Sorry But Don’t Obsess Over Link Building Tools

It’s roughly 10 years since I began working formally in the world of SEO and in that time, I’ve seen many link building tools hit the market. These tools generally revolve around analysing the backlinks of competitors or top ranked sites to reverse engineer their rankings. Major tools like OSE, Ahref and Majestic SEO will of course give you valuable info – but nothing someone else in your market also can’t obtain easily.

Don’t get me wrong, these tools are *useful. There is no doubt about that and you can get so far with them. The problem however is that the vast majority of these mined backlinks are low quality, lack relevance, made for AdSense or penguin fodder.

I would suggest that if a typical backlink profile had 500 domain back links, you would only find around 10% of them useful. The rest are usually spammy to some degree or other. Of the 10% you go after, if you get 10 links of any note, you have done well.

As a result, I’ve seen people slowly withering away trying to force some productivity from these tools. Sifting through comment spam, forum spam, directory spam and occasionally hitting on an opportunity day in day out means that the turnover of staff in seo companies is high and morale is often quite low.

In our industry there is a general fixation to look for a digital solution to the link building conundrum. All too often, link builders rely on their computers and tools to get the job done. This can waste time and lead to a lot of frustration in the process. You also have the issue that you haven’t really created any unique footprint, at best you have replicated the low hanging fruit of your competitors and at some point the data will run out. Once that happens, link building efforts can stall and that isn’t a great signal.

So if you want to create something new, if you want to create a link profile which is difficult to copy, self generating and appeals to search engines – then you have to look beyond tools for the answer I’m afraid.

In actual fact some of the best link builders have no idea they are actually building links. Simply put, they aren’t doing their job with even a second thought of getting a hyperlink. Yet they end up creating some amazing links which carry great relevance and are very difficult to replicate. So how does that happen?

Well by deliberately spending your time away from computers and engaging with your market (and more importantly people) some great natural link building can take place. If you want a starting point consider your desk phone and your contact book as your primary ‘tools’. The best bit here – these people are likely to say ‘yes’ and can’t be easily targeted by your competitors.

The stampede to use link building tools means that you can throw away some of your best assets. Spending all day sifting through link building tools means that you missed out on speaking with 20 people with websites in your contacts book, discussing and pitching good ideas to LinkedIn groups you are affiliated to or creating new connections with social media influencers that could really kick-start your efforts.

At Ignition, we follow this marketing led ethos. We don’t have link builders ploughing through spread sheets all day wishing for the day to end. We have marketing people that are good at pr, writing and reaching out to relevant website owners with good ideas. Our team can find the most powerful people in your industry in seconds – and spending the time getting to know them and pitching great ideas really works.

The upshot of all this is that we have happy staff and happy clients. Our team are able to express themselves day to day and deliver some really fabulous work. Clients get the wow factor, really love the approach and see the benefits in traffic and rankings.

So if you are currently spending today using a **link building tool:

  1. Stop.
  2. Go make a drink.
  3. Get out your contacts book.
  4. Start chatting through some ideas and your aims.

By the end of the day, I bet you have 3 or 4 really good opportunities to get started – and you may have actually enjoyed it!

* On a personal note, my favourite tool was always Aaron Walls Hubfinder. For me the best tool of its type ever.

** Link builders generally have my sympathy. I’ve been there.