FYI: This post is from 2007, many of the websites are now dead and much of the information is outdated.

If “Content is King“, then links are what put that king on the throne. Build links and you’ll be able to display your content to the world. Don’t build links, and your King won’t have a kingdom.

Hopefully you already use most of these, but if only 5 of these tips get you a new link, that is 5 links you didn’t have yesterday!

Just FYI, the tip is bold, with examples linked underneath. Thanks to everyone who took time to build tools, write content, and generally be willing to help the SEO and SEM communities. A special thanks to Andy Hagans and Aaron Wall, who wrote the 2006 version.

All links open in current window, so bookmark this page.

On-Site Content Creation

Content creation is without a doubt my favorite way of creating great backlinks. The reason these links are great is that you don’t have to ask for them or buy them, they come naturally, are defensible, and last indefinitely.

1. Write an authority article. (Without a doubt the best way to gain deep links.)
40 SEM 2006 Predictions
Why that site with 50 backlinks beats your site with 1000 backlinks
10 Mistakes that Will KILL a Forum

2. Write great linkbait. (This is the ultimate for 2007.)
The Link Baiting Playbook: Hooks Revisited
How To: Linkbait Your Blog

3. Use numbers in your titles. (People like numbers.)
5 Tips to Increasing Blog Traffic
3 Solid Gmail Productivity Tips
Put Your Best Foot Forward: 19 Gorgeous Website Footers
Top 10 Link Popularity Services

4. Spend 10 hours and put together a huge list. (The link value will be worth the effort.)
Huge List of 390 Search Marketing Blogs

5. Say nice things about people who link out. (My momma always said, “If you can’t say anything nice, you won’t get links.”)
WBP Testimonials
Back from Boston Pubcon

6. Start something crazy like “Blogtipping”. (Good job Easton! Blogtipping has been around for about 6 months and has almost 200k results in Google.)
Blogtipping @ Google
Blogtipping – The Beginning

7. Offer awesome resources, free. (Everyone likes, and links to free.)
Free Vector Web Page Elements
WBP Free Internet Marketing and SEO Tools
Internet Marketing and SEO Tools Compiled
Free Vector Stuff

8. Spellcheck everything, twice. (I plead guitly guilty.)

9. Link to others, and they’ll link back. (Most of the time right?)
Speedlinking at Technorati
Speedlinking by Problogger
Speedlinking by Dane Carlson
Pay it Forward Tuesday

10. Design an award worthy blog or website. (Not just a site you like, a site everyone likes.)
CSS Beauty
CSS Zen Garden

11. Create a contest in your niche. (These don’t have to be SEO related.)
Nigritude Ultramarine
v7ndotcom elursrebmem
Dave Pasternack

12. Say something stupid. (Jeremy did it best.)
SearchEngineJournal doesn’t link?
The Top Ten Most Practical Superpowers

13. Write a complete “How To” resource. (They get dugg frequently.)
How To: Make a Killer Photo using 8 Simple Composition Rules
How To: Achieve the Perfect Post Frequency
How To: Evaluate If The Free Laptops and Plasma TVs Giveaways Are Scams
How To: Theming your Ubuntu desktop
How To: Comment to the Top

14. Release a Firefox extension. (Make sure you support it.)
Performancing Firefox
FoxyTunes
Google Pagerank Status

15. Interview your industries experts. (Make it easy and quick for them.)
Interview with Google’s Matt Cutts about Next-Generation Search
Five Link Development Experts: A Group Interview

Off-Site Content Creation

16. Presell and content pages. (My content page on your site.)
PreSell Pages – Striving for the Perfect Link
Pre Sell Pages – a Better Way to Rent Sitewide Links
Pre Sell Pages vs Site Wide Links
A Positive Step Forward in Link Strategies

17. Write and submit articles. (Don’t forget your byline link.)
“5 ways to use your Business Cards more effectively” (514 Google results)
EzineArticles
GoArticles
iSnare

18. Submit articles to specialized sites. (Big sites in your niche, ESPN, SEJ, Scrapbook.com, etc.)
Sometimes these sites will pick up your article and feature your link in the byline.

