A numbered list of tips, techniques, reasons, myths…or just about anything. That’s not an editorial link. If you send out 100 emails a day, having an email signature with a link back can drive an extra 50+ people a month to your website. So the best way to avoid a manual penalty is to have a squeaky-clean link profile. Well, not every site. According to an interview from an ex-Googler, not really. If you don’t, create one. Reach out to universities and let them know about your expertise in a given area. If you run an agency, ask clients for a list of their employee’s alma maters. BuzzSumo works great. Or if you’re promoting an infographic. Just reach out to writers that curate discounts. Grab the URL of the first result and pop it into a link analysis tool (I’m using Ahrefs in this example). More and more people are creating their own sites and blogs (or know people that do). Here’s an example of the type of infographic that I’m talking about: And to make it easy for people to embed your infographic, check out this handy embed code generator. And the people that disagree? Unless the person is a huge baller, they’ll notice. That said, guest posting still has its place as a link building tactic. Why? For example, if you found a resource page that would be PERFECT for your content, let the site owner know exactly where your link makes sense. For example, someone mentioned “Backlinko” on their blog without linking to me here: All I need to do is email that person and gently ask them to link to me. Your content can be the best in the world…. Instead of outlining, drafting and editing a guest post, you just show up and talk about what you know. Whenever possible mention specific people in your content. Well, with this approach, you recreate the content that was hosted on the broken link (you can usually find the old content on archive.org). Then I emailed the person in charge of that content to give them a heads up about broken links that I found: (Note how uber-personalized that email is). Well, Marie Haynes quickly published this post with her findings: That post racked up 300+ comments, an insane amount of social shares… and 400+ backlinks within 6 weeks. Pro Tip: Keep your guides up-to-date. Nearly 20 years later, links are STILL the best way to determine the quality of a webpage. Take one away from this process, and you’ll find your link building less effective. As it turns out, certain types of content work best for link building. And if you make a major discovery, you’ll get at least a few citations from scholarly websites. You can use a script as long as it doesn’t LOOK like a script. As the name suggests, Likely Linkers are people that are likely to link to you. The second step is to collect and release the results. For example, this GDPR checklist came out weeks before the new law went into effect: And it generated 3.1k backlinks within a few months. (It also helps if you know the person that runs the resource page). Which makes this one of the few link building strategies that’s actually scalable. After all, the point of the resource page is to link out to useful content. All you need to do is grab a headshot of an influencer in your niche. And it worked GREAT. Scoop.it is a great way to drive traffic and build a few nofollow links at the same time. Like any infographic, their power comes from people embedding them in their content (and linking back to you). GoDaddy originally supported SOPA (which created a firestorm). You want your links to appear within the main body of a webpage. Obviously, when it comes to SEO, you want to get normal, “dofollow” links whenever possible. For example, this comparison of Aweber vs Mailchimp has been linked to 50 times: As BuzzFeed proved years ago, people love taking (and sharing) quizzes. But don’t just pitch them links every other week. But what you may not know is the right quiz or test can attract backlinks from bloggers in your niche. Forums aren’t as big as they used to be (thanks largely to Reddit). For example, this fascinating true story has picked up links from over 300 root domains. “…getting a link from a high PageRank page used to always be valuable, today it’s more the relevance of the site’s theme in regards to yours, relevance is the new PageRank.”. Which makes them super likely to link to you. For example, here’s a site using one of my images without attribution: If this happens to you, politely ask them if they could link back to the original source (your site). If you have an audience, and you’re not picky about who responds, you can ask people to participate in your survey. Find bloggers who publish podcasts and videos on their blog… but don’t transcribe the audio. Ever hear the expression: “it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know”? For example, this mobile icon set has over 500 backlinks: Pro Tip: Make sure your icon set is relevant to your niche. Don’t limit your outreach targets to sites that come up with Google searches (like intitle:resources). Today, building lots of exact-match anchor text links is considered spammy. They’ll reveal broken links on that page: Finally, let the person that runs that page about their broken link (or links),… and pitch content from your site as a replacement. First, list any services or products you’ve bought recently. If there’s a myth that most people in your industry believe, debunk it. Unlike general web directories (like BOTW), niche directories only accept sites that cover a specific topic. Now that you’ve created a piece of link-worthy content, it’s time to build some links. First, people love data-driven content. This makes your guide THE go-to resource for that topic. Plus, if the site has a decent audience, the links will send you some targeted traffic. Or subjective (like ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings). And they were right. For example, here’s a link that I got from a crowdsourced post a while back: If your blog runs on any popular Content Management System (like WordPress) you probably already have an RSS feed. rel=”nofollow” is a tag added to a link that tells search engines: “Don’t count this link as an endorsement.”