Update: Progress on the Link Builder upgrade
Posted by Owen Powis on 26 July 2012
We've made some great progress on the Link Builder tool already. However, there's a lot left to do, so to find out what the next round of changes are going to involve then read on ...
Upgraded so far
We have made some great progress already with the changes made including:
- Creating the new Prospects page layout
- Adding #tagging through notes
- New Guest Posts and Mentions Strategies
What's coming up
We have a few big changes planned which focus on better discovery and management of contacts. Here's a brief run through of what to expect ...
New Contacts page design
Being able to quickly find the right contact details is key. With our new design you will be able to group contacts together then quickly sort through these groups to find the right one. The contacts themselves will contain much richer information including a timeline of your activity with them.
One of the most important parts of link building is being able to find good prospects. This feature will allow you to specify what sort of prospects you want and create a strategy based around these. This will mean you can expand out your prospect list at will, while keeping it absolutely focused.
Automatically finding contact details
Link Builder does this already, but we realized it can do it better. This upgrade will mean we return more results in less time. We check for social media profiles and the information these contain to provide you with the best contact details possible.
This isn't all we're planning as there are lots of little changes and fixes that we will be implementing as well, however if you have any thoughts or ideas about what you would like to see please do let us know in the comments below.
The technical stuff
If you want to get a bit more information and technical detail on what we are doing then please read on. This is a bit more in depth so if you're not interested in the nitty gritty then please feel free to skip this section!
The Contacts page
This is a mock-up of what we're planning:
At the heart of these changes we'll be separating the Contacts and Prospects tabs. At the moment Link Builder only has a Prospect element, contact details are appended to this. We are going to create a separate Contact element so that the Contacts and Prospects tabs will have independent functionality.
This means that it will be possible to have multiple Contact elements for one Prospect and vice verse and you'll be able to tag and delete these elements independently of each other.
Additionally, we'll be making contacts appear across campaigns. Prospects will still be unique to a campaign, but once you have the Contact details for a Prospect, this set of information is recorded separately as a 'Contact'. That Contact will then be visible across campaigns.
NB As a Contact is made up of contact information it won't exist until you have some. At the moment the Contacts page is a list of Prospects where contact information can be included. This will change so that unless a Prospect has some contact information recorded, it will not appear as a Contact.
The Prospects page
We're going to be adding in a few more details to the Prospects section, such as automatically tracking placed links. This feature topped the user survey and so has been high up on the priority list.
This means that when a Prospect is contacted, the page the link will be placed on can be recorded, automatically scanned and then we'll let you know when it appears. We will also give you the status of the link ie, if it's a nofollow link or if it points at a 404 page on your site.
Automatically finding prospects
This is a feature which Link Builder has at the moment but has not been as reliable or fast as we would like. We have decided to rewrite the functionality entirely, meaning that it will be an all new feature.
We are now going to be crawling sites in a more intelligent way to discover social media profiles linked to the site. We can then use an API to query the social media profiles and return information.
Custom Strategies is the next big feature for the Prospects page and is something we're really excited about. You'll be able to give a set of parameters to Link Builder, which will then go out and fetch Prospects based on these.
For instance, you could tell us that you're interested in blogs which include guest posts and the keyword cycling. You would then have a Custom Strategy created which will be full of Prospects from cycling blogs who accept guest posts
On top of that, we'll be implementing a few more changes to Custom Strategies so that you'll be able to hide or delete strategies. This will remove all associated Prospects, meaning that you can quickly and easily clean up your list of Prospects.
Please use the comments section below to leave your suggestions for what you would like to see in the new tool. You can also get in touch with us @wordtracker on Twitter or if you have more in depth questions firstname.lastname@example.org can help.
About Owen Powis
Owen Powis is the lead SEO Consultant at Wordtracker and has a half decade of experience working as an SEO Consultant. That time has been spent working at some of the UK's largest agencies dealing with clients ranging from SMEs to large blue chip organizations. He can be found @owenfantastic on Twitter.