10 .htaccess File Snippets You Should Have Handy – from seomoz

In the Moz Q&A, there are often questions that are directly asked about, or answered with, a reference to the all-powerful .htaccess file. I’ve put together a few useful .htaccess snippets which are often helpful. For those who aren’t aware, the .htaccess file is a type of config file for the Apache server, which allows you to manipulate and redirect URLs amongst other things.

Everyone will be familiar with tip number four, which is the classic 301 redirect that SEOs have come to know and love. However, the other tips in this list are less common, but are quite useful to know when you need them. After you’ve read this post, bookmark it, and hopefully it will save you some time in the future.

1) Make URLs SEO-friendly and future-proof

Back when I was more of a developer than an SEO, I built an e-commerce site selling vacations, with a product URL structure:

/vacations.php?country=italy

A nicer URL would probably be:

/vacations/italy/

The second version will allow me to move away from PHP later, it is probably better for SEO, and allows me to even put further sub-folders later if I want. However, it isn’t realistic to create a new folder for every product or category. Besides, it all lives in a database normally.

Apache identifies files and how to handle them by their extensions, which we can override on a file by file basis:

<Files magic>
ForceType application/x-httpd-php5
</Files>

This will allow the ‘magic’ file, which is a PHP file without an extension, to then look like a folder and handle the ‘inner’ folders as parameters. You can test it out here (try changing the folder names inside the magic ‘folder’):

http://www.tomanthony.co.uk/httest/magic/foo/bar/donk

2) Apply rel=”canonical” to PDFs and images

The SEO community has adopted rel=”canonical” quickly, and it is usually kicked around in discussions about IA and canonicalization issues, where before we only had redirects and blocking to solve a problem. It is a handy little tag that goes in the head section of an HTML page.

However, many people still don’t know that you can apply rel=”canonical” in an alternative way, using HTTP, for cases where there is no HTML to insert a tag into. An often cited example that can be used for applying rel=”canonical” to PDFs is to point to an HTML version or to the download page for a PDF document.

An alternative use would be for applying rel=”canonical” to image files. This suggestion came from a client of mine recently, and is something a couple of us had kicked about once before in the Distilled office. My first reaction to the client was that this practice sounded a little bit ‘dodgy,’ but the more I think about it, the more it seems reasonable.

They had a product range that attracts people to link to their images, but that isn’t very helpful to them in terms of SEO (any traffic coming from image search is unlikely to convert), but rel=”canonical” those links to images to the product page, and suddenly they are helpful links, and the rel=”canonical” seems pretty reasonable.

Here is an example of applying HTTP rel=”canonical” to a PDF and a JPG file:

<Files download.pdf>
Header add Link ‘<http://www.tomanthony.co.uk/httest/pdf-download.html>; rel=”canonical”‘
</Files>
<Files product.jpg>
Header add Link ‘<http://www.tomanthony.co.uk/httest/product-page.html>; rel=”canonical”‘
</Files>

We could also use some variables magic (you didn’t know .htaccess could do variables!?) to apply this to all PDFs in a folder, linking back the HTML page with the same name (be careful with this if you are unsure):

RewriteRule ([^/]+)\.pdf$ – [E=FILENAME:$1]
<FilesMatch “\.pdf$”>
Header add Link ‘<http://www.tomanthony.co.uk/httest/%{FILENAME}e.html>; rel=”canonical”‘
</FilesMatch>

You can read more about it here:

http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=139394

3) Robots directives

You can’t instruct all search engines not to index a page, unless you allow them to access the page. If you block a page with robots.txt, then Google might still index it if it has a lot of links pointing to it. You need to put the noindex Meta Robots tag on every page you want to issue that instruction on. If you aren’t using a CMS or are using one that is limited in its ease, this could be a lot of work. .htaccess to the rescue!

You can apply directives to all files in a directory by creating an .htaccess file in that directory and adding this command:

Header set X-Robots-Tag “noindex, noarchive, nosnippet”

If you want to read a bit more about this, I suggest this excellent post from Yoast:

http://yoast.com/x-robots-tag-play/

4) Various types of redirect

The common SEO redirect is ensuring that a canonical domain is used, normally www vs. non-www. There are also a couple of other redirects you might find useful. I have kept them simple here, but often times you will want to combine these to ensure you avoid chaining redirects:

# Ensure www on all URLs.
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1 [L,R=301]
# Ensure we are using HTTPS version of the site.
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !on
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
# Ensure all URLs have a trailing slash.
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(.*)/$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1/ [L,R=301]

5) Custom 404 error page

None of your visitors should be seeing a white error page with black techno-babble when they end up on at a broken URL. You should always be serving a nice 404 page which also gives the visitor links to get back on track.

You can also end up getting lots of links and traffic if you but your time and effort into a cool 404 page, like Distilled’s:

This is very easy to setup with .htaccess:

ErrorDocument 404 /cool404.html
# Can also do the same for other errors…
ErrorDocument 500 /cool500.html

6) Send the Vary header to help crawl mobile content

If you are serving a mobile site on the same URLs as your main site, but rather than using responsive design you are altering the HTML, then you should be using the ‘Vary’ header to let Google know that the HTML changes for mobile users. This helps them to crawl and index your pages more appropriately:

https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/details

Again, this is pretty simple to achieve with your .htaccess file, independent of your CMS or however your are implementing the HTML variations:

Header append Vary User-Agent

7) Improve caching for better site speed

There is an increasing focus on site speed, both from SEOs (because Google cares) and also from developers who know that more and more visitors are coming to sites over mobile connections.

You should be careful with this tip to ensure there aren’t already caching systems in place, and that you choose appropriate caching length. However, if you want a quick and easy solution to set the number of seconds, you can use the below. Here I set static files to cache for 24 hours:

<FilesMatch “.(flv|gif|jpg|jpeg|png|ico|swf|js|css|pdf)$”>
Header set Cache-Control “max-age=28800″
</FilesMatch>

8) An Apple-style ‘Back Soon’ maintenance page

Apple famously shows a ‘Back Soon’ note when they take their store down temporarily during product announcements, before it comes back with shiny new products to love or hate. When you are making significant changes to redirect users to such a page, a message such as this can be quite useful. However, it can also make it tough to check the changes you’ve made.

With this bit of .htaccess goodness, you can redirect people based on their IP address, so you can redirect everyone but your IP address and 127.0.0.1 (this is a special ‘home’ IP address):

RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR}  !your_ip_address
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR}  !127.0.0.1
RewriteRule !offline.php$ http://www.example.com/back_soon.html [L,R=307]

9) Smarten up your URLs even when your CMS says “No!”

One of the biggest complaints I hear amongst SEOs is about how much this or that CMS “sucks.” It can be intensely frustrating for an SEO when they are hampered by the restraints of a certain CMS, and one of those constraints is often that you are stuck with appaling URLs.

You can overcome this, turning product.php?id=3123 into /ray-guns/ in no time at all:

# Rewrite a specific product…
RewriteRule ray-guns/ product.php?id=3123
# … or groups of them
RewriteRule product/([0-9]+)/ product.php?id=$1

This won’t prevent people from visiting the crappy versions of the URLs, but combined with other redirects (based on IP) or with judicious use of rel=”canonical,” you improve the situation tremendously. Don’t forget to update your internal links to the new ones. :)

10)  Recruit via your HTTP headers

Ever looked closely at SEOmoz’s HTTP headers? You might have missed the opportunity to get a job…

If you would like to add a custom header to your site, you can make up whatever headers and values you’d like:

Header set Hiring-Now “Looking for a job? Email us!”

It can be fun to leave messages for people poking around – I’ll leave it to your imaginations! :)

Download the rules

You can grab all of these rules in quick-form from a compilation I made.

Viewing headers

If you are unsure about how to look at HTTP response headers, here’s a great tool to get you started.

If you would rather do it in your browser, follow these steps:

  • Chrome on Windows: Ctrl-Shift-I and click ‘Network’ (then reload the page)
  • Chrome on Mac: Command-Option-I and click ‘Network’ (then reload the page)
  • Firefox: Install Live HTTP Headers

Share yours!

Anything I missed, mistakes I made, or better ways to do something? Any cool ones you have up your sleeves? I’d love people to add their tips to the comments so I can come back to this post next time I get stuck. I’ll try to update my download file with any cool ones the community comes up with.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to test anything you change! :)

From http://www.seomoz.org/blog/htaccess-file-snippets-for-seos

 

 

Ultimate list of Google Authorship resources

Big changes have come to Google search results since the big G started its quest to connect authors of blog articles to signals of relevance and authority.

Google has claimed patents surrounding the application of “Author Rank” to their results, and in 2011 they released a specific tag rel=author to confirm authorship.

Today you can see the impact on results pages in the form of author photos, their +1 count, and a link to additional articles by that author in SERPs. Author Rank has the potential to become a ranking factor as powerful as Page Rank.

To help guide you through the implementation and ideas surrounding this topic, we present Raven’s Ultimate list of Google Authorship resources.  We’ll hear from Googlers themselves, highlight information and tools surrounding Authorship and discuss Authorship’s impact as well as some tactics to track its impact on your analytics. Sprinkled throughout you’ll also see some helpful quick tips we learned while implementing authorship on Raven’s own new site.

Google’s information on Authorship

Since this change is coming from Google, here are the most relevant resources released from Google itself on how to implement Authorship. There are several ways, all centering on a Google Plus profile.

Matt CuttsGoogle’s Matt Cutts and Othar Hansson discuss the benefits of Google Authorship and how it may be a future signal for credibility in ranking results. In the interim, this markup will add the author’s picture to verified articles as well as other articles by that author.

Use Google’s Rich Snippet Verification tool to check if you’ve implemented rel=author correctly

Othar HannsonOthar Hansson of the search quality group and Matt Cutts discuss using authorship as a URL parameter for those site owners who may not be able to access their HTML by adding rel=author to a hyperlink to your Google+ profile to verify authorship.

Useful guides for Authorship implementation

Here are some of the best articles that cover the process of adding correctly verifying your authorship.


The Definitive Guide to Google Authorship Markup
Rick DeJarnette“What you need to know is that Google needs to complete a circuit of verified trust between it and an author’s published content. For you to participate in this program, you need to have two things:

  1. A verified digital identify owned by Google that links to your published content (a Google+ profile)
  2. Your published content needs to reference you as the author and link back to the verified digital identity”

Quick Tip: Don’t forget to have any guest post authors add your site to the “Contributor to:” section of their Google+ profile to verify their authorship! Here’s a quick How to: from Steven Shattuck.


Author Rank, SEO and Google Plus: What you need to know
Dave Ashworth“Author Rank is also relatively new, which means the proactive amongst us have a great opportunity while the SERPs aren’t yet saturated with author profiles yet. Additionally, it’s highly likely your competitors haven’t looked into Author markup yet.”

Quick Tip: If you’re not active on Google+ you can still verify Authorship using your Google Profile.


How to Implement Rel=Author
AJ KohnFor the perspective of a blogger who’s been following Authorship since its release, add AJ Kohn to your circles. His guide has been updated as techniques have changed and new tools have come about, so it provides a unique perspective on Google’s adjustments.

Quick Tip: You can verify your Authorship by email, but only if you have an email at the domain in question.


Push Rel=”Author” through your head

Joost De ValkIf you’re using WordPress for your website CMS, you have built-in advantages and disadvantages. Yoast provides another way for you to verify your authorship by adding the markup to the header section of your site.

 Quick Tip: Authorship verification is sensitive to www. and non www. in your ?rel=me link verification.


Author Markup, Schema.org and Patents, Oh My!

Bill SlawskiUnderstanding the patents Google has submitted on Authorship can offer insights into Google’s intention for the future of search. Well known for his analysis into patents, Bill Slawski gives a good breakdown of Google’s author rank patents in this post.

“…if the signer has a large reputational score due to the agent having an established reputation for provided accurate reviews, the rank of the referenced content can be raised accordingly.” – Google Agent Rank Patent Filing


Rel=’Publisher’ for Brand-Savvy Marketers

Ben Holbrook

We’ve talked a lot about using the Rel=author tag properly, but that wasn’t the only new tag that Google released. The less deployed Rel=publisher tag may eventually help balace out some of the complaints that brands have about how Rel=Author works.  This article by Ben Holbrook gives you the step by step of how to deploy this tag correctly alongside the Rel=Author tag.


WordPress Authorship Plugins

Benefits and concerns

Google Confirms Hidden Benefit Of Authorship: Bonus Links After A Back-Button Click
Matt Mcgee Authorship can mean more than just your photo and information displayed. Matt McGee breaks the confirmed news that staying more than 2 minutes on a author-verified page before returning to the SERP will trigger additional “bonus links” from that author to be displayed.


Max Minzer This Hangout discusses how corporate identities and brands need to react to this shift to individual authorship and create contingency plans to handle the emphasis on individuals vs. brands as the publishers of content.

“Social is a good way to create a reputation for authors. If the reputation of content authors is transparent, it will make the whole web better.” – Matt Cutts


Authorship: Messing Up Your Rankings

Dan PetrovicThis post explores some of the ways ranking data provided by Google Webmaster Tools may be skewed by authorship. Hat tip to +Mark Traphagen who shared this article and was also part of Dan’s recent video discussion panel on Google Authorship.

When you’re using WordPress, your pages are marked with an Author. To remove Author from pages, click Screen Options when editing the page, and uncheck Author. Then you can choose “Hide From Search” as the page’s author.


AuthorRank: Google Panda on Steroids?

James ScaggsThe Google Panda update was deployed to decrease the amount of low quality content showing up in search queries. James Scaggs explores the implications of Google Authorship being used as a quality signal to finish where Panda left off.

