This month we’re joined by Dustin Verburg for a guest post on the top 10 best link building tools of all time. Take it away Dustin!
We’ve all had that link building moment where we just need a little something extra—a tool to help get the job done. You’re staring blankly at a screen, scrunching your face up despondently at a spreadsheet and thinking about how to build your next link. You imagine that the cavemen were in a similar situation when they figured out that they couldn’t kill a sabertooth tiger with their bare hands.
The cavemen had two options—find a big stick, find a sharp rock and tie them together, or find a way to outsmart the sabertooth tiger. Both of those options were effective, but one required the caveman to spend valuable resources and the other one was free.
Spears are probably pretty great for killing sabertooth tigers (I have never seen one or poked one with a spear, so I am merely making an educated guess), but that free tool is infinitely more versatile than even the pointiest stick.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 10 Best Link Building Tools of All Time.
According to scientists (we’ll ask Dr. Pete to verify), the hindbrain is the oldest part of the human brain. It’s also called the reptilian brain, so it’s probably the part of the brain that allowed the cavemen to carelessly spear sabertooth tigers—modern man would rather take a cute tiger photo and upload it to Reddit. Nevertheless, the hindbrain has been our indispensable ally for a very long time, and it’s a valuable link building tool.
The hindbrain controls our primal instincts, so it’s perfect for:
- Sniffing out spammy target sites—you know crap when you see it. Instinctually.
- Seeing through spammy outreach—you can spot an ulterior motive without even thinking about it. Thanks, hindbrain!
- Understanding which links are potentially dangerous
2. Medulla Oblongata
The Medulla Oblongata is a subsection of the hindbrain. It controls the automated stuff like heart rate, breathing and digesting food. It’s boring, but it’s also pretty important.
Before we talk about why the Medulla Oblongata is a great link building tool, let’s get this out of the way:
We don’t suffer from the same enlarged Medulla Oblongata as the common alligator, and we’re not going to focus on anger, jealousy and aggression.
Instead, let’s look at how the Medulla Oblongata might apply to link building. Breathing is pretty important no matter what your profession is, but our pal the MO does more than that for us. The Medulla Oblongata:
- Lets us know that you can’t automate the big things—building real links isn’t as simple as breathing in and out, it requires active thought processes and complex strategy
The cerebellum controls movement, so it’s the mechanism that allows you to physically click on hyperlinks and mindlessly retweet articles from the big search marketing websites.
For link building, the cerebellum is useful for the following reasons:
- It allows you to type up all of those outreach emails, even though your brain might blurt out words more quickly than your fingers can hit the keys (thanks a lot for making me look stupid in front of my email client, brain!)
- It allows all of the basic copy/paste functions necessary to maintain a spreadsheet. Really, at some point the Medulla Oblongata might take over for all of that ctrl+c and ctrl+v action, but I don’t think that’s been scientifically proven
- When you finally decide that you can’t look at a computer screen for one more second, it’s your cerebellum that allows you to act on that ‘let’s go outside!’ feeling, so it’s the best tool to help you keep that “sanity” you treasure so much
4. Limbic System
The limbic system is another one of your brain’s big kahunas, just like the hindbrain. It regulates emotions, memories, judgments and values.
The limbic system is also largely responsible for a lot of our creativity and spontaneity.
For link building, the limbic system:
- Helps inspire creative search strings for target sites, creative post ideas and new link building methods
- Pushes you to email all of those ‘tips’ or ‘PR’ addresses at Gizmodo, Wired, Mashable, etc. when you think your post is great but it’s not getting the recognition it deserves
- Pushes you to write that one blog comment that everyone remembers you for. The kind of blog comment that results in actual clickthroughs.
The amygdala is the part of your brain that regulates fear. It’s not a pleasant thing to talk about, but some amount of fear is necessary in the realm of link building.
It helps make sure that the job gets done and that no opportunity goes wasted:
- Make you panic whenever there’s an unanswered email in your inbox
- Makes you check your email compulsively
- Blasts you with that intangible-but-terrible fear of missing a deadline
- Is ultimately responsible for the fear of consequences re: building spammy links. The amygdala, Penguin and Panda have teamed up to keep the SERPs clean(er)
The hippocampus is where the real memory magic happens. It’s the part of the brain where memories are created and filed. It’s basically the hard drive of our brain.
In link building terms, the hippocampus is an essential tool.
The hippocampus is a great tool because:
- You (hopefully) won’t make the same link building mistake twice because of the magical gift of memory
- You remember that you’ve already sent outreach to that site and don’t do it again, because that would end in embarrassment. Or at the very least, you remember to put that information in a spreadsheet, which can remember the whole thing better than you can anyway
- You remember how hyperlinks work in the first place, which is essential
The pons is another part of your hindbrain, but it sends information back and forth all throughout your brain. It affects how sleepy you are and how conscious you are of what’s going on.
That makes it a very important link building tool because link building means you have to pay attention. Without the pons, you couldn’t:
- Notice whether your link building strategies are actually effective or not
- Know when you’re too fatigued to keep looking for target sites, writing content or sending emails. When that’s the case, you need a break or your link building campaign is going to suffer (the cerebellum and the pons are the real Wonder Twins when you need a break, and neither one turns into a bucket of water)
- Pay enough attention to your rankings to know whether they’re improving or not
8. Spinal Cord
The spinal cord is where the brain meets the body, so it’s pretty important too. There’s a pattern emerging here.
The spinal cord has been referred to as the brain’s “information superhighway,” which seems extremely relevant to what we’re talking about here. It allows your brain to communicate with your body.
The neocortex is the part of the brain that everyone’s always gushing about. It’s where all of that “left brain” and right brain” stuff comes from. It’s the largest part of your brain. It’s a blue whale and the pons is a housecat (don’t do the math on that, just blindly trust me on this one).
The neocortex is what makes us human and separates our brain from the brains of other mammals. In short, it’s pretty awesome.
The neocortex is responsible for the development of language, imagination and abstract thought. Basically, this is the big link building tool that all of the rest of these link building tools are feeding into.
This is what makes you a professional link builder.
10. It’s All Your Brain!
Do you see where I’m going with this? You have this amazing tool in your head that I just subdivided into smaller tools and tangentially related to link building.
The thing is, though, that all of these parts of your brain are the only things that make you a real link builder. They’re what your successes and failures ride upon. They are the 10 best link building tools of all time and they’re totally free.
Common sense, memory, creativity, consciousness, fear, language emotions and movement all come from this wonderful tool. Tools, like the spear or the brain, exist to help you accomplish your goals. There are a lot of great pieces of link building software out there, but you can’t make use of those until you’ve mastered the link building tool you were born with. Start there first.
A little bit about Dustin:
Dustin Verburg is a writer and musician based in Boise, ID. When he’s not playing in one of 2 disreputable punk bands, he moonlights as the Content and Media Director for Page One Power. Dustin’s current desktop background is a picture of a screaming Jerry Seinfeld holding Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground banana.