7 Super Smart Strategies to Acquiring High Quality Backlinks (for free!)

With all the frequent algorithmic updates being released by the search engines, they are sending webmasters and SEO service providers a clear message:

We will do what it takes to reward quality (and push low-grade stuff way down the SERPS)

They don’t mind people working their way up the rankings but not if some low-level spammy tactics have been adopted. The recent updates have made it even harder for many to get links that are valued and this is why, along with good content, the need for high quality backlinks is more now than at any point in time before.

Good content. High-quality backlinks. Better rankings. Enough said.

So, how do you obtain those desirable “quality” backlinks? There are definitely some strategies you can follow, here are 7 super smart strategies you may want to give a shot at:

Strategy #1: Guest Blogging

Guest PostingIt’s a much talked about strategy these days but unfortunately, poorly executed by most. Guest blogging is all about writing well-researched content for other blogs and you getting credit in return. Imagine having a link on a related blog or website, right in the middle of relevant content and also being mentioned as the writer of the post. How much more relevant and high quality can a link be? These kind of links should ideally be valued the most by the search engines since there isn’t any real manipulation going on.

However, do note though that there are plenty of people who have just started a bunch of blogs (on expired domains with PR) and have started accepting guest posts at a price. Writing for these kinds of blogs won’t work very well in the long run for two reasons: i) they don’t have the right intentions for their blog and will never write quality content for their own blog &  ii) they will accept any kind of post as long as they’re paid for it and this could affect the quality of the blog itself.

You want to focus on the quality of the blog and its relevance to your industry/niche. You then want to contact them, pitch a valuable content idea and then work to create absolutely high quality well-research content. Read more on how to land quality guest posting opportunities.

Guest blogging gives you the dual benefit of not only getting a valuable link but you also stand to benefit from an increase in the awareness of your site/brand – there is also the chance of getting quality click-throughs from the links in the post you put up.

We’d put guest blogging high up on our list of recommended strategies for you to build links for your site.

Strategy #2: Content Curation Content Curation

While the term may sound a bit fancy, the process itself is fairly simple. Very basically, content curation is the process of publishing highly relevant information on your blog (relevant to your blog’s theme and the interest of your target market) by sifting through a lot of information and keeping the gold nuggets (while discarding the irrelevant parts).

Think food shopping. Your shopping bag is the blog and food is the content. When you go to the market, as you pass the aisles, you only buy the stuff that the members of your family are going to eat (relevant). The rest stays out of your shopping bag.

Practical examples of content curation would be: i) 50 Of The Best Free Icon Sets From 2011 – the blog publisher has researched and compiled a list of 50 sites where you can get the best icons for free (that’s a lot of time and effort spent curating this content), ii) iOS 5 Update – The “O Where Art Thou” Reactions! – this is an example where twitter reactions were compiled on how people responded to the delay in the software update of the Apple iOS.

Proper content curation involves researching and collating information from various sources and presenting them in a usable format that would be of value to your readers.

How will content curation help in getting you high quality backlinks? If the content you’ve compiled is of value and is interesting, people will share your content and talk about it – they would either refer to it on their blog, share it on forums they are part of  or post it on their social profiles.

Strategy #3: Help Beginners

Target BeginnersThere will always be people who don’t know [what you may determine to be] the essentials/the basics of your field/industry/product/service. For instance, SEOMoz has created an SEO guide for Beginners just to help out all those new to the field of SEO. This guide has become so popular that it has been shared and linked to from many other sites on the web.

Do not neglect “the beginners” or the “newcomers”. Everyday, there is someone new in every field (and niche).

If you cater to that group of people with simple tutorials and “how-tos”, they will refer other new people to you.  Oh, and beginners tend to share their new experiences on their social accounts more than the pros – but that’s just an extra!

Strategy #4: Be the first! Be the first

Or at least be among the first. When other people spread the news you give, they will link back to you (especially when faced with the “How do you know?” response to something big). For instance, did you know Google launched a link disavow tool – read about it here (and there, that’s how a site has just got a link by being one of the few to report about it).

Subscribe to various RSS feeds in your niche to be able to keep in touch with whatever is happening on the go. While this strategy is more from a news reporting point of view, sharing information you come across that’s recent and newsworthy to your target segment is something that could be link-worthy to your readers. Even if some news may not seem that deserving of a mention to you, there may still be people who are keen to read about it + you always want to give your take and opinion on it and add some value with your thoughts.

Strategy #5: Interviews with famous people in your niche

Interview Famous PeopleConducting an interview with an authority in your niche will automatically get people to share your stuff again and again. Many people will want to watch / listen to such interviews and they’re hot link magnets – plenty of bloggers in the niche will write/share such links.

This is not an easy strategy and will take time on your end to execute but it could very well be worth the pay-off. To get hold of an interview, you may want to tell your guest that it’s going to take only 30 minutes of their time and make it easy for them by even sending across a list of questions in advance. Plus, allow them a “promo time” at the end of the interview so that they can pitch one or several of their products. Win-win situation.

Strategy #6: Submit your website to directories

Directory Submission

We will say it out loud: Directory submissions will remain a timeless link building strategy, no matter what people say. There will continue to be directories that list only quality sites under relevant categories and when you have the opportunity to get listed in such directories, why not?

Quality directories are still indexed and cached by the search engines and links from them are still proving valuable enough to help many sites rank for their target terms. There is also an interview involving a former Google staff member where he states that directory submissions shouldn’t be completely ignored as a strategy.

Strategy #7: Testimonials

People read them. And they check the sources too. We will even admit that we personally got clients that followed a link from a testimonial we left for another service. Be generous with your feedback. This may not be the most powerful link-builder in this list, but it can bring in a few more sales (literally).

So these are 7 strategies that have worked for us and for many others we know. You can help us get a link to this article (yes, another strategy for getting a link could be just asking for it 😉 ) by referencing it in your blog or just sharing it on your social profiles. Please do so now!

We’d also love to hear some of your strategies and what’s worked for you or others you know.

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3 Responses to “7 Super Smart Strategies to Acquiring High Quality Backlinks (for free!)”

  1. Nick Stamoulis on November 21st, 2012 4:28 pm

    We have had great success interviewing other experts in our industry. Even though it does take time out of both of our schedules, an interview is beneficial for each of us. We get links back from their site, we link to their site, and we are able to engage in cross promotions over our shared social media networks.

  2. Robert Christian on December 19th, 2012 7:24 pm

    Good post really.

  3. aaron on December 26th, 2012 11:41 am

    Link building is the method of creating inbound links to a website. It is considered as one of the most important SEO techniques.Because it provide you better way for improve your website ranking on any search engine. link building is very helpful to connect other and get more visitors on your website.

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