The third installment of Website Magazine's immensely popular series on link building tactics and techniques (review the Basic Link Building and Intermediary Link Building Tactics before proceeding) focuses on advanced methods to increase inbound link counts. But the more time you spend promoting your website, the more you find there are not actually any advanced link building methods -- no silver bullets to catapult you to top of search rankings. If you're disappointed, don't be. Consider the realization a major step in your link building education. All is not lost. Don't lose your composure; what we need is to think creatively.
Advanced link building requires you fear nothing (e.g. rebukes from others) and are willing to sacrifice everything (the efficacy of the brand) if they (the advanced methods) don't work out (i.e. penalties) when leveraging available opportunities to build links. That being said, we actually need to go beyond just being creative with link building efforts. We need to completely redefine the link building box we’re thinking outside of.
Remember that link building is a moving target, because search engines change their algorithm frequently, that it is a long term process, and there is no silver bullet. Moving forward all the while with traditional link building will yield the best results. As in life, there are no shortcuts – so don’t expect them.
However, I’ve tapped my creative reserve and personal experience to share a few solid ideas you may have never thought of to build links. Some might consider these link building options gray hat (or even black hat, depending), but they do work and that is reason enough to consider them. In the end you’ll find that the best, most creative link building efforts have yet to be discovered.
eBay – The Ideal Link Building Platform: eBay is consistently ranked as one of the most highly trafficked sites on the Web. When looking for link partners, we should obviously pursue those with the most traffic, as we know they get indexed quickly and have a lot of traffic. As a result of profiling such high-profile sites, most products (especially those in competitive niches) receive a lot of user attention. The way to use eBay as a link-building platform is to actually have something to sell. (Of course, right?) One idea might be to develop an eBook about some aspect of your business (if you sell baby blankets, an ebook might be “Thirty Great Gift Ideas for New Moms”), and list it for sale on eBay. While you may not generate thousands of sales, you might generate a few, and with a content-rich description complete with links, of course, you will generate exposure for your product and eventually find a few additional inbound links – especially if people really like it. Repeat the process fifty times and you could see how this might influence the SERPs, not to mention others who might purchase your ebook and reference it on their own site.
Become a New Media Socialite: While the links found within comments from Flickr are of the no-follow variety, many believe that even if the links are no-followed, they continue to provide some value to your SEO campaign and in the end, still carry with them the ability to drive traffic. When I suggest becoming a Flickr socialite, what I really mean is to leverage Flickr (and other social media sharing sites like YouTube or any related site that allows commenting) to build an audience while sharing links to your site. You can do that by establishing a group on the network, search for photos or videos related to the keyword and website being optimized, and then let those who have posted photos or video know that you’ve added their photo to your group by commenting. Linking to your own profile will certainly raise awareness of your group, but take it a step further and develop a landing page on your site for your Flickr group and mask your URL in the invitation you post on other people profiles. It’s a roundabout way or generating links, but it works. Find those photos or videos that are semi-popular and you’ll receive a great deal of exposure for your comment and in turn for your website.
Remember, these are just two ideas you can use to build links. While some may consider them advanced, others will not. I’ve intentionally left off the truly black hat techniques like referral spamming and the like, as I honestly believe we reap what we sow. The best course of action in your link-building campaign, as I have said before, is to use the methods you know work, pursue those opportunities relentlessly and get creative with how others will link to you. In the end, advanced link-building techniques are what you make them.