of updates or failing to qualify for access to Twitter new API requirements.
This is a living list, so if you are aware of any new Twitter Tools that are not yet on the list, or if you notice that some of the tools on this list are no longer live please leave a comment below and let me know.
Enjoy the Twitter Tools!
The entire Ultimate List of Twitter Tools is included on this page.
Click one of the linked categories below and it will jump you to that part of the list.
Browser Plug-ins (Chrome, Firefox)
Twitter has a basic native analytics platform for every account at analytics.twitter.com but I find that some Twitter tools offer more robust options for serious Twitter power users.
To discover some cool Twitter analytics tools check out this post for out top 10 Twitter analytics and visualization tools.
My favorite Twitter analytics and visualization tool is TweepsMap, which is an excellent Twitter tool for both analyzing and visualizing your Twitter network.
In addition to the top 10 analytics tools in the post above a few other Twitter analytic tools include:
Check out this post for a list of the best Twitter directories.
Check out this post and discover How To Get The Most Out of Twitter #Hashtags.
For Twitter #Hashtag tools check these Twitter hashtag tools out:
Twitter now has Twitter poll functionality built into the core web based version of Twitter, and on official Twitter smartphone apps.
I hope you enjoyed this extensive list of Twitter tools!
If you have any ideas on how to take this list to the next level I’d love to hear them.
Have I missed any Twitter Tools?
What is your favorite Twitter Tool?
Let me know in the comments below!
Daniel Faggella on December 29, 2015
SEO (search engine optimization) has come a long way.
After experiencing the “wrath of Google” years ago, some marketers have exited the SEO game and opted instead to use paid traffic to generate their leads and prospects. However, when done correctly (and ethically), there is no match for the longevity, consistency and quality of the lead flow you’ll experience from SEO. Today, I want to offer you an insider’s view of how to do this well.
All of my businesses are built entirely on organic SEO, and if I were to stop doing everything today, they would continue to experience high-quality lead flow consistently for many months to come. This just isn’t the case with paid traffic. Of course, the best marketing systems utilize both organic and paid traffic.
In this article, I’ll give you my thoughts on a time-tested and proven strategy for creating your SEO regimen.
All marketing is built on the notion of “desire” — i.e., you want something (whether it’s clothes, food, information, better abs or something else), and some business comes along with marketing promises to fulfill that desire.
In his book, “Breakthrough Advertising,” the late (and great) Eugene Schwartz stated that marketing could not (and should not) create mass desire, but that “it can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already existing desires onto a particular product.”
This is true. Great marketing, whether it be paid advertising or organic (SEO), is built on this principle. In the old days, the only way to tap into this mass-market desire was to show up in front of where the market happened to be (TV, newspaper or another medium).
This was (and is) both expensive and risky. If you pay large amounts of money to run an advertisement on TV, and you misdiagnose the desire of the market, you will not make any money.
Simply spending money on advertising doesn’t guarantee earning a return on that advertising.
Organic marketing, like SEO, provides you the opportunity to reverse this formula. Rather than needing to go out to where your market is located, you can attract your market, causing them to come to you.
This has changed everything: You can now put together marketing that fulfills the desires of your market very cheaply (or for free) without risking too much if you should misdiagnose or otherwise get it wrong.
Here’s a simple formula that will help you wrap your brain around SEO:
(B1 + B2 = DP), DP ≅ Your Organic Strategy = $$$
(Belief + Behavior = Decision Patterns), Decision Patterns ≅ Your Organic Strategy = Sales
The first “B” is belief. The second “B” is behavior. The belief and the behavior are always correlated; together, they make up the “Decision Patterns” of your prospects, (Tune into this interview with Artillery Marketing founder Douglas Burdett for more on determining buyer persona.) I’m going to get deeper into this in a bit.
When the “Decision Patterns” of your prospects are congruent with your organic strategy, your SEO kicks into hyperdrive, and you start seeing serious traction.
There are really four levels to your organic (SEO) strategy:
Today, we’re going to outline the first two levels, and in Part 2 of this series, we’ll tackle the last two levels.
The first level is “High Level.”
Instead of going out to set up shop in front of where the market is located, the internet allows you to build marketing assets that will “pull” your prospects towards your business. This starts with the Top Level of your SEO strategy: determining the terms specific to your offering and your market.
Many refer to these as “PPC Terms” because they are the terms your prospects are putting into Google when looking for a solution. (If you’re a little rusty on your PPC definitions, this article fromPPC Hero provides a succinct glossary.)
We do this by outlining the belief and the likely behavior of your market. For instance, if you are an online marketing consultant who serves affluent businesses in Boston, you might come up with this list:
This is your master list, but it’s only the top level. Remember, there is a correlation between the things people are looking for and the behavior they perform. This means your search terms will be divided into different levels of quality, which we’ll get into later.
The second level is your “Top Of Funnel.”
The top of funnel is the area of indirect interest. For instance, using the same scenario as above, you might come up with this list of “Top Of Funnel” terms:
These are all going to attract people who are interested in your specific offering, and you can use these to create the “building blocks” of your SEO strategy. Webinars, white papers, free reports and other such “opt-in” devices can be created from these “Top Of Funnel” terms.
