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Looking For Creative Suggestions: Pulling In Those Authority Links

authority web sites links pr spreading the word

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#1 earlpearl


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Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:59 PM

I'm looking for some suggestions.

One of our smb's was contacted for assistance on reviewing a series of pages from an authoritative federal government web site. We responded immediately to the email with a call, and a considerable well thought out response, pulling the information from a wide variety of experts with which we are connected.

The contact has been appreciative and we've had subsequent conversations. The page(s) in question are in general pretty buried, yet the pages come off of a significant Fed Govt department web site.

The "link gold" at the end of the rainbow is at least ONE outbound link to an industry source the department considers authoritative. Typically those are other government web sites, national associations, scholarly sources, etc.

Our little business is about as far from one of those sources as night is from day ;) or our planet is to the far reaches of the galaxy. I'm going to ask for that link....but I don't think we'll get it. Of course who knows.

So my question is....assuming we don't get that "link", what other ways might one benefit in a link sense from:

1. Interacting with this authority
2. Advising on the content on those pages.
3. Creating "expert" editing on those pages to update and make them more accurate.

Of course I have an email trail with this person.

Would appreciate all ideas.

thanks in advance.

#2 iamlost


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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:01 PM

Knowing neither the type of gov site page content nor your site all suggestions are general. :)
* whether asking for a link is appropriate really depends on whether the site/category/page already links out to other reasonably similar to yours non-government resource sites.
---if yes then I'd ask to be included.
---if not then I'd look to see if the site credits in other ways external non-government resources and if yes then ask for citation and/or domain/business name mention. Perhaps in a short 'thanks for the help' footnote.
Note: it may cut across the usual advice grain but I prefer links where I can expect traffic and citations where I do not.
Note: to many people/organisations links are seen as SEO while unlinked mentions such as citations are not.

* consider asking if there are other colleagues of your contact who might benefit from you offering similar assistance who they would be willing to introduce or pass your contact info. This can be a win-win as the contact gets credit for your help and you widen your network. Perhaps to a person/site more comfortable with linking out.

* ask if they will provide a testimonial for your site as to your expertise and assistance provided. I have a nice stack of appreciation letters on official stationery... I'm sure you can think of how best to use such.

* ask to what extent they would have a problem with you mentioning on your site that you provided this assistance and, if so, to what level of specificity they could accept.

How you initiate and bargain depends a lot on your contact, however civil servants are used to horse trading (despite what they may say publicly) and your contact will/should know you have an email trail...the more that person has been passing off your help as their sole work the more (unmentioned) leverage you have. I do NOT suggest arm twisting to any degree, that is always counterproductive in these situations.

#3 earlpearl


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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:21 PM


I didn't give details purposefully. Thank you for the comments. From a link perspective its a great opportunity. We put our heads together here and also brought in commentary from a great "out of the box" link builder.

Good ideas. We are in the process of communicating and have asked for a link. We have also pursued other contacts and have filled their "little pages" with some in depth commentary.

One totally off topic subject which was brought up by Kim in a separate thread, about SEO's essentially often steering clear of usability discussions.

I haven't commented there. I totally rely on others for usability, considering myself a usability "dolt" but then maybe I'm that dolt because I've steered clear of the topic and the opportunities to practice and learn. (AHA).

Its difficult to respond to questions or comments when one doesn't have much or anything to add. (at least in my case)

BTW: I always ask for links, regardless of traffic to that site. I do it b/c its often so hard to get links. I'll ask 20 times and get one link.....so I keep asking another 20, 40, 60, 100 times. :D

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