Creative Link Building

September 23rd, 2007

People often ask about link building and the best strategies to take towards it. My answer to everyone is always to be creative. I thought maybe I could elaborate on that very broad answer. There are so many methods you can use to build links, but I would say it is the toughest part of establishing a presence in search engines.

I am going to run through a couple of things I like to do. I can’t cover them all, but I will try to cover some proven ideas and give a description of how they can be useful. If you have an advertising service to offer don’t be afraid to contact us. I am always interested in new opportunities.

The main focus of this article is creativity.

Rewriting Popular Blogs or Forum Post

Take a popular blog / forum post and rewrite it with your own spin on things. A lot of times you can generate traffic from other people’s news and announcements by using this simple tactic. It is a good idea to post a comment on their post or email them to let them know you blogged their topics. In most cases they will refer to you in an update or future topic.

Note: Emailing the author usually yields a more prompt response.

You can use any social book marking site to find out what is hot. Remember the topic does not have to be new. It just has to be popular. With older topics it is a good idea to try to dig up some recent updates or new information.

Paid Blog Reviews/Post

One of the fastest growing link building techniques on the web today is paid blog reviews. My only advice on this form of link building is to find a blog related to your niche. Unrelated blogs tend not to yield a very high ROI (Return on Investment). Always remember any type of advertising should return traffic and link juice. Not just one or the other.

Directory Submissions

One of the oldest forms of effective link building is listing your site in directories. What is most important about directory listings is they create one way links back to your site. A lot of directories allow deep links, which is my favorite type. Deep Links allow you to build links back to your site’s sub-pages. Basically, it all comes down to the quality of the directory. I personally like to judge quality by examining the overall inbound links using Yahoo’s Site Explorer and the Page Rank of the sub-categories. If a directory can provide some Page Rank to their sub-categories then in my opinion its worth paying for a listing in most cases.

Note: Dargre at Link Forever recently published his list of the Top 50 Directories, and it is not a bad rule of thumb to go by to find some of the well promoted directories. You can also find a categorized list of over 5300 directories at Directory Critic.

Your Forum Signature

Many times a forum will allow you to advertise your sites in your signature. I have had a few links from a popular forum that produced traffic and link juice. After a couple of months one even turned into a very positive page rank 6 back link. So getting involved in some good online discussions never hurts. Don’t be a stupid spammer. Not only will you lose trust/rep on that forum which might cause you to get banned. Intelligent helpful post will usually spark interest in whatever you are involved in.

Other User’s Signatures

Yep, find an active member on a forum and ask if they would like to get involved in your link building campaign. You might want to toss him/her a few bucks each month/year to advertise your site. Five users involved in this racket can really pay off. Since there is no way to determine the ROI (Return on Investment) it is not always a good idea to invest a lot of money in this tactic. It is a hit and miss game.

Note: Publicity is usually publicity, plain and simple. However if a user really kicks up a fuss on that board it could tarnish your good reputation with other users by association. So don’t just pick any posters from a board.

Link Exchanges

Link Exchanges are when two sites come to an agreement to trade links. It is an old tactic which is thought to be dying way to build links. If you can be creative it also can very beneficial.

Note: Page to page link exchanges tend to cancel each other out all together as far as Google is concerned. The best link exchange is either both site wide or even better is for you both to find a similar ranked page. I will give you an example.

Link Page (1): http://www.lobolinks.com (page rank 6)

Outbound Link To (1): http://www.alivedirectory.com

Link Page (2): http://www.alivedirectory.com/blog/ (page rank 6)

Outbound Link To (2): http://www.lobolinks.com

Notice that both pages have the same page rank and it is not likely that they will cancel each other out. Such creative linking will give both partners the maximum benefit. However, site wide is the most popular and usually is more effective for one of the partners depending on who has more high ranking indexed pages.

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