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I Was Contacted By a ‘+1 Builder’

I Was Contacted By a ‘+1 Builder’

I’ve been a Webmaster for many many years, from originally hosting my own site back in 2003 to eventually overseeing the whole list of client sites that fall under the Bring Digital family.

One benefit of being a multi-site Webmaster is the ability to keep my finger on the pulse of the in-trend SEO outreach tactics by simply checking my inbox every morning.

There was a time when there would be nothing but reciprocal link requests waiting for me each day, then it moved to people offering me their latest widget or badge. More recently I’m inundated with emails from kind folks telling me about their latest infographic, or offering to write me some ‘100% unique high quality contents’ (the pluralisation of ‘contents’ is a particular favourite of mine).

These approaches aren’t something I moan about. They help me keep up to date with industry trends, they let me see outreach from the point of view of a link target. Plus every now and then they even provide me with a great new outreach idea or put me in touch with an exciting new Link Builder.

Once in a while I receive an email that’s a little different, maybe offering something new or coming from a different angle. I usually sit up and take notice of these, the majority of them turn out to be one-off oddities, but occasionally they mark the signs of a turning point in the industry. Which brings me to an email I received this morning:

Hello Sir/madam,

I visited your web site earlier today and just wanted to congratulate you on a well presented, and informative web site. I request you to please Like my 2 sites from your google plus profile here:-

http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com
http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com

You need to click on +1 & then you have to log-in from your g-mail account.

In return we will also like your if you want

i am waiting for your reply,

Thanks & regards
Daniel

This struck me as interesting. There has been plenty of talk in the marketing community about the benefits of a +1, but this is the first time I’ve seen a company actively looking to request them in a similar vein to a traditional low-quality link outreach campaign.

There are numerous posts out there discussing whether a like/tweet/+1 is the new link, but the general conclusion is that social signals are some way off replacing links as an authority metric in the search algorithms. A +1 is different than it’s Facebook or Twitter equivalent in that it can make a direct and noticeable impact in the personalised search results, but I’m still surprised it’s the target action of choice for any outreach campaign.

I’m not going to read too much into this email as the most noticeable thing about it is the low-quality outreach template, which is the type of work you can acquire for a couple of cents an email. It’s obvious that the websites in question* aren’t spending too much of their marketing budget on this campaign, but it could be a case of testing out the water before sending their experienced Link Builders onto the task.

I might look back at this post in a few years and laugh at how inconsequential the above email was. However, I might be looking back sat amongst a team of +1 Builders, preparing their +1bait to acquire some of that tasty +1 juice.

Keep your eyes open and let me know if you receive any emails similar to the one above. I’m going to keep a track of the +1 numbers for the websites in question and see how effective this campaign is for them. They might be on the verge of a pretty exciting new search marketing technique, although it’s more likely they’ve just developed another new way to blow 2 cents.

* I’ve removed the URL’s as I’m not in the business of finger pointing, plus they weren’t particularly exciting anyway.

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  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/105978802963205299233 Matthew Barby

    Hi David,

    Thanks for sharing. It seems like an interesting idea that could be a very primitive way of building some links to your website. It would be interesting to see the impact that a few +1’s will actually have on a website.

    If, for example, we were to start a purely +1 driven email marketing campaign that could effectively bring through more social signals to the website; lets say if there was an incentive to do so. Could definitely be something to bear in mind.

    Matt.

  • David Ingram

    Hi Matthew,

    It’s an odd one, I can see there’s a quantifiable benefit of a plus one as it will artificially boost your search placement for the connections of the plusee (new term!), but I still can’t see this being scalable enough to warrant replacing link outreach.

    For example; if I did +1 this guys sites, then if my circles (400 or so people) happened to be searching for his products/services then they might see his result above the fold on the front page on the back of the +1. However the authority built from a good link would help increase rankings from all searches regardless of G+ connections, which seems a much more scalable and effective technique. Especially considering the rather poor adoption of G+ so far.

    It will be interesting to keep an eye on, there’s a (small) chance that Daniel and his friends are pioneers ;-)

    Cheers

    David

  • http://www.jeremymorgan.com Jeremy Morgan

    If this tactic is working now, it won’t be soon. These strategies are poorly thought out, if they spent as much time improving their content as they did bugging people for stuff like this they would get the +1s the real way, the right way.

  • David Ingram

    I’m with you on that Jeremy, however there’s an outreach industry that’s 2 years behind us and I think it will be some time before people ‘get it’.

  • http://www.vroomseo.ie Dave Dungan

    I’d agree that even if this has any effect it will not in the near future. The email template is exactly the same as the good old fashioned reciprocal link request that used to be so common. Hopefully these type of request do not become as common as they were! I’ve noticed that I’m getting more and more random, generic guest blogging requests in my inbox these days too.

  • David Ingram

    Guest posting is definitely flavour of the month for the template outreach crew. It’s a shame as it’s a tactic and philosophy I really like, but it’s typical of us SEO’s to find something that works, scale it and outsource it. ha

    I can’t imagine +1 requests catching on, but saying that if they were to template the emails a bit (well, a lot) better then they might start getting some results. It’s generally much easier to +1 someone than to link to them.

    Saying that, I still can’t imagine it would have enough impact to provide a ROI, even at outsourcing prices.

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