I would like to take a moment to present a very powerful link building technique that has been long overlooked by webmasters. It’s actually quite a shame. Every SEM I’ve ever met has managed to just skip right over the subject of Document Links without a second look.
Search engine engineers are very adamant in talking about their engines indexing power in regards to the term “documents.” MSN, Yahoo, and Google all worked very hard so their engines can index and understand other forms of documents than just HTML pages. They also worked very hard so they can analyze the links within those documents and extract them for credit as well. If I was in the same boat I’d demand the people writing the FAQs and guidelines to use the proper term(document) as well. After all it’s the least they could do. So why not take it literally?
So how does this apply to link building? Consider other forms of documents that are indexed such as Acrobat files, Excell documents, Power Point presentations, and Word documents as a direct line to link building through content creation. After all, they are treated just as weighty as html files are. Infact you can even find them in the site: and link: command.
Lets pretend you sell refrigerators online. There’s tons of competitors and informational sites on fridges out there, but it’s tough to get the links you need to compete for a term like “Refrigerators.” So you spend a little time and create a PDF document that is a nice compiled list of all the major fridge manufacturers and their warrantee information along with direct phone numbers to their warrantee support departments. That’s useful right? Fuck yeah. Hell thats even useful for your direct competitors that also sell fridges online. So you insert your little link with your desired anchor text into the footers of the document’s pages and lock the file for editing(so it can’t be changed). Then you send out an email to the top 3,000 sites that rank for your terms and say something like:
I really liked your site, but I had a hard time finding warrantee information for the products you sell. Warrantee info is something I definitely would like to know before investing in a new unit. So I created a useful document with…….blah blah blah describe your file…I thought your visitors might find it useful. Feel free to post it up on your website. Perhaps in your “Contact us”, or “Product Support” section where people can easily find the information when they need it.
So then the other webmasters like the document and put it up on their website. They link to it on a prominent page(the contact us and support pages are usually linked to on every page of the site so can be counted on to have high PR, so target them if you can). A couple days later the engines come around and index the document. Boom you got yourself a ton of quality links. It’s such an incredibly, easy powerful, and yet completely ignored technique it’ll keep you up at night searching for other types of documents to create and mass distribute. More importantly, people can steal your videos, they can steal your flash, but if they steal your documents you’re the one who benefits.
Just to give you an idea of how well this works I’ll list an example. I did this same technique for an older Ecom site of mine about 7 months after sending out a link exchange request to the top 2,000 sites for my various terms. Since I’m promoting an Ecom site I naturally got a very low response rate. I then used that same list for this technique; my response rate was in the upward 30%, which is absolutely huge. If you do that on a larger scale with a less experimental formula and you get the idea of how well this works. Especially since the sites that accepted the link exchanges were the relatively small sites that usually buried my link. The documents also stole success in infiltrating the huge sites that have strict no linking policies as well as succeeded in being placed on prominant pages. Think of it like spreading a virus. Your job is to convince other webmasters to upload your content onto their sites when they normally wouldn’t even give you a link.
If it’ll help you out, Here is a list of Google’s 12 document “types” they index. Note that the types are not specific to a format, there are actually many different formats you may use within each of the 12 types. Just be creative.
Since this post is so incredibly directed to the white hat sites, and I hate to be biased, I thought I’d also throw in a quick thought for the blackhatters out there that are now bored out of their skulls by reading this. Doorway pages get banned all the time for spammy text and such, but have you ever heard of a PDF repository getting banned? How can you determine if a PDF document contains spammy text? Since they are naturally image rich and quick excerts of random text and slogans, as well as repeated text in footers, it makes it tough wouldn’t you agree?