“If you’re not going to write great content, don’t bother to write at all. If you are going to write, get your content cited by trusted people.” Jim Boykin, Pubcon 2012


What is the Difference Between Google Authorship and Author Rank
Mark Traphagen Mark Traphagen has been an active voice working to keep up on the changes that Authorship has brought to SERPs and to how people use Google Plus. Here’s an article where he delves into how it is important to understand the difference between the concept of Google Authorship and it’s related markup and the idea of Author Rank.


Google Authorship: An Interview with Google’s Sagar Kamdar
Grant Crowell It’s great to get an inside commentary on big change that come out from Google because you can better understand the intent of their efforts. This Q & A with Sagar Kamdar provides some tantalizing insights into how Google may use this authorship data in the future.

“We use over 200 signals to determine search ranking, and although authorship is not currently one of those signals, we hope to experiment with using information about authorship as a signal in ranking in the future.”

– Sagar Kamdar, Google Director of Product for Search


Google Authorship Profile: No Verification Needed?
Bas van den Bald
Correctly attributing authorship of specific blog posts to authors is not an easy task, but in this post Bas Van Den Beld points out some examples where Authorship is being displayed even when the steps listed to verify authorship have not been followed.

Quick Tip: You can see Authorship Statistics in your Webmaster tools profile under the Labs section. Matthew Marley also has spotted authorship stats being rolled out directly to G+ profiles, but this seemingly hasn’t been released to all users quite yet.


How to Prepare for AuthorRank and Get the Jump on Google

Mike Arnesan

The driving force behind Google Authorship comes from Google’s desire to get a clear signal about author authority to weed out spam. This article suggested by Max Minzer explores the history of Author Rank and some of the related elements you can work on to improve your authority as perceived by Google.

Update 11/14/12 You should also check out Mike’s Slideshare deck on Google Authorship.


Do you have additional suggestions for resources that are missing from our list? Please let me know @RavenJeremy.

Ultimate list of Ultimate lists

 

http://raventools.com/blog/ultimate-list-of-relauthor-resources/

52 Posts on Link Building Strategies

My blog has been recognized as one of the top link building blogs out there, so I’ve decided to create this page to make it easier for people visiting my blog see some of my older posts on link building/development.

The links below are several of the posts that I’ve made these past 2 years, here on my blog and on other blogs where I’ve submitted a guest post to. I plan to regularly update this page with more of my future posts about link building – and in any case you’ve found this page useful, please feel free to share it or bookmark it.

With no further ado, my views, principles and strategies on building great links on the web:

My guest posts on topic about link building:

From: http://kaiserthesage.com/link-building-strategies/

35 Local Link Opportunities You Missed

With local results a solid part of most regular SERPs, it’s necessary for most businesses to continue to build more local link opportunities. Below are 35 you can go after, many through connections you’ve already made.

1. Sponsor a local animal shelter. Many of these are very city themed and link out to donors (I’ve seen as low as $10).

2. Sponsor a local meetup group.

A site:meetup.com plus city should let you see the most valuable pages Google has indexed that relate to that city. Most have a link to click to provide them with an offer. Paid links shmaid links, whatever, if you offer them your office space for their meetings, I don’t see a problem with them putting your link under sponsors to identify that meetings are held at your business.

3. Have anyone in the company running a marathon or race that is city specific and they have a “help me raise money” page? If the fundraising domain has the city name in it and the page is able to have links, why not drop one in? But then there’s the whole racing thing…..good luck with that.

4. Go speak at a local college.

Whether it’s an intro to marketing course or a senior leadership class, a night class speaking engagement that takes 30 minutes give you some goodwill from the college community, gets your name out there, and most likely a link from either the course syllabus, teacher’s page, school events page, etc. All of which are probably city or state themed.

5. Is your business in a corporate park, strip mall, actual mall? Many of these places have websites that could link out to your business like www.kingofprussiamall.com linking out to Gertrude Hawk Chocolates.

6. Your local community development center probably has a business directory. It’s very likely to have the name of the city or community in the title. It’s extremely likely it’ll link out to you, like FairmountCDC.org links out to Ali’s Wagon.

7. There are plenty of local forums with city name in title where you can post legit dofollow forum signature links. Is there value? Minimal. Are you getting a free city themed link from a site like http://www.philadelphiaspeaks.com/forum/south-philadelphia/17387-i-95-history-lession.html while you’re able to talk about the history of i-95? You betcha.

8. Have you purchased anything from a local artist for the business? If so, take a picture of it, shoot it over and see if they’ll link to you. Artists enjoy seeing their work hanging up. You’ll probably get a link, and if not, ask for one.

 

From here down, it’s all about who you’ve worked with and what has physically been done to your business. The main idea here is testimonials.

 

9. Have you recently had your business remodeled? What company did you use and if you provide a glowing testimonial, will they link back to you from their site? They should.

10. Did you hire a local SEO firm? Ask for that link under clients or ask if you can provide a testimonial in exchange for a link.

11. Do you use a local janitorial service for the office? Do they have a site and can you provide that testimonial for a link?

12. Had an event catered recently? Find their site, be willing to say nice things for a link.

13. Have you rented a limo or party bus? Site, request link in exchange for testimonial.

14. Hired a junk removal service? Get the link.

15. Hired a local photographer, graffiti artist? Find site, request.

16. Used a real estate agency to buy or find a rental? Use a title company? Find site, request.

17. Have donuts, bagels, or coffee delivered? Find site, testimonial for a link.

18. Have water or groceries delivered to your business? Find site, testimonial for a link.

19. Had a plumber, electrician, painting or window installation company service your business? Find sites, testimonial for a link.

20. Book a trip through a local travel agency? Get the link.

21. Leased computer, construction, furniture, or any other equipment? Get the link with a testimonial.

22. Hired a local copywriter? Provide a testimonial, or if you’re a big company, just ask them to put you in a Clients tab linked up if you’re not already there.

23. Used a moving company? Find, get.

24. Hired a band or motivational speaker, clown? Find site, link.

25. Hired company to help train your employees in advanced excel? Testimonial, link.

26. Had an inspection from an independent inspector (or appraiser)? Find site, link.

27. Rented out a conference room or consistently renting out coworking space? Get the link.

28. Hired a masseuse, chiropractor, therapist, psychologist, grief counselor, or any service specific to employees (even a consultant to fire employees)? Get the link.

29. Had carpets, tile, or general contracting work done? If you like it, provide the testimonial in exchange for a link.

30. Used a local promotional products company? Get the link.

31. Hired a landscaping company to make things pretty outside company headquarters? Testimonial & get the link.

32. Used a local IT company for troubleshooting/outsourcing IT work? Link.

33. Purchased any type of vehicle for the business? Testimonial to the local car dealership & get the link.

34. Had a company happy hour? Get the link

35. Hire a local design firm? Done.

Almost all of the companies you would use to do all of the things above have websites. 99% of them would love a testimonial and all you have to do is ask if they’re ok with you providing a fantastic testimonial if they’ll link to your company.

If you used a real estate agency (1) to find a rental space in a mall (2) you’re going to use a moving company (3), have electrical work fixed to fit your needs (4), paint, (5), fix plumbing (6), rent or buy furniture & office equipment (7), after you demo (8) and get rid of the junk left from construction (9). Then you put down carpet or tile (10) and take a limo (11) to a happy hour at a rented room (12) that is catered (13) to celebrate your new business. You invite your newly hired SEO (14) firm and design agency (15). I’ll stop there.

You’ll find a lot of local opportunities here. If they’re not local for you, they’re still great linking opportunities for things you’ve already paid for, so make the most of them & get the link.

http://www.seerinteractive.com/blog/35-local-link-opportunities-you-missed/

Link building strats

Create a blog

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: Content, design, development, legal
Link Value: High

Creating content on a consistent basis not only builds links internally (by linking out from your posts), but also gives you the ability to naturally attract links to your content.A blog is essential to many strategies I list below, such as linking out. You absolutely need a blog in today’s online environment to survive.

For more information, read these tips & tutorials.

Create an RSS feed

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Design, development
Link Value: High

If your blog is run on any of the popular Content Management Systems, you’ll already have an RSS feed. If you don’t, create one. If you do, burn it at Feedburner.com so you can get statistics on your subscribers.

For link building, it’s simple. There are sites out there that will scrape your content (stealing it without permission). When they do, make sure you get a link back by 1) including links to other pages on your site in your posts and 2) installing the RSS footer plugin for WordPress (adds a link to your blog after every post).

Interlink

Time: 4-8 weeks
Dependencies: Development
Link Value: High

You have pages and posts on your website, so make the most of them. Internal links are HUGE for link building because you can control everything about them, from the location on the page to the anchor text.

This is something that most people overlook, and I advise you to please not! Make sure to steer your content in the direction of other posts or pages so you can link to them.

Also, if you have multiple sites, interlinking is a must (unless they’re completely irrelevant and unrelated).

Resources/Links pages

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, design, development
Link Value: Moderate-High

Other webmasters have created links or resource pages, and these are legitimate opportunities to get links. If the links on that page are relevant, you’ve got a chance.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just asking for a link. I’ll go into specific strategies below that help you get webmasters liking you before you ask, because doing that greatly increases your chances of getting a link.

Profile links

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

If you sign up to become a member for a site, you’ll get a link in your profile. Well, not every site. Some sites will allow quality links in your profile, while others won’t. Some are in the middle, such as Twitter, which gives nofollow links (links that don’t pass link juice).

Example: CrunchBase. Sign up here.

Ask people you know for a link

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

Whether it’s your friends, relatives, employees, colleagues, business partners, clients, or anyone else, ask them for a link. Someone you know has a website or blog, so take advantage.

Make it easy to link to you

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

If you want people to link to you, make it easy for them.Create HTML ready snippets that people can plug right into their content to link to you, because some linkers in your community might not be too web savvy. I suggest either creating a “Link to Us” page or by using a little javascript to generate the HTML at the end of each article or post.

Note: this might not be the best option based on the community you’re located in. Are you in the cement niche? Then this is perfect. Are you talking about Internet related business? Then this might not be your best bet, because the majority of your audience probably already knows how to link.

Research competitors

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

A large chunk of my time finding links is by looking through my competitor’s link profiles. Essentially, you’re piggy backing off of their success. While some links are unobtainable (i.e. a random mention in a news post), others can be diamonds in the rough (a high quality niche directory).

I suggest using SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer for this. Plugin your competitors and export their backlinks to a CSV. Do this for all of your competitors so you can get all of their links in one place – Excel. Then you can sort them by various link metrics to find the best opportunities.

Link out

Time: 4-8 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

Linking out is huge. Don’t be a link hoard; you’re going to create content, so use it to gain favor with other people.I’ll go more into depth below with specific strategies on linking out.

Get people to see your content

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Social
Link Value: High

People won’t link to your content unless they see it. At the same time, you need the rightpeople in front of your content – not everyone is a potential linker.

This is where social media, content marketing, and brand awareness comes into the link building realm. Getting people to see and know your content & brand is a massively important strategy to build links. Below I’ll go into specific strategies to make this happen.

Build relationships

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Social, customer service
Link Value: High

This is the #1 link building strategy in the world. Get to know people! Build relationships with them, because it’ll come back to you in the form of links (that is if they’re the RIGHT people).

I’ll go more into depth below on different ways to build relationships, but the best part about this is that it’s just like real life. Remember how people say, “it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know”?

Submission-Based

There are many places across the web where you can build links through submissions, whether it’s submitting your site, a piece of content, or anything else.

Article directories

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Low-Moderate

You can submit your articles & blog posts to article syndication sites. Although they don’t pass much value, they’re still worth submitting at least a couple articles to. In return, you’ll get a link or two in your author bio, depending on the site.

Example: Ezinearticles.com. Sign up here.

Web 2.0 submission

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Moderate

Web 2.0 sites are similar to article directories, but instead, you can add images, video, and other interactive features to your content. These usually pass more value than article directories, but it depends on the authority of the site.

Example: Squidoo.com. Sign up here.

Press release submission

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Content, PR
Link Value: Low-Moderate

By submitting a press release to distribution sites or specific syndication sites, you can build links if you add one or two into the body of the release. Some options are paid, while others are free.

Example: PRWeb.com. Sign up here. Packages start at $89.

Infographic submissions

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Design
Link Value: Moderate

If you’ve created an infographic, you can easily submit them to infographic directories or blogs. Paddy Moogan put together this awesome list of 27 of them.

Example: CoolInfographics.com. Suggest one here.

Company directory submissions

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing
Link Value: Moderate-High

Just like general web directories, you can submit your site to general company directories. You really don’t even need an actual company; you only need a website.

Examples: HotFrog, Manta.

Video submissions

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Marketing, video production
Link Value: Moderate

If you have video content, make sure you’re getting links from all that hard work. The best list is here. Just as a heads up, some sites only provide nofollow links, and they’re usually in the description.

If you’re looking to submit videos on a large scale, consider checking out OneLoad. It’s a paid service, but it can save you some serious time.

Example: Vimeo. Sign up here.

Niche specific directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

As opposed to general web directories, niche specific directories only accept sites that meet a certain topic criteria. For example, one directory might only accept sites about arts & crafts. Some of these directories are free, while others are paid.Example: Business.com, a directory for business websites. Submit here. Cost is $299/year.

User rating reviews

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low

Submit user ratings and build links at the same time. Once again, Peter Attia created an awesome list of submission sites for this topic.

Example: Epinions. Sign up here.

Web cam directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low

If you set up a Webcam, you can get a few high quality links, such as the PR7 directory listed below.If you’re wondering where to set it up, don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be Times Square. I’ve seen a few of highway roads set up right outside of their offices (pretty lame, right?). You can do something similar. If you want, set it up some place awesome, because it could attract links on its own.

Example: Earthcam.com. Submit here.

Logo design directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low

Most of you have logos for your website or company, so get a few links in return for them.

Example: TheLogoMix.com. Info to submit here.

Free web directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low

There are hundreds of free web directories to submit your site to. The only qualification you need is to have an active website. Because these links are so easy to get, though, they don’t pass much value. Still, there are a few free general directory links that pass both link juice and trust.

