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10 Things I Learned as a Link Building Intern

Link-Assistant.Com | Posted in category Link Building

link building

guest post by Jessica Porter

1. It is, most likely, NOTHING like what you're imagining …

So, there you are, trying to decide what to do with the rest of your life. You realize that media is fully going in the direction of the Internet. Without Internet presence your company is not likely to succeed. You are also interested in marketing and/or advertising. So the perfect combination of those two would logically be Internet marketing right? WRONG!

Even though you really don't know what Internet marketing is, believe me, it is totally different from anything you could possibly be thinking! Internet marketing is so much more about the company than the consumer which is completely opposite from what you're taught for traditional marketing.

Because of all the competition on the Internet you have to try to get your site noticed. It's a little about the consumer because you are trying to get your site to the right consumers but it's more about doing everything right on the company end so that it will eventually reach the ideal consumers.

2.  They do not teach you this stuff in school…

PageRank, back links, no/do follow, cached…ummmm, are we still speaking English?! As a link building intern you learn things about websites and the Internet that you never had any idea existed. You think you just happened to put in the perfect search term in order to find the perfect article for you latest assignment…think again!

You finding that article was the crafty work of Internet marketers placing that article in front of you! You think those pages and articles just showed up because Google happened to know just what you wanted…think again! Those pages appeared out of the vastness of the WWW because of its link builders' perfect SEO concoction: placing the perfect links on the perfect pages, putting out the perfect number of articles and blog posts etc. Google may be almighty but it cannot read your mind….only the link builders can.

3. You will be a Google guru after being a link building intern…

There was nothing I hated more in school than when I had a research paper I had to do and I just could not come up with the right search terms to get what I needed. Well that will never be a problem for me again! Searching for places to post the same keywords month after month really makes you push your search term creativity. Watch out Google, here I come!

4. Laborious tasks….

Research, sparking buzz around a great piece of content, reading, commenting, registering for sites, attempt to prove you are not a robot or computer with Captchas (many times to no avail!), the list goes on and on. Being a link building intern isn't exactly the same every day, and isn't exactly easy either.

5. How much patience I have…

See number 4.

6. What Google wants, Google gets…

We've all heard the age old question "if they went and jumped off a bridge would you go jump off a bridge too?" And generally the answer to this question is "no." However, I have found the exception!

Yahoo who? Bing what? Ask where? These other search engines pretty much just take up space! Essentially the only search engine that matters or that companies care about ranking on is, I bet you can't guess….GOOGLE! Every company bows down to try and please Google. If the algorithm changes then the link builders change their tactics to make Google happy!  Whatever Google thinks makes a site qualify as legit is what makes the site legit. So yes, if Google jumped off a bridge all link builders and SEO firms would also jump off that same bridge!

7.  Constantly learning…

As to be expected, an internship is often filled with learning opportunities. But surprisingly, some internships don't provide as much information as you'd think. Thankfully, in link building, there is so much information to be learned I don't think even during a full time internship I could learn it all. Every day I learn something new that can apply to the next thing I'm tasked with. Sure beats an internship where I have to get coffee, work late, or dress up.

8.  How difficult it is to prove that I'm a human…

I mean seriously?! These captchas are ridiculous! Half the time even if you get them right they tell you that it's wrong. What happened to the day when they were actual words not just random ridiculous letters stuck together in a ridiculously hard to read font?!

Even the most human human wouldn't be able to satisfy some of these captchas. I am a big fan of the new ones coming out that are math equations!

9. It is not in my job description….

As the intern I am not required to do any of the following:

Refill the water jug

Drive to lunch

Pay for lunch

10. How important SEO is to any company with an online presence.

What's the point of having a website if no one is able to find it? That's where SEO comes into play. With a little waving of the wand they can make your site become so much more findable to your customers.

It's all about Google like I said before. They constantly have crawlers out there crawling web pages and they do it by link hopping. Therefore the more back links your site has out there on the web, the more likely Google is to find you and rate you. The more they see you the higher they'll eventually start to rank you.

Higher Google ranking=showing up sooner in search results=your customers might actually be able to find you. No matter how tedious this job can be, it is a huge asset to any online company.

Have you interned anywhere recently? Tell us what you've learned, in the comments below.

About the Author:

Jessica is a recent graduate from Baker University. She is currently interning at Vertical Measures as a link building intern as well as at Zion & Zion as a marketing/advertising intern. She loves dr. pepper, the color purple, the number 13, the Denver Broncos and Sergio Garcia.

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18 Comments for “10 Things I Learned as a Link Building Intern”

Jaimee October 21th, 2010
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Jessica, I just started my first "real" job as a link builder and couldn't agree more! I'm glad someone else has had to try more than once occasionally to prove their humanness. Go Broncos!


Brian October 21th, 2010
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I leave captchas off my forms now, better to get a little spam than annoy my readers...


Brian Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

Nice job Jessica, sounds like you are learning quickly!


Chuck Reynolds October 22th, 2010
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aka grunt work... not fun but necessary work :)
nice post


Henri October 22th, 2010
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Captchas are a pain in the a**. How long are we going to put up with them?


Sean Weigold Ferguson October 22th, 2010
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I'm currently an search engine marketing intern for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online. One thing I've learned is just how important it is to be an expert with Excel. Automating time-consuming tasks with macros, and using custom keyboard shortcuts and user-defined formulas save me at least an hour every day.


Jessica Porter October 22th, 2010
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Haris, what I mean about internet marketing being more about the company than the consumer is that the focus really is on what the company needs to do for themselves to become more visible to their consumer. The focus is on moving up the rankings. Not once in my time as a link building intern have I heard any discussion about how to appeal to our client's consumers. Where as in traditional advertising there is a lot more consideration of what the consumer wants and needs because, whatever the form of advertising, it has to be attractive and appealing to the consumer or it will get no results.


Pete Kosednar October 22th, 2010
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I know someone that did this for a job!


Raymond Popowich October 24th, 2010
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The 75% percent of organic traffic coming from Google is important but I think it's also important not to neglect the other 25% that can generate traffic for your sites. The other search engines, question and answer sites, etc. Yes, CAPTCHA's can be a hassle. If it looks hard save yourself some seconds and hit the refresh a few times quickly until you see one that should be easy to type.

Kerry Dye Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

75%? Thought that sounded a bit measly and then remembered that the UK stats are very different. Over here it's more like 95% Google traffic.


Seo Bro October 25th, 2010
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I still get a tiny bit of traffic from Yahoo, but soon it will jay who, and BING will have a new name. Probably something dorky like powrseeq. Google rules the room.


Linkbuildr October 25th, 2010
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Great post Jess and you definitely got to intern with some of the best in the business! Would you do it full time?


BigJohn October 26th, 2010
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I loved this post, As someone who trains linkbuilding interns, It is great to hear the story from an interns perspective.


Cory October 27th, 2010
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Great post! Working with interns is one of the best parts of the job especially when you see it click. November 02th, 2010
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I am a link builder and its very tedious signing up to blogs and social media sites but it is worth it seeing the results!


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