Links still matter for SEO. Not low-quality links, not reciprocal links, not the kind of links you can buy in bulk for cheap from some sketchy source in the third world, but real, valid, quality links.
So—how do you build those high-quality links? What types of links should you be seeking exactly? What are the best link-building strategies in a post-Panda world? What “red flag” linking practices and other common linking mistakes you should avoid? How can you leverage business relationships and giveaways to quickly build quality backlinks?
Discover the answers to those questions and more here in 18 of the best SEO link building guides of the past year.
Finding Potential Link Partners by Search Engine Watch
Jennifer Van Iderstyne details three advanced techniques for finding link partners, like OPL (other people’s links): “One of the best and most productive ways to find new links is to mine other people’s. There’s nothing inspired about digging through your competitors backlinks to see which ones you can pillage; most link campaigns involve using that kind of intel. But competitors aren’t the only group whose backlinks hold possibilities…it’s always worth looking at the backlinks of any website, or single page, that is relevant to your topic. There are multitudes of question-and-answer or informational sites online with backlinks that could prove viable.”
Ten SEO Link Building Strategies by AboutCrawler.com
A helpful collection of link-building tips primarily for newbies, such as syndicating articles online, submitting your blog to blog directories and syndication sites, and posting comments on relevant industry blogs.
6 Types of Backlinks to Get For Your Website by Quick Online Tips
Lee Dobbins outlines six types or sources of backlinks to pursue, culminating with guest blogging, which “will give you the highest quality backlinks and it’s all because of two words ‘editorial discretion’…in order to get a post published on a blog in your industry, a human has to approve it. The search engines know this so naturally that link is more valuable than one from an article directory or rss feed that you can easily get on your own.”
Smart Linkbuilding Queries For Any Industry by SEER Interactive
Adam Melson identifies eight types of search queries that are useful for finding potential link partners, such as “free business profile” followed by a specific keyword or phrase: “While profile linking across hundreds of sites can be spammy, finding business profiles that are related to your business, getting the profile link, and participating on those sites could be huge.”
The Panda Reaps – Is Article Marketing Still Viable? by WebProNews
Noting that “Article Marketing was a reliable way to build quality links and drive significant traffic to web properties. It was a perfect way to augment most any SEO campaign, that is until the Google Farmer/Panda update,” Dan DeRoeck delves into how the landscape has changed for this tactic and provides ten tips to pursue this strategy successfully in the post-Panda world.
8 Tactics to Try as Google Tinkers with its Ranking Algorithm by MarketingVOX
Craig Macdonald offers eight suggestions for coping with Google’s recent Farmer/Panda algorithm changes, among them: “Integrate links across the value chain. The brand advertisers tend to have highly regarded sites, Covario says. Build out key connectivity to the product suppliers and downstream partners within the advertiser ecosystem.”
Do You Practice Safe Link Building? by Performics
Reporting that “The first quarter of 2011 provided some of the most dramatic news in recent search engine marketing memory. Major retailers and publishers were punished, particularly by Google, for a variety of link building and content-related guideline violations,” Jonah A. Berger and Jason Walker take a close look and discover that a significant percentage of major retailers are violating more than one of five “red flag” SEO practices that are best avoided.
10 Ethical Ways to Buy Links by Kaiserthesage
Jason Acidre details 10 “ethical” methods of paying for links, though a few of his recommendations such as sponsored reviews stretch the definition of that term. Still, it’s a helpful list and it attracted a sizable number of comments, some from names you’ll probably recognize in the SEO world.
Actionable Link Building Strategies by The Daily SEO Blog
Paddy Moogan outlines four promising link-building strategies for those with the time/budget to pursue them, some of which involve the use of SEO tools like Screaming Frog. His final tip is write weekly or monthly roundups of industry news, about which he writes “This is a very simple one and can be very effective as a consistent way of getting good quality links as well as social shares.” It occasionally even works for annual “best of” roundups as well.
25 Ways to Get Another Site to Link to Yours by WebProNews
Ken McGaffin and Susan Payton serve up a big list of more than two dozen useful link-building tactics, among them joining a trade association, agreeing to be the subject of a vendor case study, becoming a resource for journalists, giving an expert interview, and posting videos on YouTube.
The Five Linking Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making by The Daily SEO Blog
Josh Gill presents five common mistakes to avoid when building links, such as judging a site’s authority by PageRank alone (“Don’t completely ignore pagerank but be aware of its limitations and use additional factors to measure a sites authority…look at how humans view a site, start by looking over the comments, user ratings or anything else that will tell you how internet users judge the site”) and analyzing backlinks for your real-world competitors rather than the sites that actually rank highly for your target keywords (they are often different).
3 link building tactics you shouldn’t rely on by iMedia Connection
Trung Ngo advises link builders to avoid these three tactics that “are short-sighted and potentially a huge waste of time”—profiles on social media sites where you never plan to actively participate, submitting to every directory that’s marginally related to your industry and network article syndication.
10 Tips on How to Improve Your Link Building by Thewebcitizen
Alex Petrovic offers ten tips for better link building, from planning first (“Do thorough research, check out your prospective link partners, and even see where your competition is getting links) to guest blogging, giveaways, videos, and charity sponsorships.
99 Ways to Build Links by Giving Stuff Away (and Improve Your Brand Too) by The Daily SEO Blog
Mike Essex provides 99 quick tips “to gain links by giving stuff away,” among them: let people/bloggers test your product for free before release, build a free website plugin or widget, offer a free app that complements your brand, offer a free trial, and—wow, here’s a potentially dangerous idea: “Ask people to sing a song about your product—Offer a prize to the most viewed video and host them on your website. People will then link to their video to get it more views, and you get extra traffic and links.”
13 SEO Link Building Secrets You Must Know by Kuno Creative
Chad Pollitt shares an online presentation that details 13 link-building techniques; most aren’t really “secret” but they are for the most part practical and do-able, ranging from writing guest blog posts and distributing search-optimized news releases to contributing to online forums and getting listed in relevant national directories.
12 ways to speed up your Link Building by SEO Takeaways
Himanshu Sharma outlines a dozen link-building tactics along with the estimated required time to execute each, for example: “Leverage business relationships of your client. Get contact details of all the vendors, suppliers and dealers with whom your client does business. These are the first people you should outreach for links…Estimated time: 2-5 days.”
How to Create and Promote a Link-Worthy Resource List by The YouMoz Blog
Tom Demers walks through the benefits of resource lists (e.g., “They’re Useful—There is so much ‘noisy’ content being produced on the Web that even Google is struggling to come up with algorithmic solutions for finding high quality answers from highly reputable sources. Human curation, as a result, is ‘making a comeback’ as people seek out trusted information from quality sources”), how to create one, and how to make the most out of the resource list once it’s been developed.
Pinterest: Link Building & SEO Strategies by Search Engine Journal
Starting out by by noting that “I’ve seen more SEO interest in Pinterest in the last month than the rest of the image bookmarking site’s life. One day, I saw multiple veteran SEOs ask for an invite and I’m pretty sure they’re not going for cute animal pictures and interior decorating ideas,” Scott Cowley explains how Pinterest links work, what kinds of companies are best positioned to take advantage of the site, how to ask another user to change a Pinterest link (if they are using one of your images but not linking to you) and thoughts on reaching “visual influencers.”