Can you Automate Link Development?

Using automation in link development is an attractive concept. The idea of getting bunches of links with minimal effort is compelling, but it’s not real. However, there are parts of the process that you can automate, or partially automate to make your task easier.

But you can’t lose sight of the process of identifying the best links. Ultimately, achieving high rankings in competitive markets will com from getting really high quality links. Consider, for example, the impact on your site of getting covered by the Wall Street Journal. The value of this link far exceeds its immediate SEO impact.

Such a link will give you tons of direct traffic, and you will get lots of other sites that give you links because they see the link in the WSJ. There are many links of this quality (as I said I used the WSJ as an example).

Too lofty for your business to contemplate? There are many easier to reach targets that will meet your needs. The specifics of who they are depends on your business. You will recognize them as the leaders in markets closely related to yours. I am not talking about direct competitors, but sites that are topically relevant to yours without being your competitors.

Identifying these sites is not something that you can ever automate. This can only be done by hand, by someone who understands the business. For this reason, you can never plan to automate your entire link development strategy. But there are pieces of the process that you can automate.

The most interesting of these is the process of identifying web sites that represent possible sources of links. For example, there are tools out that that will help you identify back links for various web sites. You can run these tools on your competitor’s web sites, or authoritative sites in your space (perhaps a government site, or a major magazine site, for examples).

This is a great way to automate a part of the process. Unfortunately, it is hard to automate much more than this. You need to evaluate the target sites one by one after your tool gives you a list to look at, and you need to personalize your contacts with them.

But take heart, if you have great content, and fill an important role in your market space, get some of these higher quality links to your site, and other people will start linking to you without your even asking. Now that’s an automation scheme I really like.

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