Example: Website Launchpad. Submit here.

Non-English directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low

If you’ve created multiple versions of your site in different languages, you can get links for it. Here’s a great listof German directories.

Example: Hello Dir (Italian). Choose category, then submit.

RSS directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low-Moderate

If you have an RSS feed, you can submit it to RSS directories. There are hundreds. Here’s a fantastic list(scroll down) of RSS directories to start out.Although these links won’t be directly to your content, they’ll pass link juice to your RSS feed which links to any content you linked to in your posts.Example: www.Feedage.com. Submit here (create an account first).

1-800 Directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Have a toll free 1-800 number? Get a few links in return. If you don’t have one, you can get one for $10/month at Grasshopper.

Example: InternetTollFree.com. Info to submit here.

Blog directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

If you have a blog, you can submit it to various blog directories. Like all other directories, some pass value, while others are crap.

Example: AllTop.com. Find a relevant category, then sign up to submit.

Podcast directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

If you have a podcast, you can snag a few free, easy links by submitting to podcast directories.

Example: PodcastDirectory.com. Submit here.

Iphone app directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

If you have an Iphone app, you can get a few easy links. Or, if you want, you can create one to get these links. An easy one to create is an app that just acts as a mobile RSS reader (this app from the SPI blog is a great example of this).

Example: Appolicious. Sign up to submit here.

EBook directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

If you’ve already written a few eBooks, or if you plan to, there are a solid amount of eBook directories you can get links from.

Example: E-BooksDirectory.com. Submit here.

Web app directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

If you have an online tool or application, you can get links for it. If you’re thinking about creating one, know that it can also be used to attract links (link bait). We’ll go more into that below.

Example: Go 2 Web 20. Hit “Suggest an App” to submit.

Widget directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Although the majority of widget directories you come across don’t outright give you a link, you can still do some serious link building with them. If you make sure there’s a link somewhere in your widget, you can get it in front of large audiences with these directories, and in doing so, some will embed them (thus, you earn a few links).

Example: GadgetsDirectory.Blogspot.com. Submit here.

Paid directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Some directories cost money in order to be accepted into their listings. Once again, while some of these can pass legitimate value, others pass little and aren’t worth your time or money.

Example: The Yahoo Directory. Submit here.

Multimedia/Document submissions

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

If you have any PDFs, PowerPoint Presentations, word documents, or any other documents, you can submit them to these sites and get a link in return. You have to put the links in your documents, such as in the first slide of a PowerPoint or in the text of a PDF.

Examples: SlideShare, Scribd, and Issuu.

Note: Although you can get a profile link from each, I’m still not 100% positive Google counts these links. I’m 99% sure Scribd’s links are, but I know these are nofollow. Also, Slideshare’s & Scribd’s profile links are nofollow.

CSS/HTML5 galleries

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

There are loads of CSS galleries you can submit to if you did a great job designing your website or blog. There are also a few HTML5 showcases that you can get links from too.

I suggest forking out $20 to have your site submitted to 100 of them. Don’t worry; it’s quality manual submissions, not software.

Theme/Template directories

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Designing WordPress themes or website templates can be a great way to net a few fantastic links from directories. Also, you can host the download page on your site, and if it’s decent, you’ll get a few links from design blogs.

If it’s a WordPress theme, you can submit to the WordPress.org theme directory, which will get you a couple of high quality nofollow links (not to mention a ton of free exposure).

Example: free-css.com (website templates). Here’s the submission information.

Note: Remember to include credit links in the templates or themes, because sometimes that’s the only way you’ll get a link back (they’ll link to a demo page, not the creator’s site). Popular page locations of links include the footer & the sidebar.

Content-Based

You can use your content to get links. Most of these strategies don’t necessarily attract links (which we go into below), but they can if the content is good enough.

Guest posting

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: High

Bloggers, just like me, sometimes have trouble cranking out content on a regular basis. That’s where you can help. Pitch bloggers to ask if you could guest blog, because if they say yes, you can get a few links from the post, and if the blog is popular, you can drive traffic too.

Here’s a fantastic guide on the entire guest blogging process.

If you want, use sites like Blogger Link Up and My Blog Guest to connect with bloggers who need content. It’s scalable, but the bloggers you get in touch with aren’t usually very authoritative (they’re mostly mid-level bloggers).

Trade articles

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: High

Just like guest posting, you can get links in return for your content, but why not just trade? You both get content on each other’s site, links, and visitors from an entirely different community.

If you or the other has a significantly more popular blog, see if the less significant one can do something extra in return. A good example is buying the other $10-15 worth of StumbleUpon paid traffic.

Educational content

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: High

If you’re trying to get links from colleges, create content targeted at them that you can use during outreach. Trust me, there’s usually something you know that you could write an entire tutorial on that would interest college webmasters.

Pro tip: Seek out pages on .edu websites that feature similar content, then do any of the strategies I list further down on this list that get you on the webmaster’s good side.

Green content

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: High

Just like educational content, create something that targets a specific community. In this case, environmentalists. They’ve got hoards of link juice just waiting to be tapped into.

Simply outreaching to green bloggers and letting them know about your content usually does the trick. If the content is good enough, and if it’s a complete conversation (i.e. a huge infographic on the environmental impact of drift nets), they’ll usually dedicate an entire post to it.

Pro tip: As stated above, an infographic or something similar would work great, because all they have to do is embed it. If there’s any community willing to embed an infographic that’s relevant & worth sharing, it’s the green community.

Images

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Design
Link Value: Moderate

Something so frequently overlooked is the use of images for links. Bloggers just like me struggle to find relevant images to our content, so why not take advantage? When people use your images you’ll get an attribution link in return (that’s if they’re honest).A great idea is to always have a camera with you whenever you’re at an industry event. Imagine if you took 100 pictures at PubCon of all the different speakers and published them on a certain portion of your site.

Pro tip: hotlink your images. Make it easy for publishers to copy & paste HTML code right into their posts. This not only makes it easier to use your images, but it also makes it much more likely you’ll get a link from each.

Free charts/graphs

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Design
Link Value: Moderate-High

If you’ve got a few tidbits of data lying around, make them into charts and graphs. SEOmoz did a fantastic job of this. Just like images, you’ll get attribution links.

Writing testimonials

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, customer service
Link Value: Moderate-High

This one is HUGE. Right now, list any services or products you’ve bought recently. As long as it’s not a product or service from a massive company (i.e. Walmart), there’s a good chance you can get a link in exchange for a testimonial.

For example, this testimonial page has a Page Authority of 82. The best part – it only cost the customers a few sentences about that specific service.

Entering contests & giveaways

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, legal, PR
Link Value: Low

I love online contests, and so should you. They’re not only your chance to win some cash or prizes, but they’re also a chance to net a few high quality links. The most popular contests & giveaways you’ll see are guest blogging contests.

For instance, I not only got a link from this post I entered, but I also won the $1000 grand prize. Not bad, eh?

Here’s a great example of where your great content pays off. I entered an infographic created by Kapil Kale, one of my friends, into a contest on StumbleUpon, and it got a link from their blog! Talk about high quality links!

Get interviewed

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

Just like you should interview others, seize opportunities to be interviewed, no matter how small the audience is. The 5-600 words that take you 15-20 minutes can turn into a few highly authoritative contextual links.

Contribute to crowdsourced posts

Time: 2-6 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Just like with interviews, if someone reaches out to you to participate in a crowdsourced post, make sure you contribute. The questions usually don’t take more than 5-10 minutes of your time, and you’ll get a decent link or two from it.

Link Attraction

Outreach & submissions only go so far. Sometimes you have to let your content attract links naturally to get the results you want.

If you create content that naturally attracts links, it not only saves you time getting them manually, but it also increases engagement on your blog (if it’s worth linking to, it’s usually worth reading). This is where your content & link building strategies meet.

Egobait

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: High

It’s a fact of life: people like to look good. If you’re featured as one of the top bloggers in your niche, you’re probably going to spread the word.

By appealing to the egos of people, companies, and communities, they’ll help spread the word about your content. For example, this post I wrote appealed to some of the authorities in the SEO industry who all helped me spread the word.

Contrary hook

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Moderate-High

If there’s controversy in your industry, or if someone has one particular view on a topic, don’t be afraid to write up a post on the opposing view. If you do it quick enough, and if the majority agree with you, you could attract links from your supporters like there’s no tomorrow.

A great example is what Rand Fishkin said in response to this post, which attracted over 800 links from 140+ root domains.

Live blogging

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: High

If you’re at an industry event, blog about everything that’s taking place. If you’re the only one, you’ll get loads of links. If you’re not, you’ll still get A LOT of attention.

I know it’s Wired, so it’s a little unfair, but hopefully you can learn how it’s done from this example (451 links from 140 root domains in 3 months).

Also, check out this fantastic guide on live blogging.

How to’s and tutorials

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: High

Whether it’s a tool, DIY project, or anything else, showing people exactly how to do something is extremely helpful.

This RSS tutorial attracted 8,000+ links from over 600 root domains.

Glossary of terms

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: High

Newbies in your industry probably don’t know all the jargon you and other bloggers are using. Do them a favor and create a glossary of industry terms and acronyms.

Here’s a fantastic glossary of internet terms that landed 2,600+ links from over 1,200 root domains (imagine if you made an updated version!).

White papers

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Moderate

You might be thinking research & white papers are the same, but they’re not. Someone writing a research paper doesn’t know what the outcome will be; someone writing a white paper has a clear understanding of the objectives and intended results from the beginning.

For example, you could outline an entire sector of an industry from top to bottom.

This one outlined the company and its services and got over 300 links from 100+ root domains. If a boring one like this could get links, imagine what you could do with more exciting content!

Quizzes/Tests

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Moderate-High

Testing your reader’s knowledge and letting them share their results with their friends is always a great idea.

OKCupid does a fantastic job with this. Their 2008 politics test attracted 1,600+ links from over 500 root domains.

Research papers

Time: 4-8 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Moderate-High

Going all out and diving deep into a subject is a great way to establish yourself as an industry leader. It’s also a great way to attract a few links. If you make any major discoveries, you’ll get at least a few citations from scholarly and news websites.

This one, which attracted 7,600+ links from 1,500+ root domains, might look a little familiar.

Timely/Seasonal content

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: High

Creating the right content at the right time can get you a ton of attention. Creating an infographic on the statistics behind this year’s super bowl the day after the event is a perfect example.

The same goes for seasonal content. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or Halloween, you can create holiday themed content that can get a ton of attention over a short period of time (and every year after). Although yet another infographic, this is a great example.

Case studies

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Moderate-High

Everyone loves a good case study. Real results with real numbers can instantly catch people’s attention. If you offer a product or service, this is a no-brainer. If you give out advice, find someone who’s used it successfully.

Although this particular case study didn’t attract more than 200 links, it’s still a great example of what one should look like.

Humor

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Content, design, development
Link Value: Moderate

Creating a parody, spoof, or industry jokes list is a great way to loosen up your readers. People love sharing things they can laugh at.

The Onion, a fake news network, is built on humor. This story in particular attracted 4,400+ links from 1,200 root domains. No, you’re not a major site like The Onion, but making a similarly funny industry news story is something worth thinking about.

Printable resources

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content, design, development
Link Value: Moderate-High

People like hard copies of useful guides. By creating a printable resource with an awesome design, you can almost guarantee a few links will come your way.

Check out this case study (see what I did there?) about how Brian Flores created a printable HTML5 cheat sheet that got shared by the Google Developers G+ page.

Creating contests

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content, legal
Link Value: Moderate-High

Entering contests is great, but creating them is even better. By requiring your participants to write about & link to the contest from their blog, you’ll not only get links from them, but their posts will increase the exposure of your contest, thus growing your number of contestants at an exponential rate (and thus, the amount of links you get).

Gerald Weber on MySEOCommunity.com did a great job doing exactly this.

Complete guides/resources

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: Content, legal
Link Value: High

Creating evergreen resources that are complete guides on a subject are fantastic. This complete list of link building strategies is my attempt at one.

Why? Because when people need to explain an entire topic, they’d love it if they could refer to just one resource, and not a group of them. For example, Kristi Hines created one on the Google +1 button.

Pro tip: If it’s not timeless, curate it and keep it up to date. It might be an awesome resource, but it could become stale in a couple of years, such as a guide to Pinterest.

Stories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Content, marketing
Link Value: High

People love a good personal story. Whether it’s crazy, funny, or embarrassing, this is yet another way to strike at your reader’s emotion.

James Chartrand managed to attract over 1,000 links from nearly 300 root domains with this interesting one.

Covering News first

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Content, marketing
Link Value: High

This one’s tough, but remember to always keep it in mind. If you see someone talking about a new developing story, and no one has covered it yet, start mashing on your keyboard at lightning speed.

A good way to do this is by making sure all of the news sources are in your RSS feed reader. For example, if I wanted to cover the latest development of search engines, the Google, Yahoo, and Bing blogs would all be in my reader.

Infographics

Time: 4-8 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Design
Link Value: High

People love data, but sometimes it’s hard to digest. Creating an infographic on it is a popular way to change that. Not only will it naturally attract links, but you’ll also get other bloggers embedding it, which means even more links! Not to mention you have control over the anchor text of the embed code.

Here’s a fantastic case study on an infographic that not only netted a ton of links, but also some serious traffic and social traction.

Web tools

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: Design, development
Link Value: High

Creating free online tools, like calculators, is a fantastic way to attract links. They don’t even have to be complex. If it could save me five minutes, then I’ll probably use & share it.

A fantastic example of a simple, yet effective free online tool is this one by Solo SEO. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen SEO bloggers such as myself link to it. It’s netted almost 500 links from almost 200 root domains.

Interactive

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: Development
Link Value: Moderate

The next big thing in linkbait is interactive content. The reason: because it’s flat out cool and few people are doing it.

