We've had several good discussions here about getting links in which our friend EGOL has suggested that people work their tails of creating good content rather than worrying about rote link acquisition. I just blogged about a personal experience with this, and thought members might like what I wrote as it relates both to SEO and to working in non-profit-type situations:
Links And Better Things Come When People Care
Over the past few months, my personal time has been absorbed by a grass roots movement in which I have become deeply involved here in California. The importance of the issue has impelled me to use every skill I possess as a writer, an artist, a graphic designer, an SEO, a marketer. I think the experience I am having in this pursuit is worth sharing.
I remember first learning about the importance of link acquisition as a brand new SEO. I had a vague idea that I would be writing to related businesses and asking them nicely to link to whatever website I was working on. The trouble was, the first projects I was asked to do this on were not being run by businesses who had invested the time to create content worth linking to. Can you imagine a scenario more doomed to fail than giving a new SEO the task of getting links to a website that features nothing but sales pages of 300 pond filters?
We just love the koi fish you sell and wanted to let you know that we sell pond filters. We’ve linked to your website from ours and would be so pleased if you would consider….
Heaven help us!
About the time that top SEOs started proclaiming that Content is King, I started to understand that what was getting in the way of acquiring valuable links was the artifice of the situations I found myself commonly in - begging for links to unworthy pages from businesses with something better to do with their time. Over the past couple of years, all good SEOs have experienced the difference great content makes, but in my current involvement with my socio-political project, I am seeing something beyond this.
I am seeing what a difference personal involvement makes. When an issue - be it negative like climate change, the housing crisis, honeybee colony collapse, childhood disease, or positive like organic farming, sustainability, literacy education, greening the home, elder advocacy - is deeply affecting people’s lives, the energy, generosity and spirit of sharing that evolves is unlike anything else I’ve encountered as an SEO. Far from being a case of pleading for links, the connections made in these on-line interactions have real-world impacts that forge bonds, build communication and advance whatever cause is at hand.
I have been authoring the most active blog on the web on my particular subject for the past 2 months - just 2 months. In a couple of weeks’ time, the materials I’ve created have been discovered and used in the following ways:
On community pamphlets and fliers
In scientific reports and research documents
In a series of e-cards
I have been incredibly honored to make personal connections with:
I’ve been able to act as both an information resource as well as a liaison between interested parties, facilitating new important relationships between people who can help one another. A secondary good is the fact that my blog has now been linked to, unasked, by every major entity involved in this project as well as by multiple media sources. Why is it secondary? Because the actual work being done is certainly more important than the prestige of the Google rankings that come from such excellent links. Still, the links are something to be very thankful for as their influence is making it ever easier for my materials to be found by people who need them.
It is amazing to me that a single blog is capable of accomplishing this much in a couple of months’ time. And, I feel it’s worth sharing this summary because it demonstrates how much you can accomplish when your subject is strong enough that all concern for the wheedling of links for rankings and traffic goes by the wayside. Because of my profession, I can’t help approaching any web endeavor like an SEO, but here, my passion and purpose are so personal that I have simply worked like crazy and felt grateful for the response my blog is receiving.
Working for non-profit or special interest groups is a field of its own. I am convinced that the web is providing an incredible place for caring and dedicated people to make a powerhouse difference in the world. The steps between bright idea and viral domino effect require only concerted effort.
The web can lead to artificial situations on so many levels as we struggle with the proposition that there are real people on the other side of the screen. Now, I have begun to see that the more the web, and the job of the SEO, is viewed as real life, the more naturally really good work will take place, the more powerful and effective our efforts can be, the more impact those efforts can have on our lives outside the web.