Prepare Yourself For Link Building

I've seen a lot of people make it in this business. I have also seen a lot of people fail. Almost all of the original friends I made when I started Court's Internet Marketing School have gone the way of the dodo. The ones that are still around are doing really well, mostly.

I'm guessing that a lot of you will dismiss this post immediately when you start to read it. It's hard to look at yourself and realize that you might not be prepared mentally for what has to be done. Others might take this to heart and move forward. I guess we'll just have to see. Please don't take offense to anything I've written here. It won't apply to everyone but will be extremely helpful for some people.

The fundamentals of search engine optimization aren't that complicated. The problem is that the implementation is extremely challenging mentally. Most people fail at the implementation and I'm going to explain why. You can do what you want with this -  I'm going to tell it how I see it.

Fundamentally, link building is pretty straightforward. There are two main aspects that you really need to consider:

  1. The most link juice wins (I should say anchored link juice).
  2. The most link momentum wins.

Link juice and link momentum go hand in hand. Each one can gain you a lot of benefit and each can override the other (kind of).

If you have a ton of link juice you'll be really hard to beat. This is the case for us with We haven't tried to add a link for like 8 months for that site and we still rank in the top 10 for 'internet marketing'. That's because the site has tons of sites linking to it – it has a lot of link juice. It doesn't have good link momentum right now because it doesn't have that many new links. The content on that site is still generating some links but most of them don't point to the homepage. They still help but the link momentum isn't anything like it once was.

The link juice in this case is enough to override the fact that the momentum isn't there. With more link juice or link momentum, the site would climb higher in the SERPs (rankings).

Link momentum can also override link juice somewhat. The Keyword Academy is starting to rank for some really good terms even though the link juice isn't really that high right now. That's because the site has a lot of new links – the momentum is really high right now. If we stopped getting new links the rankings would tank fast because the overall link juice isn't there to sustain the rankings.

If you have both you can be virtually unbeatable, but most people don't get either.

People always take offense when I write posts like this but honestly I find them necessary. If you're already making money by all means stop reading this post. There may be some beginners that truly need more information before moving forward. However, if you've been around for a while and aren't reaching your income goals, I bet you have a mental barrier that's getting in the way. That barrier will have to be broken down before you get anywhere. Here are the two biggest culprits:


You get a few links and think that your ranking should change immediately. You start watching the rankings on Google and find that your ranking doesn't improve or that it gets worse. This causes you to think that everything that you're doing is wrong so you stop trying to get links and that stops your progress. You feel that what you know must be wrong or that you're getting the wrong type of links.

The solution to this issue is focusing on the fundamentals and forgetting about rankings for a while. Links influence rankings, period. If you have convinced yourself that a link didn't help you're watching rankings too closely. There are about 8,000 things that can make you move down in the rankings and watching them everyday isn't going to help you (unless you are REALLY experienced). It could take weeks or months for Google to f

ind the new links.

You need to make yourself a spreadsheet that you can start to use for keeping track of the links you get. When you get a link from another site, add it to your spreadsheet. Find the satisfaction in blowing up your spreadsheet, not by looking at rankings. If you add enough links to your spreadsheet (and site), the rankings will come.

I've had quite a few conversations with people whose rankings are fluctuating. Recently I talked to a friend whose site is fluctuating between #1 and #8 in Google for his main keyword. He keeps telling me stuff like, “Court, I'm never going to understand Google. I just can't figure out why I keep moving up and down in the rankings.” I keep telling him, “Brian (name changed), you're never going to get enough links to stabilize because you only think about the rankings.”

My friend for some reason thinks his situation is different

than every other situation and he thinks that there's a variable that he doesn't understand. There isn't. His rankings are fluctuating because of the daily fluctuations of link momentum and link juice. Maybe yesterday Google found a new link and that gave him a boost. For two weeks before that Google didn't find any new links so he started to slide. Maybe last month Google found some new links for a competitor. His real problem is that he's relying on link momentum because he still doesn't have enough link juice. Link juice is what brings stability.

My friend's keyword isn't really that hard. If he would figure out how to get two links per day for about two weeks he would be taken care of for a long time. He doesn't do it because he chooses not to. He would rather try to 'figure out what's going on'.


