SES San Francisco 2010: How to Become a Link Magnet
Search Engine Optimisation

SES San Francisco 2010: How to Become a Link Magnet

19th August 2010

All right folks, we’re back with another session at SES 2010 in San Francisco. This time we are talking links and actually “How to Become a Link Magnet”. This should be interesting especially with this great line-up having Aaron Kahlow, Rand Fishkin and Jim Boykin on stage. The session’s description looks promising as well: “Find out from a panel of experts how you can have your (metaphorical) 15 minutes of fame, become a link magnet and dominate search engines.” Oh yea…

First on stage is Jim, he’s going to talk on highly trusted links like those from edu’s, gov’s, etc. He actually divides between link bait magnets vs. trust bait magnets – the differences are:

  • Content build for bloggers and social media sites
  • Almost only links from blogs
  • Link value often fades down (because of moving down to archives, etc.)


  • Content build for educators and research audiences
  • Link from non-blogs (often around since 1997)
  • Link value constant and of higher-value (they just stick around)

Since Jim asked not to publish the samples and other details I’d have to quit here, sorry for that!

OK, let’s move on with Rand of (who’s making fun of Germans this time – bad idea, Rand! ;)), he starts out with how he thinks link-magnets should work. It’s necessary that link magnets emotionally or physically reward the linker; they need to create an incentive. One of the problems he sees is that the linkerati got really suspicious of linkbaits and similar stuff – this makes it tougher to actually get links.

Important ingredients of the link magnet soup:

  • Great content… but even better: Content that rewards!
  • An emotional and an obvious hook
  • Making content easy-to-share (like the Facebook “like” button)

Great examples on where this strategy worked (go check them!):

  • Vimeo: Embed this video (200 most linked-to sites)
  • Okcupid (“we do math to get you dates!”): Actually I don’t know the site but Rand urges everyone to check it out, go for it. What they do is, as you drop down reading the page, they fade in a dropdown to social-share their content.
  • Techmeme Leaderboard: “I’m so important, I have to reference that I was mentioned on the leaderboard”.
  • Simply Hired: They offer a job search embed – you can basically compare salaries, got a massive amount of links.

And last on stage is Aaron. Ok, he’s not on stage and does not have a PowerPoint for us. So this is now turning into a Q&A. Folks, that’s it for day 2 at SES – we now do have the really famous “Black Hat, White Hat Un-conferenced” following right afterwards. Since this is no-blogging I guess we’re done for the day. Hope you enjoyed our coverage!


Written By
Bastian Grimm is founder and CEO of Grimm Digital. He mainly works as online marketing consultant with a strong focus on organic search engine optimization (SEO). Grimm specializes in SEO strategy consulting, website assessments as well as large scale link building campaigns.
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