(UPDATE 2012 – Thinking like this is not best practice in Google in 2012. Getting loads of unnatural links too fast may invite a GWT Notice of Unnatural Links and eventual penalty.)
I am working with a new client who wants to know why, after being no1 for years, their site is now no.2,3 or 4 for some of their most valuable terms. Looking at the competitors backlinks using Yahoo site explorer for 30 seconds I quickly identify the problem.
Your competitors are actually picking up some very decent amazing ninja links from trusted sites with excellent anchor text Very quickly in my head I had a strategy to assimilate these links and add them to my client’s link profile while all the time sourcing my own decent links – links that can’t be so easily cloned. Then I thought:
Why hasn’t these guys bothered to try and hide their link profile – even a little? It’s as if they’ve sat back and patted themselves on the back for getting, to be fair, excellent link drops. The only problem is that these links are right at the top of Yahoo site explorer! I am going to go in and pick off these links with no work at all using nothing more that site explorer (which conveniently sort ofÃ‚ lists pages by the number of links pointing to them ie perhaps stronger pages). It’s virtually impossible to not leave a footprint when linkbuilding but what you don’t want to do is have your good links sticking out like sore thumbs especially if they are ninja link drops that any sod can recreate. While you won’t stop a dedicated link hound with a passion to take you out of the top spot at Google, you will make it harder for the inexperienced linkbuilder to pick of your good links by muddying your link profile. The easiest way I know how to do this is by commenting on popular blog posts. Either comment, or via trackbacks if you want to be lazy and do it en-mass. Comment on 50 popular blog posts – nofollow links will do – (you’ll know how stong they will be by the number of comments on the post) and hey presto. You just made it that bit harder for the average joe to find your links in 10 seconds using Yahoo site explorer. If people are farming your links and using old hat competitor research tools, you at least want to make it as difficult and time consuming as possible to identify those links, no matter what tool they use.