link quality. Matt stressed that Google wants to count editorial citations, and that
the best links are usually free.
While many low-quality links may still help, over time their value goes down.
Guestbooks and the like are essentially worthless. Many of the holes in blog
software that permitted heavy spamming are also being taken care of.
Some people have stated that Google is even filtering out links from pages with the
the words link or links in the filename or file path.
In a sketchy field, you may have to use many sketchy techniques to be able to
profitably compete. You don’t want to be the only site in your industry using really
sketchy techniques unless you can afford for the site to get banned or have a bad
effect on your brand. If the top site in your field has 300 links, it probably is a bad
idea to build or buy 87,000 links. Consider the risk to reward ratio and stay below
the radar. You want to blend in.
Some large, well-branded corporate sites like Expedia that spend millions on
Google AdWords will likely be able to get away with doing more shady stuff than a
new webmaster would. Companies that already have a brand built up have much
more leeway than new webmasters. When BMW was removed from Google for
spamming, Google re-indexed the BMW site about one day later.
Have a Good Idea
There are many legitimate, long-term, free link opportunities available, though they
may take a good bit of work to find.
The web is a big social network where good ideas will want to spread naturally. It
is far easier to spread an idea worth spreading than it is to push a bad idea. A link
is a vote for a site. It is a citation. It is a remark, saying “Oh hey, I found this over
here.” By being remarkable or different, it far easier to build a linking campaign
without a large sum of money or effort.
If you act like yourself, are willing to be human, and feed into your character flaws,
sometimes those are more citation-worthy than what you think you are good at.
Plus, if you are being yourself, you are less likely to get burned out and it will be
harder for competitors to replicate what you do.
Give Something Away
One of the best ways to build link popularity is to make something useful and
valuable and give it away. PHP Bulletin Board is a free bulletin board that has a
PageRank of 9 or 10. OpenOffice is another great open source software project.
Some popular things to give away are software, games, designs, and valuable
C# HTML5 Viewer: Deployment on ASP.NET MVC
under Views according to config in picture above. RasterEdge.XDoc.PDF.HTML5Editor. dll. Open RasterEdge_MVC3 DemoProject, copy following content to your project: copy and paste images from pdf; how to copy and paste a pdf image
There are tons of places on the web where you can submit articles. In addition to
submitting them, if you provide an extremely compelling article with reprint rights,
you will find that it may just end up all over the web. I started writing articles when
Google changed its algorithm in Nov 2003. Within a month or two I had articles
SEO News Journal (http://www.seojournal.com
Sticky Sauce (http://www.stickysauce.com/
Internet Search Engine Database (http://www.isedb.com/
and many, many other search-specific websites.
When you write articles to submit to other sites, you may want to give them a
different version than the one you post to your site, so that you do not deal with
duplicate content issues.
Additionally, you can drive more targeted traffic to your site by reminding readers
that they can get the extended version of the article on your site.
Instead of submitting articles to a wide array of article databases it might prove
more effective to write an exclusive article for a highly respected and trusted blog
in your industry. If many people subscribe to your blog your name can spread
through your industry quickly.
Becoming an Authority
In addition to the above links, I have received links from sites I have never even
heard of, and I got linked to by the #1 search resource (SearchEngineWatch.com).
A link from Search Engine Watch is not something I could have bought with piles
of cash, and it validates me as a search engine resource in the eyes of many SEOs
(as well as in the eyes of some search engines). Danny Sullivan (the editor of
Search Engine Watch) is a well-trusted search engine information source.
Becoming the Resource
Danny Sullivan is known as the world’s greatest search engine resource. I could try
to become the same thing, but I would likely fail time and time again. That spot in
the web is already occupied.
I can however become one of the better blog authors about SEO. I also can have
one of the better e-books on the subject. It is worth focusing on an idea until you
can find one that has not already been taken, or something you will enjoy
It usually is much cheaper to position yourself in a new field or a niche field than a
broad field that already has a dominant player in it.
What Information Sells?
The best selling information is original content, such as tips and articles (“How to”
and creative articles work really well), news stories, resource directories, and top 10
Where do I Submit My Articles?
You may find that people link to you just because they like your site. Being a
success on the Internet is much easier if people want to syndicate you for free. Off
the start, it will require some active effort to spread your name. A couple good
places to submit articles are the following:
Ezine Articles (http://ezinearticles.com/
eBooks N’ Bytes (http://www.ebooksnbytes.com/
Article Central (http://thewhir.com/find/articlecentral/
If you can find industry-related hub sites with a wide following, those are going to
be far better link communities than the general article submission sites I just listed.
