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Link Building Is Like…

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 8 years and 99 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

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

A Guide to Getting Links: Part 1-7

Others have agreed with me that link building is, indeed, like fishing.

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).

Couple on a DateThere 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.

A link is like a vote…and Danny thinks the ballot boxes are being stuffed, and that social shares might be the new vote.

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!)

chess gameLink building is like a game of chess

  • Think
  • Research your competitors
  • Build up a thought-out strategy

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

scaleLink 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.

box of chocolatesLink 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:

So what’s your favorite analogy for link building? Link building is like…


More information about Todd Malicoat aka stuntdubl.

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  • jenindra

    Todd Malicoat @wonderful man

  • Philip Petrescu

    Link building is like… dead. At least the way people used to do it. The new way to do link building is to build a social network made of influencers. These people own websites and have a presence in social networks. They can link to your content and share it for others to see it.

    I believe that if you do this you’ll accomplish far more than just getting the links that your competitors already have or getting links from directories or unrelated sites.

  • Ram Babu SEO
  • Earn Online | Miss`C

    I like your analogy, funny but true. I usually use ColibriTool in researching for competitors, tracking my traffic. It has helped me in my link building agony.

  • Fawd Noor

    That post are given by the good way like as we all speak about a lot more precise conditions, we all note that keywords, back-links in addition to single point textual content tend to be some of the conditions which have been quite prominent, successful in addition to successful in the search engine optimization universe. Nonetheless, by using frequent improvements in the Google’s criteria in addition to rank system, these kinds of weighting of these factors offers transformed considerably over time.
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  • Danilo Petrozzi

    You missed the right one: Link building is just a pain in the .. :D

  • MicroSourcing

    These are good analogies for link building. It’s a basic SEO tactic that gets more challenging as the web landscape changes.

  • Crack Marketing

    Nice one! Funny but oh so true!

  • socialbeat india

    Almost the genuine white hat link building save the SEO & give more ranking with traffic from potential users…I love white hat SEO…You….???

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  • Jose Capelo

    Must agree with you!

  • Anna Pham

    Very interesting post, thanks for sharing Todd.

  • Suraj

    Hi todd, Very nice and detailed post. Thanks for sharing.

  • MOS SEO Services

    Good analogies. Thanks for an extremely useful post.

  • Prabal Chowdhury

    Thank you for your suggestion and such a good writing. .I want to share my experience with colibritool. It’s an amazing tool for website owners or authorities. It can help you in a top level to satisfy your demand from a super tool.I personally prefer this tool and always advice my friends to use it and now they are doing so. You can try colibritool. I’m sure you’ll be loving it after that. you can find it out here in

  • Spook SEO

    I really like your comparison of link building to providing bait. I
    guess that is the same and exact way to really explain it. There are no big
    fishes when it comes to SEO. Traffic is always one-is-to-one. However, if you
    choose the right site for your link building, then, you are about to catch a
    net full of fishes.

  • Lilia MacCannell

    Thank you for great points on search engine optimization. As an owner of a small business I have realized that trying to do SEO all by yourself may result in a waste of time. Link building is a tough job and should be done by experts as they have the detailed knowledge about changing cultures in SEO. So, it’s better to contact a legitimate SEO marketing service company which does the job in the tenure of 2-3 months. I was working with Ignite It seems to be reliable and professional company.

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  • David

    Perfect, pretty cool actually! I have been using this seo company UK services for a long time now and they do not dissapoint.

  • Jhon

    The great full article thanks for you. any more designs ..

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    حيث سجل مؤشر داو جونز ستوكس 600 ارتفاعا بنسبة 1.2% إلى مستوى يبلغ 317.73 نقطة في الساعة 8:10 بتوقيت لندن مسجلا اعلى مستوى اغلاق له منذ 10 ديسمبر . ولكن رغم الارتفاع لايزال المؤشر منخفضا بنحو 2.3% مقارنة بأعلى مستوياته المسجلة في مايو 2008 والمسجل يوم 28 نوفمبر. وفي انحاء اوروبا ارتفع مؤشر فايننسال تايمز 100 البريطاني بنحو 1% في بورصة لندن كما ارتفع كلا من مؤشر داكس الألماني ومؤشر كاك 40 الفرسي بنحو1.6% و 1.7% في بورصتى فرانكفورت وباريس على التوالي ,وعلى الجانب الاخر ارتفعت الاسهم الأوروبية في العقود الآجلة والتى تنتهى هذا الاسبوع على مؤشر يورو ستوكس 50 بنحو 1% إلى مستوى يبلغ 3002 نقطة اعتبارا من الساعة 7:15 صباحا بتوقيت لندن وارتفعت العقود الآجلة بالمملكة المتحدة على مؤشر فايننشال تايمز 100 البريطاني بنحو 0.9% ، و سجلت الاسهم الأمريكية في العقود الآجلة على مؤشر ستاندرد اند بورز 500 انخفاضا بنحو 0.3% ، واخيرا ارتفع مؤشر مورجان ستانلي كابيتال انترناشونال للأسهم الآسيوية ايضا بنحو 0.1%.

  • Two dots

    Thank to sharing interesting services

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  • Victoria John

    Thanks for sharing this informative blog. I have read your blog and I gathered some valuable information from this blog. Keep posting. Recently I did Digital Marketing courses in Chennai at a leading digital marketing company. It’s really useful for me to make a bright career.

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  • Prabhu Nexevo

    you give the idioms of link buildings with correct explanation

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  • adrian

    the end of 2015, Google made changes crazy, offpagenya different techniques, link building good first seems once put a link on a website profile, later for the article on the website forums and directories to include a link to the main website, also varias keywords do not forget. I experienced this when optimizing the following website

    Initially I made a long way seo techniques, it has no effect at all. finally start making posts in the community blog, website forums, directories, it is also yet to get the maximum results. SEO is indeed a mystery, full of strategy, which is important we do not violate the rules of google.

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  • Rosy Anwood

    Quite informative blog. And yes why not link building is something that matters the most for any website owner. Even I am doing SEO dfor my site
    According to my experience you content should be the best which is the best possible backlinking option for which you don’t have to rely on anyone else. Rest social sharing in today’s modern world is best way to get backlinks.

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  • Fajar Herlambang

    Thank to sharingAlmost the genuine white hat link building save the SEO & give more

    ranking with traffic from potential users…I love white hat


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  • liyans

    This post is intresting. Educative info

  • Brave Technologies

    I am happy to see this post.Thank you for sharing the great information.ERP in chennai

  • Ron Smith

    Rules have changed now, many new things are added and many old things are removed..

  • sivanesan M

    Good Post … Keep sharing.

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  • priyanka

    Great post! Very informative
    Thanks for sharing the brilliant ideas

  • adaliadella

    Link building is one of the most important techniques for seo. It was clearly explained by the todd thanks for the valuable post

  • Ahad Arzi

    Link building is the long term and never end process. Those who are give more times for proper and white hat link building methods, they will be on top of the Google as long as possible. However, your article seems useful and I also suggest elite articles for SEO articles. There you can find the useful articles.


  • deeksha rani

    Very thankful for sharing “Link Building Resources”. It will help to learn advanced backlinks strategy.

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    Thank you for your precious information. very clear explanation.Please share more like that..

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