White House 2.0: the First Tech President

March 9th, 2009

This is a great article written by one of our staff writers, enjoy:

By the end of his eight-year term, former President Bill Clinton had sent a total of two emails: the first a test, the second a message to astronaut John Glenn on the space shuttle Discovery. President Barack Obama is likely to have sent more emails than that in the first hour after his inauguration. Renowned for his frequent BlackBerry use and his grassroots, online-based campaigning, Obama has been hailed as the first “tech president.” Technology-based changes at the executive level have the potential for major ramifications not only in the tech sphere, but in everything from healthcare to energy to government itself.

Despite broad adoption by the public, the Internet was not taken seriously as a campaign tool until recent years. 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean made his campaign a major player with the money raised through his online network of donors, and Congressman Ron Paul became an Internet sensation in his bid for the 2008 Republican nomination, at one point raising over four million dollars online in a single day. The latest presidential campaign marked a clear convergence of politics and the Web, with Barack Obama and Republican candidate John McCain trading barbs not just on CNN but on YouTube and Facebook. With the money he raised online, Obama was able to forego public financing and outspend McCain. At the same time, McCain was able to remain competitive even with limited funds by emphasizing Internet-based spending over traditional media.

Announcing his candidacy for the presidency in early 2007, Obama proclaimed his desire to be among “the generation that reshapes our economy to compete in the digital age.” On the official White House web site, Obama speaks of “the immense transformative power of technology and innovation and how they can improve the lives of Americans.” His agenda as president gives weight to this rhetoric. A major part of his health care plan is the implementation of electronic health care records, making it possible for doctors, nurses, hospitals and patients to stay on the same page and avoid costly miscommunications. The energy gains Obama hopes for depend on scientific and technological innovation in both the development of new energies and the enhancement of existing ones. And in appointing the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer to lead an interagency effort to increase governmental efficiency, Obama has shown he is serious about using technology to better integrate the various elements of government.

For all Obama’s emphasis on change, the office of the presidency is one that has a myriad of security concerns which threaten his own reliance on technology. His heavy Blackberry use brought challenges from White House officials, concerned that the security of the messages Obama sends as president could be compromised. Obama’s staffers, who had depended heavily on instant messaging as a form of office communication, were surprised to find out that security restrictions barred them from doing so in the White House. Still, technology and the presidential office have largely mixed favorably, with one standout example being Obama’s weekly YouTube addresses to the nation, a 21st-century version of Franklin Roosevelt’s famous radio-based fireside chats.

At noon on January 20, 2009 – before Obama had even been sworn into office – Whitehouse.gov, the official website of the White House, had been transformed into a sleek, modern site promising accessibility and accountability. Users can review all non-emergency legislation on the site well before it is signed, and it features Obama’s weekly video addresses as well as an official White House blog. If Obama’s plans pan out, the collaborative nature of the Internet and the social networks that he used to such effect during the campaign will now be used as a tool to advance the democratic process, keeping voters informed and engaged in America’s affairs. John Glenn would be proud.

Questions on the Tilde ~

December 23rd, 2008

We occasionally have a request from a client to put their pages on sites without a tilde, or that little squiggle from the Spanish language.  We have found that to be a myth regarding links – some of our strongest sites do have a tilde in the URL.  We have seen clients move up in search with just these pages, regardless of the tilde.  Also, if you too have this question, you can know that the large SEO companies that buy repeatedly from us do not worry about the tilde. If you have been link building for a long time, you will have already noticed that it does not matter.

The value is that the page is full of content, much harder to obtain links in content, and that it does reside on an .edu, that seems to be pleasing the search engines.

Implementing Effective Link Building

November 4th, 2008

Link building can be a long, arduous process. Given the scope of most link building projects, it’s vital that you allocate your resources and time efficiently. Awareness of the major link building misconceptions that persist, plus a bit of creativity, can go a long way toward effective link building.

Overemphasizing Google PageRank and Relevance

When deciding whether or not to pursue a link on a given page, the cues used to understand the value of the page are often Google Page Rank and the site’s relevance. Both are important, but neither should be over-emphasized at the expense of missing link building opportunities.

Google’s PageRank (PR) is the level of authority that the search engine assigns each web page that it crawls. To the extent that PR serves as a general guide for a site’s influence and reach, it can be useful. But to draw any major distinction between links from a PR 3 and a PR 4 page is just splitting hairs, and it’s certainly not a productive approach to link building. Furthermore, PR is not an accurate representation of Google’s own weighting system; links on PR 0 page can prove quite valuable, especially in the right context (such as on an authority domain like a .gov or .edu link).

The standard logic has long been that the most valuable links are those placed on relevant, similar-themed sites. While this is true, interpreting it at face value can lead to lost opportunities. The best links are always on relevant sites (preferably those of the same niche or industry) or those with similar themes, even links on entirely unrelated sites aren’t harmful, and can often help. Use common sense, but never reject a link building opportunity outright just because it isn’t in the same industry as your site.

