2009 SEMMY Finalist

Below, I've compiled a list of techniques I personally know of being utilized in the industry. It is by no means comprehensive, but is one of the most complete lists I'm aware of. I've tried to keep each technique as mutually exclusive as possible.

I would like this list to become definitive, so I propose this;
if you can provide 5 techniques not already covered (at the sole discretion of SEP), we will:
a. incorporate your ideas, and give you proper attribution for all to see
b. send you a $50 gift certificate

and … the person who submits the most new link building techniques by February 1st 2009, that ultimately get incorporated into this document (again, at the sole discretion of SEP), will be awarded $250.

Some of the techniques mentioned in this document are not condoned by SEP or the search engines, but are listed only to add to the comprehensiveness of the document. Only you know your own risk tolerance, and so must make the decision regarding tactics yourself.

Each of the techniques below, assumes a basic knowledge of the use of NoFollow tag, robots.txt exclusions, and the identification of bad neighbourhoods.

The Definitive List of Link Building Techniques:

1. build useful tools, that others will talk about and link to. These may be WordPress plugins (eg. a 301 Redirect Plugin for WordPress), Firefox extensions (eg. Dave Naylor's multi-browser SEO Tool, and 97th Floor's Social Media Plugin), and the like

2. build fun or helpful widgets relevant to your business or industry (ie. mortgage calculators, body mass index calculators, how much is my blog worth, etc.).

3. offer badges

4. offer awards

5. issue online press releases

6. build definitive lists or resources via your blog eg. 75+ Link Building Techniques of 2008

7. write and release an ebook eg. How to SEO Your Site in 60 Minutes by Matt McGee, The SEO Handbook – 2008 by Dave Harry.

8. reciprocal linking with suppliers, clients, and complementary businesses

9. hold a contest. Sometimes even the smallest of contests can result in large numbers of links

10. guest blog on relevant sites in your industry

Link Building
Image courtesy SEOResearcher.com

11. submit to quality directories

12. submit your blog postings to search engine friendly social media

13. sponsor an event, or a cause

14. provide testimonials for industry products you use

15. vanity bait others – in your blog, include positive mentions of the blog posts of others, and link freely to their work. Often, they'll feel compelled to acknowledge you

16. comment on the blogs of others in your industry, or those of related sites.

17. send samples of your product to industry bloggers and ask them to try the products. If they like them, they may write about them. Of course the risk is, if they don't like them, they may write about them too.

18. participate in surveys or group projects.

19. write "how to" guides or posts

20. release unique research results

21. be the first to uncover and blog about a significant news story

22. post job postings in colleges and universities

23. offer to speak at a college or university

24. help write curriculum for a college or university

25. provide a bursury or endowment to the school

26. make a financial contribution to your college or university. Often this results in a dofollow link acknowledging the contribution.

27. study your local government site to look for opportunities to get listed (ie. news, directory, etc.)

28. use ppc to drive qualified searchers to your quality content, knowing a % will link.

29. syndicate articles

30. trade articles with other webmasters

31. search for sites with dofollow 'trackbacks' and link to some of their blog posts.

32. carefully select your friends on social media (eg. Digg, Stumbleupon, Delicious). If they work for media (eg. newspapers, magazines, radio stations, etc.) cater the content to their apparent interests. I've had content mentioned on radio shows before (and linked to from the radio's website), merely by knowing to put a 'conspiracy' spin on the science content.

33. internal links are crucial and important. Ensure you use proper navigation structure

34. submit to nofollow social media too, if the content is really good. If it goes hot, it will be seen by large numbers of people potentially, and will typically result in a number of good links.

35. study competitors banklinks via Yahoo Site Explorer, and request backlinks from many of the same sources

36. maintain profiles on RELEVANT social media sites with DoFollow profile pages, and heavily link those pages with other pages from the social media site (ie. lots of friends, lots of activity).

37. buy another domain with links pointing to it, and 301 redirect it

38. always carry a camera, capture interesting photos, and post them to the site and Flickr using Creative Commons licensing (requiring links back to your site).

39. include links in the footers of your RSS, so content scaped from your site contains links back to you.

40. rent some links from companies like Text Link Brokers. Be careful though. Google will penalize both the selling and buying party for paid links.

