Free & Cheap Link Building Techniques

SEO Tutorials | May 6th, 2008 | 5 Comments

I feel like repeating myself that on-site optimization is very important for your site, but without the off site optimization or rather backlink building to your site there is not a long road to walk on the SERPs for your site. For those that have deep pockets building backlinks is pretty easy and the resources are pretty much as limited as their pocket. But what happens to a blogger that is just starting to blog and wants to get his name out, but his pockets are really short, short enough that he was able to buy himself a domain, order his hosting package and maybe even a design for his blog (even tho there are several free wordpress themes one could use). How would that blogger get some link love and start ranking in the SERPs?

The word impossible in internet marketing it doesn’t really exist, everything is possible and what you need is that initial creativity and eager to have success. For bloggers or news portals building backlinks is easier then for a normal business site. In order for a business site to build backlinks is required high quality products, while for a blogger what is required is high quality content instead.

However we have to back to on-site optimization before we continue further with the startup link building techniques. The first thing we actually need to do is

Now that we have the informations for the above mentioned elements we know who we are (the topics of our blog) and we know where we need to go (the keywords we want to target), what we need now is to find that startup road that will help us climb up the serps slowly and start get our name on the internet. Don’t take this the wrong way, backlinks use is not only for search engine optimization purpose, backlinks are as well a good source for driving traffic to your site. So lets draw a small picture as of free and cheap link building techniques to help you start with.

Backlinks from forum signatures

We all have a preferred forum where we like to hang out, some of us actually have many of such forums. The forums allow us to have signatures under our username, signature which gets attached to each of our post we make in the forum (unless you decide not to use a signature). Just as all regular pages that get indexed and then start aging the threads of the forum age and with them the backlink to your site. In addition, your profile page is linked from each of the pages where you post in the forum and it is possible that your profile page one day builds a healthy pagerank.

Backlinks from Blog Commenting

Who doesn’t have a inspirational blog that reads it daily raise your hand. No one I guess, we all have blogs that we like, blogs that inspire us and motivate to continue with our blogging venture. Some of the blogs are less famous, some are more famous, some of the blogs are dofollow some are nofollow, some of the blogs have top commentator list some don’t. But that doesn’t matter much as long as we like the content that the blog has and we have something to say regarding a post the author has published. Each of our comments in a blog post and linked to our site, gets exposed to the public where many other readers read. If your comment is of value people will follow the link and land in your page, if your content is healthy and of high quality people will not hesitate to link back to your post, submit it on social media and networking sites or even refer it to friends that have in their IM.

Now do you understand why I am saying that you should not take backlinks only for the purpose of search engine rankings? Sometimes a nofollow link will bring more value to your site rather then a dofollow one. When you are a new blogger you need readers and any way of bringing readers (not visitors) to your blog is legit and justified. However you might be lucky that your favorite blog has a top commentator list or even the comments are dofollow, in that case other then the benefits of driving new visitors to your blog you will have SEO benefits too since search engines will follow and give value to the comment links.

Linkexchange to build free backlinks

Many will say that this is old style, well they are right. Link exchanging is really old style and it is easy for search engines to track down a link exchange campaign. However there are different link exchange schemes, such as a 3 way link exchange, where webmaster A links back to the site C1 of webmaster B, and webmaster B links back to webmaster A’s website from a site C2 (in pure words explained).

One thing you should pay attention while doing link exchange with other bloggers is that you should not take this route really aggressively. What is aggressive link exchange you ask? Presume you have 10 backlinks (taking the low range numbers to give you an idea) and 8 of the 10 backlinks your site has are from link exchange, thats aggressive (however it gives a better view if I say that more then 50% of your backlinks are from link exchange would be considered aggressive link exchange?).

Another thing you must not forget when doing link exchange is that these are startup backlinks, and it is possible that the website with which you have exchanged links after few months will get shut down or they will remove the link to your site. Monitor them from time to time, you don’t want to link back to a dead site. And even more important, make sure that you exchange links with closely related sites to yours, a seo blog should not be link exchanging with a music blog (just an idea).

Ask friends and relatives to link to your site

This technique often turns out to become a link exchange and it works better on general blogs rather then niche specific sites. You could ask a relative or a friend that has a blog or site similar to yours to link back to your site (some are greedy some will be happy to do it, costs you nothing to ask ? well maybe just a tiny bit of honor).

Free & Paid Directory Submission

I could come up with several ways of classifying directories starting from high quality directories, low quality directories, paid directories, free directories , harsh directories etc etc. but lets just keep in mind that directories were devalued after the latest penalization, at least thats what we were told but from my last experiment on web directories this is not the story.

Whatever the case is, web directories were heavily used before the penalization to build backlinks since you could list your site in a directory and have a free backlink to your site. However some of the directories ask for a link back (remember the aggressive link exchange theory? avoid) and other directories charge for listing.

Not all directories that charge for listing are of high quality and not always all free directories are harsh. For example DMOZ directory is free but links from that directory have great value. The bad thing about DMOZ tho is that you can request a listing and forget about it as it might never be even listed (actually I have even forgot if I have listed this blog in DMOZ, sometimes I even hesitate doing so).

Another example would be the V7N Directory, if you remember this directory turned out very successful for my xhtml coding services website as I explained in my v7n directory experiment (and it continues with same results). However this directory was penalized by Google for some reason (well, because of the sidebar links John was selling I’d guess).

Yet another quality web directory is BOTW or also known as Best Of The Web.

Another way to classify directories would be, directories for boosting your search engine rankings and directories for both purposes, boosting search engine rankings and driving healthy traffic. Either way it is up to you which road you want to take, build serps or build serps and traffic, even tho prices change for example

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5 Responses to “Free & Cheap Link Building Techniques”
  1. I did some of your points on my site. The site initially rank well for my name in google and moved to page 1. Then somehow it drops off. Today, it is totally off the SERPs, funny thing is if I do, it did results.

    Based on your experience, what happens?

  2. Hello Asia’h,
    “Some of the points” is not really of a big help for me to understand what you have actually done and what might have gone wrong.

    Even tho the keyword “Asia’h Epperson” is not that competitive (only 43k sites respond on that keyword query) I still don’t see you on the first 100 results in Google.

    I did not took much time to look at your site, but most of the links that result pointing to your site are not pointing (anymore). But from what I see your site has been wiped out of the rankings for keywords like “asiah epperson, asia’h epperson, asiah epperson rocks” which would make me think of a possible penalization in rankings (and this does not mean your site is banned since it responds to site: query).

    What I can notice is that you have also an excessive use of your name all over the site, titles, URL etc, I would recommend you slow down with that a bit and build some more links.

    Hope this helps

  3. I do “Backlinks from forum signatures”, “Backlinks from Blog Commenting” and free directory submission.

    Most of the links that are gone is mainly from “Top Commentator”.

    I think you are right. My site is wiped out of keywords ranking, but, not banned.

    Just hope that this will be temporary.

    Thanks anyway.

  4. The ideas and insights are very worth reading. You really gave me valuable information. Thanks for sharing it!

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