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Old 02-03-2008   #1
Kate
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Managing a team of link builders

Hi,
Is anyone out there managing a team of link builders? I've got 10 people doing link building for me full time working on European and Asian markets, and am about to scale up to 20 or so to cover more markets. I'll have to reorganize the team to manage it though. I'd love to hear what organization other people have found that works. I do in-house SEO, but agencies are welcome to weigh in on the matter. Some of my questions:

- What types of profiles do you look for?
- Where do you recruit (on-line job sites, universities, etc.)?
- What's your churn rate like and how do you keep people motivated?
- How do your people work (in-office, at home, full time, part time)?
- How do you compensate (hourly, per-link, targets, etc.)?
- How do you evaluate each link builder, and how often?
- How much contact do the link builders have with each other and with you?

Thanks to all for sharing your experience.

Kate
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Old 02-04-2008   #2
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

try universities and colleges.... we use interns and pay them $10 an hour
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Old 02-06-2008   #3
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

I was brought into the company I'm with currently as the online marketing manager.

My background is 95% personal reference / accomplishment in computer fields, ex-founder of a web development firm, and a strong initial understanding of search, marketing, and SEO/SEM developments.

I found my position via craigslist, but I would agree that college students as interns at $10 an hour is a great resource and will always pay off with adequate training and management in place.
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Old 02-08-2008   #4
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

They should have of several years of experience in web designing and on page seo. If they know on page seo, it will very easy to train them for link building.
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Old 02-08-2008   #5
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

I would disagree with you... you can train anyone to do anything so long as their willing. A strong computer background is all that's really necessary to be an effective link builder if trained properly.
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Old 02-09-2008   #6
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

I know what you are talking about. But when I say they should have experience in web designing and on page seo because we have tested it.

We hired two kinds of people in our organization for link building purpose and what we come to a conclusion that those who have prior experience in web designing and on page seo started to deliver almost in one to two days while people having no experience took atleast 2 months to deliver exact that kind of results because they need to remember lots a new thing.
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Old 02-09-2008   #7
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

This is an excellent question. In terms of managing a link building team, what you put into it is what you get and it all depends on what type of link building you're doing. If you're doing nothing but directory submissions and other repetitive tasks, then perhaps interns are the way to go.

But if you want to do serious, quality and creative white-hat link building, that's a whole new ball game. The profiles vary, depending on the clients/ vertical you are dealing with. I highly recommend this article called the Portrait of a Perfect Link Builder by Eric Ward. I find it's very accurate. Once you get them in, keeping them motivated, again, depends on the individual. If they love repetitive stuff, then your job is easy, but if they like a challenge, give them the power to test, come up with new things, weigh in, etc. Give them a reason to come into work. Link building can be very tedious and discouraging at times, but when people put themselves into their work, the motivation factor goes up tremendously.

My team works, predominantly, in the office on a full-time basis. This allows for creative collaboration and face to face meetings regarding project status and other discussions that are easier in person. I regularly give my team members feedback. We have a team meeting every two weeks to share lessons learned, give status reports on projects, ask questions, and give educational sessions on assigned topics. I see most of my team members every day in the office and we are constantly interacting, bouncing ideas off of each other, and giving feedback.

This was a great question and I'm so glad you asked it. As for the rest of your questions, I cannot answer those as other departments handle those details. Good luck!
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Old 02-11-2008   #8
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

Re: Managing a team of link builders
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Old 02-11-2008   #9
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

Do you have children?
Do your colleges have children?
How about your neighbours?

My little boy loves clicking on websites and saying here you go dad while I have my feet up waching the rugby.

Best thing is it's free no $10 an hour for me o no.

My suggestion - start having kids it's along term option granted but SEO wise it's cheap.

Last edited by Jazajay : 02-11-2008 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 02-12-2008   #10
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

I agree with mooreseo
Quote:
all depends on what type of link building you're doing
In general what I have found is people with some sort of marketing or sales experience tend to produce the best results for high-quality links. They understand how to influence people and are results driven.

Good link building is just good marketing!
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Old 02-12-2008   #11
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazajay View Post
Do you have children?
Do your colleges have children?
How about your neighbours?

My little boy loves clicking on websites and saying here you go dad while I have my feet up waching the rugby.

Best thing is it's free no $10 an hour for me o no.

