I attended the Link Building Clinic session at Pubcon Boston 2006, Tuesday morning. The format is that members of the audience volunteer up their websites, and the panel members (Rae Hoffman, Eric Ward, and a couple others I seem to have neglected to note down their names) do an instant analysis of their backlinks.
Somehow, I expected more in terms of positive suggestions on how to acquire good backlinks, but what it was mostly was the panel uncovering whatever questionable backlinks each site had. Most, if not all, of the comments from the panel stuck very closely to the party line on SEO.
The worst example was probably the site that seemed to be just a well done AWS site. The panel discovered fairly quickly that the content was almost entirely taken from Amazon, with maybe a sentence or two added from the site’s publisher. Most of the backlinks seemed spammy, and of course it would be difficult for a thin affiliate site to acquire real quality backlinks. Their advice was spot on, if obvious, to add more unique content. A lot of the rest of the examples was just the panel telling people what not to do, and all very basics.
The most interesting example was from a representative from an SEO firm who has a pharmaceutical company as a client. A real pharmaceutical, not a stupid affiliate site. The site in question was Stalevo.com which is about Novartis Pharmaceutical’s Parkinson’s disease drug called Stalevo. The panel made what I thought were some decent suggestions, such as trying to get linkage from places like the Michael J Fox website. Seems that was a bit too obvious for the guy doing Stalevo’s SEO campaign, as he replied that stuff like that was what he’s already been doing.
I should have gone to the Domain Names session.