A great example is what Thomson.co.uk did with this.

Infoanimations

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: Development
Link Value: Moderate-High

Instead of creating an infographic, why not create a video that displays the same information? It’s a lot different than what most are doing, and trust me, that’s a good thing. The best part is that it works the same way as infographics; the video can be embedded and can act as a post by itself.

Here’s a great example, and here’s where I got the idea.

Review something new

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing
Link Value: Moderate-High

Just like with news, if you’re the first to review something, and if it’s awesome, your review will get tons of attention.

You can also use this to gain favor with the creators of the product or service you’re creating. For example, I reviewed Domain Hunter Plus, a new link checker, and not only did I get a few links to the review, but the creator of the tool worked out a deal with me by linking to the review & my home page from the tool’s home page, which is now a PageRank 5.

Utilize National Days & Events

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, design, development
Link Value: High

Whether it’s a national day, week, month, or event, they can all be used to build links. You could create your own, or you could help promote an existing one. If this sounds like something you think you could do, check out this entire post on the subject. Props to Will O’Hara on taking this idea and really expanding on it.

Drawings

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, design, development
Link Value: High

Using drawings to appeal to emotion can work great if it strikes the right tone with your audience.Here’s a good example that attracted 15,000+ links from over 350 root domains.

I have to give credit to Neil Patel for this strategy & the next one.

Webinars

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, design, development
Link Value: High

Spending a couple hours every month by doing a webinar is a great idea for attracting links over the long term. Set up a page on your website solely dedicated to webinars, and as you create new ones, the links will roll in each time.

HubSpot has done a great job with this, having over 1000 links from 100 root domains to their Webinars page.

Games

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, design, development
Link Value: Moderate-High

Creating exciting games to keep visitors content is not only a strategy to attract links to the game itself, but if you make it embeddable, other webmasters will put it on their site (if it’s good enough), which means even more links.

A great example of this is what Travelpod did with their Traveler IQ Challenge. Better yet, they made it embeddable!

Surveys

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, design, development, customer service
Link Value: Moderate

There’s generally a two-step process to attracting links with surveys.

The first step is asking people to participate. If it’s on a particularly interesting topic, reaching out to bloggers, experts, and industry news sites to ask to spread the word both on their blog and on social media sites is a great way to attract your first wave of links.

The second step is releasing the results. Combine the release with some nice visualization and a bit of controversy, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic piece of linkbait.

Although it didn’t use the above formula, this survey has attracted 250+ links from 100 root domains in only 4 months (published September 2011, last OSE update Jan. 17).

Microsites

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, design, development, legal
Link Value: Moderate-High

Creating fun, quirky microsites is a great way to attract links. While some people might naturally link to your main site to give credit, they’ll most likely link to the microsite, which should have at least one link back to you on it.

Here are a few highly successful ones. If you’re thinking they might be too big of an investment, know that they don’t have to be fancy.

Google Maps mashup

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Google Maps is a great tool, and you can use it to attract links if you get it in front of the right audience. A great idea would be to map out all the industry events taking place this year.

For example, Mashable linked out to 100 helpful mashups in this post.

Curated rankings/scores

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

If you create rankings or scores of people, companies, or anything else, and if it’s decent enough, then trust me, you’ll get a few links. The best part – they don’t even have to be accurate (of course it would be great if it was).

A few good examples are Klout and this list of Top blogs on Startups. Again, both aren’t exactly accurate (Klout isn’t the best depiction of your influence on Twitter, and the #1 blog on that list is no longer active), but people care about numbers and rankings, especially the ones that make them look good.

Crowdsourcing

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

Getting answers from a group of industry experts is another fantastic way to attract links. If the piece is good enough, and if you have the right influencers involved, the amount of links you’ll attract can grow exponentially.

For example, SEOmoz did a study on ranking factors, getting input from over 130 different experts. You can probably guess it was a huge success. It’s attracted 27,000+ links from 3,300+ root domains. Why? Because the experts did the promotion for them.

Petition

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

If you and your community are passionate about a certain issue, start a petition. If you can gain any traction from an industry news site, it could catch on like wildfire.

This petition received 1,100+ links from over 200 root domains.

Note: Although not recommended, because it isn’t hosted on your site, one option is to use change.org to start your petition. It’s an easy set up, and because it’s hosted on their all ready popular site, you get all the added benefits of professionalism & exposure.

Lists

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

1.People.

2.Love.

3.Lists!

Why? Because the content is super easy to digest.

Don’t believe me? Check out this simple list of water conservation tips that received over 1,900 links from 400+ root domains.

Debunking myths

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

If there’s a common misconception in your industry, make sure you let everyone know. If it’s big enough, and if your statements are bold enough, you could get some serious attention.

This debunking of 9/11 myths, with 4,000+ links from over 200 root domains, is a perfect example of it working flawlessly.

Data/Research

Time: 4-8 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

By collecting data on just about anything, you can attract links. Why? Because, like lists, people absolutely love data. One reason is because they like to make conclusions from it that support their arguments.

Take it one step further. Release it as straight data, then release it again that makes it visually appealing with any of the strategies below.

Pro tip: If your data supports a side of an argument (i.e. nature vs. nurture debate), reach out to those that it would support. People love telling the world how right they are.

Trollbait (controversy)

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: PR
Link Value: Moderate

I love this term. I think Rand Fishkin or Kris Roadruck first said it. Basically, it’s a better way to say “create something controversial”.

Creating controversy can be a great way to attract links. Godaddy’s SOPA fiasco is a fantastic example. They originally supported it (which rose controversy), and then stated they would now oppose it (which rose even more controversy).

Interviews

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: PR
Link Value: Moderate-High

Interviewing industry experts will always be a fantastic way to attract links, but getting them to interview is only half the battle. The other half is asking great questions.

A good way to find out what questions you should ask is by holding a Q&A with your blog’s community, whether it’s on Google+, Twitter, or any other site. Ask what kinds of questions you want your readers to see.

Helping Webmasters

One of my personal favorite link building strategies is helping out, or adding value to, webmasters. By doing something for them, they’ll be much, much more likely to give you a link. Here are a few ways to help out webmasters.

Fixing grammar/spelling

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Moderate-High

Ross Hudgens pointed this one out to me. It’s just as simple as it sounds; look for grammar & spelling mistakes, notify the webmaster, and ask for a link on a relevant page.

Filling gaps in content

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Moderate-High

If a site is missing information on a certain topic, whether it’s an article entirely or a portion of one that should be better elaborated on, reach out to the webmaster and ask if you could fill that gap. Here’s a great post on this strategy.

Update old content

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Moderate-High

If information is out date, do webmasters a favor and help update it for them. If you’re in a rapidly changing industry such as SEO, look for articles & posts written a few years back that still get traffic (i.e. rank high for a decent keyword). This is because if many people no longer see the content, the webmaster probably won’t care enough to have it updated.

Here’s a great example. Danny Sullivan even states in the article that he needs to update it! If I knew Danny better, I’d outreach to him with newly updated content, and ask if he could replace it (he’d probably be more than likely to). Unfortunately he’s not exactly easy to get in touch with, but in most cases for you, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Remember, when you do update the content, make sure you add a link to you in it. We are building links, aren’t we?

Dead content recreation

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Moderate-High

Take broken links one step further by recreating the content found at those URLs, then outreaching to not only that specific linking site, but also other sites linking to that broken URL.

For this, use Archive.org to find what content used to be found at that URL.

Logo/Graphic/Web design

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: Design
Link Value: Moderate

A decent website usually has some sort of logo, graphic, and web design. If you have any experience with any of these, reach out to webmasters and ask if they’d like any of the above services free at no cost.

Sometimes it doesn’t have to be a major website makeover. Michael Kovis has helped me make a few CSS tweaks in the past, something that I’ve been very, very thankful of. Casey Kluver helped me with a bit of javascript that went into making this very post!

If you don’t know design, you can get someone on Fiverr to create a logo for 5 bucks. No, it’s not going to be amazing, but it’ll get the job done.

Give them hosting

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Development
Link Value: Moderate

Every webmaster has to fork out a few bucks (or more) a month for hosting. Why not help them out by either providing hosting or paying for it? For those who have a server, this shouldn’t cost you a penny. A great thing to ask for would be a link in their blogroll.

Broken links

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

Out of all the strategies listed, this is my favorite. The scalability of finding broken links is crazy awesome. In a nutshell, you’ll be finding pages that could potentially link to you, looking for broken links on the page, and if there are any, you’ll let the webmaster know and ask if the broken link could be replaced with a link to you.

You can get really creative with broken links. It’s by no means a narrow, straightforward strategy.

Here’s a great guide on the entire process.

Finding malware

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

Chris Dyson pointed this one out. Use ScrapeBox to find sites with malware, then reach out to webmasters, let them know, and ask for a link.

Remember: don’t go to their site! You might get a virus. Use a whois lookup to find contact info.

Fight Viagra Hackers

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

There’s a huge issue on the Internet that I didn’t realize could be used to build links until recently. Hackers (most notably trying to get links with anchors like “buy cheap viagra”) are infiltrating blogs, college sites, and regular html websites in order to get the links they want. A lot of times, the webmasters of these sites have no idea it’s happening. Here’s an awesome case study on using that to help you build links. And yes, creative would be an understatement.

Social

By no means are social media and link building two disconnected parts of your web marketing strategy. Here are a couple of ways to build links using social media sites.

Twitter

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

If you’ve got a Twitter account, then you’ve got 15 easy links in the bag.

Outside of those, there are numerous ways to build links with Twitter. Instead of listing them all here, just watch this video.

Social bookmarking

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Sites like Delicious, Digg, and Pinterest offer a bit of link equity through social bookmarks. Because they’re so easy to abuse, they don’t have much value, but if you’re looking to get the ball rolling in the beginning, think about bookmarking all of your posts and pages.

The only ones you should really be using are these 10, Pinterest, and niche specific ones (i.e. Inbound.org for inbound marketing).

Create Useful Things

If you build it, they will come. There are numerous things you can create that webmasters can embed on their site. In return, of course, you’ll get links.

Some of these things will also naturally attract links to the page you’re offering on them, so they work both ways.

Note: Web tools aren’t listed here because they aren’t something webmasters can physically put on their site.

Icon sets

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Design
Link Value: Moderate-High

They’re easy to create, and if they catch on, you’ll get a ton of design blogs linking to you.

You don’t have to know design to create an icon set & get links to it. Hire someone (on oDesk for example) to create a set for your blog. Then give away the set for free in a new blog post for anyone who wants it, and of course, notify design blogs about your free giveaway (they love free giveaways!).

Badges

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: Design
Link Value: High

Creating badges, such as the ones for the TopRank BIGLIST, work great if you’re giving out awards.

On the other hand, you can create a badge like this for anyone, and not just an exclusive group.

Obviously, make sure you get a link from the badge. If they’re sitewide, then congratz!

WordPress themes

Time: 4-8 weeks
Dependencies: Design, development
Link Value: High

If you’re thinking about designing WordPress themes, know this: the links you get have little value, and that to gain any real value, the anchor text needs not to be spammy (i.e. exact match) and the theme needs to be used by sites with relevant content.

For example, if you’re a sports blog, create a sports theme.

If you’re OK with this, here’s the best guide on the Web for utilizing WordPress Themes for links.

Drupal Themes

Time: 4-8 weeks
Dependencies: Design, development
Link Value: High

Just like WordPress themes, Drupal themes can be developed to build links exponentially.

If you’ve ever looked into theme development, you know most people are focused on WordPress. Use this to your advantage. Develop a Drupal theme because you’ll have far less competition. The official Drupal theme directory includes only 955 themes as I’m writing this.

Widgets

Time: 4-8 weeks
Dependencies: Design, development
Link Value: High

By creating embeddable widgets, webmasters can place them on their site, and if you coded it correctly, you can easily get a link back.

Plugins & extensions

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Development
Link Value: High

CMS plugins & extensions, like those for WordPress & Joomla, can get you a few links.

For example, in the Sharebar plugin, the default setting includes a link on the bottom of the floating bar. It can be disabled, but some people don’t bother, thus giving the developers a link.

Toolbars

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Development
Link Value: High

Here’s a great example of a toolbar that Webmasters can place on their site (with a link in the toolbar, of course).

Alternatively, you could create a browser toolbar, such as the SEO toolbar from SEObook.

Paid Strategies

If you have a little room in your budget, then consider some of the below paid strategies. Google is against paid links, but there are some out there that are acceptable, such as the ones listed below.

Paid reviews

Time: 2-6 weeks
Dependencies: Customer service
Link Value: Low

If you’ve got a product or service you want reviewed on a blog, you can pay for one. By using sites like sponsoredreviews.com, ReviewMe.com, and PayperPost.com, you can pay for blogger reviews. Of course, they’ll link to you in the review.

Pay authorities to embed your badges

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Financial
Link Value: Moderate

It’s a paid link that cannot be detected, it increases brand awareness & trust, and best of all, it can be used to get natural embeds.

For example, if I get one of the two bloggers in the industry to embed a badge of “Featured in Top 10 X Blogs in 2012″, and I outreach to a few mid level bloggers that I also included (exactly for this reason), they’d be more than happy to embed it, because if the big time blogger did, they’d be honored to.

Honestly, if you’re going to pay for a sitewide, this is the way to go. There are so many added bonuses.

Note: If you go for spammy anchor text, and not branded or partial, it could send spam signals, so don’t play around there.

Sponsor contests

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Legal, financial
Link Value: High

Blogging contests usually don’t cost more than $50-100 to sponsor. Make sure to look for ones that require participants to post about the contest on their blog & link to each of the sponsors in the post.

Sponsor clubs

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Legal, financial
Link Value: High

Most colleges have a wide range of clubs, and if you ask one to sponsor it for a link in return, they’ll probably say yes. You can usually sponsor one for $50.

