London Link Love 2013 – Key Takeaways and Tools


Freia Muehlenbein

Technical SEO

This is a roundup of the key takeaways of Distilleds Link Love conference 2013. Unfortunately, this was the last Link Love ever, but it was also a brilliant one.

It was great to see that the thought leaders of the industry are promoting quality user-centric activities to achieve ethical and sustainable SEO. PR and content marketing need to be at the heart of every strategy and SEOs need to develop from link builders into techy and creative online marketers and PRs.

Wil Reynolds – SEER Interactive

Check out his slides here

Key Takeaways: There’s no link building finish line

  • Getting a link is never the finish line! Keep the momentum.
  • Its all about the nudges: A new Twitter follower, a new newsletter subscriber, mention, a Tweet, a review – they can all lead to a link but you have to take the steps to follow up on it. Nudges are all around us. Pay attention and respond.
  • If someone sends you a CV, send them back a video that gets them excited to work there. They might post it somewhere (nudges = links).
  • Help people out, give advice, and be proactive! How many people that you help would get you a link? Think about charities: can we genuinely help them and build up a relationship? The more people you help, the more people will help you.
  • Use tools (below) to find connections between people, what they like, where theyre from. How can we find a good angle to work with them? All about the nudges
  • Content marketing is big and you have to commit to it; come up with a long term plan.

Recommended tools: – Twitter and follower analysis. – SEO Spider tool. – search engine for links and competitor analysis. – To manage your contacts.


Hannah Smith – Distilled

Find her presentation slides here

Key takeaways: Sustainable ways to get links

  • We need to build sustainable links. Bad links have always been bad links but we cant get away with it anymore.
  • Use Zemanta to show your content to relevant bloggers.
  • Make photos and images embeddable. Upload images to Flickr. License under creative commons and make sure youre getting an image credit when someone uses them. Use Image Raider to find out whos using your images.
  • Same applies for videos. Check who has linked to YouTube or other videos to ask them to link to the original source.
  • Create content that is better than any content that has been done before.
  • Get reliable data for your content on e.g.
  • Advertise your content on paid adverts and make them no-follow. That way you don’t get an SEO benefit but more readers and potential sharers.
  • Create people pages or bios because journalists are more likely to link to people than to sites from a press release.
  • Stop thinking like an SEO: don’t guest post but be a knowledgeable and regular contributor.
  • Write ONE piece of content and promote it rather than guest posting. Less work, better links.
  • Engage locally and find a local angle.
  • Fully leverage existing assets and create new assets.
  • Do things that get good links rather than doing things for links!

Recommended tools: – brings useful content to bloggers, connects authors to their peers and publishers to marketers. – find out who’s using your images. – to schedule e-mails on Gmail. – to find great data for content.


Will Critchlow – Distilled

Find his presentation slides here

Key Takeaways: The future of link building

  • Links are not dead but the industry has to be more ethical and sustainable.
  • SEOs have to stop gaming Google and focus on great content and people.
  • Easy, quick wins can damage you in the long run. Concentrate on getting the very best links.
  • SEOs are renowned for breaking things: comments, forums, directories, social bookmarking. Stop breaking things!
  • Examples of ugly infographics can be found here . These are good examples of how we shouldn’t do SEO.
  • Stop worrying about things like C-Blocks, anchor text, or IP addresses, no-follows.
  • Start worrying about the number of journalists you work with, about link equity, about being misquoted.
  • The future will be about content, technology, and fame. We need more PRs, content strategists and CMOs.
  • Be an extrovert, call people, engage with influencers, talk to a journalist, reach out to a hero, film and edit a video, create a graphic, edit photos and get uncomfortable!

Claire Stokoe – Media Works

Find her presentation slides here

Key takeaways: Infographics are not dead

  • Infographics have existed for hundreds of years and are still effective for SEO.
  • Process: Find data, sort data, arrange data, present data, share data.
  • Work out where your Infographic can be hosted before creating it.
  • Use statistical data, geographical data, timelines and historical data, opinion data.
  • Test data with people before launching it. Is it logical and easy to follow?
  • Always have at least three target markets in mind that will be interested in your infographic.
  • Reach out to big players and influencers. You publish, they promote.
  • Ask people what they would like to see rather than just designing it without their input.
  • Talk to experts about colour psychology and design
  • Always reference and pay attention to copy right.
  • Include creative common logos so you can later ask for a link.
  • A good header tells you exactly whats in the Infographic.
  • Use to promote infographics.