The fun for you is in running around learning about the marketing and you're too lazy to do the implementation. You find yourself arguing about theory with people that are much more successful than you. You may not realize this about yourself. The only way to know if you have this issue is if you feel like you know what you're doing but aren't reaching your income goals.

If you have this issue, link building will be extremely difficult for you because you're seeking the high of reading a great piece of information – in other words your focus isn't on making money.

To solve this issue you might have to go on a media-fast for a while. You may have to rediscover yourself. If you can't find satisfaction in making yourself successful, I would honestly walk away or I would at least try to admit to yourself that this business isn't for you. I find it fascinating that people like the information more than making money. I have actually been criticized for focusing too much on 'making money' on my sites that teach people how to make money.

Step one, in my opinion, is realizing that you aren't working when you're reading. You're working when you're working. You need to at least set a percentage-based limit for how much you're going to let yourself read. The rest should be spent working and the majority of your work time should be based around getting links.

My friend with the fluctuation problem also has ForuBlog-Rotunditis. Since he doesn't understand his fluctuation he tries to figure it out by visiting forums, blogs, and by calling me (very ironic that he won't listen to me). I'm pretty sure that the next time I talk to him I'm going to tell him that I'll solidify his ranking for $1000. It would probably take about an hour to get enough links to do that. Instead of getting the links he chooses to waste dozens of hours reading about his problem.

The Big Picture

He who gets the most/best links, wins. No matter what picture your mind is showing you, if you aren't ranked #1 for your keyword, you're getting beaten with links.

Yes, this is day 7 of my



  1. Well said. It really comes down to action. I’ve been blogging for about two years now, and although my approach is different than your niche blogging approach the need for action is the same regardless. When I look back at who I was “friends” with during my early months of blogging, it can be broken down into those that took action and those that didn’t. The people who made it a priority to take action are doing well and those that didn’t I haven’t heard from in a long time.

  2. I am going to pass this information along to some people I know who need to read this.

    This is exactly the type of stuff I try to explain to people who are overly obsessed with Google and rankings. I am fairly new to this style of marketing(SEO, Ranking For Keywords, etc.)because I used to be all about PPC. Since this is the case, some of the people I mentor think there is some secret Google formula that I am not telling them.

    I have never been able to explain this clearly enough. I always figured most of this was true but never found enough evidence from a source I could trust.

    Thanks Court!

  3. Brawnydt

    Awesome advice. You hit it dead on. Most of us are self taught and we got that way by spending hours and hours reading and researching. It’s really hard to break that habit, even though you know you now understand everything you need to make money online. You’re always searching for that next nugget of info. It’s so true.

    I do two things:
    • I trim back the blogs I read to 3 or 4 very high quality ones. (yours is on the list of course)

    • I limit how much time I spend on forums. They can be HUGE time wasters, and I have to work very hard not to let them suck my time.

    Doing that increases my productivity a ton. Thanks for the post guys!

  4. I was really happy when you said he calls you. I never call so it’s not me :-)

    Obviously I totally agree. My rankings keep improving and its all due to link building. Whether it be UAW, other link building activities, or just writing great (hopefully) content getting links is only like 98% of the whole SEO/make money on adsense/make money online at all/etc. etc. If you are online and not building links with at least 2/3 of your time you are here (the internet) for entertainment and not to make money.

  5. Oh ouch good points here – I think branwndyt has a point too – moving from the studying to the doing can be a fine line …

  6. From reading this article you might get the impression that links are the only thing that affects rankings which isn’t so. Perhaps, the competitors have made changes or added new content to their sites.

    Or it may be as simple as he is landing at different data centers. This is more likely to be the reason for these fluctuations.

    Having said that I agree that a regular link building is essential. I think you might be overstating the affects on immediate changes in rankings.

  7. Dirk Poulsen

    Fantastic Reality Post.

    This is not only very true, but it is the bottom line.

  8. Quality keyword anchored links are definitely the way to go! I’ve reached top Google rankings for several VERY competitive keyword phrases and I did it without worry about social sites or the new “hot trend” in getting traffic, all I did from day one was build links and add content.