41. strike a deal to purchase a text link ad on relevant pages of a related site. Best if the link is from within a site's actual content.

42. offer to make a contribution to charities

43. as Aaron Wall and Andy Hagans have suggested from their post 101 Link Building Tips to Market Your Website (points 62 and 63), sue a large company (get the David vs Goliath element working in your favour) or get sued by a company that people hate. Genius!

44. interview industry personalities, and post video and text versions to your blog. Others are always interested in what they have to say, and often will find reason to link to something they've said.

45. speak at industry events, especially if you know they offer dofollow profiles and linkbacks for such speakers.

46. apply for awards. Even if these sites do not link back to your site, news of winning awards can often be good linkable content for local media.

47. join a number of local organizations such as the local Board of Trade. Often, these sites provide dofollow member directory links.

48. offer a discount or free product samples to others who blog about your product.

49. submit your blog to RSS feed directories

50. do something remarkable such as running a marathon or triathlon

51. do something controversial, or to infuriate the industry (eg. say SEO is dying to a group of SEOs … good one Jason Calcanis, ShoeMoney). Most will link to you, not knowing they're helping to further promote the issue

52. create niche sites for specific segments of topics of your industry, and link back to your site

53. create an industry group or panel, complete with its own website. Often competitors will not link directly to you, but they will link to sites that link to you!

54. find pages that link to you that are not in the indexes of search engines, and are not noindexed or blocked by robots.txt, and link to those pages so spiders will follow them and find the links pointing back to your site.

55. buy sponsored reviews

56. there are a number of wiki types sites on the internet, that will provide link backs if you add good quality content to their sites.

57. start a search engine friendly affiliate program

58. provide answers via some 'Answers' type sites, and link to your content on the matter as proof of your answer

59. provide a link (from a specific content piece) to a particular site that you wish to receive a link from, and send them large volumes of traffic. Often, this will be enough to capture their attention, and link back to your post on the subject.

60. attend related conferences and network, network, network. People are camera crazy these days, and will post pictures of most of the people the meet, often complete with links back to your site.

61. develop relationships with local media personalities, such that you are their 'Goto' person when they need information on a given subject.

62. some sites have a "See Us In The Press" page. When you find such sites relating to your industry, write something about them. Often, they'll pick it up and post it to their site … everyone like to show off their cudos.

63. forum commenting

64. search keyword "add url", keyword "add site", and add your site to those sites

65. be a 'top commentator' on search engine friendly blogs offering the plugin

66. submit videos to tv channel websites (thank you for this idea Melanie Nathan) and be sure to include relevant text links.

67. point out errors (spelling, grammatical, coding) on sites where you'd like a link from. Often, thanks is provided in the form of a link.

68. develop a WordPress plugin that automatically generates links back to the author's site from the blog where the plugin is 'plugged in' (this is extremely black hat!!!)

69. list yourself with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and other local organizations. It should be noted however, that not all BBB sites offer DoFollow links

70. submit the widgets you create to widget directories

71. create customized WordPress themes, complete with properly worded attribution links

72. search for articles, sites, or posts that mention your personal or business name, though do not link to it, and then contact them and ask them to link to your site. This is courtesy of Wiep

73. if your company owns numerous web sites, have the other websites interlink. Again courtesy of Wiep

74. find companies offering the same products or services, except in different countries, regions, or even languages, and approach them to exchange links (Wiep … you're on a roll)

75. create an industry niche directory, and link back to your site

76. hold a blog carnival (courtesy Kari Rippetoe)

77. create profiles on Slideshare and Slideboom and upload your PPT presentations. Add your website link to your profiles.(courtesy Kari Rippetoe)

78. purchase links, but disguise them as AdSense or Affiliate Banners … courtesy Gab Goldenberg @ Link Building.ca

79. buy paid links to promote linkbait pieces … courtesy Slightly Shady SEO, and Gab Goldenberg @ Link Building.ca for bringing my attention to it.

80. create geocities, tripod and aol memberpages accounts so you can give yourself guestbook links … courtesy Gab Goldenberg @ Link Building.ca

81. hunt for dying blogspot sites registered through hotmail addresses, then see about getting the hotmail addresses and taking over the blogs … courtesy Oilman and Gab Goldenberg @ Link Building.ca for bringing my attention to it.

