If you thought a link would drive targeted traffic, lead to additional readers, and perhaps lead to other editorial citations would that be an easy way to define an authority link? Before the Google Florida Update I was ranking at ~ #6 for search engine marketing even though I really didn't know much about the topic. Within 9 months of being on the web, and on a few hundred dollars of ad spend I had a ranking that I soooo did not deserve (thank you primitive search technology!!!). After the Florida Update my then low grade link spam was rendered ineffective.
When the Florida update happened I read everything I could about it and started testing pages to see why I though they dropped. Danny Sullivan mentioned my article in one of his articles. Before he mentioned me in his article I basically got told two words when asking for links fuck and off. After Danny mentioned me, many of the sites which brushed me away were more willing to link to my sites.
After I noticed a few citations driving good traffic I thought that while I had a bit of credibility, a few minutes of mindshare, and the decent traffic that goes with it, that I ought to consider that ripe time to hunt down more well trusted authoritative links. And it was exceptionally easy. Some people who would generally reject me in the past said things like "Oh, you are that Aaron. We will get your link up today."
Within a few month my other site was again ranking for search engine marketing. Through that one article and the authoritative links it made possible I gained the authority I lacked. (Note: About a year later that site ranking later dropped a good bit likely due to a lack of anchor text diversity and me spending most of my time promoting this site as a stronger brand).
The amount of information is growing much faster than the available attention to consume it. There is far greater opportunity during periods of instability, as long as you allow yourself the flexibility to be able to read the market and are willing to be wrong with what you say. And if you find some type of success it is important to build off that success while the iron is still hot.
The weak point of the top reporters is not laziness, but vanity. You don't pitch stories to them. You have to approach them as if you were a specimen under their all-seeing microscope, and make it seem as if the story you want them to run is something they thought of themselves.
Our greatest PR coup was a two-part one. We estimated, based on some fairly informal math, that there were about 5000 stores on the Web. We got one paper to print this number, which seemed neutral enough. But once this "fact" was out there in print, we could quote it to other publications, and claim that with 1000 users we had 20% of the online store market.
Stats are just arbitrary numbers used to make news sound well researched and legitimate.
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