Sponsor events

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Legal, financial
Link Value: High

Whether it’s a local meet-up, industry conference, or anything in between, event groups are always looking for sponsors, and you can usually get a link in return for a $100-200 sponsorship.

Wil Reynolds brought up a good point in this post. The moment an event is over, ask if you could sponsor next years. The event committee will be so excited that they’d instantly say yes, and in the end you get the link for close to two years instead of one.

Donate to charities & non profits

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Legal, financial
Link Value: High

Charities and non-profit organizations usually have a donators page like this one. The amount you need to donate to get the link shouldn’t be more than $50-100.

Theme sponsorship

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Legal, financial
Link Value: High

It’s a bit shady, but sponsoring WordPress themes is a way to build links. They usually don’t cost more than $25-50 per sponsorship. If you’re thinking about doing it, check out this guide to theme sponsorship.

Crowdfunding

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Legal, financial
Link Value: Moderate

While only some link out to funders, there are a ton of crowdfunding opportunities that you can use to make small investments in various businesses. For link building, make sure you get in touch with the individual business so you make sure that you can get a link in return for funding their project.

I have to give credit to Chris Gilchrist and this post for this one.

Sponsor animal shelters

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Legal, financial
Link Value: Moderate-High

There are usually more than a few local animal shelters you can sponsor, and according to Adam Melson in this post, they can be as low as $10.

Buying StumbleUpon Traffic for the webmaster

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Ask webmasters if they’d give you a link on a relevant page in exchange for $10-20 worth of StumbleUpon Paid Discovery traffic. Sometimes they’d be willing to link regardless of the PD traffic, so this just encourages them to link even more.

Hire industry veterans

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

Relationship building can be hard. Find people in the industry you can hire that can tap into their list of contacts for links, because they’ve already built up those connections. This can extremely helpful for those who are just starting to try to make a name for themselves.

Hire veteran link builders

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

Just like industry veterans, experienced link builders have built up little black books of contacts (at least the good ones have). Chances are they’ve dealt with people in either your vertical or a very similar one. In that case, they can get in touch with those contacts, saving you the time to initially build those relationships.

Content acquisition

Time: 2-6 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

If you find highly linked to content on sites that are no longer maintained, reach out to the webmaster and ask if you could pay him $100-200 to 301 that page to a page on your site that has the content. Chances are he’d be more than willing to if he doesn’t care anymore.

Note: this isn’t white hat.

College/Educational Links

.Edu links are some of the best, yet toughest links to get. There are a few specific strategies I listed below that work great if you’re willing to try them out.

Write curriculum

Time: 4-8 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: High

Reach out to universities and let them know about your expertise. By writing curriculum for courses (the more basic, the easier it is to get involved), you can get a few citation links from their site.

Intern/Job postings

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: HR
Link Value: Low-Moderate

If you have any job or internship opportunities, you can get a few easy .edu links. For example, if you work in anthropology and you’re looking for an intern, here’s an easy link.

Offer discounts

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, legal, customer service
Link Value: High

By offering discounts to faculty, teachers, and students, you can easily get links from pages like this.

Speak at universities

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, PR, executive team
Link Value: Moderate-High

Most universities announce speakers on their website, and when they do, make sure a link to your site is included.

Scholarships

Time: 4-8 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, PR, legal
Link Value: High

Scholarships can become the bread and butter of your .edu link strategy if it’s in the budget. Give out a decent sized scholarship, such as $500-1000, and reach out to multiple colleges & high schools. You don’t have to settle for just a couple here; usually there’s not a limit on this one.

You could take it one step further and set it up as a contest; the finalists have to write blog posts on your blog on why they deserve it, and half the voting is done socially (i.e. tweets, +1s, FB likes). Heck, I bet you could get even more creative at that point.

Alumni directories

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Most colleges dedicate a part of their site to their alumni, and some of them link out to their alumni’s websites.

For example, one of my client’s competitors had a link from one of the Harvard Business School’s most authoritative pages, only because they got listed under “HBS Entrepreneurs”.

Student blogs

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

Students are allowed to create blogs on their respective college websites, so get in touch with them. They’re a lot easier to get links from then a regular college webmaster. Whether it’s buying them lunch or making sure you get a link from a college intern, you can always get links through students.

Community Strategies

By interacting in communities, you can not only build links, but also relationships (remember how I said how important they are at the top?). This is a great way to get to know people in your industry while snagging a few links at the same time.

Community newspapers

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: High

There are a number of online newspapers that are run by the people, for the people. By contributing, curating, and adding your insight, you can get links from these sites on a regular basis (you get the chance to promote yourself in your bio on most of them).

Here are a few for example:

  • http://www.nowpublic.com/
  • http://www.allvoices.com/
  • http://www.demotix.com/
  • http://international.ohmynews.com/
  • http://www.orato.com/

Blog commenting

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Social
Link Value: Low

It’s definitely classified as low hanging fruit, but you can still get value from commenting on blogs.

To get the most value, comment on relevant blogs, dofollow blogs (blogs that offer followed links to their commenters), and CommentLuv blogs (blogs that have the CommentLuv plugin installed).

If you do it right, you’ll build rapport with bloggers and links at the same time.

Forum posting

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Social
Link Value: Moderate-High

Forum posting is a great way to find the people in your industry that are really passionate about your niche. Again, you’ll get links when you post in the right forums.

Q&A

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Social
Link Value: Moderate-High

Using sites like Yahoo! Answers, you can build a few nofollow links that should also send a bit of traffic. Make sure to cite pages on your site when answering questions in order to guarantee a link.

Leverage Existing Opportunities

Chances are there are links out there that are already yours that you just haven’t gotten yet. For example, if someone uses your content, you should be able to get a link back. Here are a few existing opportunities for you to snag a link or two.

Asking customers

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Customer service
Link Value: Moderate-High

If someone just bought something from you, then this is the perfect time to ask for a link if they have any influence online. Ask them to write a review of your product or service, and then offer to help promote it to spread the word. It’s a win-win!

Your commentators

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Development
Link Value: Moderate-High

By scraping your commenters and their URLs with this plugin, you can find influencers that have commented on your blog in the past. Just like with Twitter followers, use this to build relationships with them to use for future link opportunities.

Getting links from scraped content

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, legal (if syndication contract needed)
Link Value: Low-Moderate

If your content gets scraped, and the scraped piece of content doesn’t have a link back, then make sure you contact the webmaster and get one. Just like images & infographics, it’s copyright infringement, so they’re not going to say no.

Leverage copy & pasting

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Tynt.com is a site that allows you to get a link every time your content is copy & pasted. It uses a bit of JavaScript to add a “More from: URL HERE” when something is copy and pasted from that URL. So, for example, if a blogger copies a paragraph from a recent post of yours and adds it to a post of his own, a link will be added. Granted he can easily delete it, it’s still worth doing.

Here’s a fantastic post on this concept.

Pro tip: if you make the “More from” text something like “Cited from”, it’ll look more scholarly & professional. This usually gets a much higher success rate.

Contacting people using your images/infographics

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

By using Google’s reverse image search, you can easily find other websites using your images or infographics. Politely outreach to each and ask you could a link back for using them. If they don’t, make sure to let them know it’s copyright infringement.

Brand mentions

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

If your brand gets mentioned, then make sure you ask for a link. For example, if someone mentioned “Point Blank SEO” on their blog, I might ask if they could include a link so the reader would know where Point Blank SEO is located on the Web.

You can easily set up free alerts to find who’s talking about your brand.

Associations/organizations you’re a part of

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

If you’re a part of an association or organization, chances are they have a website. If they do, find out if they link out to their members. Get included if they do.

Link re-purposing

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

If you’ve got too many links with generic or branded anchor text, reach out to those webmasters and ask if they could alter the anchor text to either exact or partial match. I myself haven’t tried this, but Cleo Kirkland told me he’s gotten a ton of success with this strategy.

Reclaiming Twitter links

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low

People will sometimes link to your Twitter account, so take advantage. Do what I did here by going to the Twitter widget page, then ask webmasters to link to your Twitter page on your site rather than directly to Twitter.

Previous linkers

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

If someone has linked to you in the past, chances are they might be willing to in the future. Get to know them, and make sure they’re up to date with your content, because that only leads to more links.

I like using Linkstant to instantly see who’s linked to me. I always make sure to stop by and leave a thank you comment.

Your influence

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

If you’ve built up influence, you can definitely use this to build links. If I got an email from Aaron Wall asking to review his toolset on my blog, I’d be more than willing to.

Outside of outreach, you can use your influence for a ton of things. For example, Ann Smarty used her influence to get a chance to write posts for Mashable (no lack of quality links there).

In general, you can use your influence to get a much higher success rate with every other strategy I talk about, but remember: if the person you’re contacting doesn’t know who you are, then your influence is worthless (ex. a .gov webmaster could care less if you’re a big shot travel blogger).

Reclaim links pointing to 404s

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

Sometimes links to your website break over time, whether it’s because you’ve moved the intended page, or because the webmaster messed up your URL. Go into Google Webmaster Tools to see which pages are getting 404 errors, then redirect those pages to either the homepage or the implied intended page.

Your Twitter followers

Time: 3-4 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Someone who follows you on Twitter is much more likely to link to you than those who don’t. Use this strategy to scrape your followers, find the influencers, and develop relationships with them for future link opportunities.

Give

You have something that people want, so give it away. Here’s a list of things you can give to get links.

Products to bloggers

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, legal
Link Value: High

There’s no better way to connect with bloggers than by giving them your product or service in exchange for a review. Usually there are a lot of mid level bloggers in big industries more than willing to, so this can be quite scalable.

P.S. – if you have a link building related product or service (please, no black hat software) reach out to me using this tactic. I might just review it and give you a link :) .

Free ebooks/products using social payment systems

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, legal
Link Value: Low

Give out free ebooks and products using services like PayWithATweet.com or Cloudflood.com. In order to get it, you have to tweet or share it, thus causing a landslide of social shares.

No, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a link, but it’s a great way to get your stuff in front of a potential linker’s eyes by giving something away.

Note: Don’t forget to submit those eBooks to eBook directories!

Discounts

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, legal
Link Value: Moderate-High

Giving out discounts & coupons is a great way to get mentions in lists like this one. Make sure to reach out to writers who dedicate posts to discounts & coupons so you can get included – usually they’d be more than happy to.

Social coupons

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, legal
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Sites like Living Social & Groupon allow you to include anchor text links in the description of your coupons. If you’re wondering, Google does cache the pages, so I’m 99% sure these links are indexed.

Contest giveaways

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, legal, design, development
Link Value: High

If you have a product or service, and if there’s a relevant blogging contest taking place, reach out to the blogger running it and ask if you could give your product or service to the winner. They’d be more than happy to, and they’ll give you a link on the contest page if you ask.

Develop Relationships

Links and relationships are directly related. The more bloggers & webmasters you know, the more links you’ll get. Here’s a few great ways to build relationships.

Random acts of kindness

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

Whenever you can, be nice to people. It might just payoff. Always be on the lookout for helping those in need. I know this isn’t exactly an actionable strategy, but I’m telling you, you’d be surprised. These random acts can turn into lasting relationships.

Give a crap

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

Actually care about people. Show them you’re not just a bot with a picture, but that you’re somewhat human. If they share on Twitter that their daughter just graduated, congratulate them. Something as simple as that can open up your chances to build a relationship in the future.

Participate

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

If someone is conducting a survey or testing something, get involved and participate. Those are great chances to start conversations with new people.

Local meetups

Time: 3-4 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Whether you find one or start one, meetups are a fantastic way to get to know people close by. For example, if you live in a big city (Seattle, NYC, Philly) then meetups are absolutely perfect. Here’s the best site to find or start one.

User group meetups

Time: 3-4 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

A great way to get to know people who think like you is by finding those who use the same products or services like you. A great example is the Hubspot User Group Summit I attended last year (one of my clients used HubSpot and I got a chance to tag along).

Conferences

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: PR, executive team
Link Value: Moderate-High

Seriously, go to them. At the time I’m writing this, I’ve only gone to one, but it was awesome and I highly recommend it. Here’s a fantastic testimonial to why conference events are such great investments.

Call them

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: PR, social
Link Value: Moderate

Yep, I said it. Get them on the phone. Make them hear your voice and know that you’re a real person.

Ben Wills was the first to do this with me. I now know a lot more about him & Ontolo, something I’m extremely grateful for.

G+ Hangouts/Skype

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Social
Link Value: Low

Be the first person to use a Google+ hangout! But seriously, that or Skype is a great way to meet face to face with someone without actually meeting face to face (if that makes any sense!).

Twitter RTs, Responses, and DMs

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Social
Link Value: Low-Moderate

If you want to get to know someone on Twitter, first retweet them a few times. Then respond a couple times to a few of their tweets, then continue the conversation as direct messages. Finally, ask to email (because 140 characters is never enough), and now you’ve got the ball rolling.

Answer questions

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Social
Link Value: Moderate-High

Answer questions on Twitter, Quora, and anywhere else people hang out. People ask questions all the time. These external opportunities are a great way to put you on their radar.

Traffic Drivers

Not all links that we build are for search rankings. Some are for traffic. We are getting high rankings so we get more traffic, right? Besides, having all of your eggs (links) in one basket (Google) is never a good idea. Here are a few examples of links for traffic.

Newsletters

Time: 3-4 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Content, social
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Including links back to your site in newsletters is a great way to get traffic, but take it one step further. Find influential newsletters in your niche and try to get a link included.

For example, I’ve gotten a link in Eric Ward’s Link Moses Private. An even bigger target (that could potentially crash my site) is the Moz Top 10 newsletter, which has 220,000 subscribers. Yeah. I know.

Pro tip: Find out who’s sending out the newsletters, and get to know them.

Craigslist

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Legal, HR
Link Value: Low

Craigslist and other classified sites are great places to drive a bit of traffic. Make sure you’re not spamming, and make sure it’s relevant to that category.

