Linking Strategies for 2006

For a number of years now, linking has been an important part of ranking well in the SERPs, especially for SE's like Google. At first it was generally acceptable to acquire links from nearly any site, regardless of whether a particular site's content was related to yours.

As Google began to place more importance on back links, it became necessary to ensure that other sites linking to yours had related content and a fairly good Google Page Rank. Webmasters everywhere began reciprocal linking campaigns. And as you might guess, they found the process to be very tedious and time-consuming.

To answer the call for something more efficient, software programs were developed which had the ability to automate much of the reciprocal linking process, saving considerable time for other things. These programs for the most part, had a short life-span because Google seemed to frown heavily on using automated programs to acquire links. It developed more sophisticated algorithms to sniff out sites that were engaged in automated reciprocal linking strategies and penalize them.

Google's emerging philosophy at that time seemed to be: Grow your site slow. Build sites that contribute something valuable to their engine's index. Add quality content slowly. Add back-links that offer quality information gradually.

Today, we find ourselves faced with even more stringent guidelines for acquiring back-links. The se's are taking an even more sophisticated view of things. Sites that naturally acquire back-links without any reciprocity are the ones being rewarded the most for their efforts. This slows the whole process of achieving higher ranking even further.

So where does that leave us today? If I am limited as to what I can do to influence Page Rank and position by only acquiring back-links naturally, what else if anything, can I do to speed up the process without sounding an alarm with the se's? There are some methods that have proven very successful and I've listed a few here.

Article Writing

One of the fastest ways to acquire links is to write and submit articles based around the knowledge you have of your sites theme and submit them to Article Directories such as - & . You can usually add a certain number of articles to their data base for free and after that there is a nominal charge for submission. Other webmasters who are looking for valuable content to add to their pages that don't feel they can write very well themselves are happily picking-up articles from these directories to add to their sites. In the guidelines for using articles from these sites is that webmasters must include the authors by-line in the article. If you include a link to your site in your by-line, then you will naturally acquire much needed back-links.

The only draw-back to this method is that you have no control over which sites pick-up your articles. Not being able to control this factor leaves some authors worried about their articles being posted on sites which may be considered 'bad neighborhoods.' My own feeling about this is that for every 'bad neighborhood' site that posts your article, you'll get a back-link from 10 sites that aren't since the whole point of adding valuable content is compliant with the se's in the first place.

I once wrote 2 articles on pet themes and submitted them to only 2 article directories. The results over the next few months were astounding! A quick search in the se's using my name or the article name revealed 100's of sites that had added my articles.

Not only will this method of acquiring back-links help but you'll find that you'll become regarded as an expert on the web over time, in your particular field.

Article Swap/Bartering

In some cases, if you have written some excellent articles, you may be able to find another web master who is willing to trade for some advertising space on his site. You provide him or her with several articles to post for his visitors and he in-turn would allow you some space to advertise your own web site. Or perhaps the webmaster has articles of his own that you could swap, thus adding much needed fresh content while at the same time adding a valuable back link for both of you.

Press Releases

A Press Release is a great way to attract almost instant attention and get exposure by announcing your business to news wire services all over the globe. Every news wire service that picks up your Press Release and adds it to their RSS feed means a back-link for you. So here, not only are you creating an opportunity to share with others the announcement of your new business, but you're also indirectly going to boost your web linking popularity as well. I use the service provided by the folks at . They will actually let you send a limited exposure Press Release for free if you can't afford to pay. The more money you contribute, the greater the exposure your Press Release will get, as well as some other added features.

Take some time to learn how to draft a great Press Release, after all, it is going to be looked at by journalists all over the world. It has to be newsworthy and it has to have appeal to as targeted an audience as possible.


Some say the days of directories being regarded as a great place to acquire quality back links is all but gone. I disagree. In fact, with the emphasis being placed on quality one-way linking, it has never been more important to consider the value of adding your site to some quality directories, even if that means paying a small fee to submit. I have included a list of some of the more affordable, yet still valuable directories for you to check out. Fees vary from $14 to $300. Do what you can afford for now and as you can add your site to some of the more expensive ones, do so. Make sure you are very careful to follow submission guidelines. Directories like will not tolerate any submission that doesn't follow their particular guidelines. It is very important to ensure that your site is listed in the most relevant category in a given directory. If you can't find the right category, try contacting the site owner and ask that they add a new category that fits your site properly.

Site "Stickiness"

We use this term to describe a web site that has done such a great job of providing useful content that other sites will simply want to add a link to it for their own visitors to enjoy. Sites like these don't have to worry much about making an effort to add back links because it just happens for them. This is 'natural linking' at it's finest and the benefits are well worth the effort.

Shift Your Paradigm!

Stop focusing on trying to find ways to outwit the se's! Try some of the techniques I've mentioned here. Don't worry so much about where the next move is going to be with the search algorithyms. Relax . . . take a deep breath and focus your attention on building a website that people will love to visit frequently. Put some passion into it and you will eventually be rewarded.



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