Ade Lewis – Teapot Creative

Find his presentation slides here

Key takeaways: Small business SEO for £350 a month

  • Know your client’s business. Go to their site, talk to employees, know them inside out. Make them like you.
  • Have clear goals for each client. Needs to be more than traffic and rankings.
  • Educate the client: how does SEO work, what we need, how can we work together. What can they expect?
  • Be realistic with them. You can achieve great results but a low budget can also mean little time.
  • Have a great site. Fix on page issues.
  • Creative ideas for link building. Not just standard blogging.
  • Have an internal blog and use it.
  • Blog about local issues and link out to local sites.
  • Find and fix orphaned links –
  • Ask the client for a list of everyone they know that owns a website and check opportunities.
  • Help people. They wont know your small business client so you need to build up trust somehow.
  • If you do an infographic with a small budget and little time, you will have to use 3-4 months worth of budget. Tell your client about this –its worth it!
  • Use Textbroker to build up network of regular high quality writers.

Recommended tools: – use to find orphaned links.  – to manage outreach.  – use to outsource some of your content writing. – to improve site speed.


Lyndon Antcliffe – Cornwall SEO

Find his presentation slides here

Key takeaways: How do I get them to link?

  • Forget about the theory behind link bait. Your attitude needs to be changed. Link bait is not the right word anymore.
  • Link bait = content marketing.
  • “People see content, people link to content”.
  • Think P.O.M.P: Psychographic, online, mass, publishing.
  • Websites dont link to websites. People link to people. It needs to happen sub-consciously.
  • You’re the publisher, other people are the promoters.
  • Aim of link bait can be to get one link, as long as its a link from the leader of a tribe (influencer).
  • Think about The Sun or womens magazines. Which stories work? Get into the tabloid mind-set and mass publishing.
  • We have to compete for people’s attention which means we need to differentiate ourselves from others. Is our content good enough to worth sharing with a community?
  • It’s not hard to get links to any sector. If you can’t think of ways to do this, you’re not thinking hard enough.

Rand Fishkin – SEOMOZ

Key takeaways: How CEOs can be great marketersFind his presentation slides here

      • The CEO is the best marketing tool of a company.
      • No one will ever know a business as well as a CEO.
      • No one has the reach and the coverage of a CEO.
      • No one has the CEOs authority.
      • If youre not that kind of CEO, you need to delegate these activities.
      • 10 tips how a CEO can engage in inbound marketing:
      • Understand and evangelise how your funnel works
      • Be a proactive industry contributor
      • Leverage the press wisely
      • Empower your marketing team
      • Get good at one or more forms of content (blogging, videos etc.)
      • Recognise marketing accomplishments the way you do product, engineering, and financial milestones
      • Optimise your online bio
      • CEOs amass favours. Ask for links and shares
      • Leverage your contacts to amplify messages
      • Embrace authenticity.


Ian Lurie – Portent

Find his presentation slides here

Key takeaways: Enterprise link spam analysis

  • Be proactive about link removal and dodgy backlink profiles. Machine learning is becoming more advanced so lets remove the low quality links now!
  • Get all links from webmaster tools, OSE, and Majestic.
  • Create Excel sheet of all backlinks e.g. using this tool.
  • Filter your data and evaluate URLs and titles. Check for bad grammar.
  • Identifying dodgy links is easy when you only have 500. But what if you have 50.000?
  • You need to classify and test data Machine learning.
  • Put the training data through an algorithm.
  • Classifications needed: Is it spam?
  • Use Python, NLTK, scikit-learn, mongodb for logistic regression.
  • Tool can be tested here:
  • To future proof SEO, we need to start taking a proactive approach to cleaning up backlink profiles.
  • Use Ians tool for data processing.

Recommended tools: – backlink analysis – backlink analysis – to fetch valuable link data; API extension for Excel.


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