I’ve always used the analogy that link building is a bit like fishing. This has been for a handful of reasons:
- You need reliable hooks and good bait
- You have to understand the climate/ weather
- A great team catches together
- If you want quality, it takes time and practice
- Experience is the best teacher
- Strategy evolves with experience
I’ve even went as far as to build the “P.E.S.C.A.R Process” for teaching link building at MarketMotive. PESCAR is Spanish for “to fish”, as well as a handy acronym for teaching these concepts:
- Process Strategy
- Equity Education
- Site Prospecting Strategy
- Competitive Backlink Analysis
- Approach Assessment
- Relationship Building and Tools
Others have agreed with me that link building is, indeed, like fishing.
- The Power if Using Lists For Link Building
- The Top 6 Link Baiting Rules for Dummies
- 3 Ways Customer Optimization is a Lot Like Fishing and Vice-Versa
- Why Customer Acquisition Is Like Fishing & Other Online Marketing Musings by Streko
I think you can even make a pretty fair argument that the term “linkbaiting” comes from an analogy based in fishing. Unfortunately, webmasters don’t really like to be compared to fish (or other hunted animals for that matter), so the analogy sometimes comes off mildly offensive (my apologies).
There have been lots of analogies and metaphors used by SEO’s over the years to describe and teach link building, and often one is about dating.
- I’ve compared it in the past to picking up women.
- As did the beautiful and talented NinjaJen – who did it first: The Art of Getting a Links
- “Dude a nofollow link is like going on a date and getting the “lets be friends” line on the doorstep” – Interviews from Pubcon
- Rand said “link building is a lot like dating. Better to earn than to buy”.
(**I would add that in most cases for both, buying is downright illegal)
A link is like asking to do business…
So what else is link building like? (caution: read at your own risk, some of these analogies are pretty bad!)
Link building is like a game of chess…
- Research your competitors
- Build up a thought-out strategy
- AND MAKE A MOVE…
Link building is like planting potatoes…
- …simple, boring, and hard work.
- …it’s a process.
- …it’s a process that can be replicated.
- …correct implementation requires the correct methodology
- …past performance does not guarantee future performance.
Link building is like an orchestra…
- …the orchestra needs something to play.
- …more is not always better.
- …1000’s of violins is not an orchestra
Link building is like losing weight…
- …it takes hard work and there are no shortcuts.
- …show up everyday with a consistent work ethic.
- …beware of scammers.
- …you can trick the system, but it won’t last.
- …the end result is worth it.
Link building is like dating… (from @martinibuster)
- …you need to find out where your potential partners hang out
Link building is like investing…
- …you need a diverse portfolio.
Link building is like a rolling snowball…
Link building is like high school…it’s a popularity contest.
I think SugarRae should really get credit for this analogy though…
Link building is like building muscle mass…
Link building is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re going to get.
Link building is like giving out your business card…
Link building is like getting laid.
Link building is like spinning plates…
Link building is NOT a walk in the park…
Without question, link building is both an art and a science.
Obligatory Link Building Resources:
- 101 ways to build link popularity
- ninjas on linkbuilding
- link building guide for noobs
- julie joyce
- pointblank link building resources
- pointblank link strategies
- creative link building
- garrett french
- yoast link building 101
- seomoz link building category
- sphinn link building category
- local link building queries
- rae on link building
- wiep link factors
- justin on linking
- sujan on linking
- SEJ linking
- 47 resources to carry your link building through 2013
- scale your link building
- exit the link building
- link patterns
- twitter link prospecting tool
- 79 link building resources
- 36 broken link building resources
- ultimate list of seo tools via seobook
So what’s your favorite analogy for link building? Link building is like…