82. Use a hub-finder to find the best links, based on them supporting 2+ competitors’ rankings … courtesy Gab Goldenberg @ Link Building.ca

83. Use keyword combination (e.g. keyword listbuilding) tools to combine the various forms of “add url” or related footprints … courtesy Gab Goldenberg @ Link Building.ca

Please Note: many of these techniques are not condoned by Search Engine People Inc., though have been included in the interest of comprehensiveness.

ps apologies Wiep … this list was already well under way when you posted yours. Besides, I think we've touched on some different aspects.

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80 Responses to “The Definitive List (75+) of Link Building Techniques in 2008”

  1. http://resourcesandmoney.blogspot.com says:

    I think submitting RSS feeds to RSS directories isn't a good idea. It might cause a duplicate content issue.

  2. Thank you for an outstanding list of link-building techniques. If a small business doesn't have a marketing plan, they could use this as a road map.

    You may want to create a printable PDF chart and share as well, which will surely increase incoming links!

    Viewers may also be interested in ProspectMX's Link Building Chart.

    Thanks, Jeff! I'll be referring back to this and sharing.

  3. Linda Bustos says:

    Wow Jeff great list! It's important you put 2008 on this article because 2002 link building tactics were quite different ;)

    May I add my list of RSS directories and blog directories for reference?
    http://www.getelastic.com/rss-blog-directory-list/

  4. Jeff Quipp says:

    @ Dana – great idea re: the printable pdf. Thanks for the suggestion Dana! I will do that after I incorporate some more ideas from others.

  5. Wiep says:

    Great post, Jeff! Now if I knew that you were building such a list also, we could've compiled a list with 100+ tactics together :)

  6. Very impressive list that will help anyone looking for some new ideas to build links. I've got some more ideas to add to my own blog now. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Marcus Jones says:

    I like the BBB idea – I'm going to look into that right now!

  8. Great list, Jeff! Definitely keeping this for reference!

    BTW, adding RSS feeds to RSS directories is mentioned twice.

    Here are a few more I thought of:
    -Hold a blog carnival on a relevant topic. Participants will link back to you.
    -Do a search for your niche and resources and site:.org. You'll get a list of .org sites that have a resources section on your topic. Example: "social media" resources site:.org
    -Create profiles on Slideshare and Slideboom and upload your PPT presentations. Add your website link to your profiles.
    -ASK! Do a little blogger outreach and send good, personalized pitches to them. You may be surprised how well it works.

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  10. Fantastic work Jeff…you're putting me to shame. I got to put all my findings in one giant list for the new years..in fact I'll make that my resolution.

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  12. This part "build definitive lists or resources via your blog eg. 75+ Link Building Techniques of 2008" is funny and been done 1 million + times by many SEO bloggers. :)

  13. Ray says:

    Numbers 49 & 75 are basically the same.

  14. Jeff Quipp says:

    @Wiep … maybe next year:)

    @ Matt … thanks! There are some good ones here.

    @ Marcus … BBB is a good one.

    @ Karl … thank you for bookmarking and the suggestions!

    @ Ryan … looking forward to seeing your list!

    @Wil … thanks for the additional widget directory!

    @ Ray … thanks. I see it now!

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  16. Palak Bhatt says:

    HI,

    Interesting Post….

    Please suggest me, Which strategies I use for country specific traffic?

    Thanks,

    Palak Bhatt

  17. valuablelink says:

    "17. send samples of your product to industry bloggers and ask them to try the products. If they like them, they may write about them. Of course the risk is, if they don’t like them, they may write about them too."

    Send the sample to him as a gift, ask him to keep silence if the sample is not good. Is that OK :)

  18. james says:

    Good work man, you have really given a good work for all of us SEO. i really thank you for giving such a good ideas.

  19. Judit says:

    Amazing list. Thanks for the efforts for compiling it. I am pretty sure it will be hard to find some uncovered techniques, but prizes for competition are worth of such brainstorming.

  20. Comprehensive lists such as this let site-owners know that there are numerous items they could be working on. Most site-owners would recognize numerous items on the list that they had not tapped into yet, and one of them could serve as a springboard for their next campaign method.