Email Signatures

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low

If you send out 100 emails a day, having an email signature with a link back can drive an extra 50+ people a day to your website. It’s not much, but it requires zero effort.

Scoop.it

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Social
Link Value: Low

Scoop.it is an awesome way to drive traffic and to build a few nofollow links at the same time. This site is a content curation site; users get to curate what content they want to share. It’s hard to explain, so watch this video.

For us, we’ll be suggesting content to users that get traffic to their pages. For example, look at this one. It’s received 21.6k views, so I know it will give me a bit of traffic if I can get my content here. All I have to do is hit the “suggest” button at the top, and wa-la, they can accept or deny my content.

Note: If your content sucks, this won’t work for you. If it’s great, this is a reward.

Community Projects

Creating a new project in your niche can not only help build your authority and trust, but it can also get you a few links if you know where to put them. Here are a few examples of what you could create.

New online community

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Marketing, legal, social, design, development
Link Value: Moderate

Whether it’s a niche forum, Q&A site, or social network, you can probably create it without much trouble.

A few options are vBulletin or Simple Press for a forum, Buddy Press for a social network, or qHub for a Q&A site.

If you want to above and beyond, create a community from scratch. Inbound.org, created by Rand Fishkin and Dharmesh Shah, is exactly that.

Wiki

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low

Wikis are great, but only if you get people involved. Having a little influence to begin with helps a ton. By outreaching to influencers to contribute and by incentivizing contributions, you can build it up as an authority. Again, make sure to link to yourself with it.

Industry specific directory

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

Creating a human curated, quality niche directory is something worth looking into if there isn’t one in your industry.If the design sucks (i.e. it looks like every other one) and the submissions you’re accepting are subpar, you’ll have little success, but if you’re accepting only quality sites, it could get listed often on resource lists.

I suggest starting with directory software, then customizing from there. Just Google “directory software” if you’re looking for one; most don’t cost more than $100.

Obviously, since this is a link building strategy, link to your main site.

Local

Based on where you’re located, you can get a few links from local websites. Here are a few ways to use your location to build links.

Better Business Bureau

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, customer service
Link Value: High

I don’t always suggest an individual site, but when I do, it’s the Better Business Bureau. This link will pass more trust than almost any other link in your profile.

The price is determined by state/region/city and by number of employees. The St. Louis BBB ranges from $370 for 1-3 employees all the way to $865+ for 100-200 employees. Anything over that, as well as additional websites, constitutes as additional charges.

That being said, you are SUPPOSED to get a “dofollow” link out of all of this. You need to check on your listing once it is published as each region has their own rules regarding their directory of businesses. There have been some instances where your businesses website URL in the directory listing was NOT a live link, only text. All you have to do is contact your BBB representative and ask for that to be changed.

Chamber of Commerce

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, customer service
Link Value: High

Getting a link from your Chamber of Commerce is a guaranteed link just waiting for you to get. In some cases, though, it takes a little bit of time to find the right person to get in touch with.

Local listings

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Submit your site to local listings. Here’s a fantastic list created by Peter Attia of all the best sites for this.

Example: Yelp.com. Sign up to submit here.

Library

Time: 3-12 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

Most local libraries have a website, and most of them have somewhat of a link profile. Nonetheless, get in touch, and do what you can to get a link; it’s going to be a link from one of the most white hat sites in your profile.

For example, my local library has a Page Rank of 6. At the time I’m writing this I haven’t gotten a link from them, but it’s only a matter of time :) .

Linking Out

Linking out is a great way to build links, because when bloggers see they’ve been linked to by your blog (along with 50 visitors coming over from that post), they’ll at the very least check out your content, if not tweet & link to it.

Why? Because people are much more likely to help out others that have helped out them. This is the exact same idea as helping out webmasters in the strategies I listed above.

Actually, you can rank by linking out alone. Don’t take my word for it; take Tad’s from SEOptimise.

Getting trackbacks

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Low-Moderate

As opposed to giving trackbacks, find blogs that allow you to get trackback links.

For example, the Google blog gives out trackback links, and even though they’re nofollow, they’re still worth something.

Link roundups

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Whether they’re monthly, weekly, or even daily, doing roundups of great posts in your niche is a fantastic way to put you on the map. Mid-level, and even some high-level, bloggers take notice when they get links from these.

Pro tip: Make sure you add a little insight to why you listed the post. It helps the bloggers being linked to know that someone is actually taking the time to read their posts.

Giving trackbacks

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Development
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Reward people who link to you by giving trackback links. Take it one step further and make them dofollow. When they sort through there backlinks and see these, they’ll be a lot more likely to link out to you in the future.

To active medium level bloggers

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Medium level bloggers are the best audiences to target. When they get linked to, they go bananas. I did when I got my first few links; I actually told my friends about this particular mention I got because of how excited I was.

Linking out & letting them know you did so is a great strategy for this large group. Usually the best natural link profiles come from blogs that have control over this middle group.

Mention specific people whenever possible

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

Whenever possible, and I mean whenever possible!, mention specific people. People LOVE getting mentioned. Link to their site (so they know they got mentioned), and when they find out, they’re usually more than willing to share the post at the very least (if not link to it!).

Again, this is a great way to put yourself on their map.

To spark conversation

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Social, development
Link Value: Moderate-High

Try turning off your comments and asking other bloggers to continue the conversation over a particular issue or topic on their blog. Promise that you’ll link to them at the end of the post if they do. When they do this, they almost always link back to the original post.

This works best with controversial posts.

Getting people to see and read your content

People won’t link to your content if they don’t find it in the first place. At the same time, they might come across it, but skim it at best. This means you need to get your content in front of more people, and you need to get them to actually read your content.

Segment your content

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Moderate

If you catch yourself writing a few monster paragraphs, cut them up into smaller, bight sized pieces. Make sure you use headers, lists, and bullets when ever possible. Don’t forget to add appropriate spacing. This strategy directly correlates with increased readability, and thus, linkability.

Minimal grammar & spelling mistakes

Time: 1-2 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Moderate

It just looks bad when you link to content that’s full of spelling & grammar errors. Do your potential linkers a favor and make sure your content is free of them.

Evergreen content

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: High

Timeless content can not only be used for manual outreach, but it can also give your content the ability to be rediscovered, and thus, a second chance to be linked to.

Offering your content in multiple languages

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content, translatation
Link Value: Moderate-High

Your potential linkers might not all speak English, so get your content translated as soon as possible.

When you do this, remember to submit to non-English directories as mentioned above!

High Flesch-Kincaid readability score

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Content, user testing
Link Value: Low-Moderate

If your content needs a Literature major to be deciphered, then you’re probably not going to get a lot of links. Why? Because if they don’t understand it, they have no reason to link to it.

Social platform optimization

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, design, social
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Your linkeraiti and my linkeraiti are two entirely separate groups that find content on two entirely different platforms. Whether it’s Twitter, LinkedIn, or a niche news site (ex. Inbound.org), you need to find the right place that gets your content in front of the right people.

Miscellaneous

There are a lot of fantastic strategies that don’t quite fit in one specific category, so here is a miscellaneous group you should check out.

Set up free blogs

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Low

Setting up free blogs for others is fantastic, because doing it might be complex for others, but easy for you. Make sure you get a link from their blogroll in return.

Get your own Wikipedia page

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: Content
Link Value: Moderate

As opposed to contributing, having a Wikipedia page about you or your company is something to look into if you’ve already built up authority. If you’re well known, this is a great option & a huge way to build trust.

Make sure you’re not the one writing it; have someone else write it, because it needs to be as unbiased as possible.

Reverse engineering assets

Time: 2-6 weeks
Dependencies: Content, design
Link Value: High

By finding assets that have worked in the past for competitors, such as awards & infographics, you can steal their success with little work. Basically, you’re taking advantage of them not keeping up with the times.

It’s a lot to explain, so here’s a great guide to reverse link building.

Contribute to Wikipedia pages

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: Content, PR, legal
Link Value: Low-Moderate

By citing your own content on relevant Wikipedia pages, you can get a link under the “References” tab. It’s nofollow, but it’s very trustworthy & can send a lot of highly relevant traffic.

Non-college job/intern postings (get picked up by job boards)

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: HR
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Job & intern postings outside of colleges can be a huge win. When one major job site, such as Monster.com, picks up your postings, it gets distributed to a ton of others. Most of the links don’t last long (until the vacancy is filled), but some do stick.

Offline marketing

Time: 4-8 weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Marketing
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Whether it’s meeting your customers, handing out business cards, or even putting a sticker of your URL on your car, getting the word out away from your computer can help increase brand awareness, traffic, and in the end, links.

Affiliate program

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Marketing, development
Link Value: Low-Moderate

It’s a strategy past its prime, but by starting an affiliate program, you can not only get links through affiliate links, but you can also get links to the affiliate program page itself (affiliate bloggers will link out if they like it).

Video embeds

Time: 2-6 weeks
Dependencies: Marketing, development
Link Value: Moderate

By including links in the embed code of videos, and reaching out to bloggers to host them (i.e. as part of an upcoming post), you can get a link for each embed.

Get on the news by crashing cars

Time: 12+ weeks, ongoing
Dependencies: Marketing, PR, social
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Yep, you heard right. I saw this comment, and I couldn’t resist not dedicating an entire strategy to it.

Luckily, there’s a point to be made. Get creative! Creativity is the key to pioneering new link opportunities, and usually ones your competitors can’t get.

Guest books

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low

Some outdated sites still offer guest books you can sign in. If you come across one, include a link.

Expired Blogspot blogs

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low-Moderate

This is a little something I came up with myself. Some blogspot blogs become expired and allow anyone to register it, so by finding these blogs that have a few links pointing to it, you can gain control, put up some content, and link back to your site.For example, I picked up this PR3 blog and added a link back to Point Blank SEO. I did this awhile go, and I agree that it’s a little grey hat. I wouldn’t do it again, but it’s something I thought I should at least mention.

The easiest way to find them is to do is to check for broken links on pages that link out to a ton of blogs. This could be blogrolls, links pages, or blog directories. If a link is broken, and if it’s to a blogspot blog, check to make sure you can register it. Most you can’t. If you can, then go to OSE and check out its link profile to see if it’s worth registering.

Linker outreach

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Find people on delicious or other social sharing sites that have saved similar content to yours, outreach to them letting them know about your content (i.e. an upcoming infographic), and let them do the rest; they’ll share it or link to it if they like it.

I have to give credit to this post by Jason Acidre for this strategy.

Relevant reciprocal links

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Yep, I included it. If you’re going to exchange (reciprocate) links with a website, don’t do it as if you’re living in 1998. Make sure they’re the most relevant, trustworthy websites you’ve ever come across. If they’re not, don’t do it.

Second tier link building

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Building links to pages that link to you can be awesome if you do it right. You not only can pass more juice back to your site, but you can also use it for reputation management and to drive sales.

Pro tip: Do second tier link building to trustworthy sites linking to you, such as a guest post on a highly authoritative blog. For example, if you’re utilizing broken links, asking for the replacement link to be to a highly trustworthy site over a link to you will get you accepted a lot more often than if you asked for a link to you.

This is because the site is more trustworthy (webmaster more willing to link) and because you’re not asking for a link to the domain that hosts your email (i.e. jcooper@pointblankseo[dot]com asking for a link to pointblankseo.com), meaning it looks more natural in the eyes of the webmaster.

Google Alerts

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Google Alerts is one of the best, free prospecting tools on the Web. What better way to get prospects than from Google themselves?

Here’s a fantastic guide written by Ross Hudgens on using this tool.

Abandoned domains (auctions too)

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

Finding and taking over abandoned domains is definitely a strategy on the black hat side if you’re doing something like a 301 or using its expired content outside of the site.

One strategy is to find abandoned domains that have link equity, then use archive.org to repopulate the content on some of the pages that got the most links. Obviously, include a few links in the content back to you.

I recommend using Domain Hunter Plus and Godaddy auctions for finding them in the first place.

Buy existing domains

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: High

Finding existing domains for sale through Flippa is great if you’re looking to build up a few link assets. It’s costly, but nonetheless, it’s a strategy.

Join associations/organizations, both local & niche specific

Time: 2-4 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate-High

Groups, organizations, and associations, both local and niche specific, sometimes offer links to their members.

Networking

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: None
Link Value: Moderate

Use some of the relationships you’ve built to create a network of similar non-competing blogs. Link out to them, and ask for them to do the same. A good number to have in your network is 5; it’s not too much, but it’s not too little.

For example, make sure everyone links out to each different blog in the network once a month. Heck, make it once a week.

It’s like reciprocal linking, but way better, because the links are relevant, contextual, and natural in Google’s eyes.

Help A Reporter Out (HARO)

Time: 1-2 weeks
Dependencies: PR
Link Value: Low-Moderate

HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, connects journalists with bloggers & industry experts. By becoming a source, you can get big time links from news sites.

PR Outreach

Time: 3-4 weeks
Dependencies: PR
Link Value: High

Good ole’ fashioned PR outreach is always a great idea if you’re buzzworthy. If you’re not up for hiring a PR company for this, make sure you research who you’re pitching, and make sure to keep it short and to the point.

If you do it right, you’ll build up a relationship with the person you’re pitching long before you pitch them. This will also result in you being able to tap into that relationship multiple times, and not for just a one-off pitch.

Tom Critchlow gave an awesome tip in this video – take things one-step further. If you write something up for a news publication, ask if you could regularly contribute by creating a weekly column. If they say yes, then you’ve just landed yourself a fantastic long-term link opportunity.

Top commentators widget

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: Social
Link Value: Low-Moderate

Some blogs have a top commentators widget that displays the top commentators in the sidebar of their blog. All you have to do is make it up on that leaderboard and you’ll get a sitewide link. Granted it might take 10-15 comments, it’s still worth it.

