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In our weekly link building technique column I introduce acquiring links by feeding egos. It might sound a bit weird as most people consider egoism or the ego itself a trait to be ashamed of. So do we actually forage on the negative or even try to take advantage of people into linking to us? No, we and you have just to

appeal to those who you like and make it worthwhile to link back to you.

So again this technique is not a “SEO trick” to fool people, it’s a way to ensure a true win to win situation takes place. In this case you give a lot and receive a lot as a result. What do you give first to be remunerated with a link? You link out. You not only link out you “flatter by association”.

You can make a list of “best of” x list for instance. X can be a blog, a website, even a brand or personal brand. In the best case you combine all of them. Example: “the best SEO blogs” is a typical ego feeding hook I fall prey to when other people are linkbaiting. As I write for two well known SEO blogs for years I tend to wind up on these lists. The CognitiveSEO blog does not show up on these yet but soon enough will as well.

I digress though. The purpose of setting up a the best x blogs list is manifold:

  1. You show the others in the niche that you know and like them.
  2. They notice you and remember you later.
  3. They may even comment.
  4. They may spread the news/share the link on social media.
  5. In the best case they link back to you. They may today, or they might half y year from now.
  6. Also you will rank the term x blogs or x blog in future.

    Of course you also make some of the bloggers mentioned in your post part of your audience. Some of them may return of their own accord, others may even subscribe to your blog. Many will forget you until they see another post of yours in their Twitter, Facebook or Google+ stream so make sure to connect with them on these platforms.  Don’t steal time though. Most influencers, connectors and social media mavens have enough to do so time is a sparse resource. Rather reply to their messages and postings than pushing yours.They will become interested in you anyways. Do not focus solely on a-list blogs though.

    Famous bloggers do not have the time to connect with new bloggers and they don’t need to anymore.

    They are so well known that most of their posts spread by themselves by now. I can see it on the blogs I write for. On SEOptimise posts get shared by the hundreds. On SEO 2.0 only some posts get popular and in most cases they need an initial push to work. Here on CognitiveSEO even some outstanding posts remained unnoticed without active promotion efforts despite the fact that I have a pretty large readership due to my personal brand.

    So it’s not the big guys who will help you most in many cases, it’s your peers,

    bloggers who are as popular as yourself, or in case of beginners starting out like you do. A guest post on an a-list blog can bring you a larger traffic wave but it’s the other bloggers who are similar to you that will be your readership and send you more visitors repeatedly.

    Thus a list of top blogs should be as big as possible and as inclusive as possible. As not all niches and all countries have hundreds of blogs you won’t be able to make it huge everywhere but in some niches beyond SEO a “100 great x blogs” is possible.  You can mix some similar niches or you simply do not focus on the best of but on a comprehensive list. Quality beats quantity though. In case you decide to add crappy or dead blogs just for the sake of getting more weblogs to link to the active bloggers you mention might not feel flattered or even be amused.

    Here are some examples of successful feeding ego link baits for SEO bloggers and beyond:

    1. Top 100 Social Media, Internet Marketing & SEO Blogs – 2011 | Cision Blog
    2. The Ultimate List of SEO Blogs | Yello Robin Blog
    3. 29 SEO Experts Share the Most Compelling Content that Influenced Their Works | Kaiserthesage
    4. Small Business SEO: 46 Experts on the Biggest Mistakes SMBs Make with SEO – DIYSEO

    I also want to point out an older list that didn’t work out as well despite of containing lots of the best resources:

    The Top 100 SEO & SEM Resources | Sam Tilston

    Why didn’t this post get as much social media and link love? It  contained too many a-list blogs or sites whose owners did not even notice they were included in the list. Mentioning the obvious champions is not enough. Those who are on top don’t care anymore even when they notice. To put it bluntly,

    a-list blogger egos are obese by now.

    Feed the hungry egos to acquire links. Don’t forget the most important ones of course but the most important 10 may not notice you. My ego is still small enough to notice and appreciate incoming links. I may even use cognitiveSEO tools to search for my backlinks and find out. Also my ego is not too big to appreciate others like I did with the best linkbuilding blogs post.

    * CC image by Xabier M.