  21. CJ Guest says:

    What a great list! There are so many key steps listed here. Thanks so much for sharing.

  22. This is a great list. I'm already doing many of the things on this list actually.

    I particularly like #51 "say to a group of SEO's that SEO is dying" lmao. As an SEO that would probably piss me off. lol. ;)

  23. Gregor says:

    Wow, pretty exhaustive list! Now we need to find 1 site that has implmented all 77 suggestions!

  24. [...] of 6 link builders/ SEOs, contains some good tips, but it all comes back to keeping it natural and diversifying your [...]

  25. [...] The Definitive List (75+) of Link Building Techniques in 2008 … [...]

  26. I am using a few of the techniques documented in here but there is a vast amount that I've not implemented yet. This is a great overview of methods which is definately worth a lot of consideration.

  27. Impressive list.I use forum commenting and blog commenting as a daily link building routine.It build up over time.

  28. [...] The Definitive List (75+) of Link Building Techniques in 2008 [...]

  29. Metaspring says:

    Thanks for putting together such a phenomenal list. This one is definitely one to be filed away for repeated reference purposes.

  30. Greg Burrus says:

    Wow very nice list – great for small business to pick from. now to find the right ones to use time wisely

  31. The most comprehensive post on link building strategist i ever read. Thanks for posting.

  32. [...] 6. 75 plus and more Definitive Link Strategies in 2008 [...]

  33. Yura says:

    How is releasing a WP plugin with a link back to your site is black hat? Surely you need to create such a plugin that'll show a link to your site, be it for more info or an attribution.

    Don't see anything black hat here, unless you are knowingly inserting anchor links, where they shouldn't be (on plugin users' pages).

  34. Biz says:

    Just to add up on the point 63. which is forum commenting. If you have your comments placer already in forums, if you have a new web site then you just need to change the signature. All signatures on previous posts will be updated wit a link pointing to your new site.

  35. First of all I would like to thank you for that comprehensive list. I think that would give everyone a least a few ideas to implement.

    Secondly are there any of these methods that you expect to be declining in effect in the coming year?

  36. And to just add to Biz's comment it is important that you check that the forum uses a do-follow on the links in the signature as some forums will not. There is not point (unless for direct traffic of cause) in spending time commenting to get links from a no-follow forum.

  37. [...] The definitive list of 75+ link building techniques – Jeff Quipp, Search Engine People [...]

  38. that is a great list.

    BTW, you owe me a new keyboard for #6…

  39. [...] The Definitive List (75+) of Link Building Techniques in 2008 [...]

  40. [...] Jeff Quipp/Search Engine People: The Definitive List (75+) of Link Building Techniques in 2008 [...]

  41. Kashif says:

    This is indeed a really cool compilation thumbs up for ya Jeff ;)

  42. Great list of ways to get links. I've printed it so I can work through it.

    Thanks for providing it.

    One thing that I do is provide a list of dofollow blogs. I've linked to that page above.

    Warmly,

    Linda P. Morton

  43. I took a break over the holidays and am wading through my RSS reader … terrific post.

    I like #72 … instead of asking for links "cold" you're leveraging existing awareness.

  44. [...] … and as you are building links, do check out this link building tutorial by Saad Kamal and this awesome list of 75 link building techniques. [...]

  45. Evyta SEO says:

    I've followed your list of backlink ways. But not at all. I do what I can do. And I wanna ask about point #56. What is wiki site? is it same with wikipedia? how can I get list of wiki style site?
    thanks before

  46. It's a superb list.
    #35. study competitors banklinks via Yahoo Site Explorer. Not just with our competitors. If we want to play a little dirty we can check and follow v i a g r a, c i a l i s SEO'r or something like that backlink. Usually they have a great source of backlink

  47. Alice says:

    Awesome list of link building techniques, you really put massive effort here .I think most of us are not aware of few of these techniques .This list will definitely help all link builders in a great way.

  48. Wow.. you've really put together a very nice list of link building techniques. Thank you very much, you've definitely enlightened me!

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  51. Geoserv says:

    STUMBLED!

    Great list, luckily I am doing most of them.

  52. Hey Jeff,

    Great post bro! Thanks for all the value and information you add to the industry.

