Link building is always a hot topic in the SEO industry. The rules of SEO game has changed significantly but backlinks are still the most important ranking signal in Google’s ranking algorithm along with content and RankBrain.
There are tons of link building techniques. But which one is more effective? Which one delivers the best results?
Well, I asked 30 SEO experts this simple question;
“If you could only use 2 link building techniques, which 2 would you choose?”
And here are their recommendations.
1- Craig Campbell – SEO Trainer & Consultant
Two link building techniques would be outreach, building a database of good contacts who have access to high authority websites that you can use time and time again, however using manual outreach to get links is one way of doing things, its long winded but can get good results if you do it at scale using tools like Pitchbox.
The second technique would be using PBNs, not everyone will agree but PBNs work very well if they are not full of spam, PBNs done properly will get you the desired results, but overall I like to mix up my campaigns when doing link building and have an element of outreach done alongside some powerful PBNs.
2- Bill Slawski – Director of SEO Research at GoFishDigital
I have built many links, but I’ve never claimed any expertise in this area ever.
I would much rather suggest that people engage in content creation that may lead to people linking to them. Find things that there are many people wondering about, and provide information and data that address that curiosity.
3- Rick Maggio – Marketing Director at Web Gumption
Take your favorite link building tactic and pair it with phone call outreach. Triple conversion rates just by having a human conversation with your link target.
We find that calling the prospect just converts a lot better than does email, social outreach, etc.
Any site worth gaining a link may already experience a high number of link requests.
Call, introduce yourself and what you are doing, and then pitch the prospect on the link proposition. In some cases, you’ll need to speak to a few people within the organization to get to the “right” decision maker.
No matter what, you’re now a human to them and they are going to be more likely to work with you. Still may not be a good fit but you’ve made a friend and that may go a long way.
This is a great question. Not all the old link building techniques are effective anymore, so I focus on these two.
1. Turn citations into links.
This is a straightforward technique that works wonders. All over the Internet, there are probably unlinked mentions of your brand — your business name without a hyperlink.
All you have to do is email the blog owner and ask them to link to you. It’s that easy!
Most of the time, these are fans. They already respect your business and what you’re doing and are more than happy to oblige. Also, you can find a lot of authoritative sites that have these mentions, so it’s an easy way to rack up high-quality links fast.
Keep in mind, it does require some outreach and research. But it pays off in spades!
2. Guest posting.
Sure, guest posting is one of the oldest link building techniques in the books, but it’s also one of the best.
Here’s one reason why. Not only are you building massive link equity with a byline or contextual backlink, but you’re also improving your personal brand and thought leadership.
It’s the ultimate win-win-win. I’ve been guest blogging for years. Even though writing takes a lot of time, I know that I’m offering something of value to my readers. Plus, hey, there’s a solid link in there for my website!
5- Earl Grey – SEO Slacker and Waffler
I would prefer we need to look at the context and give a waffling answer rather than exact.
A link should if possible be the kind of link that someone clicks on and buys the product or signs up to the service. So I would prefer on theme links.
Some say having links from a link partners page or from a resources page is bad because it got abused several years ago.
In certain situations such as if I were selling motorbikes I would love to get links from biker clubs or biker gangs resources or links pages on their local club site because they are on-target links even though links pages are supposedly bad.
Then we have the difference in markets or niches that create the ability to get links of lower quality to compete in that SERP.
If you look at certain male enhancement and female enhancement products, the links are extremely low quality from blog comments, XSS and hacked links.
If I am competing in a low quality historically spammed niche I will take any links I can get pretty much.
TL:dr Whichever links are fit for the specific purpose
1. Guest Posting. Find bloggers similar or complementary to your industry and write engaging, helpful articles they can link back to your website. Remember that link “stuffing” is not recommended by Google. Create links naturally.
2. Web Directory Links. The key here is relevancy. Don’t add to every directory you can find. Build links in niche directories related to your industry to provide useful info for potential customers.
7- Madelene Rogers – Promotions & SEO Consultant at CanIRank
If I could only use 2 link-building techniques for the rest of my PR career, it would have to be amplifying content from a site’s blog and traditional (but warm) journalist outreach/relationship building.
