Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 10 years and 150 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.
Been meaning to do a revisit of the types of links that I discussed from “Balancing the Link Equation”, which is based on the thought process from a couple Pubcon presentations. Andy and Aaron just put out an excellent guide of 101 link building tips, and it kicked me in the butt to get it done, so I could give their article the proper link love it deserved.
Types of links and how to get them
Using a arbitrary ficticious example of an informational site about real estate law. **I do not currently work with any sites of this type.
In this example, we have two specific themes to dive deeper into that are relevant to our search – real estate and law. Starting at this level gives us hundreds of thousands, if not millions of sites to start to filter from (not to mention the backlinks of THOSE sites), and sites that share similar themes.
1. Authority links
How to obtain them: Start with your related category in the Google DirectoryWhat to look for:
-Top rankings for big terms – city or state + real estate, vertical category + lawyers
-Sites that would benefit from offering users your content
Examples: real estate law
Other Notes: Authority links are an absolute must for improving your trust score these days. This is a MUST for a new site, and should be where you start your efforts, and always be dedicating SOME time. Suck it up, and take the time it takes to get some quality, trusted links. The existence of trusted authority links will make or break your site. Find the 800 lb. gorillas in your field, and **find a way to get on a dozen or so of them. Failing that, hunt their backlinks, and find a way to get on some of those pages. Use some creative queries with the combination tool. Give the tattler a shot.
**Find a way – How? – Buy, borrow, beg, and barter.
2. Directory links
How to obtain them: Pony up some cash
What to look for: Generally easy to find niche directories, don’t go overboard with more than a few directories per month, quarter, etc.
Examples:law directories, real estate directories
Other Notes: My gut feel is that too many directories triggers a filter. I wouldn’t go over 10 – 15% of my total link ratio on my own sites for my own sites at any given time. Start with a few highly trusted directories. (Yahoo dir, business.com, MSN SBD, BOTW), and add some others after you have many more links added to your profile.
3. Reciprocal links
How to obtain them: Make some friends – Don’t go overboard What to look for: Strong links that are complementary to your site.
Examples: Private investigators may be useful to a client that is in need of information on real estate law. Focus on content for your niche, and use your resources to build strategic linking partnerships.
Other Notes: Reciprocal links are NOT dead – relying on reciprocal links is. They are not a magic bullet anymore, but they do occur “naturally”. They are a piece of the equation – use them to your advantage but don’t get carried away. Using a number out of the sky (read: untested) – I would say under 10% of most sites links should be reciprocal – make them count.
4. Run of site links
How to obtain them: Easy to buy
What to look for: Sites that are highly on topic to you.
Examples: You’re on your own on this one – not outing anybody – sorry.
Other Notes: ROS links can spell trouble, but they can also help to balance your equation. If MOST of your links are from unique IP’s/domains – you can get add a couple, and get some great anchor text easily. Make sure to use some specific 2nd tier keyphrases that you might be able to hit some rankings for. Caveat: ROS links can really hurt a site’s link profile if not used wisely. Use with caution.
How to obtain them: Go to conferences and tradeshows, e-mail folks and make friends, offer something useful in return.
What to look for: People in complementary niches
Other Notes: Don’t link ALL your sites together and stay on topic.
6. Edu and .Gov links
How to obtain them: Be nice to future interns. Offer some career assistance and/or advice.
What to look for: .edus and .gov TLD extensions – Da ‘hoo recently changed some things to use siteexplorer, so most the good tools broke (sorry, I’m not a developer), but you can still used advanced search to restrict searches to these TLD types.
Examples: real estate law resources
Other Notes: There are plenty of ways to encourage .edu and .gov folks to link to you (mainly good content or resources). It should be noted that there is most likely NOT special weight on these TLD’s, but they generally have much more trust score associated with them because they are generally of higher quality.
7. Radio station, television, magazine, or newspaper links
How to obtain them: Buy ‘em, or find a journalist
What to look for: Local news or someone looking to write a story.
Examples: real estate law news
Other Notes: Do some traditional media advertising, and negotiate for some extra special link love.
8. Press release links
How to obtain them: Find sites that offer press release submission services and submit your NEWS (*note – this does not mean any crap you just want to link stuff)
What to look for: People in your niche who want news as content.
Examples: PR.com, PRWeb.com, and many more
Other Notes:Press releases are generally NOT a great way to get links, but you can pick up some that may be of value. Every little bit helps, and remember (again) this is only a small part of your overall link profile.
9. Article bio links
How to obtain them: Write a few articles, or have some written for you. Rinse, repeat.
What to look for: Industry authority sites that accept submissions from guest writers
Examples: “real estate law” + “submit articles”
This can be a GREAT way to get some good authority links from high profile sites. They’ll appreciate (or demand) great content in return for the exposure and link pop you’ll receive. The better the site is, the higher quality content they will require. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
10. RSS/ Blog aggregated links
How to obtain them: Pretty easy – start your blog and aggregate – also known as scraper links.
What to look for: Blog and RSS directories to submit to, and tagging sites.
Other Notes: Not worth a whole lot, but you’ll pick up a whole bunch of links this way. They’re “power” is minimal at best and highly debated. There are, however, plenty of legitimate sites that aggregate content where you may pick up some decent links.
11. Comment and Profile Links
How to obtain them: Contribute to others websites – yes, REAL contributions.
Examples: Look for sites that don’t use the nofollow tag and show up in other folks backlinks.
How to obtain them: Contribute something worthwhile to a community or blog. Stick around awhile – don’t be a jerk and jus’ spam sites, you’ll probably get turned off or blocked anyhow.
What to look for: Sites without nofollow tags or redirects.
Examples: Sorry, you’re on your own, this is not hard.
Other notes: Not much to add, people have been using forum links, comment links, and profile links for a long time. Again, these links’ value is marginal, and only a very small piece of the puzzle.
12. Presell Page Links
How to obtain them: Obtaining presell pages takes link negotiations to a whole new level. Good luck outsourcing this. There are opportunities to purchase presell pages.
What to look for: Sites open to advertising that aren’t going crazy with it. Look for the happy medium.
Examples: You’ll have to write a page of good content. Create a whole webpage based around the target sites template. Make it as little work as possible for the person you’re requesting a presell page from (they’re already doing you a big favor).
Other Notes:Welcome to link builder zen. Get as many as you can possibly get. They offer direct traffic and rankings as well as highly targeted link pop.
Balance is the key term in a link profile. If you tip the scales too far on near any type of link you are going to setoff alarm bells to the algos. Don’t be dumb. Use all the tools at your disposal to achieve balance in your link equation. My guess is that link juice for rankings these days is pretty close to the pareto principle 80% of your “power” is going to come from the top 20% of your links.
**Added – Courtesy of Cameron, I found Neil’s real nice 5 piece series on getting links.