I generally steer clear of awards because they seem a bit gratuitous and self serving, but they are great for link building.
Loren recently created a 2005 search awards contest. The awards have been mentioned on most every major search blog and have even got a bit of coverage outside the typical search sphere.
When Loren did his recent contest he ran it past me first and I said that he should re-categorize some of the stuff and add at least one category that could go viral or would be inclined to be talked about.
The category which fit that profile well for me is
Matt or Jeremy: who is more likely to flame you for spamming?
Sure enough both Matt and Jeremy blogged about it.
I have never done a contest to build links, but if I did here are things I would think about
- which people should I run the award ideas past before it exists so I can refine it? This could help improve the contest categories, and it gives those people a reason for them to want to help market it since they gave feedback on it. Plus asking for feedback is a bit more tactful than asking for a link.
- Are there any official sounding endorsements that would make the contest seem official like?
- Who do I REALLY want links from? Those sites should be listed in small categories that really fit there niche?
- Will any of the contestants get pissed if I email them to tell them they are in the contest? If not which contestants should I email?
- Can I make something funny or interesting that people would want to link at?
- Outside of the problem of self selection can I get a consensus on something that generally has no consensus?
- Can I relate this study to bloggers or any niche markets that typically link virally or link with authority?
There are probably a bunch of other good ideas with contests, please let me know which ones you like.
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