How Do I Link Thee, Let Me Count The Ways

When your site gains links from other sites, its authority and ranking can increase. I say can because the authority of sites linking to you has some influence on the ranking you receive (though there are many other factors). I’m not going to claim to be an SEO. Still, it’s safe to say that linkbuilding is something you want to do, and regularly.

Many bloggers have covered ways to build links to your site. I’d like to discuss it in the hopes of hearing what you have tried and whether it’s worked for you. Here is a shortlist of linkbuilding techniques. I’m not commenting on whether or not I think these are any good because I’m hoping you’ll say what’s worked for you.

  1. Comments.
    Some sites apply a nofollow to links in comments, so you may not benefit SEO-wise. However, your comments, if intelligent (or sometimes controversial), will draw visitors. If these visitors are bloggers, they might link to you after visiting. (Use tools to track comments.) Unless of course you’re an anonymous commenter.

  2. Trackbacks.
    Trackbacks are an automated technology that most of the bigger blogging platforms have. If you write about and link to someone’s blog post, your platform will notify the other one. The other blog will then display a snippet of your post, with a link. While trackbacks are still prone to spam, they seem to generate less than comments might on some sites. (Yet some bloggers say it’s worse.) Blogs can have any combination of commenting and trackbacks turned on or off. Note that some trackbacks may have nofollow as well, and may be moderated.

  3. Conversations.
    The VoIP bloggers seem to have this down to a pratice. I write about VoIP (ghosted) and subscribe to something close to 80 blogs that discuss communications, mostly VoIP. There’s a small group that regularly write posts that bounce off of topics another one of them wrote. So they link to each other almost daily. Personally, I think they should diversify their outbound links, but that’s their call. Liz Strauss has talked about link leaking on her Successful-Blog, and I’m definitely a link leaker, linking to relevant posts on as many blogs as possible, hoping to strike up a blogversation. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. (It helps if you do it from a blog where your name appears on each post – not so much if you ghostwrite.)

  4. Purchased reviews.
    In addition to PayperPost and ReviewMe, there are also at least LoudLaunch and SponsoredReviews, and others I’m forgetting. Some people are using these for linkbuilding campaigns, by paying people to review their site. For example, fans of John Chow have been purchasing reviews from him through ReviewMe.

  5. Link exchange/ request.
    While not everyone is comfortable doing so, people sometimes just ask for a link or offer a swap. Darren Rowse tells you how to go about requesting links.

  6. Purchased links.
    This amounts to either offering a blogger money for a link, or doing it indirectly through a service like Text-Link-Ads or Text Link Brokers.

  7. Linkbait and social bookmarking.
    This is combo technique. Publish compelling flagship content, including linkbait, then have someone “seed” the URL on a social bookmarking network such as Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit, Stumbleupon, Fark, etc.

  8. Blog carnivals.
    Blog carnivals are an incredbly good way not only to get known in your niche but to also get and give links, and build visitors.

Did I miss anything? Which of these have you tried? Did it work? Which technique do you prefer? Which one would you like to try but are not sure how to go about it?

Comments

  1. Hi Raj,

    I’ll add two:

    – Incentivizing bloggers to link to you: An example would be Chris Garrett’s offer to (among other things) give you a link for reviewing his ebook. This also works for contests (I recently saw someone offering a prize for guessing their upcoming pagerank – clever).

    – Memes/Tagging: Tagging people for memes often generates many reciprocal links.

  2. Liz Strauss says:

    That the real pay off in blogging has nothing to do with links. My link count has never got me a writing or strategic planning job. What links give me are opportunities to get a conversation going with someone I just met. Am I being contrary here? I don’t mean to.

  3. Liz Strauss says:

    it’s true some folks get surprised when they come to ask to be an SOB or write a guest post and they find me saying to them “I’m a relationship blogger. Do you mind if I get to know you firt?” What’s fun is that the folks who hang in with me havw become some of my best email friends.

  4. Raj Dash says:

    @John: Good suggestions. Definitely powerful and popular.

    @Liz: I’m speaking purely in terms of raising the authority of your blog. But that said, I still think that more links bring more traffic, which brings more potential for opportunity, contracts, friendships. So I think link building is important for many reasons.

  5. Ahmed Bilal says:

    I feel a rant coming on…

    are we going to get into a debate of whether SEO is important or not?

    Because that’s one that we’ve had here several times before, with little success

    SEO has a specific objective – traffic from search engines.

    Blogging has multiple objectives, some of which can benefit from search engine traffic, others that don’t need SE traffic.

    Internet marketing, making money online, etc etc – all can use SE traffic, all can get away with it without using SE traffic.

    Bashing SEO for it makes little sense

    Personally I find that SE traffic is a great bonus – yes, it may not bring you as many regular readers as blogging and conversations does, but then are you getting SE traffic for readers, and are your pages optimized for that purpose?

    It’s up to you on how you choose to use SEO. Don’t bash it because you don’t get it or don’t use it

  6. Ahmed Bilal says:

    speaking of links – it depends on where you want to get them from Raj.

    1) Guest blogging is a fun way to get links and build an audience.

    2) You can go for old-school methods and use directory submissions and article submissions, both strategies that still work (despite what anyone will tell you).

    There are more, I’ll do a longer list sometime.

  7. Raj Dash says:

    Who are talking to Ahmed? I didn’t bash SEO. I said I can’t call my self an SEO (merely because I don’t have the skills yet) ;) Personally, I think SEO is very important, but everyone has their own idea of it. I feel that even building relationships are part of that

  8. Ahmed Bilal says:

    I was pre-empting, and bouncing off on Liz’s first comment

  9. Affiliatemarketing says:

    - seo is the online basic and every other thing have second importance.
    – Every techniques can help blogger to get more links and traffic.
    – posting Forums can help,
    – quality links is more importante.

  10. Raj Dash says:

    @Affiliatemarketing: I’ll agree with most of what you said, but I can’t agree that everything else is second in importance to SEO. What good is SEO if your content is poor or irrelevant?

  11. Nazimudin M. says:

    Hi Ahmed,

    I’m not much familiar with these things. I work on Data Entry projects thru a site called: Getafreelancer.com. I would like to take your help, if you can help at your earliest.
    I’ve been awarded a projet of blog poster, where I’m required to post about 25 posts to a list of 1000 blogs in the first phase. I have written the blogs (whch is commercial in nature) and they were okayed by the service buyer. But when i tried to go post most or all of the sites do not take posts from, instead they require me to send them my sites url, message and other info. They say, They will reply only after their revision of my msg and url. Isn’t there any other way that I could post to others blogs on a particular or on any topic ??
    if yes, How do I do that ?
    Please help me.

    Thank you

    Nazim M.
    Chennai, India

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