There is a growing debate on the net whether link popularity will be relevant in the medium term as search engine algorithms continue to change and evolve to be more efficient and facilitates easier methods for the average webmaster to focus on SEO related tasks. Personally, I think that link building is here to stay for the foreseeable future since Google uses linking data intensively.
Though link building is a very time consuming and tedious task, it is very important since search engines like Google use link popularity to determine the trustworthiness of a site and its overall ranking and relevancy in search results.
So, thanks to Seobook.com I’ve decided to make a list on my favorite effective link building methods and also black-hat practices to avoid.
Here we go:
1. Create a list of the top 10 myths for a specific category and do some myth busting.
2. Create a list of experts/professionals. If you impress the people listed well enough, or find a way to make your project look somewhat official, the pros may end up linking to your site or saying thanks. (Sometimes flattery is the easiest way to strike up a good relationship with an “authority”.)
3. Make your content easy to understand so many people can understand and spread your message. Its very important to provide proper explanations of industry jargons, not everyone is an expert and you need to relate to all viewers.
4. Syndicate an article at Ezine Articles, Articlesbase, GoArticles, iSnare, etc. The great thing about good article sites is that their article pages actually rank highly and send highly qualified traffic.
5. Trade articles with other webmasters and bloggers
6) Email a few friends when you have important relevant news asking them for their feedback and/or if they would mind referencing it if they find your information useful.
7. Submit your site to DMOZ and other directories that allow free submissions. DMOZ is an excellent free open source directory, one that google regularly crawls to get information on submitted sites. The only issue that I have is that it can take up to 6 months before your submitted site is listed on DMOZ because it is run by volunteers and they receive thousands of submission requests. Also try to submit to paid directories. Quality Matters.
8. Create your own topical directory about your field of interest. Obviously link to your own site, deeplinking to important content where possible. Of course, if you make it into a truly useful resource, it will attract links on its own
9. If you create something that is of great quality make sure you ask a few friends to tag it for you. If your site gets on the front page of Digg or on the Del.icio.us popular list, hundreds more bloggers will see your site, and potentially link to it
10. Develop business relationships with non-competing businesses in the same field. Leverage these relationships online and off, by recommending each other via links and distributing each other’s business cards. Try guest posting on other blogs as well.
11. Depending on your category and offer, you will find Craigslist to be a cheap or free classified service (Free Links)
12. Submit stories to Digg that links to an article on your site. You can also submit other content and have some of its link authority flow back to your profile page
13. Most forums allow members to leave signature links or personal profile links. If you make quality contributions some people will follow these links and potentially read your site and/or link to your site
14. If you buy a product or service you really like and are good at leaving testimonials, many of those turn into links. Two testimonial writing tips — make them believable and be specific where possible
15. Link to other blogs from your blog. Outbound links are one of the cheapest forms of marketing available. Many bloggers also track who is linking to them or where their traffic comes from, so linking to them is an easy way to get noticed by some of them
16. Comment on other blogs. Most of these comments will not provide much direct search engine value, but if your comments are useful, insightful, and relevant they can drive direct traffic. They also help make the other bloggers become aware of you, and they may start reading your blog and/or linking to it
17. Technorati tagged pages rank well in Yahoo! and MSN, and to a lesser extent in Google. Even if your blog is fairly new you can have your posts featured on the Technorati tag pages by tagging your posts with relevant tags
18. Swap some links on a small scale with relevant partners that will send you traffic. Stay away from the link trading hubs and networks. When swapping links, try to get links from within the content of relevant content pages. Do not try to get links from pages that list hundreds of off topic link partners. Only seek link exchanges that you would consider pursuing even if search engines did not exist. Instead of thinking just about your topic when exchanging links, think about demographic audience sets.
19. Become a sponsor. Many charities, contests, and conferences link to their sponsors. This can be a great way to gain visibility, links, and a warm feeling in your heart
21. Host a contest. Contests make great link bait. A few-hundred-dollars prize can result in thousands of dollars worth of editorial quality links.
22. Build a tool/free application collection. Original and useful tools (and collections of tools) get a lot of link love. What do you think ranking for mortgage calculator is worth?
23. Engaging, useful, and interesting interviews are an easy way to create original content. And they spread like wildfire. Find successful professionals/guru in your field and request an interview. This also puts an automatic ‘stamp of approval’ on your site as it will seem as though they endorse your content/idea
6 Bad Link Building Techniques to Avoid
1. Submit your site to 200 cheesy paid directories (averaging $15 per submission) that send zero traffic and sell off topic run-of-site links
2. List 100 Web sites in your signature file when posting on a forum
3. Posting on forum threads that are years outdated exclusively to link to your semi-related website
4. Instead of signing blog comments with your real name, sign them with spammy keywords. 99% of the time site owners will be annoyed and delete your comments
5. Get links from nearly-hidden sections of websites listing hundreds or thousands of off topic sites
6. Steal content published by well known names. Strip out any attribution. Aggregate many popular channels and just wait for them to start talking about you
And that’s all for today. Remember, there are many legitimate ways of building links, this list only provides a few of my favorites because of how easy they are to execute for even the newbie blogger/writer.
If there is anything you think I may have left out, feel free to leave a comment with your suggestion or question.