White-Hat Alternatives to Link Exchanges and Directories

by Bradley Zarich December 7th, 2011 

Shannon Beyl Poole and Tracy Falke of Freestyle Interactive

Standing out of the crowd sometimes requires following the path least taken. Article marketing, directory listings, blog commenting, link exchanges, link buying and widgets - all link builders have tried most of them. But for most websites, conventional techniques are not enough to get on top of SERP. Link building in general depends on some level of symbiotic relationship at least - it all boils down to a trade-off.

What else can you offer to win backlinks?

Traffic Referral

Sharing traffic to attract links works best if your site is already visible in traffic estimators of any Google services like Trends and Ad Planner. Offering instant traffic in exchange for a backlink will appeal most to e-commerce sites and ad publishers which need unique visitors to generate cash, either from ad revenues or product sales. Unlike reciprocal link exchanges, the following techniques are white-hat since they do not involve mutual transfer of PageRank and anchor text equity.

  1. Pop-Up WindowsThis technique requires a very short javascript code to be inserted in your web pages so that a pop-up window of link partners will automatically greet your visitors. It works on the same principle used by some paid traffic providers. You may not be able to pass a PR vote to your link partner, but at least you can guarantee traffic referrals for a certain period of time.
  2. Ad BannersThis works best for luring e-commerce sites to link to you, but this will only work if your site has high traffic and similar niche as your prospective link partners.
  3. Sharing Newsletter Readership or Mailing ListThe benefits of promoting your link partners in your website's official newsletters or regular email alerts can outweigh the risks. You just need to be very careful so as not to turn your newsletters into spam. Use advertorials or product announcements sparingly and try to blend your product announcements with the latest news or trends to encourage high CTR from your email subscribers.

Exclusive Article Syndication

In response to rapid changes in search ranking, more link builders are seeking for white-hat alternatives to article marketing. Article directories no longer serve their intended purpose, which is to facilitate the free syndication of useful content. This model fails because of two reasons: unlimited duplication of contributions and unrestricted crowd-sourcing.

So far, myblogguest.com is the closest thing to white-hat article marketplace. The site makes it easier for useful content to find reputable publishers and vice versa. The website allows contributors to decide where to have their articles posted for free. Unlike free article directories, the contributed articles in myblogguest.com cannot go online until the author approves the request of interested publishers. This system, although it taps on crowd-sourcing, only rewards good writers and publishers. Scrappy contents would never be published, and spam blogs would never get a copyright from good writers within the community.

Bradley Zarich

Bradley Zarich heads the outsourcing services of eServe BPO. He regularly blogs about SEO, Web 2.0, consumer electronics, mobile backhaul , wireless communications and Ku band technology.

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4 Responses to “White-Hat Alternatives to Link Exchanges and Directories”

  1. Tory says:

    Don't forget about sites like HARO, which connect you with reporters, sometimes reporters from major news sites, looking for sources. Plus, you don't even have to write the content…

  2. Tom says:

    Some interesting ideas, i'm a big fan of My Blog Guest but even there it can be unpredictable who is above board or not. As ever, a mix of them all is probably the best way forward..

  3. I run several websites on the side while working Full Time as an SEO Specialist and I agree with you on the fact of trying new strategies and focusing around building more white hat strategies. In the past, I have focused on a mixture on a both, extensively this year with one website that was getting 7k visits a month in January to over 25k in November and growing.

    The panda updates have slowed it down and made most of my terms dance but so far every month has been in an up-climb thankfully.

    It's like a well-maintained engine, you have to work on it regularly in order to keep it running as best as it can.

  4. Derek Morton says:

    I love Myblogguest. I'm glad that you included it in your list. It's helped me considerably in getting additional links, as well as finding other bloggers to write for my site.