Links are the pathways by which all information on the Internet is connected. Whether you are traveling your preferred search engine or your favorite website, your paths are directed by the links you come in contact with.
Because of this, links have become the lifeblood of the Internet. Major search engines like Google evaluate your incoming links to help determine your search engine positions.
However, a link is much more than just a ranking factor. A quality inbound link can bring your website a steady stream of targeted traffic and buyers.
In this article I will reveal the untapped methods of obtaining quality inbound links. We all know that reciprocal links are dead. Smart internet marketers also know about the power of article marketing and rss syndication. This article looks to explore beyond those techniques, unveiling linking tactics that are largely undiscovered.
Read on to find out about which links you can gain to build buzz, how to leverage the power of wikis, why everyone needs an affiliate program, and how to use the web 2.0 craze to garner hundreds of high quality inbound links.
We will begin our journey with editorial link opportunities.
The right links can generate massive buzz and word of mouth marketing. This type of marketing can occur from links like Yahoo Picks, Forbes Best of the Web, and USA Today Hot Sites. Get listed on the following sites and you've certainly got a winner.
Yahoo Picks of the Day/Week
Forbes Best of the Web
USA Today Web Guide/Hot Sites
NY Public Library Best of the Web
Exploratorium Ten Cool Sites
Librarians Internet Index
Wikis are some of the best sources for link building. With a bit of digging, you can find plenty of wiki pages with high link popularity and PageRank. Not to mention, many wikis rank well in the search engines. This is especially true for Wikipedia.
However, like everything, there is a wrong and right way to go about it. Many people try to spam wikis with hundreds of links. Because of this, there have been strict measures taken to find and eliminate these culprits.
To benefit from the Wiki community, you must be an active participant adding quality and relevant information to their collection of content. You must add value to a page. Once you have done this, you can then incorporate your link if it's a good fit.
However, don't just add information to pages that present linking opportunities. You should also be contributing to the wiki just for the sake of adding great content to the database. When appropriate, add quality links to articles, even links you do not control. Using this strategy, it is much more likely that you will be able to benefit from the many wikis available online.
To find potential linking opportunities, simply go to Google and type in %22your keywords%22 inurl:wiki. This will help you to find sites that have wikis related to your keywords. For example, if you are looking for wikis related to search engine marketing, you would type in %22search engine marketing%22 inurl:wiki.
For a comprehensive list of wikis you can start contributing to , go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wikis.
Ok. Are you ready for the MacDaddy of all links? You may be surprised to hear that some of the best links on the Web can only be obtained from public shool library Web sites. Yes I know, it's hard to believe that an unattractive school website that lives out in the .us or .org jungle would be of value to you. But in fact, these are some of the most trustworthy links you could ever hope to obtain.
Library web sites are some of the most trusted sources on the Internet and Google knows it. So, if you have an extremely valuable site that would prove a valuable resource to people around the world, then you should certainly get in contact with a librarian to suggest your site as an addition to their list of resources.
Below is a list of library sites to get you started:
Virginia Pubic Library Websites
Ohio Public Library Web Sites
Affiliate programs are one of the best ways to obtain thousands of inbound links to your site. With the right software, you can use an affiliate program to super charge your search engine rankings.
Using an affiliate program, you can get hundreds and even thousands of other people to promote your products with no risk on your part. Your affiliates send visitors to your web site using banner ads, text links, articles, and email promotions. For every visitor who decides to buy, you pay your affiliate a percentage of the sale.
The beauty of this system is that it allows you to create extra revenue without spending any additional advertising dollars. You can use affiliate marketing to explode your online sales and catapult your search engine rankings with no risk to you.
However, you have to make sure you have the right software to do this. Some affilate tracking software doesn't lend any link popularity back to your site.
Go to Assoctrac.com to find out about some very powerful affiliate software.
As I wrote about in a previous article, press releases enable you to tap into multiple news sites across the Internet, including Google News, Yahoo News, and MSNBC Searchbot.
In addition to attracting thousands of targeted visitors to your site, press releases can also create thousands of quality inbound links.