19. Write and submit a press release. (Don’t forget your byline link.)
Optimizing press releases
PR Newswire Testing SEO Press Releases
Next Level SEO: Press Release Optimization
Benefits of an SEO Press Release

20. Offer to be a guest blogger. (Almost anyone is up for free content.)
How to be a Good Guest Blogger
How to Get Guest Blogging Jobs

Spending Money to Build Links

Spending money isn’t anything new for 2007, but it can still be effective.

21. Buy under the radar direct links. (You can email website owners asking to buy links.)

22. Buy in-content links on old pages. (Ask to buy a certain word on a certain page, make it simple for the owner.)

23. Buy old sites and link to your site. (Can be expensive.)
Screw the Sandbox – Buy an old site
Today is the Right Time to Buy Old Sites…

24. Pay for a sponsored post. (I usually pay $5-50+ for a small footer link in a post.)
Top 10 Reasons Why Proposals Fail
Looking for a VPS

25. Buy direct directory listings. (Some directories are better than others.)
Yahoo! Directory ($299/yr)
Business.com ($199/yr)
StartingPoint ($99/yr)
Best of the Web ($69/yr or $199 one time)
Joe Ant ($39/yr)
Aviva Directory ($50/yr or $75 one time)

26. Pay for bulk directory submission. (You can find people willing to submit your site at forums usually for less than $20 to 400 directories.)

27. Trade something for a link. (Often times you can buy an office staff pizza on Friday in exchange for a link on their website. Or maybe you can sponsor an office contest or promotion in exchange for publicity on their website.)
Buy, Borrow, Beg, and Barter: Techniques for Link Development

28. Pay a link builder. (This will involve substantial cost and results aren’t guaranteed.)
WeBuildPages
Todd Malicoat
Andy Hagans
Eric Ward

29. Send your product to potential reviewers at no cost to them. (I wrote a review for a flash drive that had military grade encryption because they sent me a 512 kb model.)

Finding Free Links

30. Post your link in forums. (Use footer links on forums that allow links.)
DigitalPoint Forums
Webmaster Talk
SEOChat

31. Post your feed in forums. (Many vBulletin forums show your latest post (on your blog) by your name, in your “User CP>Options scroll down to the bottom and put your feed address in.)
DigitalPoint Forums
Webmaster Talk
SEOChat

32. Comment on blogs. (Pick a reasonable number, and try to post that many every day.)

33. Submit to generic directories. (Directories without major branding.)
Easy Google Search
DirectorySEO
Fresh Directory

34. Submit to the big free directories. (Everyone’s invited here.)
DMOZ
HAABAA
Ezilion
AddURL

35. Ask for a link. (You’d better have a good resource, or be the authority in your niche.)

36. Sign guestbooks. (I know this just reminds you of Geocities, but there are thousands of guestbooks on sites with PR that are abandoned. Go get yourself a free link.)
Free Template guestbook

37. Find out where your articles are shown, and offer exclusive content. (This only works when real sites, not article-only sites, pick up your article. Explain why an exclusive piece would benefit them.)

38. Ask friends to read a new post, and reference it if they like it. (This can go over really well if you are well connected.)
New blog recommendation
Blog Recommendation
Blog Recommendation – The Housing Bubble Blog

39. Leave a testimonial. (Do it for every product you use, be specific when necessary.)
Testimonial Generator (just a joke, write your own…lazy.)

40. Support a non-profit website/company. (Make sure they have a website and will link you first.)

41. Build a website for a non-profit organization. (I’ve built 3 non-profit websites. You might also get paid for this work.)
The Resource Partnership (link at bottom)
South Shore Conservatory (designer didn’t link himself!)
American Vaulting Association (link at bottom)
IRCPS (link on left sidebar)

42. Form partnerships with online “friends”. (I have 6 people on my gmail chat list that I chat with regularly, I don’t mind asking for a link to a new site, or a great post. In exchange, I Digg their articles, post links to their good articles, etc.)