Most sites have great blog content that can act as a valuable resource for journalists if they know where to look. Blog content can be used for such a wide variety of things, including sharing customer success, explaining a business’s value proposition, providing educational content for active and new users, but it’s also an opportunity to share with the world unique information that you can only learn from your users. This information is an invaluable resource for journalists because it helps them tell the stories they already want to tell. The details are for each business but can be effective for anyone with a little creative thinking. I would never want to stop building relationships through outreach. PR and link-building aren’t just about creating value for the business, it’s about offering value to others using information. If you’re building links with the sole purpose of promoting your client/business, you’re missing an opportunity to build mutually beneficial relationships, and it will make your job very lonely, indeed.
8- Dan Leibson – Head of Search at Local SEO Guide
All our link building is outreach-oriented, though my favorites are still link-reclamation and link building with unlinked brand mentions. We have great success in reclamation projects around images.
9- Marko Saric – Blogger and Content Marketer
Nothing beats great content if you ask me. Rather than focusing on proactively reaching out to people and building links, I prefer to spend the majority of my time on creating content worth consuming. That is something that I can control and that gets me a better return on investment than sending emails and trying to reach out to people who get tons of similar requests.
10- Adeal Akhter – Digital marketing all-rounder, working as a freelance SEO link building professional
If I have to use 2 link building techniques I will go with:
1. Experts Roundups. – This technique helps in creating highly educative content and based on expert’s opinion, knowledge, and experience.
2. Interviews of the influencers. – People love getting interviewed. And they share it proudly on their website. More importantly, if they have followers in a specific industry, people of that industry will love to read about the authoritative personality.
I have tried these two techniques and they really work well. The best part is these techniques not only benefit you with link building only, but these techniques also help in getting social virality and creating content which people actually love to read.
11- Obaid Khan – Founder and CEO at Pantheon Digital
I would say building valuable resource pages and networking.
One of the best bets at getting genuine backlinks is creating content people would actually want to refer to in their own material. So I feel one of the best ways to do that is to create a ton of relevant and valuable resource material around your industry. You should also be making a ton of networking efforts on social platforms. Once you have valuable content built up, you can share it with your new connections in hopes they find it informative. Linking is one of the best ways to rank but the main point of building links is for them to be directed from sites with high domain authority or page rank. And the only way to do that is to be genuine and build solid content. There is no point in posting on submission sites and getting mediocre links.
12- Alex Blaisdell – Director of SEO at Searchbloom
If I could only use two link building tactics, they would be;
Number one, create linkable assets or link worthy content. You can amplify these campaigns with strategic email outreach campaigns. If done right this has the biggest potential for return.
Number two, broken link building. I can’t tell you how many times I have recaptured lost link equity from broken 404 pages on websites.
Other honorable mentions: Unlinked brand mentions, competitor link building, and for a local business hosting an event it reaching out to local bloggers are great.
13- Vaishali Badgujar – Content Marketing Specialist at Time Doctor
I would say guest posting and appearing on podcasts. It has proven successful for us. We got some nice links on high authority sites and also could build good relations with the business owners. The traditional cold email outreach has been saturated and the emails are ignored by most of the receivers. Instead, if we can give some value to their audience in the form of a high-quality guest post or a podcast interview, it’s a win-win for both parties.
14- Yasar Arafath – Blogger and SEO Expert
No bloggers or SEO experts share opinion like Guest Blogging no more an SEO strategy in 2019. If so, they may not be aware of the importance of it.
Not a rocket science formula to understand in depth. The name itself simply explains the meaning. You will act as a guest to the blogs in which you want to post your article. While writing articles for other blogs, you will get a link back to your site to any anchor text you want. It’s mandatory and advisable to write your guest article relevant to your niche. Writing it for general or non-niche related blog does not make much sense.
How to Find Blogs that Accept Guest Posts?
It’s as simple that you can google for blogs includes terms your keywords or niche along with the guest post.
For example, If your niche is automobiles, you can google “automobile” + Guest Posts.
You will get sites on the search engine results page that accepts guests posts about automobile topics.
You can contact the blog owners with an e-mail template. If your request meets the blogger requirements, then you will be offered a chance to write for them.
Some may offer it for free of cost, many want you to pay a few dollars.