    Best wishes to yourself, your family and all the SearchEnginePeople in 2009. I have one last tip to add… be a guest on WebmasterRadio.FM/ (I'll be calling you soon)

  53. Mohammed k says:

    Ive found that contests are a great way to receive links and traffic

  54. I must only be doing about 15 of these things…thanks very much

  55. Since we're talking techniques and not just sources…

    1) Disguise paid links as adsense or affiliate banners
    2) Supplement your linkbait success with paid links for your content (hat tip XMCP)
    3) Use your content network data to figure out where to buy paid links for both converting and search engine boosts
    4) Figure out what your distribution is (email, rss, twitter etc) to project content-based linkbuilding (includes widgets and contests)
    5) Use a hub-finder to find the best links, based on them supporting 2+ competitors' rankings
    6) Use keyword combination (e.g. keyword listbuilding) tools to combine the various forms of "add url" or related footprints
    7) When dropping a link to your site in forums, include some related resources so it's less obvious you're being self-promotional and so that you add value – these links are more likely to stick.
    8) Create forum profiles called "~!" – they show up on the first page of vBulletin's member lists, which are indexed, and can get your profile (and its link to your site) indexed.
    9) Both a linkbuilding and reputation management tip: use a bot to register your trademarks on relevant social media sites as profiles. Also helps prevent phishing.
    10) Create geocities, tripod and aol memberpages accounts so you can give yourself guestbook links.
    11) Don't buy links from sites with dumbass footprints ("advertise here" "our sponsors" etc.).
    12) Submit link building ideas in comments.
    13) Hunt for dying blogspot sites registered through hotmail addresses, then see about getting the hotmail addresses and taking over the blogs. (Hattip Oilman.)

    You can make out those attribution links to link building.ca, please :D .

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  57. Such a brilliant list, there are not many methods left uncovered. I can see why you're offering a cash reward for more link building methods! ;) I will provide a link back to this, many thanks.

  58. This is extremely useful stuff. It is great content for an ebook on the subject. Give me a shout if you're interested in a JV. I'm a copywriter, trained by one of the best in the business.

  59. Wii says:

    That is one hell of a list. I have used a few of these in the past but most of them I had never even thought of. The yahoo answers one is genius. Never would have come up with that one myself

  60. for point 37 You could use olddomains.net database to find dropped domains with backlinks for free.

  61. t-shirt says:

    Fantastic list jeff, thanks

  62. Great Tips. The one thing, I haven't done and have been meaning is creating helpful widgets. One of those things I keep putting off. But after reading this it is going to the top of my to do list.

    Never thought of adding to the BBB list. Going to make that my second to do.

    Thanks again. Love the communication on this blog as well.

    Megan

  63. Great list!

    You must have the highest page rank in history.

    Thanks.

  64. [...] The Definitive List (75+) of Link Building Techniques in 2008 Jeff Quipp, Search Engine People | 12/16/08 [...]

  65. Sandy says:

    Great article, it covers everything about link building. I am eager to see who is going to win $250 and give some more ideas.

  66. [...] The Definitive List (75+) of Link Building Techniques in 2008 Jeff Quipp, Search Engine People | 12/16/08 [...]

  67. [...] … and as you are building links, do check out this link building tutorial by Saad Kamal and this awesome list of 75 link building techniques. [...]

  68. PS3 says:

    That is one hell of a list. I have used a few of these in the past but most of them I had never even thought of. The yahoo answers one is genius. Never would have come up with that one myself

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  73. Konek says:

    There are certainly quite a few useful tips. Thank you for compiling a lot of information in a useful format.

  74. vHiNz says:

    Hi Jeff I've read your link building techniques and I might use them in my link building campaign. Some of them are new to me.Very informative topic.

    Thank You,

    vHiNz

  75. Can I collect my prizes, please :D ?

  76. Zev says:

    Some great ideas here. Clearly some of the readers missed the most valuable opportunity which is evident by their posting a response without a link!

  77. [...] are hundreds of ways to attract and acquire links. If link requests, article submissions or other high labor, low impact [...]

  78. Jennifer says:

    Oh wow. I think im gonna take some idea's from here!

  79. Michael says:

    You do have some very good ideas! For my job, i do al lot of linkbuilding, and some of these tips can be very helpful!