We had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. François-Louis Mommens, the Founder of Linkody, a renowned Backlink Monitoring service. It was an absolute delight to chat with him. But before we dive into the interview, let’s take a moment to get to know him better.
He is a creative and independent person who loves building things and being his own boss. In his early 30s, he left a good job to start his first business, which unfortunately didn’t succeed. But that didn’t stop him, and he later left another good job to start Linkody.com.
As a solo founder, François-Louis faced many challenges, as he had to handle everything on his own, from the technical stuff to marketing. Looking back, he realizes that having a partner could have helped him avoid some mistakes. However, now that his business has grown and he has a team, he takes pride in leading the company independently. With his determination and risk-taking spirit, François-Louis has made Linkody.com a trusted tool for digital marketers worldwide.
➢What motivated you to become an entrepreneur, and what challenges did you face in the early stages of starting your own business?
I am a independent and creative person. I value being my own boss and I love building stuff. I am also not afraid of taking risks. In my early 30s I left a good job to start a business that unfortunately failed after a couple years. Despite this setback, I later left again another good job to start my current business.
One of the biggest challenges I faced was not having a co-founder. I had to handle everything on my own, from the technical aspects to marketing. Looking back, I realize that having the right partner could have helped me avoid many mistakes.
However, as my business has grown and I now have a team, I am content being the sole leader. I take pride in my independence and steering the ship on my own.
➢Can you share some strategies for effective time management and prioritization as an entrepreneur?
Managing one SaaS is already challenging, but handling three is sheer madness. Therefore, it is crucial to stay organized. To achieve this, I prioritize my tasks into three buckets: short-term, medium-term, and long-term. I constantly assess and adjust my priorities, moving tasks between buckets or removing them altogether based on available resources and strategy.
I’m also incredibly busy outside work. I go rock climbing every week-end, I train during weekdays, play the keyboard in a band and organise a weekly jam session.
It’s crucial that I do not waste any time. On Fridays I plan the upcoming week, and at the end of each day, I plan my tasks for the following day. I find this method to be highly effective. It enables me to be focused and productive right from the beginning of the day.
➢As AI continues to develop, do you think it will replace certain aspects of traditional SEO and link building practices? If so, which ones and why?
AI can already assist with various SEO tasks such as content creation and optimization.
Full disclosure, I am using ChatGPT to aid me in writing this interview. However, I am only using it to rephrase my content in more polished English, as this is not my native language. Additionally, I do not blindly accept the suggested rewrites and conduct final editing myself.
As AI continues to advance and specialize, it will become increasingly prevalent in our everyday lives, including in the realm of SEO. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that AI will entirely replace human involvement, as human creativity and critical thinking remain essential.
➢Can you explain the importance of monitoring and tracking backlinks for SEO success?
Links often disappear due to website restructuring, content updates, or incorrect redirections. This phenomenon is known as link rot.
We made a detailed study of link rot based on a mathematical analysis of our data. This study shows that approximately 8% of all links rot within only the first three months.
This illustrates the importance of keeping track of one’s links since links acquired through partnerships or exchanges are typically easier to retrieve than obtaining new ones
Our backlink monitoring tool, Linkody, is specifically designed for this purpose. It checks links every 24 hours and sends email summaries, allowing link builders to take prompt action on any changes in status. Moreover, Linkody verifies if there have been any alterations to the rel attribute, anchor text, or target page. By keeping track of and retrieving lost links, significant amounts of time and money can be saved.
➢How has Linkody evolved since its inception, and what challenges have you faced along the way?
Linkody was initially created as a simple tool to monitor manually added links. It was developed to address the need to ensure that links received from partners were not removed over time. As time passed, the tool evolved into a complete backlink tracking solution.
Linkody now aggregates links from various providers to offer comprehensive results. Unlike other link management tools such as Ahrefs, Linkody still allows users to manually add links and tag them for better organization.
The tool provides various metrics, including Moz Domain Authority and Spam Score, to offer a detailed backlink profile. Additionally, Linkody checks whether the source page is indexed by Google.
These features make Linkody an ideal tool for SEO agencies or large brands looking to manage their link acquisition effort and link-building team.
➢Are there any link building techniques or practices that are considered outdated or ineffective in today’s SEO landscape?
The effectiveness of 3-way link exchanges, done improperly, has been decreasing over time. Google can easily detect when a page has been updated solely for the purpose of including a link or a small section.
It is perfectly legitimate to add links to relevant external resources that provide value to the user. But instead of linking to a promotional page, or even the home, link to a blog resource.
In any case, it is important to not solely rely on link exchanges as a link acquisition strategy.
➢What are some ethical and effective strategies for acquiring high-quality backlinks to a website?
I think that guest posting can be a perfectly ethical method of obtaining backlinks, as long as it is executed appropriately. This means creating high-quality, informative content and incorporating relevant links.
Conversely, it is unethical to demand payment for accepting guest posts. This is often indicative of a link farm or a website that does not carefully select the content it publishes. Such sites should be avoided altogether. Crafting exceptional content requires significant time and energy, so it is reasonable to receive a link in exchange without having to pay for it.
➢How do you see the future of SEO evolving in the next few years, considering the rapid advancements in technology?
I cannot accurately predict how SEO will evolve in the future. However, I can foresee a decline in organic traffic. This is due to the increasing presence of ads, position 0 result, and “people also ask”, and other sections above the organic results in SERPs. Over time, this trend is likely to be exacerbated by the rise of artificial intelligence.
Personally, I have switched to using Brave Search since its beta phase. Their new summarizer feature is so effective that I often don’t even need to click on any search results.
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