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December 1, 2007

Why companies should be wary of in-house link development

At SEW, Justilien Gaspard suggests 5 Best Reasons to Build Links In-House.

While I certainly encourage my own clients to cover some link development in house, it has to be done under guidance.

The problem is, managing a link development campaign requires experience, knowledge and creative thinking that you cannot easily train someone in.

Additionally, good link developers have access to resources and contacts that no in house team can easily build.

The result is that an in house link development team will never be able to compete with a good link development company.

Additionally, a poor understanding of link development is a fast track to getting your site tanked from Google.

I’ve never had a client banned – but I have repeatedly had potential clients approach me who had gotten themselves banned at some point, and *always* this is because they took link development in house. They never understood the intricacies involved that a link developer has had to learn.

A good link developer has read all the Google patents, and considered how they may apply to different scenarios in the wild – they have tested many if not most of these scenarios to determine what works and what has most value.

A good link developer has also spent years working their methods, restrained only by their own time and money constraints, and never because another company dept says the practice is a waste of budget funds.

A good link developer has to be creative – it’s the most artistic aspect of SEO – and be able to recognise new opportunities.

A good link developer also has to know how to manage risk.

Link development is never simply a case of submitting to directories, writing for article sites, and buying links – it’s about employing a whole string of strategies, of which directories, articles, and paid links, are likely only the periphery, never the core, of what you are doing.

Additionally, good link development is never about trying to fool Google or its users, but instead simply trying to accelerate the process of developing a natural link profile as much as possible.

Good link development also needs to understand the longtail, and how you can structure the links and on-page content of the target site to really shape this process constructively.

Good link development is also never about buying PageRank, but instead about finding ways to provide a very targeted presence.

Good link development is also never a process of simply trying to rank for anything, but trying to rank for something useful, and generate targeted traffic that will convert (sale/sign up/ subscription etc).

Good link developers recognise that links can be nofollowed, deliver traffic, and inspire natural links.

To take link building in house is as dangerous as taking accounting and legal in house – then assigning these tasks to people with no real experience of these fields.


Perhaps. But then again, a serious mistake with accounts or legal can easily correspond to the financial damage of being removed from Google entirely.

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1 Comment
  1. Link development is certainly a black art and with Search Engines getting smarter all the time (especially Google), benign practices can become dangerous in the future.

    Comment by Sarah on colorful jewelry — January 12, 2008 @ 7:40 am

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