    “He who gets the most/best links, wins.”

    No doubt about it!

  9. Great post! I took action and put a blogroll back on my existing blog (I’m trying to increase earnings on it). I posted and tweeted to let other bloggers in the niche know about my blogroll and have picked up 5 new links today. It was so easy, but I needed the kick in the rear to get it done. Thanks!

  10. Nicely said…..nicely said.

    You’ve hit a lot of heads with this one…including me of course.

    man, you’re an amazing coach!…never runs out of solid words that can motivate.

    ForuBlog-Rotunditis?!…how did you come up with this word? :)

  11. Excellent article!
    The whole “Paralysis by Analysis” concept is frequently discussed in the Internet Marketing world. There is a reason for that! Making sure that you spend more time Implementing techniques than Learning new ones you never use is crucial!

    I recently posted to The Niche Store Journey about this same concept. Look forward to reading the rest of your coming entries!

  12. wordbaiter

    Nice roundup.
    Quantity and momentum are just two of many parameters distributed by links, but those culprits, as you call them, nice.

    Take biking, it looks easy, if you watch it on TV but you´ll never learn it by watching TV, even if you saw all Giro d´Italias and Tour de France´s in the last 20 years.

    And even if you learn how to ride a bike you´ll need thousands of hours of practice to win a race.

    And even if you practiced really hard, there are many other who want to win and did much harder trying many training methods, nutrition plans, changing terrains, bike types, shoes, helmets… know what I mean…

  13. You guys here at The Keyword Academy rock!

    Your advice is excellent and you always manage to motivate me.

    I’m just getting into ‘Making money online’ malarky and I’m determined to make it work.

    I started my quest on the 20th April, got my first site up and running on the 29th. Following your guys advice it was indexed by google on the 30th! (No I don’t own any other high PR sites) I’ve just bought another nine domains…

    …and guys I would sign up for your keywords crash course if I had the cash, I think your info and delivery is great…

  14. Great post, the truth really does hurt, but sometimes it is what people need to hear in order to mover forward. Keep up the good work!

  15. The best timed potst ever…

    I just started (2 weeks ago) a link building campaign to try and get my homepage to #1 on Google. I was able to get some links and would check Google everyday. Of course my homepage moved up and then it moved down.

    when it moved down I got discouraged and couldn’t understand why. I made every mistake you talked about in your post.

    Just this morning I convinced myself that I had to keep getting more links. Nothing else would solve the mystery of the bouncing Google ranking.

    Then I read this post and bam….Confirmed what I needed to do and what I needed to stop doing.

    In the end we are either our own worst enemies or our biggest reason for success. I have choosen success…So back to link building I go.

    I only read two sites that talk about seo…Court yours is one of them becasuse it is in a class by itself. Great Work

  16. Court, there’s one other issue: not having a clue how to get good links! I fall into the “Defeated by Google” camp of not understanding it, but neither do I know how to build up links without paying for every single one of them (which is way too expensive).


    • The keyword members help, there’s the griz support system, people trade links on digital point, start mini supporting sites, join lavalinxs, trade with bloggers, write articles.

      just to name a few

  17. Peter, there are many ways to get good links. Writing articles and submitting them to different good directories, blog commenting, website directory submitting, social bookmarking.. the last two aren’t very effective but they are good for creating the bulk.

  18. Ahhh, Court, are you telling me that I have to spend my time building links? But, I would rather read all those blogs that claim that SEO is dead and the gurus who put out videos on the ineffectiveness of traditional link building techniques, so I have an excuse not to do all that hard work ;-)

    Great stuff as usual!

    I’m with Nomadicmatt and Andrew all those methods are great, Sitepoint marketplace is also great for finding LE partners. Just keep adding the links, weak and strong, in the end they all make a difference.

  19. thanks very much look forward to reading more

  20. A very interesting post. Your I will try your rules and hope I get some links more. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Thanks Court-

    I think that I am one of those who reads too much so thanks for giving me perspective.

    Cutting back on the reading and starting with more postings.

    Thanks again.

  22. Cool blog, interesting post. I’ll be returning soon. Hopefully there will be more quality posts like this. =)