Introduction: Links with Closed Content v. CGM
Link Building is process of seeking to have relevant websites link to your website with the goal to: 1) increasing “channels” for traffic to flow to your website from the websites that link to you; and 2) increase you website ranking among search engines (particularly Google).
Between Closed Content Creation and CGM
Traditional link building is broken down to 1) link request; 2) reciprocal link building; and 3) link buying. While still important, this type of link building is essentially pre-CGM, which I’ll call “Closed Content Creation” (CCC). With the advent of CGM, the amount of content and links available have driven upwards astronomically.
How has CGM changed the Internet and Search Landscape (Collected at SES-SJ2006)?
In this sort of situation, soliciting bloggers – every consumer content creators – to link to your website is neither a practical nor a scalable effort.
Enter the need of PR, WoM and Virals…
FareCast – PR Success for Link Building
FareCast, a travel site that predicts when its best to buy airfare, launched recently in public beta launch in June 26. FareCast is an example of a website that has greatly harnassed the power of online PR, climbing up tremendously in brand awareness, traffic and search engine presence
Appearing on heavy hitting blogs like TechCrunch.com and BattelleMedia.com has resulted in:
(Source: Data gathered internally and from Farecast Blog)
From Blogs to the New York Times to Time Magazine
From the major influencers (TechCrunch and BattelleMedia), FareCast has built momentum to myriad of blogs and eventually to New York Times and most recently the Time Magazine’s top 50 websites. FareCast has credited the blogs for driving coverage in the New York Times.
With no emarketing or PPC campaign I am aware of, Farecast’s PR efforts has create a link building that is helping drive their awareness, traffic and search engine visibility. Traditionaly link building would not have resulted in 200 blog post (and one can assume links) in 3 weeks as easily as a well placed review on TechCrunch or Digg could.
However, it should also be mentioned that Farecast has a very interesting and unique service offering, something that not every travel website can say. Indeed, CGM and WoM efforts only succeed if the value proposition to the consumers is there. You can’t try to force the product or service like you can by buying-up all the TV commercial runnings you want.
Traditional link building will always be the baseline level of effort needed. But, if you are confident that your service/product is great enough that it will make you audience evangelizers (talk, link, blog about it), then pushing online PR efforts will produce great results.