Next week, as we get into the second two levels, I’ll show you how to connect all of these levels together into a seamless regimen. Before then, here is your homework:
Create your list of “PPC Terms,” and, from there, your list of “Top Of Funnel” devices. Like a car on a long road trip, these two lists will act as your map and your guide when we start creating blog content and database marketing material to monetize your SEO system.
Tune in next week for Part 2 on making SEO work and generating more traffic for your business.
Interview transcription looks quite simple but in real life, it is very a complex and an intricate task. It should be noted that mainstream semi-structured and structured interviews necessitate a comprehensive transcription that needs to be accessible by the interviewee to scrutinize for respondent authentication.
Sociolinguistic research being the exception to the rule wherein the transcription needs to be understood from speech to print. It should be transformed in a manner that satisfies the interviewer and interviewee.
Transcriptionists need to artificially augment the language for lucidity and suitability. It is significant to take note that ethics should be taken into consideration while conducting transcription validation and understanding the requirements of the respondents. There has been a lot of debate on types of interview, questionnaire design, benefits and limitations of audio recording, but the very insignificant proportion has been written about transcribing the interview.
According to Holstein and Gubrium, 1995, p.78, “If conceivable the research needs to be taken into consideration for audio or videotape interviews. The tapes can be used after for transcription for close scrutinization. There is nothing mentioned about whether the transcription of an interview from spoken to written word can be problematic.
According to Rubin and Rubin, 1995, p86, “It is very significant to note how transcription was developed and how the transcriptions were substantiated. It should also be noted that transcription should integrate pauses and other non-verbal hints of what happened. If the transcriptions are in final revised drafts of the tape recordings, you should also consider what was left out.”
Selections for the treatment and conduct of transcriptions need to be followed up but the situations under which these selections about editing and verification should be made are ignored. It is a known fact that structured interview consists of closed questions and the interviewer will finish the transcription throughout the progression of the interview. There is no need for audio recording.
For different types of interviews, a wide array of linguistic features needs to be figured out like tone, emphasis, body language, the setting and so on. It is very important to take into consideration interviewee’s comprehensions and views. Woods (1996) and Bell (1993) recommend varied methods of partial transcription where the researcher preserves comprehensive interview notes and has critical passages of the tape transcribed. According to Rubin and Rubin (1995), “It is an embarrassment when you tape for preciseness and then do not have a comprehensive transcription at the finish line.”
Interview transcription can become one of the most tedious jobs that you will ever come across. It is very tough and extensive and requires a lot of concentration. Nearly around 6 hours need to be spent on each recorded hour for interview transcription. According to MCLELLAN, MACQUEEN and NEIDIG (2003), “Unsuitable and insufficient methodology of conducting transcriptions can lead to holdups in scrutinization and research conclusion, even presenting chief errors in the findings. This leads to failure in the attempts to enhance the efficacy of transcription which leads to greater delays.”
A research conducted by MEHRABIAN (1971) showcase that approximately 7 percent of information carried out by direct face-to-face communication is done through words alone and there is an approximate value of 38 percent which is integrated by vocal tones that enhance the information transmitted. But because it is very intricate to interpret symbols the procedure of transcription sometimes loses out the meeting of conducting transcripts.”
According to BAUER and GASKELL (2000), conversation analysts “We have created symbols that help in interpreting the missing pieces. There are certain symbols that have certain meaning but can be difficult to gauge and can be time-consuming but can be utilized to gather the missing pieces of information.
There Can be Different Reasons for the Interview Transcription Errors. The TWO Prominent Reasons Being Equipment Failure and Environmental Hazard.
About 10% of interview transcription errors are prone to equipment failure. There are bound to be some equipment failure when you conduct interview transcription. Whether, it is the recorder or camera stopping, batteries dying, electricity going out or other issues. Hence, it is very important for transcriptionists to have a traditional backup plan of pen and pencil. To avoid this embarrassment it is important to evaluate all equipment before the interview. It is also significant to have additional batteries at your disposal and a camera or third recorder just in case if there is some problem with the recorder.
Approximately 15% of interview transcription errors occur due to environmental hazards. Background noise is one of the most deterring factors disturbing the transcriptionist. The background noise may or may not be the only thing hampering the productivity of the transcriptionist. It can also be the sensitive microphone of the camera or recorder that intensifies the sound which hampers the transcriptionist to understand the conversation.
When the equipment is turned on and off the relentless disruption also breaks the rhythm of the transcriptionist. In order to avoid an environmental hazard, it is imperative for the transcriptionist to sit at a quiet place. It is also significant to have recorder or microphone close to record the conversation.
Oliver, Serovich, and Mason, authors of “Constraints and Opportunities with Interview Transcription: towards Reflection in Qualitative Research” (2005) claim that their differences between naturalism and denaturalize. Naturalism is when every word uttered is transcribed in a comprehensive manner while denaturalize is when the characteristics elements of speech encompassing stutters, pauses, nonverbal, and involuntary vocalizations are eradicated.
There is no fixed pattern of conducting interview transcription. Sometimes transcriptionists utilize a combination of both these methods.
This article was originally posted on http://www.hitechbpo.com/ August 12th, 2014
Image Credit: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/files/2010/08/Microphone.jpg