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, 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 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.