I Have A Link Building Secret

Link building secrets? That search on Google comes up with over 20 million matches. How secret is anything out there with so much discussion about it? And which of those 20 million shiny nuggets are real secrets rather than fool’s gold?

Here are just some of the secrets you have to choose from:

  • The secret to high rankings is the anchor text in your links
  • The secret to high rankings is links from .edu based sites
  • The secret to high rankings is links from trusted sites
  • The secret to high rankings is quality content that attracts links
  • The secret to high rankings is receiving unsolicited links
  • The secret to high rankings is getting as many links as you can
  • The secret to high rankings is on-topic links
  • The secret to high rankings is the quality of the content and backlinks
  • The secret to high rankings is the variety of links

All of the above "secrets" have some element of truth, and all have some element of bull. I’m confident of the advice I give, but the reality is that my advice may be perfect for one site and useless for another site.

That’s my link building secret. No single linking tactic and approach will be effective to the same degree for every site. My being effective as a link builder (or content publicist, my preferred job title) will be determined by how well I understand the goals for any given site and the nuances of linking that each requires to meet those goals.

Consider that Valentine’s Day is this week, which means plenty of hearts flying around. Those hearts — the entire holiday atmosphere — opens up linking possibilities I’m tapping into for the Valentine’s Day site from Dairy Queen that I’m promoting. But those opportunities won’t necessarily work for a different heart site I’m working on, the PBS Heart Disease Awareness Site. To each site, its logical links and tactics.

You may want to see your site rank first at Google. That will require specific link building tactics as determined by your site’s topic and analyzing the competition.

You may want to see your site make it to the Digg homepage. That will require significantly but not completely different link building tactics.

You may want to see your site get written about in the New York Times. That could happen by luck, if you did either of the above. However, a better tactic probably involves a more traditional approach, like a retainer to a PR firm and a big bank account.

You may want your site to be mentioned on Oprah. Well, good luck with that….

There is no perfect set of secrets in the content publicity game. Whatever your goals and objectives, there’s a linking and publicity strategy that will help you to have a better chance to reach them. That strategy will be different every time. It’s a shiny nugget of truth you can take the bank.

Eric Ward has been in the link building and content publicity game since 1994, providing services ranking from linking strategy to a monthly private newsletters on linking for subscribers, The Ward Report. The Link Week column appears on Mondays at Search Engine Land.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Link Building: General | Link Week Column


About The Author: has been creating linking strategies for clients since 1994. Eric publishes the strategic linking advice newsletter LinkMoses Private, and provides linking services, training and consulting via EricWard.com.

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  • sportsguy

    The critical bit, Eric, is your point about what works for one may not work for another. It’s a common mistake “link building companies” make and clients simply don’t know any better.

    As usual, sage advice from someone who knows. ;)


  • http://www.acclivitymarketing.com/blog Solomon Rothman Web Design Search Engine Marketing

    Excellent advice! Your post indirectly shows is why SEO is not such a simple task and why it’s important that you have someone who really knows what they’re talking about execute your SEO campagin. Fundamentally most of the methodologies and tactics used by SEO consultants are relatively simple (depending on your technical background.) Getting the entire picture right and being successfully is whole lot harder.

  • http://www.seopractices.com seo beginners

    The secret to Link building is based on the intuitive comprehension you Internet Gurus have developed through hard work, discipline and passion for the Search Technology.


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