Cherry picking links

Everyone in the Internet marketing world has seen ProspectMX’s link building chart and the extra cool graphics and info that the chart contains. Towards the bottom left hand corner there is a topic called “cherry picking links”, which is the method of finding high authority sites that are linking to sites which are competing for your keyword(s) and trying to obtain the same links.

Is this really an effective link building method?

Absolutely.

When initially launching a link building campaign, there is no more effective method than seeing what sites are linking to competing web sites who are ranking for your keyword(s).

I was browsing SEO blogs this morning and came across David Wallace’s notes from SBM Unleashed from Linda O’Neil’s talk on building quality links. Linda shared some great tips and tools, one of my favorite being SEO Book’s Hubfinder 3.0 (which ProspectMX also refers to in the link building chart).

This is a great cherry picking tool. It:

is web based software which looks for hub pages using the Yahoo! API. It allows you to find sites which link to common resources that you manually enter, or resources that rank well in Yahoo! for a specific term.

(It searches Google as well). In other words, it finds sites which are linking to at least two of your competitors and showing you where the links are placed. These can be directories, other sites, blogs, and even blog comments. And most likely, you can get linked from the same site in a few minutes.

This is a great method to use to find those niche directories and blogs which are relative to your product offering, service, or content. It doesn’t matter if you know about every widget and web 2.0 SEO tool in the world, if you don’t take the time to see what competition is ranking for, you’ll likely always be playing catch-up in my opinion.

There are many other tools out there to find out who is linking to your or your competition’s web site, my favorite being the Yahoo! Site Explorer.

Cherry picking links may not be the most creative link building technique, but it should always be the first step when looking for quality, RELATIVE, high authority links. Because you know I’m all about quality over quantity.

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