It isn’t often that I give out Link Building advice. This is because I don’t really like link building – I find it tedious and sometimes boring, except for when the ideas are around Link Baiting (but that’s another post ) . As a result, I am always looking for low hanging fruit (to use a cliché). It amazes me how often you find a simple yet easy strategy that gets you links, very often these are links that you already deserve!
JC Penney Link Building
I bet you are bored of hearing about these guys. So am I. After, how many times would you want to read about the JC Penney fiasco? Well, bear with me. I am using them as the example because it is relevant.
When I first wrote my post on JC Penney, I misspelled their name. Chris Lake (Director of Innovation @Econsultancy) was kind enough to let me know of my error, and I quickly corrected the post. In fact, you can still see the error in the URL for that post:
This reminded me of a strategy that we used a few times before to grab links – after all misspelling is a common problem with a number of businesses, especially with big brands.
Cracking Open The Data
Majestic just released a pretty good Site Explorer tool, which I used to play with some of the data. Unfortunately, as I am not a premium subscriber, I only get to see handful of links – as a result I opened up SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer which gives me a few more on the free version. So lets look at the most common misspell:
As you can see, there are hundreds of root domains, and thousands of backlinks! Is that easy picking? You bet it is. After all, you have already been given the link, just to the wrong domain!
Miss Spelling JCPenny.com
Here are a few choice links to prove that the links exist:
Now that doesn’t mean you should ignore other weird and wonderful miss spelled domains, for example, JCpeney.com has only one link:
Pro Tip: Buy those Misspelled Domains!
JC Penney did one thing right – they own the most common misspell JCPenny.com, and it redirects to the home page. However you will be surprised how many brands DON’T own their miss spells. Buy those. Make sure they 301 properly. Other wise you are losing out on so much link equity, as you can see from the example above.
I suggest buying all variations – for example JCpeney.com is interestingly, this is an affiliate owned domain name which redirects to:
If you are a business that operates internationally, (JC Penney doesn’t operate in the UK for e.g, as in it doesn’t market to the UK) then chances are that you may own most the TLDs. In most cases, I have found businesses redirecting these properly to the live site, if they don’t use local domains for their website, but subdomains or folders. However, there are instances I have found that businesses:
- Don’t own the Local TLD
- If they own it, don’t redirect
- If they redirect, they use 302s
In the first instance, GET those TLDs!
Side Tip: If you operate in the UK, a .co.uk isn’t enough, get the Irish Domain (.ie), the Channel Island Domains (.GG and .JE ) Isle of Man Domain (.im). You never know when you need them.
For the second point, if you own it, redirect it! The third mistake is daft, use 301 unless you planning on building a site on the domain.
However, popular US businesses DO get traffic from the UK, and JC Penney SHOULD have bought the .co.uk, – they don’t have many links (OK just one), but other businesses and brands may have more – check yours today!
Side Note: Dont Ignore Misspelling, Domaining them is Big Business
The highest sale of a typo domain we’ve ever seen and the $200,000 sale of a domain that had been donated to a charity headline another big week of domain sales. You may need smelling salts after looking at the whopping $242,400 price paid for the #1 domain, Mortage.com (DN Journal)
Buying up Misspelled Domains should be part and parcel of your businesses Online Marketing. Why? Well, for one, Its stops Lazy Affiliate strategies. (and the practice of TypoSquatting).
Secondly, how many times can you misspell Britney Spears? Loads, Says Google. The big G has been working hard in passing through the right results for misspelling, even using common volume misspells to correct results. (Vanessa Fox has a decent post on this). Although a large proportion of people tend to use search engines now instead of the address bar, people still do type in domains (shock and horror). Dont let them go to the wrong place.
Third, take a look at your Google analytics data. You will often see misspells in them. Isnt that a case and point?
- I am not the only one who has covered this tip. Rand calls them his HeadSmaking Tips.
- Wiep Covers it in his monstrous Solid 69 Link building tactics (he suggests 404 monitoring on point #9).
- Use Aarons SEOBook Spelling Typo generator to some up with suggestions to test.
- If you really want to get creative about link building, have a read...
As you can see, there are loads of low hanging fruit that you can pick, if you are a lazy link builder like I am. I have a few more easy tips up my sleeve, and the next post is titled: Link Building: 3 Easy Pickings for Retail and Ecommerce Sites. So why not subscribe to my feed to catch it when its out?
Rishi Lakhani is an independent Online Marketing Consultant specialising in SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing and Social Media. Explicitly.Me is his Blog. Google Profile