Make sure to choose appropriate content, most importantly SEO friendly.
2. Bloggers Outreach
No big difference between Guest blogging and Bloggers outreach. Guest blogging, you have to request the blogger for only to post guest articles. But for blogger outreach, you can contact the blogger for any related link building purposes. Like exchanging link, social media shares for better organic reach, to find ideas on getting links from competing domains and more.
It’s always better to keep in touch with the fellow bloggers who are owning a blog which is related exactly as your niche.
Getting a link from a relevant niche is much better than building non-quality links. SEO nowadays not about quantity but quality.
15- Ivana Taylor – Marketing Consultant
I wouldn’t say I’m a link building expert by any stretch. I receive dozens of requests and refuse them all. Mostly because they require me to do work with no ROI. What folks ask me to link to isn’t really all that valuable to me or my audience. Personally, I believe if you want people to link to you, create something valuable that is organically found on SEO and gives real value to someone. That’s the only tip I have. Well, maybe one more. Create collaborative relationships with experts and sites in your industry and mutually link to each other. The key here is a collaborative relationship – not some one-off hit and run email. This takes time and still takes work but that work is worth it because you will actually BENEFIT.
16- Jes Scholz – Chief Digital Officer at Ringier
I’m afraid I do not believe in link building as an SEO tactic.
Build your brand. Build partnerships. Build loyalists. Build expertise. These things often result in links, but links themselves should not be an end goal, not a metric we measure.
Care about people. Not links.
17- Melanie Nathan – Digital Entrepreneur, Veteran SEO & OG Link Builder
I would use the broken link building/the reciprocity method. And also content marketing. Both have brought me a plethora of “natural” links over my 16-year career.
18- Ayodeji Onibalusi – Digital PR Expert, Content Marketer, Founder of digital agency, Effective Inbound Marketing.
The two link building options I would use if I were left with just two options are;
#1 release research reports. Research reports are cited wide and about within your industry, and these citations always come with a backlink. It may take time, but it’s a guarantee.
#2 for me would be guest posts. Blogs and publications would always be in demand for content. Guest posts would still guarantee me organic links.
19- Sola Mathew, Digital Marketing Manager at Christiana Titilayo Foundation
I would write articles which would include the links of others or mention them in a blog post and then reach out to them about it. Guess post: writing blog posts on other’s blogs. Usually, they offer a bio section where you link back to your own blog. Neil Patel and others are doing it and it works well. Secondly, write and mention people on your blog and reach out to them. They can mention you back with a link.
20- Eli Schwartz – Director at SurveyMonkey
#1 Use surveys to create interesting and unique data that people might want to link to.
#2 Focus as much effort on internal linking as you do external linking.
21- Janice Wald – Blogging and Social Media Coach
1. Quora has a high DA so I answer questions at Quora.com, the question and answer site. Quora allows you to leave your links if they are relevant to your answers. I try to make my answers in-depth. Otherwise, Quora may tell me I spammed by leaving my link. That’s my advice for people leaving their links in their Quora answers: make them detailed.
2. I advise people to sign up for HARO as a source. HARO (which stands for Help a Reporter Out) reporters also have high Domain Authority Ranking scores. Therefore, a link from their publications will help your SEO. Being recognized in a reporter’s article also boosts your branding.
22- Samuel Scott, Global Keynote Marketing Speaker
The best and greatest numbers of backlinks come simply as natural by-products of good publicity campaigns. Get the media and people in general to talk about you, and many will link to you. Any other method risks getting penalized by Google.
23- Kevin Kantola – SEO, Writer, Editor, Project manager and Growth Hacker
My input is short and simple. In an ideal world, if I could use only 2 link building techniques, they would be; 1. Content Creation 2. Content Creation.
24- Jaspal Singh – SEO Writer and Web Designer
One technique for link building is giving free resources on your website, the resources should be targeted at particular demographics and should be helpful to them.
The second technique, contact blogs for guest articles, although you have to spend time writing and matching the content type of others blog but if you get good opportunities, you will be able to create good number links.
