Link building is still one of the most important factors in your search engine results page (SERP) rankings and in your Google PageRank and will be from the foreseeable future. Links are still the fundamental connectors on the web, and legitimate links are still a great way to judge importance of a site and just how trustworthy a site is. Google’s search algorithm has learned to devalue purchased or traded links and emphasizing trusted, genuine links. And when those links are further bolstered by the vintage of the domain, user data, and other factors that are hard to fake, that’s when SERP rankings rise.
15 Effective Link Building Methods
Here are 15 great ways to build up the kind of links that will increase your PageRank and your SERP position.
- People love to link to lists. People like to Digg lists. So include lists. They have an air of authority, and they’re fairly easy to write in many contexts. If the top 10 how-tos have been done to death in your opinion, why not list the top 10 myths about your area of expertise?
- Speaking of lists, you could create a list of top 10 gurus or authority sites. Sometimes this even results in the guru giving you a back link. Cool.
- You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating until everyone gets it: write good content that is easy to understand, is spelled correctly, and is free of grammatical mistakes.
- Consider using a pay-per-click ad campaign. It will get relevant traffic to your site, and regardless of how people find your site, if they like it they’ll at least come back, and may well link to you.
- Syndicate articles at ezinearticles, eHow, GoArticles, and similar sites. Syndicate a press release and send it to some reasonably influential bloggers and journalists. But make sure that it’s a press release that’s actually about something newsworthy, or it will go straight to the circular file. If you track who picks up your press releases you can contact them directly to offer exclusive news.
- Link to sites in the news in your niche. To find them, do a Google news search on your niche or keywords, as you can see in the screen shot for news searches on 401k investing.
- Build local (geographical) links by joining the Better Business Bureau, asking for a link from the local chamber of commerce, or submitting your link to relevant government offices.
- Answer (or ask) questions on Yahoo! Answers or Google Groups and provide links to resources that are relevant.
- Create a Squidoo lens and link to expert documents and popular tools in your niche. You can also create a link back to your site.
- If you participate in any forums, check which ones allow you to leave signature links or profile links. Don’t do this without asking first, or you’ll incur the entire forum’s wrath. But a high number of forums do allow signature links or profile links.
- Write relevant product reviews or product lists on Amazon, mentioning your background in the niche and including a link in your reviewer profile, and review products on sites like ePinions.
- If you really think you can keep it regularly updated with fresh content, start a blog, link to other blogs, and comment on other blogs. Also list it in some of the better blog directories, like bestoftheweb.org (http://blogs.botw.org/).
- If you can afford $25 or $50 in prize money, hold a contest. Contests attract links and are a cheap form of advertising.
- Use your face-to-face relationships to create linking relationships. Trade conferences are great places to find and talk to industry leaders, politicians, and the occasional celebrity. Sometimes the cost of a one-day registration can pay for itself in traction you’ll get from interviews and pictures.
What NOT to do
And for good measure, here’s another link: 5 really bad ways to get links.
- Buy links. Once Google realizes what you’ve done, they’ll ban you, as will the other search engines. You’ll have to claw your way back into their good graces over a fairly long period of time to get indexed again.
- Swap links. While not quite as blatantly dishonest as buying links, you’re still getting together with others to squeeze link juice from a stone. You’ll at least get penalized and at worst get de-listed by the search engines.
- Spam every forum you can find with links, regardless of whether they allow signature links. The few links you get this way will not make up for the bad karma you sow by doing this.
- Follow as many people as you’re allowed to on Twitter and flood the place with tweets about every tiny thing you can come up with all day long. Anyone dumb enough to follow you back will quickly realize their mistake.
- Set up a fake “survey” site about what the best product is in your niche. Then, using a different IP address, write “reviews” rating your product the highest and containing links to your awesome site where you sell your awesome product.
You can’t get away from link building when it comes to getting traffic, moving upward in the SERP listings and increasing your PageRank. But don’t try to take the easy way out. The work you put in getting links legitimately will be well worth it over the long term, while ill-gotten links will sabotage your efforts very quickly.