Building BackLinks Tip 1: Sponsoring Freebies

SEO Tutorials | November 5th, 2007 | 12 Comments

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As requested by a reader of SEO Optimization blog, Catherine Lawson, I decided to hear her voice and write about how to build PageRank to your site. Note tho that some of the techniques I have used in the past might not work to date due to how Google stands on link buyers and sellers (apparently Google hits your pocket and doesn’t care of those that trick their algorithm), hence I even removed Tex Link Ads from the resources page.

I would of love to start the series of link and pagerank building with the algorithm formula that Google search engine uses to determine a PageRank to a site, but since the latest changes in algorithm as well as what has happened to the PageRank of certain sites (mainly blogs) I am not sure that that formula is still being used to determine PageRank of a site or if it has been modified (many tho believe that the formula still works, and the pagerank penalization to some of the sites has been manually done).

Building backlinks is the most important part of the off site seo optimization (read also power of backlinks). Since this seo technique is the one that gives you the best results on the SERPs it is not easy to obtain or at least it will cost you money to build a decent amount of backlinks (unless you are very good at linkbait). If we would like to get back to the history of Google and to know more why Google and other search engines give this much weight to backlinks and the anchor text that is being used in the hyperlink we will see that links were votes that a website would get and they were mostly coming naturally because a webmaster of site B thought that the content of the site A (yours) is worth reading and would like to share that content with the visitors of his/her website. Today backlinks are being build to obtain higher search engine rankings.

How to build fast backlinks

Even tho this method might not be compatible with my post do your seo gradually it is yet a effective way to build a decent amount of backlinks, or should I rather say that it was a decent way until Google did not squeezed’s b… (you get what I mean).

You already got about which method I am referring right? People do like freebies and free stuff, who would say No to something free (well I, unless I need that thing, but apart me?), no one. So I thought about what is being used a lot and could be provided for free and gain a backlink? Of course, blogs, bloggers and wordpress blog themes. Since there are at least 1000% more blog users than blog webmasters that can design and code a wordpress theme it was the perfect idea to design and provide some free wordpress themes and have a backlink to my site.

Providing WordPress themes for people that want to have a blog but are not able to design or code his/her own layout was the greatest move, but also time consuming. What i did was build 5 themes which can be found on the free wordpress themes category. The themes are not of a top design, but are simple enough for blog beginners (and not only) to use them for their layout. I could of have used my themes for more than one website to have a backlink but I thought it would be smart to give some value of my time in money as well, so I started to place 2 other backlinks in auction and get some monetary benefits as well as backlinks to my site(s) as the designer of the theme.

Okey now, you might be thinking that you are not a webmaster and you are not able to design a wordpress theme? So what? If i placed 2 links on the footer of my themes in auction most probably there are other webmasters that would put in auction links of their themes right? Exactly, and they still do it but the trend is kinda over since the day does not publish any more themes that have sponsored links in the footer (yup, this is the part I was talking about Google squeezing b…). Of course that was not the only source to publish a theme, but it was the best source at that time (now the traffic has spread on many other WP theme publishers).

5 themes were enough to build a decent number of backlinks?

Thats what I thought too, since the very first theme I released. But than thinking again I was not doing themes for money, instead for backlinks. Should of I kept the money of the sponsored links I sold on the themes? Maybe, but that was not my goal. Investing those same money I earned on other webmasters themes was the right move and it was the decision I took. So with those money I sponsored at least another 5 themes (not quiet sure of the number). What did I lost? I would say nothing, i actually gained a heap of backlinks, even tho many bloggers that have at least a small knowledge on wordpress themes would remove the footer links for one or another reason (think they look more professional, they found their footer with heap of links, or they knew about the value of links) but yet there is a huge number of bloggers that don’t have knowledge of HTML so links remained.

Is this a good practice or no?

Even tho most of the themes would end up to be used by new bloggers that don’t even have a pagerank on their blog or it would have been installed on a blog that is not related to your content, yet a backlink is a backlink as long as you don’t excessively build backlinks in this way (I tried to follow the do your seo gradually practice).

The probabilities to get the theme installed by a blogger which has PageRank on his blog are high as well, but there is still the question of “backlinks from sites with related content“. This was the hardest part I experienced while building backlinks through wordpress themes, I had to carefully check a theme and imagine for what type of blog would that be used, what name did the author gave to the theme and how clean and useful the theme would be for lets say a internet marketing blog (if I would to build backlinks for internet marketing). But with some time and using a little the imagination everything became more easier, a music style theme would be perfect to have backlink for a music related site, a clean simple theme was most probably to be used by general bloggers and a more attractive and professional looking theme would have most likely be used for webmaster blogs, internet marketing blogs, seo blogs or other webmaster related blogs.

