My notes from a presentation by Jon Henshaw, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer Raven Internet Marketing (@henshaw)

If you build links the wrong way, Google will destroy everything you love. Kind of like this…


Good link building is hard. Relationships aren’t easy either. Let’s make them work together.

What do most people want from a relationship? They want to be heard and respected. A healthy relationship is where you treat others the way you’d want to be treated (Golden Rule marketing).

People do not want..

…to be sold something

…to feel like an object

…to talk about links

So how do you target someone from whom you’d like a backlink, without turning them into a target? Be genuine!


  1. Find websites that could provide you with a valuable link.
  2. Who are the people behind the sites?
  3. Follow the trails? Where else are they (social, blogs…)
  4. Google them.
  5. Find their followers and friends. FullContact helps you acquire a ton of info about social presence.
  6. Monitor them. Get RSS feeds, social streams, alerts
  7. Interact with them. Become visible in their world.
  8. Use spreadsheets or CRM to keep track of them.
  9. Keep contact & interaction records
  10. Keep records of which of these contacts ends up linking to you.
  11. Keep good notes. How did you meet? What has developed?
  12. Develop relationships naturally.
  13. Don’t overwhelm them.
  14. Stay on topic – not necessarily your topic. Don’t change the subject.
  15. Create a positive experience. Do things for others. Be there when you need them. Champion what they care about.
  16. Be patient or else. Don’t jump on “monetizing” the relationship too soon.

What’s the outcome of relationship link building?

  1. Real friends
  2. Ability to connect with friends of friends
  3. Social exposure
  4. And, of course: Natural links that reduce your Penguin phobia!

Relationship Link Building