Relying on Outdated Strategies in a Rapid Industry

There is a wealth of strategies that link builders have at their disposal, but the best ones are not used nearly enough. An excess of emphasis on the more mechanical aspects of link building – directory submission, for example – is a trap many fall into.

You can get much more for your time and money by testing under-utilized but tried and true methods, as well as some creative new ones:

Go back to the basics. The classic form of link building has always been the personalized note or phone call to the webmaster to the site on which you’d like a link. This has fallen out of favor in some circles because it takes time to personalize for each site and to make the case for your inclusion, but it remains one of the most consistently effective techniques.

Make your link building campaign Web 2.0-friendly. Every link builder’s goal is to have other people handle the tedious aspects of link building for them, and a well-planned viral media campaign can have that effect. Use “link bait,” articles written with the intention of gathering links. Write about sensational, reader-friendly topics and use catchy headlines. Create video content that’s attractive to link to.

Don’t let conventional wisdom constrict your attempts to run an effective link building campaign: avoid the myths, be creative, and let your link building take off.

Will we see you at PubCon?

November 4th, 2008

About half of our clients are SEO companies, and the other half are handling their own SEO and link building.  Either of you should be at PubCon.  The SEOs already know about it, so if you are going to be there, we would love to meet up with you and say hello.  We handle link building for some of our clients too, and would love to swap notes over a cocktail.

For those of you that do your own SEO in house, this event is well worth attending. The networking alone is valuable, but attending the many sessions all about webmastering gives you a year’s worth of education in a week.

PubCon, a Webmaster World event, is next week in Vegas, Nov 11-15.  Let us know if you’ll be there!

This Client went from #7 to #1 after Edu Links

October 29th, 2008

We are asked all the time how much other clients see their rankings improve after EDU links are added to their link profile. It’s usually hard to quantify, since people building links like these are often doing other link building and SEO work.  But with this client, he did no other link building, this was his first foray into paid links.  His case study:

He bought 5 pages, and put 3 keywords on each page. These were not the most competitive words, 3 words long, and had California in the anchor text (since he only sells to people within his state). Because they were not too competitive, we recommended 5 pages to start, and if he likes the results, can run more pages without ‘California’.  The results, only 2 weeks later, are that one keyword stayed the same, one keyword went from #10 to #4, and one keyword went from #7 to #1! As these links season, we expect it will sneak up a little more.

We routinely do hear back from clients that their rankings are moving up, some of them amazingly quickly, within a few days.  But this case with no other SEO work done, it’s nice to have some concrete numbers.

Five New Schools Added

October 14th, 2008

For those of you that haven’t added pages with us in awhile, and especially for those of you that are on all 20 of our sites, we have added some new edu pages recently.  If you are not yet on any of these sites, contact us to add some extra edu links to these:





Kennessaw State

A five page package is regularly $1199. Mention this blog post and get it for $1000 and will get you on all 5 new schools.  (expires 11/15/08)

Using your domain as anchor text for links

October 1st, 2008

We are recommending to clients that they use their www.domain.com as anchor text for a portion of their links. The pages are natural, the links are in content, but naturally occuring links on the net do not occur as anchor text for the most part.  If someone is writing about finding herbal tea, they will link the name of the fantastic company that they found as a source for tea, not the word “tea”.  It is being theorized in SEO circles that a page of relevant content, where the Googlebot is reading relevant keywords surrounding the link, with the anchor text as your URL, is going to pass authority for that topic or industry.

Ideally with a 10 page package, with one or two links per page, you would use 3-4 of these links on your URL, and the others on 2-3 different keywords.  This keeps the profile more natural, as links tend to occur on the web.  The value is passed and the exposure minimized.

Joys and Pitfalls of Virtual Office Life

September 15th, 2008

Our office at Edutextlink.com is entirely virtual. We are spread out over time zones, over the country. Some of us work non-stop, some of us work part time and fit this in among other businesses and family and life in general.  Some of our very part timers we have never even met face to face.  Most of our clients, same thing. Some of our service providers, our designers, our coders, our programmers, live halfway across the world.  Many small internet businesses operate this way.  And I have a love-hate relationship with the virtual office.


Increased productivity: Not only does this fit amazingly well into my personal lifestyle, with the right people, the productivity level of an at-home employee is much higher.  Because we never leave the office, we are always at work, and tend to jump online to do a couple things at any given time.

Working at any time of day: again this adds to increased productivity, because our staff can do the non-work fun things at any time of day. Volunteer at their kids school.  Hit the mall when it is not crowded. Take a trip on a Tuesday instead of a Saturday. Take a nap on a day that you are particularly tired.  The thing is, we’re always going to make it up, either working til midnight unlike many of our In Office counterparts, or working through the weekend.  Or bringing the laptop to gymnastics class and working straight through watching your daughter’s backflips and cartwheels.

