One of the sessions we participated in at the Vegas Pubcon was the session on “purchasing links”. I missed the SES conference in San Jose, but Matt did make it and sat in the session on link buying. One of Matt’s first comments regarding the Pubcon session was how the first speaker gave the exact same speech that was given by another person in San Jose. I’m guessing most participants of these sessions are reps sent to learn for their respective companies and most will not attend all of the conferences, however, there are many people that try to make several of these conferences, so I would imagine there is a decent percentage that hear the session presentations numerous times. With that being said, should unique content and a variety be a good idea to “spruce” things up for those who have been lucky enough to participate in many conference sessions? This was the lineup:

Andy Hagans, Strategist, ReviewMe
John Lessnau, Founder, LinkAdage
Thomas Bindl, SEO Consultant,

1. As mentioned above, the first speaker, Andy Hagans, who represented his new venture “ReviewMe“, showed an identical slideshow and presentation which Patrick Gavin gave at the San Jose SES for his company Text Link Ads. Of course, these two guys work, or have worked with each other, so maybe there is a passing of the buck or some such, but frequent audience members would prefer to learn new info each time and the imitation is like seeing a comedy show where the comic says the exact same jokes from last time and it loses it’s luster.

2. The next speaker was John Lessnau who founded LinkAdage. For those who are unfamiliar with LinkAdage, they were actually one of the first sites to offer a way to buy and/or sell links between webmasters. They definitely took the quick route and purchased a pre-coded auction software program and tweaked it to their liking, but they basically auctioned the sale of text links. They’ve offered other forms of text advertising to keep up, but I believe the auction angle does well for them.

Now when Lessnau began his presentation, I noticed an image on the projection that caught my eye, the Survivorman splash screen. I turned Matt on to watching Survivorman so we both love the show. So we were eagerly interested in hearing what Lessnau had to say since it’s our favorite show. As time goes on, the presentation became more and more familiar and I instantly pulled up my Moto Q phone and logged on to our LinkWorth Blog. I did a quick search for Survivorman and much to my surprise; this presentation was somewhat identical to something I wrote back in March of 2006.

I handed the phone to Matt so he could read what I had written to get a 3rd party opinion, then also had another person read it to get one more opinion and the topic became whether it was plagiarism or coincidence. I was told that “Plagiarism is the best form of flattery.“, but also would like to know if this guy that I have never met before thinks exactly like I do. I must admit that listening to his speech, he gives speeches almost identical to how I would; long pauses, stuttering, over use of the word “uh” and so on. I’m horrible at giving speeches and I commend those who do, but Mr. Lessnau fell on my side of the fence when it came to his speech. I definitely am not here to bag on his speech abilities because I am horrible, but I am very interested with similarities between his presentation and my blog post back in March over the exact same thing.

The guys over at SEO Roundtable are very good at blogging the sessions and I found this session on their site. So I will reference the page and then paste the bit of info on this part of the session so those who missed the Pubcon could get some insight.

John Lessnau from LinkAdage (sp?). He says there is no such thing as a free link. You can pay, trade, get one for a favor, or get links to great content or tools that cost a lot of money to develop. He started by relating the TV show “Survivorman,” saying that some webmasters need to be able to get a lot of links with few resources. So “What would Survivorman do to get links?” One thing that a new webmaster has is time. At least there is time to spend on researching competition, and to gain knowledge from seminars like this and by talking to other people.

He look at about 300K .net and .com domains and looked at how many were various PageRanks. He threw out the 210K that had 0 PR. Found almost no PR 9’s, only 18 PR 8’s (.027% of all sites. The majority of page had 1, 2, or 3 (23.5%, 27.4%, and 25.8%, respectively. Interesting. Link buying tips: buy keywords for your site embedded in existing text within indexed sites. Do not worry about PR 0, as long as it’s indexed. Buy only permanent or year long links. Do not spend over $5/month on average per link…sounds cheap, but there are plenty like that available. Goes into an example of how to find keywords that might be relevant, and finding obscure websites that come up with the keywords. Approach the sites probably not making any money and buy links from them. Showed some cool examples of results of this type of research…finding some nice niche sites.

Beware of links that may fit into any of the following classifications: on home pages of very high PR sites. In long lists at the bottom or sides of pages. Links under “sponsored links” text. Links that are “run of site” (aka “site-wide links”). On sites designed to sell links. On an artificial networks of sites. He ends like Andy and says to keep your links natural.

So I think there was a definite certain spin put on his presentation, however, is it plagiarism, imitation or just plain coincidence here? I definitely commend him on saying Survivorman is his favorite show! In case other Survivorman fans read this, Les Stroud is currently filming the first location for season 2 . . . FINALLY! ! !