If you’re convinced that links and link building are for suckers and pansies, it’s time to wake up and smell the caffeine. Links don’t need you, but you do need them. Why? Without links, you’re just another Internet upstart cluttering up the Web.

It may seem harsh, but it’s the truth. Links from relevant, high quality sites show the search engines that your site is a valuable asset. Links get the attention of the SEs, make your site more credible and help build relevancy.

The Democratic Internet
You see, the Web is a democracy; each website is a candidate for the presidency of its keyword country. Don’t believe me? Then you haven’t been paying attention.

• A link acts as a vote of confidence for your website for [keyword].

• You gain links by:
1. Posting campaign signs (directory links)
2. Voting campaigns (articles and guest blogging)
3. Giving speeches (your own blogs)
4. Asking those already in leadership positions (relevant, important, authority sites) to vote for you

• The media (visitors/readers) passes around information about your speeches and campaigns, thus bringing more votes (viral link marketing).

Within this democratic Internet are several other areas you need to campaign. These areas are less for SEO and link building than for recognition. However, many of these areas, while building brand recognition and authority, also help with SEO and linking. It’s a win, win situation, unlike most political primaries.

Waxing Philosophical
If a blog is posted on the Internet and no one ever finds it, is it real? The frustrating thing about blogging for most people is successful writers and bloggers make it sound like “write it and they [visitors] will come”. You write it; visitors see it and instantly convert.

‘Tain’t that easy, kimosabi. You could write the most amazing content ever; if no one sees it, it’s guaranteed not to exist in the grand scheme of things. It’s like giving a presidential speech to an empty auditorium. Ouch.

For those that really want to be president of [keyword] country, however, it makes no difference whether anyone came to the auditorium or not. They videotape the speech themselves, type up the press release kit for the media, go on tour and tell people about it.

Shout it out LOUD

How did you inform the public of your last blog? Will they be voting for you as president in [keyword] country or do they even know you exist?

You can’t be shy; you have to be social. When you have a new post, talk about it! You don’t have to share the whole presidential speech; just make sure people know you gave one and where to find it. Get into social networking. Digg into social bookmarking. Distribute, distribute, distribute. Get those votes; get those links.

Search engine optimization, link building, reputation enhancement, building authority: they’re all just fancy names for getting the word out about your site. They’re methods of sharing and informing about what you have to offer. They aren’t outdated, they aren’t unnecessary, and doing them right can make you President of [keyword] country.

Oh, and if all these political analogies seem silly and extreme, then you didn’t pay attention in 2006, either. John Edwards ran for President using a blogger, videographer and Flickr photographer. Granted, he only received a little over 1 million votes, but imagine 1 million links to your site…