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Does Your Site Deserve Link Love?

lewis-sage
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A couple of weeks ago, I invited people to submit sites they felt deserved a little link love. Today, we’ll look at some of these sites and discuss different ways to create link love.

The first site for review comes from a friend who sent me a link to a press release. I'm sure you have friends who send you forwards and links to sites that you invariably have no interest in. Possibly, you also have a select group of friends that rarely send you anything, and when they do, you know it's going to be worth your time. My first example of sites that deserve link love came from that kind of friend.

Dogster & Catster Facebook Application

The link from my friend was about a new application created by Dogster.com and Catster.com, sites dedicated to the people who love their pets. You can share pictures, stories, and all kinds of information about your dog or cat.

This new application allows you to embed adoptable pets or cute pet pictures automatically into your Facebook account. You simply go to the Dogster & Catster Facebook Application page and select the Facebook application you wish to embed. It will automatically install quickly and easily, showing adoptable or cute dogs and/or cats.

This is a great tool to help rescued animals, and also a great tool to promote Dogster.com and Catster.com. The application defaults to a link in your left navigation for installation by others. When someone clicks into this application, a link at the bottom of the page takes him or her to the Dogster & Catster Facebook application page. This is an ideal viral marketing setup. It has information that many people care about, and they make it very easy to spread virally.

The new Facebook platform allows developers to create applications within Facebook. So, if you have news or information that might be of interest to people with accounts at Facebook, you may want to consider this. You can go to Mashable Social Networking News to see examples of what others have done.

Debt Predictor Tool

The next link I received was from freelance Web developer Steve Neale. He created a debt predictor tool that gives people an idea of how their finances might look in different financial scenarios. I liked this particular tool because it could potentially prevent what happened to many people who were caught off guard with variable rate mortgages. You can try it out here. The need for this kind of tool is particularly timely. Steve saw a common need in the financial marketplace and was able to quickly create a tool to help meet that need.

I might suggest that Steve use a “Send to a Friend" button and other means to help this tool go viral. Once you create something that deserves true link love, you want your visitors to have every opportunity to spread your content virally. This might include links to social bookmarking sites or social news sites.

Be a Purple Cow

Lastly, I would like to tell you about keynote speaker Seth Godin’s message at this year’s Search Engine Strategies conference in Toronto, Canada. As you know, Godin is a highly renowned marketing guru.

His premise is that there is simply too much clutter in today’s marketing world. As marketers, we deal with all the noise by making more noise. Ultimately, we rarely say anything much different from our competitors.

Godin believes the way to differentiate yourself is by being remarkable. You must create something people want to talk about. To do this, you must love your product. You must tell the story that makes it remarkable. And instead of trying to sell to people who don’t know you, sell to people who are already listening.

From there, allow these people to spread your story. “The idea that spreads, wins!” His advice works for traditional marketers as well as Web marketers.

Godin uses his field of cows story to illustrate this. A field of cows is nothing to talk about. They’re all the same, and they’re all doing the same thing. As you drive past a field of cows, surely no one in your car is going to notice them.

However, if one of those cows happens to be purple, everyone in your car would certainly talk about it. In fact, you might even stop the car and go up to the cow to see if it really is purple. You might then call some people to tell them you saw a purple cow.

A purple cow is worth talking about. If you want to win the link love game, you need to be a purple cow.


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