My suggestion - start having kids it's along term option granted but SEO wise it's cheap.
Great idea breed your own link builders.... may put that in a conference presentation
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Old 02-12-2008   #12
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

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Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster View Post
Great idea breed your own link builders.... may put that in a conference presentation
Well quote jazajay at SEW of course
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Old 02-12-2008   #13
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

Thanks for all your feedback guys, serious and otherwise I have kids, but they are super small for the moment. I'll have to wait a few years to get them to build links.

How about evaluation of link builders' progress/success? Anyone have any particular metrics they are looking at? Do you compare link builders against each other, or the same person over time? Number of links, quality, relevancy? What types of numbers are you looking at?
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Old 02-13-2008   #14
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate View Post
How about evaluation of link builders' progress/success? Anyone have any particular metrics they are looking at? Do you compare link builders against each other, or the same person over time? Number of links, quality, relevancy? What types of numbers are you looking at?
Evaluating a link builder (like all things link-related) varies between the individuals as well as the vertical they are building links for. A truly great link builder is constantly coming up with new ideas, testing them, and showing through results if something works or not. Comparing link builders against each other doesn't necessarily work unless they're doing the exact same tasks. Additionally, we don't do the exact same things for each client. Our strategies are tailored to the specific industry, client's business goals, hours available, etc.

When I'm evaluating my team I look at the following items:

- Are they doing what they say they are going to do?
- Are they coming up with new ideas?
- Are they testing their theories and documenting the results?
- Are they weighing in on hot topics in the industry?
- Are they stretching themselves and continuing to learn?
- Are they finding more efficient ways to accomplish repetitive tasks?

These are things that are not easily measured by sheer metrics. We do look at link popularity metrics, and if something is way off (like no increases after several hours of work) then we'll investigate it further. Generally, we have tested our strategies so much that there is always some kind of increase in link pop and I check it on a monthly basis.
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Old 02-13-2008   #15
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

thanks mooreseo, that's really helpful. Since I'm managing a team in-house, they are more or less all doing the same type of work (ie we have just one industry), but they are working across various non-English speaking markets. It's difficult for me to evaluate them sometimes because the sites they are contacting, their actual contact phone calls/e-mails, and the links they get are mostly unreadable for me. So your ideas about what types of things you are looking at are very helpful.
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Old 02-14-2008   #16
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooreseo View Post
Comparing link builders against each other doesn't necessarily work unless they're doing the exact same tasks.
But if they are doing the same task, what should be the parameter based on which we can evaluate them?
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Old 02-14-2008   #17
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

Quote:
Originally Posted by padhamanabhasharma View Post
But if they are doing the same task, what should be the parameter based on which we can evaluate them?
When working with team members who are doing identical, repetitive taks, there are a couple of different things that you can look at (some qualitative, some quantitative):

- How many submissions can they accomplish in an hour?
- How many submissions are declined due to not looking at the site guidelines?
- How often are they evaluating the quality of the sites that are being submitted to?
- What type of feedback are they giving the team regarding these sites?
- How often are they finding new sites to submit to?
- Are they finding more efficient ways to accomplish tasks?
- How much are they communicating to other team members about what they are seeing in these sites?
- What is the quality of that feedback?
- How quickly did they ramp up on the task?
- Are they training new team members on processes?
- Are they proactively getting more knowledgeable about their piece(s) on their own?
- Can they work with little supervision?
- Is their work returning positive results in both link popularity and keyword visibility.

Again, lots of things that you can measure/ evaluate with team members. The more feedback you give your team, the more likely they are to push themselves to get more accomplished, learn more, and come up with new ideas.
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Old 02-14-2008   #18
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

mooreseo,

Thanks for giving so much points to evaluate. I have expected almost half of it and you have given double of it.
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Old 02-15-2008   #19
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

Quote:
Originally Posted by padhamanabhasharma View Post
mooreseo,

Thanks for giving so much points to evaluate. I have expected almost half of it and you have given double of it.
padhamanabhasharma,

You're very welcome. I tend to be incredibly thorough on things like this
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Old 02-16-2008   #20
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Re: Managing a team of link builders

Quote:
Great idea breed your own link builders.... may put that in a conference presentation
THAT has to be the funniest thing I've read here in a long, long time.

I've always felt people who have a focused "third eye" and know how to use advanced search options make the best link builders. The rest is just learning how to interpret results.
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