Additional Bonus Article Submission Ideas
Understanding where and how to find information will help you become
successful on the web. After you find a few authors from the above sites, you
should search for their names to see where else they are published. You may also
want to look through search engines and major directories and search for sites
covering your topic that accept articles.
You should know who the experts in your field of study are. I also wrote a good,
brief article with other article submission locations on my blog
Another trick is to search for the names of sites that are using automated spam
software to submit articles. If people accept their automated request, then it is
likely that they will want to list your quality article if you use a personalized inquiry.
Two sites that sent me automated spam articles to me are Marketing Blaster and
Search Engine Geek. Please note that if a site accepts automated spam
submissions it may be part of a bad community, so you have to use a bit of
diligence when researching those types of sites.
Additional Submission Packages
Some sites, like WeSubmitArticles.com, will write articles for you and submit them
to general articles banks for next to nothing. By the time a packaged value system
reaches a price near zero, there usually isn’t a whole lot of value left, but if you
have a site with an exceptionally natural link profile it might not hurt to submit an
article to the top 10 or 20 article directories.
If you can find a way to get published at serious topical authority sites, those
articles are likely going to be worth about a thousand times as much as submitting
articles to general article banks.
Writing Testimonials for Links
I cannot tell you how effective this technique is! A good testimonial almost
requires they post a link to your site. There are two main things to consider
regarding writing testimonials: choosing who to write a testimonial for, and
deciding how to write that testimonial.
Who to Write a Testimonial For
The web has a bunch of garbage on it. The web also has a bunch of good people
on it. It is just as easy to say good things about people who do a really good job as
it is about people who do a shoddy job.
If you tell people how a bad thing is good, then those people will think you suck
(this is extremely common in hype-driven affiliate marketing). Only promote stuff
that you would be glad to throw your name and reputation on.
Often testimonials are reciprocal promotion techniques. On the web, many links
are business relations. The easiest place to get help is from the people you are
helping; after all, it only makes sense to promote and say good things about the
people with whom you do business.
Not every testimonial is a strong business relationship, but you should write
testimonials only for people you would like to promote. Directly or indirectly, that
is what you are doing.
How to Write a Testimonial
Words like good are actually rather bad. Whenever possible, you want to use
concrete phrases and terms that make the service sound exceptional. A testimonial
I once wrote was, “There are few places on the web where you can place an ad and
have it pay for itself in the first day. Search Engine Guide is one of those places.”
The first two days of me running an ad on that site, I sold over $600 worth of e-
books from his ad.
Many of the people on the web who are considered “marketing experts” are selling
get-rich-quick scams. Most Internet marketers selling Internet marketing products
only make money off selling the idea to someone else who will probably lose
money on the deal.
These people usually have crafted the art of writing testimonials because their
livelihood is completely dependent upon selling the products to members of their
newsletters. If you glance through that 33 Days to Online Profits, I would
recommend buying most of the stuff they are selling, but you can learn a bunch
from reading how Yanik Silver recommends other products.
Building Links to Pages that Link to You
If I tried to add my site to the SEO page at Wikipedia, it would just get removed
and labeled as an attempt to spam. Yet, I still can benefit from the existence of the
Wikipedia by adding links to pages that link to me, as long as those links are useful
to the Wikipedia.
You also can add links fairly easily to the Wikipedia talk pages or your personal
I think the Wikipedia is amazing and do not encourage spamming it, but if you
have something that should be linked to from there, then make sure it is. If
someone else linked to you and that page is relevant to Wikipedia, make sure the
Wikipedia links to that page. For example, Alexa linked to my site when I posted
about Accoona spamming SEO forums. I referenced that Alexa page in the
Wikipedia because that page was relevant to coverage of Accoona.
Again, I want to stress that I think the Wikipedia is an amazing site and that I do
not encourage spamming it, but the same indirect link building idea can work with
other sites in similar ways as well.
Building Links to the Most Relevant Page
When you ask for links, it makes sense to point links at the most relevant page.
Pointing links at the most relevant page means the following things:
People will be more likely to link to the targeted related page.
People will be more likely to click relevant links.
People who click the links will be more likely to convert.
Search engines will rank the right page for relevant queries.
Algorithms that are good at determining relevancy will boost relevant
In the same vein, if you have a large site and want to build a natural looking link
profile, you need to create useful and well-marketed content in deep verticals.
Don’t just point all the links at your home page.
“But My Site is a Boring Retail Site Nobody Will Link To...”
If you view yourself as a commodity, so will other people. No matter what field
you are in, there are some causes and people who care deeply about what you do or
a field that relates to you.
