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8 techniques for link building (Part One)

weblinkSEOmoz recently ran a webinar on linkbuilding, outlining 8 major different methods of linkbuilding. I thought I’d write a bit about them, and add my experience of using them. This is a two part post, the following  four further methods will be posted soon. 

1. Manual Link Submissions/ Requests

This technique refers to approaching relevant sites and either attempting to leave a link or approaching the webmaster to obtain one. I have used this technique a great amount buthaven’t gained many high quality using it. It is a pretty tedious method of link building too.

However I’m going to share some search commands that I typically use to find linking opportunities. By typing some of the following into Google, you’ll be presented with many opportunities to acquire links.


  • intitle:”keyword”

    This command will return results that feature your keyword specified in the page titles of web pages. For instance if you were to substitute keyword for “oak tables”, Google will present you with a list of web pages about oak tables that you could contact. 

  • keyword “write for us” OR “write for me”

    The response rate for replies to manual link submissions is quite low, so if the webmaster is open to featuring content written by others, it can make life a bit easier. Unfortunately, wise webmasters are unlikely to give you exposure for free, so you may have to negotiate a little.

  • keyword resources OR “useful sites” OR links

    Pretty obviously one this one. Substitute keyword for your search phrase and you’ll have a list of webmasters who have put a collection of links together for your area. You’ll have to give them a good reason in order to add you to link to you too, best to consider your USP when doing this and present a case for the value it would generate for their visitors.

I use many search commands and these are only the most basic ones. Perhaps I’ll write an entry in the future exploring other commands you can use.

2. Competitive Link Research/ Acquisition

I had some great success with this method in a recent link building campaign. Essentially what you do is take a look at the links to some of your competitions and attempt to get the same links. It really helps if you have some tools to help you, such as SEOmoz Linkscape. What it will do is give you a list of links, but order them in terms of which are the best ones that are passing on link juice. The bad news is that it isn’t free; but if you are really on a budget of nothing, you can always use the link: command in Yahoo. With the returned list links, contact each webmaster and see if you can obtain the same link. As above, try and base your link building on your USP. It may be the case that your competitor paid for the link, in which case you’ll have to get your wallet out.

3. Links Via Embedded Content

Quite an interesting one this one. One method you can use to obtain links is to provide a widget or functionality that can be placed on other’s website that gives you a link. My personal portfolio of websites has mainly consisted of forums and I’m going to share one great link building technique. 

Forums are full of competitive members. Especially on gaming forums, what you can do is create graphical signatures that they can copy and paste and use. These signatures can feature what level they’re on, their rank or how many achievements they have got. Surprisingly, often people have signatures that don’t even perform great functionality. It might just be a cartoon version of themself or a pet that hatches out of an egg. Really it surprises me what people like, but the scalability of such people is huge. Get users to feature these as their signature and you’ll have some links. 

4. Linkbait & Viral Campaigns

For me linkbait and viral campaigns are the most enjoyable method of link building since it permits much creativity. Providing link bait gives users a great reason to link to your site where they normally might not. I’ve had link bait campaigns about six years ago when I was in the Sixth form when I obtained exclusive content that attracted links from Engadget and Microsoft. 

My favourite link bait campaigns of late include bethere’s horrible redesign of their homepage (although I’ve since become a customer!) and in the past few days, beautifulpeople.com. The latter released a story how they axed 5,000 profiles off their site because certain members had become fat over the Christmas period. I saw the Hitwise graph following this, and their traffic increased 50 fold!

Coming soon, part two.

So, what do you think ?