25- Deepanshu Gahlaut – Digital Marketer at Ace Cloud Hosting
Guest Posting: I personally believe that guest posting is still one of the important link building technique in the online world. What matters most is how do you see guest posting as a link building technique. I mean, the old SEO way in which you search on Google for the websites with”submit a post” or the modern SEO way in which you find websites with “share your story”. There is a big difference. I would prefer guest blogging as my primary link building technique while keeping in mind that it is more than a link, it’s about the relationship that you build with other bloggers and connect with a wider audience through content.
Local Links: Local link building is one of my favorite link building strategy because it opens the door of high qualified traffic and leads to your business. Most local searches have low volume but they are highly relevant for your business and share a specific intent. For example, “cpa professional in pompano beach Florida”. If you are a CPA firm in Pompano Beach Florida you surely would love to rank for this keyword. And having links such as local directory and listing links for this keyword can be a great help.
26- Bill Vasiliadis – Director at SEO for Small Business
The first link building strategy I would use is producing high quality and compelling content, often and consistently. The content would be distributed to social and to other websites that are relevant to your target audience. I find that this strategy is the best strategy for obtaining links naturally.
The second strategy is coming up with an offering aimed at your target audience that would attract a lot of interest. The offering would be circulated to relevant websites.
27- Larry G. Maguire – Writer and Digital Creative
You know what, I don’t actually chase links. Yeah, I know that just the opposite of what I’m “supposed” to do but I find it empty soleless work so I just don’t do it – really. Instead, I try to write good stuff and share it. At most I’ll send people I link to in my article a mail to let them know. Too many creative people, artists, writers, etc. get caught up in all these things that experts say we should be doing and it leaves little time for the work that matters. Instead, I decide to go slow, build a small loyal following. That seems much more meaningful and gratifying to me than chasing random people all over the internet for links. I understand that if a business is in that hectic competitive marketing space then they may need to participate in link building, but I’d rather not.
28- Nisha Pandey – SEO Expert and Blogger
Guest posting is one of the most effective link building strategies. As long as your content is relevant to the website and useful for the site’s target audience, you are good to go.
Another excellent strategy is to turn your mentions into quality backlinks. Once you have established your name in your niche, it is highly likely that your name will receive an increasing amount of mentions. Reach out to the webmasters and turn those mentions into backlinks.
29- Juan Luis Mora – Freelance SEO Consultant
The main quality factor of a link is the affinity between source and origin. Starting from that point I recommend these two techniques:
1. Generation of high-quality linkable content to get links naturally or present it to related sites that can use it as a reference.
2. Locate the most linked sites for your topic and strive to get links from them for example through collaborations or sponsorships.
30- Amy Brueckman – Digital Publicist at Northcutt Marketing
My best link building strategy would be to focus on the links you can create through content creation. You can say a lot more about your brand in a well-researched article than in the limited characters of a Tweet. Whether this is through guest posting or posting content to your own blog, these articles can establish you as a thought-leader in your field. They’re also highly shareable for social media!
Bonus: A Perspective from the Other Side of Link Building, A Link Cleaner; Callum Scott – Senior SEO at Marie Haynes Consulting
Over the past ten years, Marie and the team have become very well known for unnatural penalty removal. As such, we are often on the other side of the coin when it comes to link building!
In the age of Penguin 4.0, we actually stopped doing link audit/disavow work for some time unless a site had been slapped with a manual penalty. The logic being that is Google was now able to just ignore unnatural links pointing at a site, what would the point be in disavowing them? However, more recently, we have reason to believe that while you may not have been given a penalty, there are other algorithms which could be causing a suppression on your site if you have a lot of unnatural, “Made for SEO” links.
While most sites will not benefit from a link audit, we have had some good success with sites who have particularly bad backlink profiles, even in the age of Penguin 4.0. Here is a client for whom we filed a disavow in 2018. This site had a large number of links made just for SEO purposes which we subsequently disavowed:
Again, we would stress that we don’t think this is an issue for the majority of sites. One of the simplest ways we find to gauge whether a site could see a benefit from disavowing work is to ask yourself “Would I be comfortable showing these links and explaining how I got them to the webspam team?”. If the answer is no, then you could be putting yourself at risk of an algorithmic suppression or even a manual action.
Over to you…
What do you think about link building? What are your favorite techniques? Let me know in the comments section below or contact me if you would like to be included to the post as well.