However, to realize the full potential of your press release campaign, you must take time to optimize your press release properly. Press releases should be optimized in much the same way that search engine optimization specialists optimize ordinary web pages to achieve higher rankings. By optimizing your press releases for the search engines, you will receive much higher visibility.
For example, one press release from MarketingExperiments.com resulted in 2,200 visitors and 5 interview requests by journalists. This is the power of a highly optimized press release.
Some of the best places to distribute your press release online include:
Start your own press campaign to begin creating invaluable buzz, attracting targeted visitors, and gaining thousands of inbound links.
Social Search Engines
With the growth of Web 2.0, social bookmarking services have become extremely popular this past year. However, these search engines are much more than simply a tool for searching and saving your favorite websites. These social communities can also drive massive amounts of traffic to your site and build brand awareness.
Popular submissions can expect to receive an onslaught of traffic. In addition, popular sites also receive an abundance of link love. These social search engines influence bloggers, publishers and journalists. On average, a website that is Dugg receives an average of 500 to a thousand new inbound links within a short period of time.
If you have a very informative site, your traffic may increase permanently after being Dugg. The key to succeeding with social search engines is to be a true contributor to the community. You must have quality content if you want to submit any of your links. Otherwise, you are simply wasting your time.
In addition, don't just submit your own links. Share the love and submit other sites that you feel would provide a great resource to the community.
Some of the best online social communities include:
In today's generation of web 2.0, publishers have been given multiple outlets for their work. It's time that we start taking advantage of the changes occurring in the online publishing world.
Another publishing opportunity that is undergoing rapid growth online is podcasting. The Internet is changing. Broadband Internet connection is allowing millions of Internet users to start downloading podcasts on every imaginable topic, from search engine strategies to the adventures of parenting.
According to Forrester Research, podcasting will reach 12.3 million households by 2010. Unfortunately, many webmasters are not taking advantage of this amazing opportunity.
To begin marketing your own podcasts, submit them to the following directories:
Integrating these new distribution models can vastly increase your exposure online.
New Forms of Article Syndication
Article syndication has become quite popular among internet marketers. It has enabled writers and website owners to gain hundreds of quality inbound links simply by syndicating their articles to article directories, article groups, related websites, and newsletter publications.
However, web 2.0 has transformed the publishing platforms that are available today. Because of this, there are now many more outlets for your articles and your valuable resource box. Fortunately for you, many online marketers have not spotted these opportunities so I advise you to jump on them quickly.
One of the most exciting new publishing platforms is Squidoo.
Squidoo was created by a revolutionary online thinker named Seth Godin. At Squidoo, you can create your very own lens, which is simply your view on a particular topic. This is a single web page that can point to blogs, favorite links, RSS feeds, Flickr photos, Google maps, eBay auctions, Amazon books and other resources.
Best of all, these lenses are getting traffic, credibility, and even showing up in top Google results. You can use a lens to increase the number of authoritative inbound links to your site, position yourself as an industry expert, announce the latest news within your niche, or promote your podcasts.
I've seen lenses ranging from a pagerank of 3 to 5. Below are some great examples:
FxBootcamp : PR4
Cool Laptop Bags : PR5
To start your own lens, go to Squidoo.com.
The last linking opportunity in this series taps into one of the largest sites on the Internet.
Craigslist was founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark and serves billions of unique visitors each month. So, how can you use this to your benefit?
Classified ads can be very lucrative when used correctly. Since Craigslist is free, this is a great place to start with absolutely no risk.
Your presence within this massive site will increase your exposure and link popularity. Many of the ads also appear in Google and Yahoo. This is especially true for those who optimize their ad properly.
I would highly suggest that you incorporate CraigsList into your overall business plan. You can begin placing your own ads at CraigsList.
Now that you know about many of these untapped linking techniques, I urge you to begin your own campaign. Just remember, if you're not distributing quality content, you are simply wasting your time. The first step is to become an authoritative site. After that, you will find that links come quite naturally. In fact, many of them will come without ever asking for them.