Link Building Methodologies

The purpose of this article is not to explain the benefits of links, that is explained in our article on PageRank & Link Popularity. Likewise this article is not going to explain how best to optimize your internal link architecture. Rather instead the purpose of this article is to provide an in-depth look at the many methods of obtaining incoming links for your website from external sources.

Article Table of Contents
1. Link Baiting
2. Directory Submissions
3. Links Pages, Viral Marketing, and Social Media Optimization
4. Buying Links & Link Exchanges
5. Building Links with Blogs & Forums
6. Yahoo Answers & Press Releases
7. Writing Articles
8. Link Friendly Affiliate Programs & Why Quality Matters

Link Baiting

Link bait or link baiting is a relatively new term that can have a variety of meanings. There has been a movement in recent years away from manipulative or artificial ways of building links and instead to focus on creating very compelling, interesting, or viral content so that people link to it naturally.

There is another side to link baiting though, and that is the publication of false, misleading, or purposefully controversial information to gain links, or the fabrication of articles around topics that appeal to people in a viral way, but do not necessarily have anything to do with your website.

Creating good content is one of the most important things that can help you gain long term success as a website publisher, so it is definitely something I recommend. Creating purposely false, misleading, sensational, or controversial content just to gain links can however come back to haunt you and is something I do not recommend. As time passes the very people you wish to attract with your content have gotten savvy to shameless link baiting attempts such as posting grandiose claims or purposely controversial statements, so rather than do what you hope they'll do (pass your link along) they instead ridicule you or your website for trying to manipulate them.

These more black-hat forms of link baiting can work, and may be worthwhile for a site that you acknowledge will have a short life span. However I would not do it with any site for which you want to have long-term success.

There is still a place for more aggressive link baiting in the white hat world, but only if it is related to your site and only if you're not lying to your readers.

Considering how a broad definition of link baiting could encompass almost all of the tips in this article, I will instead use a narrower one and cover the other possible applications of link baiting in their own section.