Make sure you don’t drop all of the comments on the same day; you’d look like an idiot. Do one or two a day for a couple weeks until you get that link.

Coin a new term

Time: 8-12 weeks
Dependencies: Social
Link Value: Moderate

Coining a new term in your industry can get people talking. It worked for me when I coined the term Scrape Rate, and it worked for Rand when he coined Linkerati.

 

Once again, you can Expand/Contract All.

Woah.

If you read the descriptions for each, I applaud you. You’re a serious trooper.

Now, here’s the fun part. I just made this the most comprehensive list of strategies on the Web, and I want to keep it that way.

If you come up with 3 link building strategies not on this list, I’ll send you a Point Blank SEO t-shirt. They’re really snazzy! Just email me with them & a few short descriptions of each.

Update: Chris Gilchrist from Hitreach became the first to win a shirt!

Thanks guys! Having spent more than 15 hours putting this together, this is one of the few posts I’ll legitimately ask you to share. Please, those buttons on the left look really attractive (you know you wanna!).

If you want even more link building fun, follow me on Twitter @pointblankseo. You won’t regret it!

From:

http://pointblankseo.com/link-building-strategies

Blog guest networks

 

Link building opportunities

1.  Sign up to business card websites.  A few examples:

2.  Use aggregation websites. These aggregate your content onto sites that automatically pull it in, create a page for it and link it, from your RSS feed.  Again, a few examples of places that do this:

3.  Join blog networks and add your blog to them. A couple of these also aggregate content dynamically too.  A few also include your ‘last blog’ at the end of any comments you make, with a nice link :)

304 link building opportunities

Link Building 101

Website Name Category Focus URL
://URLFAN Blogging & RSS www.urlfanx.com
5 Minutes for Mom Blogging & RSS Women Only www.5minutesformom.com
5z5 Blogging & RSS www.5z5.com
Alltop Blogging & RSS www.alltop.com
Bizsugar Blogging & RSS www.bizsugar.com
Blloggs Blogging & RSS www.blloggs.com
Blog Blogging & RSS www.Blog.com
Blog Bunch Blogging & RSS www.blogbunch.com
Blog Catalog Blogging & RSS www.blogcatalog.com
Blog Clicker Blogging & RSS www.blogclicker.com
Blog Collector Blogging & RSS www.blog-collector.com
Blog Digger Blogging & RSS www.blogdigger.com
Blog Flux Blogging & RSS www.Blogflux.com
Blog Folders Blogging & RSS www.BlogFolders.com
Blog Gapedia Blogging & RSS www.bloggapedia.com
Blog Hub Blogging & RSS www.bloghub.com
Blog Listing Blogging & RSS www.bloglisting.net
Blog Pulse Blogging & RSS www.blogpulse.com
Blog Search Blogging & RSS www.blog-search.com
Blog Tree Blogging & RSS www.blogtree.com
Blogarama Blogging & RSS www.Blogarama.com
BLOGbal Blogging & RSS www.blogbal.com
Blogged Blogging & RSS www.blogged.com
Bloggeries Blogging & RSS www.bloggeries.com
Bloggers Blogging & RSS www.bloggers.com
Bloggers Base Blogging & RSS www.bloggersbase.com
BlogHer Blogging & RSS Women Only www.BlogHer.com
Bloglines Blogging & RSS www.bloglines.com
BlogRollCenter Blogging & RSS www.blogrollcenter.com
Blogs Blogging & RSS www.blogs.com
Blogs by Women Blogging & RSS Women Only www.blogsbywomen.org
BlogSpot Blogging & RSS www.googleblog.blogspot.com
Blogville Blogging & RSS www.blogville.us
Feed Age Blogging & RSS www.feedage.com
Feed Fury Blogging & RSS www.feedfury.com
Feed Listing Blogging & RSS www.feedlisting.com
Feed Nuts Blogging & RSS www.feednuts.com
Feed See Blogging & RSS www.feedsee.com
Feedagg Blogging & RSS www.feedagg.com
FeedBurner Blogging & RSS www.feedburner.com
Feedcat Blogging & RSS www.feedcat.net
Feedgy Blogging & RSS www.feedgy.com
Free Webs Blogging & RSS www.freewebs.com/blogotion/
Globe of Blogs Blogging & RSS www.globeofblogs.com
Golden Feed Blogging & RSS www.goldenfeed.com
Ice Rocket Blogging & RSS www.icerocket.com
instablogs Blogging & RSS www.instablogs.com
Jordo Media Blogging & RSS www.jordomedia.com
LeighRSS Blogging & RSS www.leighrss.com
Liquida Blogging & RSS www.liquida.com
Live Journal Blogging & RSS www.LiveJournal.com
Loaded Web Blogging & RSS www.loadedweb.com
MetaFeeder Blogging & RSS www.MetaFeeder.com
Million RSS Blogging & RSS www.millionrss.com
Mom Bloggers Club Blogging & RSS Women Only www.mombloggersclub.com
My Blog 2U Blogging & RSS www.myblog2u.com
Networked Blogs Blogging & RSS www.networkedblogs.com
News To Watch† Blogging & RSS www.NewsToWatch.com†
On Top List Blogging & RSS www.ontoplist.com
Oobdoo Blogging & RSS www.oobdoo.com
Place Blogger Blogging & RSS www.placeblogger.com
Plazoo Blogging & RSS www.plazoo.com
Quick Blog Directory Blogging & RSS www.quickblogdirectory.com
Read a Blog Blogging & RSS www.readablog.com
Regator Blogging & RSS www.Regator.com
RSS Buffet Blogging & RSS www.rssbuffet.com
RSS Micro Blogging & RSS www.rssmicro.com
RSS Mountain Blogging & RSS www.rssmountain.com
RSS Network Blogging & RSS www.rss-network.com
Search Sight Blogging & RSS www.searchsight.com
Small Business Blogging & RSS www.smallbusiness.com
Solar Warp Blogging & RSS www.solarwarp.net
Spicy Page Blogging & RSS www.Spicypage.com
Super Blog Directory Blogging & RSS www.superblogdirectory.com
Syscon Blogging & RSS Technology www.sys-con.com
Technorati Blogging & RSS www.technorati.com
The Blog Frog Blogging & RSS www.theblogfrog.com
TheVital.net Blogging & RSS www.thevital.net
Top Blog Area Blogging & RSS www.topblogarea.com
Top Blogging Blogging & RSS www.topblogging.com
Total Blog Directory Blogging & RSS www.totalblogdirectory.com
Tumblr Blogging & RSS www.tumblr.com
Twingly Blogging & RSS www.Twingly.com
Webloogle Blogging & RSS www.webloogle.com
Wil’s Domain Blogging & RSS www.wilsdomain.com
WordPress.com Blogging & RSS www.wordpress.com
Work It Mom Blogging & RSS Women Only www.workitmom.com
Xanga Blogging & RSS www.xanga.com
XMeta.net Blogging & RSS www.XMeta.net
Yahoo Blog Directory Blogging & RSS dir.yahoo.com/News_and_Media/Blogs/
Your Weblog Here Blogging & RSS www.yourwebloghere.com
Zimbio Blogging & RSS www.zimbio.com
Amplify Bookmarketing www.amplify.com
Delicious Bookmarketing www.delicious.com
Digg Bookmarketing www.digg.com
Folkd.com Bookmarketing www.folkd.com
Give a Link Bookmarketing www.givealink.org
Jump Tags Bookmarketing www.jumptags.com
My Link Vault Bookmarketing www.mylinkvault.com
Newsvine Bookmarketing www.newsvine.com
Ping.fm Bookmarketing www.Ping.fm
Reddit Bookmarketing www.reddit.com
StumbleUpon Bookmarketing www.stumbleupon.com
WIKIO Bookmarketing www.wikio.com
Docstoc Content Sharing www.docstoc.com
Issuu Content Sharing www.issuu.com
Scribd Content Sharing www.scribd.com
Slideserve Content Sharing www.slideserve.com
SlideShare Content Sharing www.slideshare.com
SlideSix Content Sharing www.slidesix.com
Flickr Image Sharing www.Flickr.com
GigaPan Image Sharing www.GigaPan.com
ImageShack Image Sharing www.ImageShack.com
Imgur Image Sharing www.Imgur.com
Minus Image Sharing www.Minus.com
Pegshot Image Sharing www.Pegshot.com
PhotoBucket Image Sharing www.PhotoBucket.com
Pinterest.com Image Sharing www.Pinterest.com
TinyPic Image Sharing www.TinyPic.com
TwitPic Image Sharing Twitter www.TwitPic.com
Contracted Work Job Sites www.contractedwork.com
eLance.com Job Sites www.elance.com
Find a Freelancer Job Sites indafreelancer.com
Freelance Switch Job Sites www.freelanceswitch.com
Freelanced.com Job Sites www.freelanced.com
Freelancer.com Job Sites www.freelancer.com
Guru.com Job Sites www.guru.com
iFreelance Job Sites www.ifreelance.com
oDesk Job Sites www.odesk.com
PeoplePerHour Job Sites www.peopleperhour.com
Project4Hire Job Sites www.project4hire.com
Absolute Michigan Local Listing Michigan Only www.absolutemichigan.com
Angies List Local Listing www.angieslist.com
Bing Local Local Listing www.bing.com/local/
Brownbook.net Local Listing www.Brownbook.net
City Search Local Listing www.Citysearch.com
City Squares Local Listing www.CitySquares.com
Discover Our Town Local Listing www.DiscoverOurTown.com
Foursquare Local Listing www.Foursquare.com
Google Places Local Listing www.google.com/places/
Hotfrog Local Listing www.hotfrog.com
Infogroup Local Listing www.Infogroup.com
Insider Pages Local Listing www.InsiderPages.com
Judy’s Book Local Listing www.JudysBook.com
Kudzu Local Listing www.Kudzu.com
Local Local Listing www.Local.com
Localeze Local Listing www.Localeze.com
M Live Local Listing Michigan Only www.Mlive.com
Made in Michigan Movement Local Listing Michigan Only www.madeinmichiganmovement.com
Magic Yellow Local Listing www.MagicYellow.com
Manta Local Listing www.Manta.con
Map Quest Local Listing www.MapQuest.com
Merchant Circle Local Listing www.MerchantCircle.com
Michigan Malls Local Listing Michigan Only www.michiganmalls.com
MichiganBusiness.us Local Listing Michigan Only www.michiganbusiness.us
Mojo Pages Local Listing www.MojoPages.com
Super Pages Local Listing www.SuperPages.com
Switchboard Local Listing www.Switchboard.com
Yahoo Local Local Listing local.yahoo.com
Yellowbot Local Listing www.Yellowbot.com
YellowPages Local Listing www.YellowPages.com
Yelp Local Listing www.Yelp.com
1888 Press Release Press Releases www.1888pressrelease.com
24-7 Press Release Press Releases www.24-7pressrelease.com
Before Its News Press Releases www.BeforeItsnews.Com
BigNews.Biz Press Releases www.BigNews.Biz
Biz journals Press Releases www.bizjournals.com
Drop Jack Press Releases www.DropJack.Com
Express Press Release Press Releases www.express-press-release.net
Free PR 101 Press Releases www.freepr101.com
Free Press Index Press Releases www.FreePressindex.Com
Free Press Release Press Releases www.FreePressrelease.Com
Live PR Press Releases www.Live-pr.Com
My PR Genie Press Releases www.myprgenie.com
Online PR News Press Releases www.onlineprnews.com
Open PR Press Releases www.openpr.com
Pitch Engine Press Releases www.pitchengine.com
PR Inside Press Releases www.pr-inside.com
PR Log Press Releases www.prlog.org
PR USA Press Releases www.pr-usa.net
Press Media Wire Press Releases www.pressmediawire.com
Small Biz Trends Press Releases www.smallbiztrends.com
Wide PR Press Releases www.widepr.com
All Experts Q&A www.allexperts.com
Answers.com Q&A www.answers.com
AOL Answers Q&A aolanswers.com
Ask.com Q&A www.ask.com
ChaCha Q&A www.ChaCha.com
Focus Q&A www.focus.com
Form Spring Q&A www.formspring.me
Friend.ly Q&A www.Friend.ly
Google Knol Q&A knol.google.com
LinkedIn Answers Q&A www.linkedin.com/answers/
Mahalo Answers Q&A www.mahalo.com/answers/
Mamapedia Q&A www.mamapedia.com
Quora Q&A www.quora.com
Stack Overflow Q&A www.stackoverflow.com
Wiki Answers Q&A www.wiki.answers.com
AskSearch.me Search Engine www.asksearch.me
Bing Search Engine www.Bing.com
Blekko Search Engine www.blekko.com
Clusty Search Engine www.Clusty.com
Deeper Web Search Engine www.DeeperWeb.com
DMOZ Search Engine www.DMOZ.com
Dogpile Search Engine www.Dogpile.com
Duck Duck Go Search Engine www.DuckDuckGo.com
Excite Search Engine www.Excite.com
Google Search Engine www.Google.com
HotBot Search Engine www.HotBot.com
Info Search Engine Info.com
ix quick Search Engine www.Ixquick.com
Mamma Search Engine www.Mamma.com
Metacrawler Search Engine www.Metacrawler.com
Stumpedia Search Engine www.stumpedia.com
WebCrawler Search Engine www.WebCrawler.com
Yahoo Search Engine www.Yahoo.com
123 People Social Media www.123people.com
About.me Social Media www.About.me
AboutUs.org Social Media www.aboutus.org
All About Site Social Media www.allaboutsite.com
All Business Social Media www.allbusiness.com
B2B Yellow Pages Social Media www.b2byellowpages.com
Biznik Social Media www.biznik.com
Business Card 2 Social Media www.businesscard2.com
Business Exchange Social Media bx.businessweek.com
Business Insider Social Media www.businessinsider.com
Card.ly Social Media www.card.ly
Congoo Social Media www.congoo.com
Connect.me Social Media www.connect.me
CrunchBase Social Media www.crunchbase.com
DirectoryM Social Media www.directorym.net
DISQUS Social Media www.disqus.com
Domain Tools Social Media www.domaintools.com
Ecademy Social Media www.ecademy.com
Empire Avenue Social Media www.empireavenue.com
Entrepreneur Social Media econnect.entrepreneur.com
Follow Friday Social Media Twitter www.followfriday.com
Friendster Social Media Friendster.com
Global Spec Social Media Industrial www.globalspec.com
Google Plus Social Media plus.google.com
haystack Social Media www.haystack.com
hi.im Social Media hi.im
Hubpages Social Media www.hubpages.com
Identica Social Media www.Identica.com
Internet Evolution Social Media Technology www.internetevolution.com
internettagger Social Media www.internettagger.com
jayde Social Media www.jayde.com
LinkedIn Social Media www.LinkedIn.com
List Company Social Media www.list-company.com
Listorious Social Media Twitter www.listorious.com
Local Search Social Media www.localsearch.com
Local Tweeps Social Media Twitter www.localtweeps.com
MeeMi Social Media www.meemi.com
Mom Logic Social Media Women Only community.momlogic.com
My One Page Social Media www.myonepage.com
MySpace Social Media www.MySpace.com
Naymz Social Media www.Naymz.com
Orkut Social Media www.orkut.com
Peek You Social Media www.peekyou.com
Plaxo Social Media www.plaxo.com
Plurk Social Media www.plurk.com
Posterous Social Media www.posterous.com
ProSkore Social Media www.proskore.com
reverseinternet Social Media www.reverseinternet.com
Ryze Social Media www.ryze.com
Scribnia Social Media www.scribnia.com
ScrnShots Social Media Designers www.scrnshots.com
Social Moms Social Media Women Only www.socialmoms.com
Social URL Social Media www.socialurl.com
soup.io Social Media www.soup.io
Spoke Social Media www.spoke.com
Sprouter Social Media Start Ups www.sprouter.com
stuffgate Social Media www.stuffgate.com
Tagged Social Media www.tagged.com
Toolbox Social Media IT, HR, & Accounting www.toolbox.com
TweetMeMe Social Media Twitter www.tweetmeme.com
Tweetwawa Social Media Twitter www.tweetwawa.com
Twellow Social Media Twitter www.twellow.com
Twibs Social Media Twitter www.twibs.com
Twitaholic Social Media Twitter www.twitaholic.com
Twitiq Social Media Twitter www.twitiq.com
Twitter Moms Social Media Twitter www.twittermoms.com
TwitterPacks Social Media Twitter Twitterpacks.pbworks.com
Twtrland Social Media Twitter www.twtrland.com
Viadeo.com Social Media www.viadeo.com
Vois Social Media www.vois.com
XING Social Media www.xing.com
YouTube Social Media www.youtube.com
ziki Social Media www.ziki.com
Zoom Info Social Media www.zoominfo.com
Alexa Website Directory www.alexa.com
BizWeb Website Directory www.bizweb.com
Feed Plex Website Directory www.feedplex.com
Fyber Search Website Directory www.fybersearch.com
Gozoof Website Directory www.gozoof.com
Grokodile Website Directory www.grokodile.com
Web to Thumb Website Directory www.webtothumb.com
Webotopia Website Directory www.webotopia.org
Bizwiki Wiki www.bizwiki.com
MyWikiBiz Wiki www.mywikibiz.com
wiki Wiki www.wiki.com
Wikipedia Wiki www.wikipedia.com

