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Old 02-23-2006   #1
Justilien
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Recommendations on Content to Attract Links

We have been hearing a lot about adding content to your site to increase the number of natural links as a long-term link building strategy. I believe there is a misunderstanding about the type of content that attracts links. Simply adding an article to a site does not constitute great content. A great resource that attracts links takes research and time. It solves a problem or answers a question. I suggest creating 5 “great” pages instead of 40 “ok” pages.

Questions to Ask Yourself
-Does the article offer answers to a question?
-Are people actually searching for the answers to that question?
-Do I have to read 500 words to get an answer to something that could have been answered in 200 words?
-Does it solve a problem?
-Does it help your current users?
-Does this page deserve a link from a college?

Here are a couple of examples of the types of pages I have noticed that attract a number of high-quality links.

Research Articles
Pay someone to do quality research. Keep the writing clear and concise. People are more likely to trust and link to a page that cites sources. I would recommend linking to the source. No one likes a dead-end page (including Google).

Solve a Problem
Find a problem that people are using search engines to discover the solutions for. Give people a clear answer. Solve their problem in as little words as possible. eHow.com is a great example of this.

Timelines
Create a detailed timeline of the evolution of your product, city or service. It could be a timeline of your industry. Cite your sources to increase trust.

Compile Resources
Create a page that links out to other resources on the topic. Make your page a one-stop shop for people doing research (this is a personal favorite of mine!)

What other types of pages have you noticed attract natural links from sites you work with? What types of content have you noticed rank high from searching the web that have a large number of links to that page? I am especially interested in content that attract links from college and non-profit sites.
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Old 02-25-2006   #2
Roxyyo
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Great post.
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Old 02-26-2006   #3
Andy AtkinsKruger
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Research is great - but...

Research is certainly great and useful - but it doesn't always give you all - or indeed the right answers!

I think it's also worth writing about something you believe in - and even though initially it might be hard work - later you'll find there is a community building up around you. They just had to discover what you were doing first. Once you've built that community that way, they support you with their own enthusiasm and passion!
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Old 02-27-2006   #4
grasshopper
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one type of content that i've seen getting a lot of love lately is interviews. in the best cases, the interviews feature well-respected people in a given industry, and benefit from well thought-out questions by the interviewer, and detailed responses from the interviewee.

as they almost always feature questions about current events and / or the current state of the industry, you can see big link spikes reflecting interest in a given topic at that specific time. you can even see neat little tempest-in-a-teacup incidents like we recently saw around seobuzzbox's interview of mike grehan and the ensuing flame war (or linkbaiting, depending on your view) with john scott, DaveN, and many others. that's good entertainment.
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Old 03-07-2006   #5
Justilien
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Great advice Andy AtkinsKruger! This also applies if you are outsourcing your writing. Find someone passionate about the topic to write articles or do research for you. They may even start recommending your site and sending visitors.

Thanks for bringing up interviews Grasshopper. It is great to see our industry start to blend in more with traditional PR and advertising agency practices. At the end of the day it is all about gaining exposure and customers.
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Old 03-07-2006   #6
bhartzer
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Great post as always, Justilien.

I've always said--create something on your site that is:
- funny
- controversial
- informative
they'll end up linking to it.
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Old 03-07-2006   #7
Jeff Hinds
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Justilien,

That's an excellent list of recommendations.

Thanks
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Old 03-08-2006   #8
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Can I just comment on the irony of the situation, having been directed here from the Feedblitz newsletter. This post was full of passion and good content, and what do you know? It ended up getting linked to...Just an interesting observation . Thanks for the pointers.
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Old 03-14-2006   #9
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Also, it's better to have a steady update ratio, so it's better to add 5 articles a month and keep to that, then to add 40 one month, then 20 the other because you didn't have time.

Quality is also important if you submit to article directories and other websites to pick up the article. The more quality and unique, the more sites will accept the article, and the more other websites will pick it up.
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