SES San Francisco 2010: Link Building Basics
Search Engine Optimisation

SES San Francisco 2010: Link Building Basics

17th August 2010

Here we are – back from the coffee break, had some nicely purred Starbucks – not too bad! I’m in the link building basics now; hopefully I can learn something there 😉 I’m probably not repeating all the basics here (not sure how detailed they’ll be) but of course I’m trying to catch the most important message of each of the panelists.

Debra Mastaler is the first one up – let’s see what “basics” she brought. So according to her agenda, she’s going to talk about ink popularity and link influences.

The process behind link popularity: As we all know link popularity aka LP is what drives the algorithms of search engines, especially those of Google and Bing – so here’s what’s important to know: It’s the measure of quality and quantity of links that point to a page – and actually has four components:

  • Quantity: Number of links that points to a page
  • Quality: The authority of the host sites and the sites linking to them (in Google known as Google PageRank; in Yahoo! it’s known as Trust Rank; in Bing it’s TrustRank – but Google has that one as well, as an algorithmic component)
  • Anchor text: It’s a query ranking indicator; and the strongest component to consider
  • Relevance: It’s just matching contents or sites and inter-link those.

Also make sure you balance link building with content creation and media promotion – this ensures that there is a valid “reason” (in eyes of the search engines) to actually legitimate the link-growth you’re causing. Another hint by Debra: Site-wide links and navigational links are somewhat being devalued and not as strong as used to be – that being said, make sure you to get links from content areas.

Next up is Christoph Cemper and here are some of his statements when it comes down to building links:

1/ There is no generic rule on how many links / authority you need to get number one – you have to look at your competition.

2/ You need junk links as well to have a natural-looking link profile. Make your profile not look like an SEO built one or you’ll be in trouble. This means you’ll need for example nofollow links, you need non-optimized anchor texts like “click here”, etc.

3/ Rules are different depending on the domain: If you have the domain “” it’s just natural to get a massive amount of links having the anchor-text “cheap flights”, however if you put that on a generic site you probably be in trouble (because of anchor text spamming!).

4/ One of the most valuable targets when building links re-visiting the existing ones.

And that’s it for the link building basics – and as for the closing statement we have the third panelist, Richard Stokes: “The vast majority of the web is junk. If you’d eliminate junk links you see what he calls genuine links. The amount is WAY smaller.” – so it’s not purely about the amount of links but also of the quality.


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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