. Pro Tip: Make sure you don’t sign up as an editor with a company email address. …but if it’s not a good fit for that resource page? For example, the Brighton SEO conference site has 11,000 links from 1,000 domains: Lots of people think interactive content is “the next big thing” in content marketing. Finally, reach out to people that still link to the expired domain and ask them to replace the link with a link to your site (aka Broken Link Building). That’s because links from authoritative pages pass more authority (also known as PageRank) to your site. Instead, try Guestographics. Notice how the script allows A LOT of personalization without a whole lot of effort. Needless to say, if you run a baking blog, every single one of the sites listed here would make a great link opportunity. Out of the 150+ link building strategies on this list, Broken Link Building might be my favorite. Which means more people will see your stuff… and link to it. And they have a community of bloggers that might be happy to share your theme with their audience. Instead of tackling the content creation process from a top-down approach (creating content, then finding link opportunities), go at it from a bottom-up approach. That’s the power of creating visual assets. It also works for Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc.). Obviously, add your link to the updated content. This list post, 21 Actionable SEO Techniques You Can Use Right Now, is one of my all-time most popular pieces of content. Well, there’s a surge of content that comes out after a conference. I’ve seen this most successful for outdoor sporting venues, like this one from my home state of Rhode Island: But I’ve also seen this work successful for indoor conference venues too. You might get a virus. So why wouldn’t Google use it? And they might return the favor with a link down the road. I’m not a fan of paid directories in general. How does this work? Google likely uses co-Occurrences as “baby anchor text”. And – boom! And you just “built” a bunch of backlinks without any outreach. The downside is that they’re REALLY hard to make. And if you’re only interested in finding people to link to you, the tool gives you the influencer’s SEO stats (Moz’s Domain Authority and Page Authority). You can use your influence to reach out to big name bloggers, get your emails opened, and increase your outreach conversion rate. Pro Tip: When you search for clubs, think “general”… not specific. Can you succeed with SEO and link building without a blog? If I knew Danny a bit better, I’d reach out to him with an updated version of the content. If you want to build white hat links in 2021 (and beyond), you need to use email outreach. Resource pages are a link builder’s dream. So you’ll get eyeballs on your content even after the initial buzz dies down. But now, here’s an example of one of my best-performing email scripts: I was looking for content on [Topic] today, when I stumbled on your article: [Article Title]. But they’re technically a “link building strategy”. Create and Distribute Infographics. Which CAN lead to links down the road. “Keyword” + “useful links”. But Rich knew that Guestographics can help turn high-quality infographics into high-quality backlinks. And you usually get a link if you make the cut. And Google has said that getting listed on the BBB doesn’t directly help with SEO. Use sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to find projects that need funding and are willing to give links to those who contribute. internal links to other pages on your site, Google has come out and classified donation links as “paid links”, has largely devalued links from guest posts, this list of resources to help people learn SEO, Resource pages are a link builder’s dream, Which Star Wars Character Should Be Your Valentine’s Day Date. You can also use your influence for a ton of things outside of straight up outreach. So it’s not a magic bullet. For example, you probably already read about the Google Medic Update. There’s data to show that you can dodge Penguin by minimizing exact match anchor text (I say anchor text is part of the story…but it’s more about trust). But there are literally thousands of these. That way, you can reach out to people that use the term… but didn’t link. That’s a footprint you don’t want. So if you have a tool that’s a good fit for someone’s list, let them know about it. For example, back in the day I was an active member of (the now dead) Inbound.org. And it’ll show you that specific person’s email address. And other industries (like the green niche) are on the other end of the spectrum. So they usually link to a tutorial that outlines all of the steps. Get to know ’em. I recommend using a tool like Boomerang to help time your outreach emails: Here’s an example of this in action from Backlinko: Believe it or not, but lots of people have linked to me thanks to this simple illustration: Well I COULD have simply described the APP formula with text. That said, one piece of advice about internal linking: don’t automate it. If you have any job or internship opportunities, you can get a few easy .edu links. Find where your competitors are getting mentioned. A while back I teamed up with HubSpot to make this infographic: And because HubSpot was a partner, they happily promoted it to their massive following. And it has 45 backlinks. But it can help you build relationships too. And my link will end up somewhere on the body of the page. That’s because, unlike external links, you control everything about them… from the location on the page to the anchor text. The Basics of Link Building. But once and a while you come together to help each other out. I also want to point out that you don’t have to limit yourself to sites in your niche. That way, your links don’t look spammy. I’ll also show you why link building is still important for SEO in 2021. 