Is this practice of building backlinks dead?

The practice is still alive and breathing and is being used, but the results are not as they used to be since the traffic for wordpress theme lurkers has been spread on different sites and hence the download amount a theme would receive is smaller than it used to be.

The other benefits I received from building backlinks in this way is not only the SERPs, I would have not believed that it would also drive traffic as well. In fact, i still receive a decent traffic from sites that are using the themes I designed and the ones I sponsored. All this tho happened just before it was announced by Google that they will take it hard on link buyers and sellers, if I’d have to practice this same method today I would be really careful and do everything really gradually.

I believe this is all for today and hope you enjoyed this post, if you did than subscribed to my full feed RSS to read my blog on daily basis.

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12 Responses to “Building BackLinks Tip 1: Sponsoring Freebies”
  1. Judjie Parba says:

    Where talking about SEO… Do you thinl Its really effective… Do you think we can generate traffic on that method.

  2. I am not sure about your question, but if you expect 100 uniques a day using that method of sponsoring wordpress themes than the answer is definitively no (unless you get the theme to be used by a heavy traffic blog such as or problogger, copyblogger etc).

    In terms of search engine optimization that technique works, as each backlink with proper keywords in anchor text would help. Of course backlinks from websites related to your site (sharing similar content) will have more value.

    Take this tutorial as a fast building backlinks, and with fast it does not necessary mean quality but it is definitively a cost effective way and it does help if thats your concern.

  3. kikiat says:

    Want easy backlinks? then use social bookmarking, it’s much easier…

  4. […] continue with the building backlinks tip where I wrote about a tip I had used in past and that has worked with me, here I am to share […]

  5. […] continue with the series of building backlinks tip where i first wrote about building backlinks with freebies and than building backlinks participating to communities today I want to speak about another way of […]

  6. Zaiful Zin says:

    Sometimes social bookmarking doesnt work especially if we keep submit our own blog!!

  7. I would actually say that social bookmarking is not even close a building backlinks strategy. What social bookmarking could do to your site is a momentum buzz of traffic which doesn’t last long and than vanishes.

    Usually social bookmarking users don’t spend even a whole minute (60 seconds) on the site they stumble. Same story is for stumbleupon, digg or any other social bookmarking site.

  8. […] the first round of building backlinks tip I noted how much people love freebies, but that is not only for the online folks, it is even for […]

  9. Bob McGuire says:

    I wish it wasn’t but Search Engine Optomization (SEO),
    is a part of a webmasters life. SEO is the daily battle
    to keep ahead of the search engines, especially Google.
    It is very much like a Salmon swimming upstream. Every 3
    months Google changes everything in the way they do
    things as far a their search results go (SERP). That only
    means I have to throw out the window at least 1/3 of the
    things I was doing to get their attention. One thing that
    always works is back links from other web sites. Up at
    the top of the comment section here there is a place for
    your Name and Your Website. That is there in case people
    would like to go to see what you are all about. On any
    other web site that link would also count as a backlink if
    Google ever came over here and spotted it. Google insists
    that blogs have a word called “NOFOLLOW” in their code so
    it knows not to count that address as a back link. So I
    looked around and found a little piece of software that
    defeats the NOFOLLOW code under the Name. It is a Word
    Press Plug In that you install in your wp-content/plugin
    directory and just activate in your plug in admin site.
    Easy and fast. To get this for yourself just go to the web
    site under my name and look for the nofollow button and
    download and unzip the code. Don’t forget that if a person
    gets a link he is more liable to come back and make more
    comments. The more comments you get the more people Google
    will send. Have fun. Bob

  10. Hi Bob and thanks for stopping by to comment even tho your comment would have suit much better on the building backlinks tip 2 as it is more related to partecipating to a community.

    I am aware of the nofollow plugin for wordpress and have been thinking to install it on this blog. But in order to measure the quality of my posts i’d rather keep the comment with the nofollow attribute so I can see how many people would like to comment because of the content and not because of the backlink. Of course, they get rewarded with the top commentators plugin that gives backlink from homepage and pages of the blog, but not also from the post pages.

  11. […] software, so are most of the plugins. Coders contribute and build constantly plugins for free and benefit from freebies in other terms. It happens often tho that when WordPress releases a new version of their software […]