No travel time, no fancy outfits. No prep. This means either more downtime for a happier worker, or more work time for a happier boss. On the low side, even a sloppy college guy needs 30 min to shower/dress, and 15-45 to drive to work. This is saving 1.5 hours a day x 5-6 days a week, that’s a lot of life to live (or another day of work!)

IM: instant messaging as a main form of communication can be so much less of an intrusion than a phone call, or than someone stopping by my cubby. I can take my time to answer, I can finish my thought online, i can outright ignore it for 30 minutes until I am ready.  I can’t very well ignore a colleague standing next to me asking me their questions. It’s free. It travels around the world instantly. and I have a record of every convo to refer back to.  Also, there is something really playful about it, and although we may lose jokes around the water cooler, some of my very funniest belly-laugh moments have been making jokes with my co workers on IM.


Communication issues: although I do love IM for communication, there are times it drives me absolutely batty. To discuss a complex issue, to analyze a project and share input, to talk with more than one at a time, it’s just tedious and time consuming. And when you take a short cut to type less, the clarify suffers. You can have a 10 minute convo before you realize you are talking about 2 different things. and you lose the tone of voice. You lose the look in their face.  It can take its toll.

Time zone issues:  it is nice if you are all on the same time zone. If my California writer needs me, I feel obligated to stop cooking to help even though it is 6pm. After all, 3pm is prime work time there…..  (funny they don’t share this obligation at 6am their time!)

Respect and company impression: I worked for someone awhile back that did not want customers to know that I had a home office. They wanted to give the impression we had this big office with cubbies and secretaries and a sign by the street. Is there still a stigma against this? I personally do not hide this any more, and I find that (guesstimating) 30% of our clients have home offices, particularly smaller businesses. I think I do not let it color my impression of a company, but then again, when a potential client has a secretary, has office hours, has a staff of 80 and a conference room, am I subconsciously impressed?

Never off work: for the same reason productivity is high, home and social life can suffer. You are just never off work. It takes an enormous amount of willpower to take time off. An office job you leave at the office at 5:30 or 6p (5pm is so 80s), and many do bring work home. But because home=office, an at-home employee is more apt to check email more frequently, or squeeze in some extra project to try to get ahead for tomorrow. Again great for productivity, but must be careful about burnout.  I try to encourage co-workers to take the time as they need it.

So although I preach that life is about so much more work I do sit here typing through dinner and knowing I will work until at least 10pm.  Then again, when I am on my way to a field trip next week (I really did take my  laptop on a 2 hour bus ride field trip once to build links for clients), I’ll be glad the work is done and I didn’t have to take a personal day.  Overall, the good outweighs the bad, and I remain a big fan of the virtual office.

Why We Do Not Share Our Pages with Potential Clients

August 30th, 2008

One of the most common questions we get asked by potential clients is to see an example page, or one of our other client’s pages so they can understand what they are buying. Very legitimate question, I would ask it too, but there are a few reasons we do not do this.

Mainly to protect our existing clients. Paid links are frowned upon by Google, so smart webmasters and SEO companies that are buying links are doing so carefully, and staying under the radar. Sometimes competitors will report a site’s links in an effort to get them penalized (this rarely works by the way unless the paid text links are very very spammy and overdone). We do not tell a stranger that calls or emails where our pages are, otherwise they can see all of our clients that we are protecting. Now you may say that if someone becomes a client, they could see some of our client’s pages. This is true, but we make efforts to minimize this. First, not all clients are on all of our sites. With over 20 sites, we spread them around quite a bit. Also, the 2 page minimum is strictly enforced. This also deters clients that are not serious about link building.

Another reason we do not share our pages is to protect our sites in general. Someone that is does not have links on that site should never see the location of the site, for the same reason. We do not want any troublemakers interfering.

It is helpful, and would increase our sales, to get to show how natural and valuable these pages are up front, but our first priority is remaining under the radar. Instead, we can describe the pages in detail, and assure you that you are getting exactly what we say, no funny business, very straight forward.

Gambling, Pharmacy, Adult Sites now have an option

August 20th, 2008

We are excited to announce that we have recently developed some separate sites where we can offer edu links in content for gambling, pharmacy, and adult advertisers now. These sites are separate from our standard inventory, so regular clients can rest assured we are not intermingling. We have been working on a way to fill this need, we have had many clients asking us to come up with something. It is so challenging for these sites to promote themselves, and they do understand why.

There are currently 5 different EDUs that we can put you on, with special pricing. So send us an email or call us at 800-918-0680 if you’re interested or have been waiting on us to come up with a solution for you to snag some authority in content links.