http://www.web-savvy-marketing.com/2011/12/304-link-building-opportunities/

10 Business Blog Posts You Should Write NOW

10 Business Blog Posts You Should Write NOW

1. The Problem Solver – Name the biggest problem your customers have. With that problem in mind, write a detailed blog post that provides practical and non-product focused solutions. Solve your customers’ problems with content.

2. The Data Story – As a business, you are working on selling an idea as well as a product or service to your customers. Use data to help you. Gather data either internally or from third-party sources. Use this data to sell your big idea using your business blog.

3. The Controversial Stand – Sometimes you have to take a hard stance on an issue to get attention. In a blog post, argue one side of a controversial industry issue in an effort to get prospects and industry thought leaders talking about your business.

4. The Big List – Sometimes readers don’t want to read through endless paragraphs for practical advice. Instead, they want a long list of industry resources that they can bookmark and easily access again and again. Aggregate practical advice and resources for an important industry topic, and compile it into one long and easy-to-scan list.

5. The Visual Story – People learn in different ways. Some folks are visual learners. Understand that you’ll need to provide information and data to them in a way that is easiest to consume and understand. Create an infographic, cartoon, or series of charts to help tell teach your prospects in a visual way.

6. The Breaking News Angle – Every industry has news and events that can have a major impact. Write a blog post about a major news story for your industry. Include your  perspective as well as actionable takeaways about what this news means for your readers.

7. The Third-Party Commentary – Identify a major expert in your industry. Conduct an email interview with him or her for your blog. Ask a series of questions that your readers would be interested in learning about. Review the answers and publish them on your blog.

8. The Unexpected Connection – Standing out and driving traffic and leads with inbound marketing is often about doing the unexpected. Think of something that your readers enjoy that is not related to your industry like a sport, a movie, or something from popular culture. Once you have identified that, find a way to connect it back to an industry best practice, and write a blog post about the topic.

9. The Keyword Post – What is the most important search engine keyword that you have not yet blogged about? Take that keyword, and write a blog post about it. Blogging is a great tool for driving search engine traffic. Take advantage of it!

10. The Reader Survey – You aren’t a mind reader. However, you do need to understand what your audience wants. Ask them for their ideas. Create a short survey for ideas for future blog posts, and publish the survey in a blog post for your readers.

What are the factors that influence Quality Score?

Relevance holds it together, it has to be tight. Historical click-through-rate make it soar and landing page quality is the needle that can burst it in an instant. That’s the quick answer to the following question:

What are the factors that influence Quality Score?

Last time you learned why Quality Score is important and how it led to 5 times more conversions for the same keyword with no change to a landing page I had to deal with.  To get those kinds of results you need to know what influences it and focus on what matters – relentlessly – with no distractions.

Let’s talk about those distractions before we talk about what works.

Don’t waste your time on the following…

  • Bounce rate doesn’t impact QS (Here’s Proof)
    Although it makes a lot of sense that it would… it’s doesn’t. And Google sometimes floats the idea that it could… it doesn’t.  It may in the future, but as Dec 4 2012, it does NOT. Many of my LPs have high bounce rates and I don’t care so long as they convert.
  • Keyword density doesn’t impact QS
    Wether it’s on your LP or the ad itself, it doesn’t matter. Your ad and LP should talk about what you’re selling but it doesn’t matter that the keyword is there once, twice, a thousand times (unless it increases CTR). In fact the keyword  doesn’t even necessarily have to be in the ad nor the LP so long as everything relates to what you’re selling.
  • Having lots of content on the website does nothing to QS
    You can have one sentence and still have great QS.
  • SEO rankings, back links have no effect on QS
    It has no impact, it’s completely unrelated.
  • Anything that isn’t mentioned below
    You’re doing good, keep on reading…

If you ever hear someone somewhere on the web talk about the above factors having any influence on QS, tell them they’re wrong. If they ask you, tell them I said so. I don’t care if it’s someone at Google. I listened to everyone until I learned what works the hard way. I only trust my testing now.

Disregard my advice at your own peril.

On a practical level, here are the “ONLY” factors I ever worry about:

  1. Landing Page  Quality (mostly transparency and no shady stuff)
  2. Semantic Relevance (mostly ad grouping)
  3. Historical CTRs (ad copywriting)

That’s it. The order in which I put them is important. I always make sure my landing pages are good before I do any ad grouping. Then I take care of ad grouping correctly before focusing on ad writing. Then ultimately all I do is writing new ads — tirelessly. And I don’t ever stop writing new ads. Occasionally I will do some regrouping in the life of an ad group but 90% of the work is split-testing new ads, and I’ll teach you how to do that efficiently in the next post.

Here’s what happens invariably: my Quality Scores go up then I can focus on my conversion rates (which is another thing I’m obsessed about) and everything else that make me money.

Yes, there are other factors (like page load speed, etc) that influence QS but in most cases, the above 3 are all you need to care about. In fact the 1st one is a set it and forget it type of thing. So it’s really easier than you think: group your keywords tightly, then write irresistible ads.

Most people drop the ball at “write irrestible ads” part then complain that their quality scores suck. Luckily you’re a Tenscores reader and soon enough you’ll be performing better than your competitors consistently. Google will reward you for it.

I. Landing Page Quality

An on and off switch it is. Still is. The needle that can burst the balloon. Don’t ever spend too much time on landing page quality, you either have it or you don’t. If you don’t you’ll know it by how low your QS is, usually 1/10. I don’t want to spend too much time on this one, just follow these steps and you’ll be fine.

What about the recent update Google made that got everyone talking? I don’t care about it. Didn’t affect me nor the majority of our customers, and we have software that tracks all that stuff. (Actually, there’s a more recent update or bug that happened on Nov 7, mostly went under the radar).

I always optimize my landing pages for conversion rates, NEVER for Quality Score.

II. Semantic Relevance

Almost always, this is where I’ll start. Google looks at how relevant an ad is to the keywords in it’s ad group and how relevant a keyword is to a search query (keywords and search queries are not the same thing).

A lot can be said about relevance. Here’s the trick to having it right:

Rule of thumb #1: Group keywords by ad content not keywords.

There’s a reason Ad Groups are called “AD” groups, not “KEYWORD” groups. What you’re probably creating right now are keyword groups. That’s an imperfect way of doing things. You take a list of keywords, group them by themes then write ads for them. That’s a mistake. I’m often guilty of making this mistake myself.

The correct way to group keywords is:

Step 1: Pick a keyword
Step 2: Write the best possible ad you can write for that keyword
Step 3: Find other keywords that match the ad

(There’s actually an even better way to do this, but I’ll keep that for myself for now. Tenscores users will have it when we introduce it as an algorithm soon. We gotta show love to our users.)

Usually, you’ll end up with no more than 10 keywords in an ad group.

I consider ad grouping to be an art, it seems straight forward, but most people screw it up. Keep refining your ad groups over and over again. We’ll talk more about this, if you have specific questions about an ad group you want to create, write it in the comments and I’ll help you out.

III. Historical Click-Through-Rates

Bar far the most important factor that influences QS. In fact, when you’ve taken care of everything else, you can consider your quality score to be a direct measure of your CTR compared against your competitors’. Low QS will indicate that your CTRs are lower than those achieved by other advertisers in your space — even when you think they’re great. What you may consider to be good CTR may actually not be. Keep that in mind.

Google evaluates your CTR at all levels:

  • Individual keyword CTR
  • Display URL CTR
  • Ad group CTR
  • Account CTR
  • Keyword CTR by geographical areas
  • CTR by placement (display network website)
  • CTR by device you’re targeting
  • And more CTRs that we probably don’t know

In short, it’s all about CTR.  Anywhere there’s a CTR, it matters.

Anybody who tells you different doesn’t know what they’re talking about… or they just read some articles from people who live off writing articles. (Sorry if I hurt your feelings — deal with it!)

Google is always trying to predict what CTR you’ll achieve before even showing your ad.

They will use your recent historical CTR data of the keyword in your account, if there is any (whether it is paused or in another ad group if it’s there they’ll use it). If there’s no history for the keyword, they might use the ad groups history. If the ad group has no history, they might use the campaign’s history. If the campaign has no history, they might use your whole account’s history.

And if they don’t use any of those, they will most certainly use the average history that other advertisers in your space are getting. If it’s poor, you’ll get poor QS and you’ll need to prove to Google that you’re above the herd. That’s why some industries are said to have low scores across the board. If you believe to be in such an industry, I guarantee you someone in that industry is silently killing it, while you’ll be accepting your fate. Don’t do that, keep pushing. Until you rise above the herd.

So… if you’ve had great CTRs recently on a keyword, Google is quite confident that you’ll continue to have great CTRs and  you’ll be awarded high QS and lower CPCs. On the other hand, of you’ve proven to be a poor performer, Google will predict that you’ll continue to be a poor performer and give you low QS.

My definition of  ”recent history” (emphasis on my) is: within the last hundred impressions. That’s my second rule of thumbs:

Rule of thumb #2: Can’t get decent CTR within first 100 impressions on search ad? Pause ad, write new one.

Your QS will go down very fast if within a few couple hundred impressions your ads suddenly show poor CTRs.

What’s a good CTR?

Glad you asked…

It depends on your competitors. You need to outperform them. Which is sometimes not possible (example: it’s very hard to outperform a competitor on his brand terms). But, my third rule of thumb is:

Rule of thumb #3: For search ads, anything below 1% is unacceptable.

For display ads it’s another story (some people consider an 0.08% to be good enough). There’s currently no visible QS on display ads (there’s a hidden one) so we won’t dwell too much on them. What’s important is that CTR is as important.

Conclusion

Here’s what I would like you to get out of this post. Whenever you’re going to optimize QS, do this:

  1. Check that LP is fine (unless QS is 1/10, usually you’re fine). Then forget about it.
  2. Regroup your ad group. 90% of the time you’ll have this done half-right, usually it isn’t perfect. Do it once more. Then forget about it. (Having one keyword per ad group isn’t perfect either, keywords strengthen each other, so it seems)
  3.  Focus on CTR for the rest of the ad groups life. I guarantee you, you know nothing about the people clicking your ads, that’s what a low QS is telling you.

So now the question remains …

How the hell do I get better CTRs than my damned competitors?

Ahhhh… Now we get to the really fun stuff. I’ll tell you about a little trick that almost everyone in our industry says is unecessary… but that I use all the time… because it works.