As a link ninja I do two things: I build links and get into fights. What I have been seeing lately in the link ninja field though are some real white belt (not to be confused with white hat) style tactics. A competent link builder should provide quality links with targeted keywords, which will not only help your site rank for the short tail, but ensure broader visibility in the SERPs, bringing in steady organic traffic. Here are a few ideas if you want to be a black belt (not to be confused with black hat) link builder:
Know your audience.
You might not necessarily be able to find any large sites that are willing to give you a link in your intended field, so it makes sense to seek out people who would use the product or service. Fortunately, many of these people have blogs. So, if you’re building for a tech service, look up geek blogs. If you’re trying to build for real estate sites, take a look at carpentry blogs or blogs about interior design. Understand the audience that uses the type of product for which you are building links. This requires both common sense and research. If you take some time to figure not only potential end users of a product but also those interested enough to blog about it, you can tap into a wealth of sites outside the immediately obvious keywords.
Offer more than just money.
Paying for links can get you flagged by Google and then your site will be penalized. But you can do something that will not hurt your site, something which will result in a permanent link on the site and provide information regarding your client’s goods/services: offer content, link-included. Quality, informative and timely articles related to the field you wish to promote will have considerably more success than just offering someone $20/month for a link.
Control the keywords in the link.
One of the problems inherent in link-baiting is that you surrender control of what phrases people use to link to you. You throw your content from your site into the public sphere with no guarantee over how people will respond to it. Having complete control over the links that go up to your site is a great advantage and one of the main reasons that a link ninja is a valuable asset for SEO.
Diversify the sites you focus on.
Creating a broader link base will give an organic look to the links pointing to your site. If you are building links for a vacation client, for example, take links from thrill-seeker blogs, backpacker blogs, or travel review sites. Knowing the audience is vital for this approach.
These are just a few ways to increase your success rates when building links for sites. Be polite, be professional, know what the people want and be sure to take your time so that you can get it right. Patience and common sense are the two best tools a link ninja can posses. However, if you stick to just one method you won’t last long. The wisest tactics spring from adaptation. As Bruce Lee said, “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
- Q&A Sites and Their Impact on SEO
- Dawn Wentzell on Link Building Strategies
- Link Building Strategies and Ranking Tactics at SMX Toronto 2010
- SES Toronto 2010: Link Building Basics
- Social Media Optimization 101