Become a subject matter expert on an important issue and leverage that authority
to make your site more powerful than competing sites. If many legitimate sites link
to one authoritative document on your site, much of that trust flows through to the
rest of your site.
Other Free Linking Resources
Outsourcing Linking Programs
Frequently, many people find link building frustrating. You may want to outsource
some of your link building to a link building firm.
If you do outsource portions of the work, make sure you still do some link building
yourself. Link building is so important that it is not something I would feel entirely
comfortable entirely outsourcing. Link building is associated with brand building.
If you care about your brand and understanding how you should integrate your site
into the web you need to be involved in the link building process.
Note: This is an advanced SEO technique most webmasters do not need to do. I would learn and
practice SEO for at least a few months before I jumped right into any type of link rental
Make Sure Your Site Works Well First
Many people aggressively advertise on other sites without fixing internal
conversion problems. If you can double your conversion rate without much
additional expense, it does not make sense to concentrate on more exposure first.
With that said, you can boost your link popularity by renting a few strong inbound
links. I usually prefer to rent links from related sites as they may also send direct
traffic as well as provide a direct boost to link popularity.
Register with Directories First
Many sites rush off to rent links before they have built other links and before it
would be profitable to do so.
By getting a few links from related resources and registering your sites at quality
directories, it makes your link popularity look like a natural part of the web. If you
only have one or two sources of links, the linkage pattern may seem unnatural to
search engine algorithms.
Renting links is extremely expensive if you do it incorrectly. Registering your sites
with the Yahoo! Directory, Business.com, and a half dozen or so second tier
directories costs under $1,000. And many of those links will last years without
When links develop naturally, it is likely that a site has many low-power links
pointing into it as compared to number of high-power links. You usually want to
build a broad base of trusted low-power inbound links in conjunction with building
any exceptionally powerful inbound links.
If you are reliant on just a few powerful links, if something happens to those links,
you could be in the hurt locker. If you have a many low-power inbound links, then
your rankings will be more stable if you lose a few links or when large algorithm
When renting links, ensure that the rental looks natural. Mix your anchor text and
do not rent links based exclusively on PageRank.
I prefer to rent static text links versus renting image links. Sometimes certain sites
sell banner space cheap. If you do use an image banner, use descriptive ALT text
on it so search engines will have an idea what the link is about.
If it is a useful, on-topic site, I first look to see if I can get any free themed links
from that site. Look around and see if there is an area where they link to sites
similar to yours, and think about what you can do to get them to reference your
site. Many sites accept articles or have tools and resources sections.
Jim Boykin offers the following image and advice on looking for linking locations:
You’re the bottom circle (the target). The circles in the
middle represent the site you’re seeking advertising on. The
circles on the top are the sites that link to the site you’re
seeking advertising from.
The page on the far right has no outside link linking to it. It’s
only “votes” are what the internal sites passes. (lower
reputation and trust).
The first subpage you’ll see has lots of votes to it (links). The
Glossary page I found had 740 backlinks including 44
.edu’s….Having an ad on a page like that (in the middle of
the glossary, for relevant products services, yada yada,) would
mean that the 44 colleges are directly linking to a sub page -
they are directly voting for that page…the trust and
reputation are through the roof….getting an ad on a page like
that gives the trust and reputation a straight line to your
If you want a link to pass authority to boost your search engine rankings, get links
from within the content area of pages that are voted for by many legitimate
resources. It is also best if these pages are virgin in nature, meaning
No other SEOs are renting links from the page yet.
Many of the inbound links are from legitimate governmental,
educational, or news organizations who do not typically consider SEO
The webmaster has not yet heard of what SEO is and thinks they are
just selling you ad space.
How do you find the most authoritative pages on a site? If you do a site: search on
Yahoo!, typically the results are returned in order of importance. Look at the top
few pages from the site to see if they look like they would be important pages and
why they would be important. Then check their link authority either using the
Yahoo! Site Explorer, the Yahoo! ‘link:’ function, or another backlink analysis tool
like SEO for Firefox.
Single Links versus Run-of-Site Links
If you discovered a virgin area of the web and want to keep your link buy under the
radar, it is probably best to find the single most important page from which to get a
link, instead of placing a site-wide link.
If you buy links, you need to consider the direct advertising effect and the indirect
search relevancy effect. Some sites will rent you a single link for $75 or let you
have a link on every page of their site for $100. Frequently, the prices for single
links and site-wide links are exceptionally close to one another. Most of the link
renting I have done has been done more for direct traffic, and thus I usually did
site-wide sponsorship from relevant sites.
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