43. Create an awesome tool. (This is just one example of the many free tools out there)
Mom’s Salary Wizard (PR6, over 100k links to this page alone.)

44. Send targeted emails. (Make sure the first email asks a question, or helps them. Then ask for a link.)

45. Create a Del.icio.us account and start tagging. (Del.icio.us Popular Pages can send as much traffic as Digg.)
My new Del.icio.us page

46. Talk to manufacturers or retailers that you buy from about linking to you. (This could work with #36, leave them a testimonial.)

47. Post a listing on Craigslist. (Posts below are pretty spammy but do have links.)
Grand Opening Sale!!! Modern style furniture, Sofa, Platform beds…
ResumeOutlet.com – Resume Writing Service for Sale (Website + Domain) – $3000
2005 Chevrolet Impala Sedan! Like New! Pic! Look! – $13999

48. Post a helpful post with a link at Google Groups. (Gotta love the straight html links.)
300 Links, PR of 1?

49. Post link spam helpful posts to Yahoo! Answers. (Do they ever moderate this stuff?)
SEO: What words come to mind?

50. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. (Every city has one.)
Orlando CoC
Madera CoC (could have links)
Palm Desert CoC

51. Join the Better Business Bureau. (Join your local chapter, most have a directory of members with links.)
Central California BBB
Northern Nevada BBB

52. Talk to similar but non-competing businesses offline, and ask for a link. (Explain how, by linking to you, their customers will see their site as the complete resource and are more likely to return.)

53. Create a free template or theme. (WordPress or CSS/XHTML are both popular in the free template sector.)
Kaushal Sheth
615+ WordPress Themes List
Free CSS Templates

54. Review a product or service. (Bonus points if you have authority in the niche, and are one of the first to review it. Many times you’ll rank right behind the product.)

Search for text-link-ads.com and you’ll find:
Site #4 – Opinions on Text Link Ads.com
Site #8 – Text-Link-Ads.com Review

Best Practices for Gaining Links

55. Have a privacy policy. (Every reputable company does.)
Privacy Policy Generator
Create an Online Privacy Policy (From the B.B.B.)

56. Create a contact page. (Mine is coming…I never said I was perfect!)
Contact Seattle Times
Contact Intel
Contact Apple

57. Don’t post spam content. (This includes PLR articles, only RSS feeds, or just “borrowing” content.)
Stolen Content: What to do first
How to Stop Those who are Stealing your Content
DMCA @ Google

58. Hire writers who are better than you. (Especially important when you have multiple sites and don’t know what to do.)
How to Locate, Hire, and Work With an Article Writer
GetAFreelancer

59. Get 1 link per domain. (Sitewide links are SOOOO 2006.)
Get 1 Link and Go! Drive By Linking

60. Stay ahead of the curve. (You’ll get thousands of links if you have the first and oldest site about new technology.)
TechMeme

61. Link out, especially to blogs. (I always read people who link to me. Technorati keeps great track of who is linking to you.)

62. When writing, never lose sight of the “Super Digg”, and write accordingly. (Who doesn’t love a good super digg?)
Anatomy of a Super Digg

63. Install a page translator. (Anyone have a recommendation?)
WordPress Plugin: Automatic Machine Translation for Your Blog

Plugins/Translations and Languages – WordPress Codex

64. Submit to a sub-category on Reddit. (Submit to the sub-cat and the homepage.)
Get ‘er Dugg – A Comprehensive Guide to Going Viral on Digg (Scroll down half way and look for “Going Viral on Reddit”)

65. Ping appropriate sites with every new post. (WordPress and Typepad make this easy.)
List of Ping Services
RSS Ping List
Pingoat

66. Be creative when link hunting. (You’ll be getting links nobody else is even asking for.)
Want a Free .edu Link? How about 64,200?

Thanks for taking the time to read this! Like it? Please link to it and bookmark it!

Optimizing websites requires top quality link building service that bring higher rankings.