3 “Outdated” Link Building Practices That Can Still Be Used Today

March 23, 2009: link buildingOver the past ten years we have seen link building strategies come and go but they never really disappear.   There is always something that can still be done.

I have listed three such tactics below that not only can be used but should be used.

1. Reciprocal Linking

I can’t tell you how many emails I sent and received asking for links when I first started in this industry (and trust me when I say they weren’t very good emails).  Links were links and it really didn’t matter whether the site had anything to do with your own, as long as they placed a link on their site, you’d do the same.

The search engines of course caught on and the “Reciprocal Linking is Dead” verdict was reached.

These days we wouldn’t think to send out mass emails asking for a reciprocal link but that doesn’t mean ALL reciprocal links are bad.  The key is to create links for users NOT search engines.  Here are some examples of reciprocal links that we wouldn’t mind having:

  • Partner Links
  • Resource Sites (.edu or .gov sites)
  • Blogs (bloggers often link to one another in the blog roll)

While the search engines may discount these links because they are ‘reciprocal’ that shouldn’t deter you.  The traffic is what’s valuable.

Other Posts on Reciprocal Linking:

2. Directories

I am not sure which is more amazing – that I once spent hours submitting clients to a thousand directories or that there are still businesses selling “directory submissions” as a service?

These days I would not recommend directory linking as a legitimate strategy but there are a still a few directories that are worth submitting to:

  • Local Directories – With localized results playing a larger part in search it certainly can’t hurt to get yourself listed in  a directory like YellowPages.com.
  • Niche Directories - Depending on your product or service there are industry specific directories that can prove useful.  Ex: ThomasNet is a great place to list a manufacturing site.
  • Yahoo – I don’t know how many people agree with this per say but (particularly with a new site) the Yahoo directory is a good place to submit to.  There is a cost associated but it can help the site get indexed faster in Yahoo and also improve localized listings.

Additional Posts on Directory Links:

3. Paid Links

With Google announcing the serious crack down on paid links over the past year, another link building tactic has been put under scrutiny.  Text links (the most common type of paid link) and even pay per post articles are no longer “valuable” links in terms of search and rankings.

But like all other strategies it should not be thrown to the wayside.  Any link that brings in visitors and sales should not be disregarded because it does not pass page rank or increase your rankings.  Here are a couple examples of paid links you should consider:

  • Product Reviews on Blogs – Many sites will review products if you simply send it to them.  This can not only result in thousands of new visits but also new links by other people who see the post.
  • Industry Sites – Selling forklifts?  Modern Materials Handling is a great place to get a link but you won’t get much search engine value from it.  What is the benefit?  This is a very highly trafficked site targeting the right consumers.

Additional Industry Posts on Paid Links:

Related KoMarketing Posts Link on Building:

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  • http://www.eMarketingMatador.com Keith

    Great Post. I’m amazed that paid directories still exist too! You’re right on Local Directories. These are getting more popular, but there are so many now, it can be time consuming. There is a great article that lists and ranks all the local search engines, directories and online local data providers at http://www.emarketingmatador.com/step-2-local-search-directories. We orginally compiled this list for our clients, but it is now for everyone.

  • http://www.fastblogfinder.com Julia – Blog Finder

    Thank you for a great article. You described the most common link building tactics that will absolutely be useful for those e-marketers who is just starting a link building campaign. I’ve been doing some SEO for our company’s website I must say I like the directory submission, article submission and blog commenting most. With the use of automatic submission tools, directory submission, article submission and blog commenting are made quick and easy. Yes, writing articles requires time and efforts, but it’s possible to hire a writer to create the articles if one is not good at writing.

  • http://phantomcto.com/blog Vanessa, Phantom CTO

    You’ve filtered through the remnants of old link building to give us the gems that still hold true. Well done! Directories hold value when they are in context to the user searching by location or by subject. There aren’t many directories that qualify for this level of detail and that’s the point. Only a few relevant directories can provide valuable backlinks.

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  • http://www.unlimitedtraffic.net Web directory submission

    Submitting to web directories is a vital part of every successful link building strategy. Apart from driving traffic to your website through direct referrals, web directories provide static, one-way links to your site, boosting your link popularity and improving your rankings on the major search engines like Google and Yahoo.

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