10 Link Building Strategies for 2021. This works just like promoting an infographic, chart… or any other type of visual content. Instead of popping in a URL, with VoilaNorbert.com you enter a person’s name and the domain they work at. Member directories and lists are one thing. You probably already reverse engineer your competitor’s content. Create a resource that helps attendees get the most out of their experience at a popular event or conference. Either way, keep up the awesome work with [Website]! Then, redirect those broken links to a similar page. Then, suggest your content to the person that runs that page. But they still work. If you’re at an industry event, blog about everything that you see. The big thing to keep in mind here is that you want to focus on getting links from highly-relevant sites. In fact, you should celebrate. Schedule pages on ESPN links to VividSeat’s page that sell tickets for that page: It’s a fact of life: people like to look good. When someone cites your data, they link to you. Here’s where you publish an in-depth analysis that compares two competing products, services or tools. Content curation is one of my all-time favorite link building strategies. Just make sure to include internal links to other pages on your site in your content. And don’t forget to mix up your anchor text. Not too shabby. Don’t freak out. There are hundreds of potential blog targets in most industries. Just send bloggers your video with an embed code. It’s funny: I recently published a guide on [Topic] last month. I first wrote about The Skyscraper Technique in 2013. This is the Broken Link Building approach applied to outdated content. Just make sure to include a link back to the awards page in the embed code. Link building is, with no doubt, one of the most effective SEO strategies. Use a whois lookup to find contact info. Use ScrapeBox to find sites with malware, then reach out to webmasters and let them know. These will come in handy whenever you land a new client in that niche. While this one is definitely not one of the many advanced link building strategies you might want to try, the truth is that forums are still a good place to start. Certain industries (insurance, gambling) are REALLY hard to build links in. For example, the “Will it Blend” series got a ton of links and eyeballs to Blendtec’s site: Illustration and drawings aren’t just for comic strips and memes. Sweet! Pro tip: Check if there are any Awards (such as Drexel’s 40 under 40) that might provide another opportunity for a link. For example, the ShareThis plugin has received links from … wait for it… 41 thousand different websites. My take is that an algorithm spots a website that’s potentially gaming the system. That’s because a blog makes it easy to publish awesome content, internal link, external link and more. This powerful “share my image and link to me when you do” relationship simply doesn’t work for text-based content. There are dozens of … Plus, these links would be super authoritative and highly-relevant. So I created one: Keyword Research for SEO: The Definitive Guide. We are building links, right? Plus, if you consistently publish awesome content on your blog, people will start linking to your blog’s homepage: If your content strikes up a conversation in the comments section and on social media, you’ll sometimes notice that people also start writing blog posts with their take. But Google has put the hammer down on widgets in recent years. Also, unlike with Penguin, you can recover from a manual penalty by disavowing links and filing a reconsideration request. And their extension page already has 409 backlinks: Existing websites have assets (namely, content and links) that every site could use more of. But I’ve seen it work in all sorts of different industries. (In fact, I’ve published several of these myself). Sites like Living Social and Groupon allow you to include (nofollow) links on your coupon page. Pro Tip: Look for sites that haven’t been updated for a while. People that agreed with Derek (namely, designers) linked to the post. For example, StarWars.com ran a Valentine’s day quiz called: “Which Star Wars Character Should Be Your Valentine’s Day Date?”. For example, this glossary of internet terms has landed 9,200 links from over 1,200 root domains (imagine if you made an updated version!). Experienced link builders usually have a little black book of contacts (at least the good ones do). I was Googling around for content about [Topic] this morning, when I came across your excellent resource page: [URL]. It usually just takes a quick call or email. The steps are: 1) find a page that might link to you, 2) look for broken links on that page, 3) let the webmaster know… and ask if the broken link could be replaced with a link … Just like general web directories, you can submit your site to general company directories. Last year I published the largest Google ranking factors study ever. But they CAN still work. This strategy is simple in theory… but tough to pull off. 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