SEO One-Way Web Links: 5 Strategies

With so much talk about search engines putting a damper on direct reciprocal links, the hunt for the elusive one-way inbound link is on.

As someone who works with small business website owners, I’ve heard just about every inbound-linking scheme there is. In the end, I’ve only seen five strategies that really work consistently for getting hundreds of links.

1: Submitting to Directories

They are the legendary fairy lands of SEO: Page Rank-passing, no-fee-charging, and actually well-run directories of relevant links. Yes, they really do exist. An Search engine Optimization acquaintance tells me he knows 200 good ones just off the top of his head. Plus, there are other kinds of directories: directories of affliate programs, of websites using a certain content management system, of websites whose owners are members of this or that group, of websites accepting PayPal, etc. etc.

One quick way is to go on to google, yahoo, MSN or Altavista and type in NAME DIRECTORY or NAME DIRECTORIES. Lets take real estate as an example.

Go to google and type:
real estate directories
real estate directory

turn it around
directories real estate
directory real estate

Go through the list on the top 5 search engines and this will get you tons of links back. It takes time, but its one of the most effective techniques.

2: Submit reviews that feature products or services. Try out services or products on the net, and submit a testimonial or review their product for free on the net. You can send this to them and they may choose to link to your site and to the review. The testimonial can also provide a link back.

3: Triangulating for Inbound Links

Search engines will have a tough time dampening reciprocal links if the reciprocation is not direct. To get links to one website you offer in exchange a link from another website you also control. This would seem to be a mostly foolproof way of defeating the link-dampening ambitions of Google and the rest. If you have more than one website, you probably are already employing this linking method. There are only a few drawbacks:

You need to have more than one website in the same general category of interest or the links won’t be relevant.

The work required to set up this kind of arrangement and verify compliance is not insignificant. The process cannot be automated to the same extent as direct one-to-one reciprocal linking.

As with traditional reciprocal links, a very big drawback is that the links are mostly on “Resources” pages that are just lists of links. There’s only a small chance of getting significant traffic from these links. Plus, any “Resource” page may well eventually become an easy target for link dampening, if that hasn’t happened already.

4: Waiting for Inbound Links

If you have good content you will eventually get one-way inbound links naturally, without asking. Organic, freely given links are an essential part of any SEO strategy. But you cannot rely on them, for two reasons:

Unfortunately, “eventually” can be a very long time.

Worse, there is a vicious cycle: you can’t get search engine traffic, or other non-paid traffic, without inbound links; yet without inbound links or search engine traffic, how is anyone going to find you to give you inbound links?

5: Text link brokers – you can buy quality one way links at Text link brokers. They have a large pool of sites that have signed up to make money. You can pay a small monthly fee and get others to one way link directly to your site, saving you a lot of time and effort. Another bonus, is if you have a page rank of 4 or higher, you can sell spots on your site to one way link to others, and then use that money to buy one way links back. This can grow quite large. Google however penalizes some sites for buying links.

Some advice is to buy links that your users would use. Put those on your website that actually enhance your users experience and they would actually need if using your website.

Less Effective One-Way Link Strategies

Yet there’s perennial interest in alternative linking strategies. They range from bad to OK, but none offer as much potential as the five major ways of getting links.

Link farms never seem to die. The latest variations try to pass themselves off as viral marketing, but are really a sort of endless pyramid scheme: you link to me, so I link to someone else, who links to someone else, and on and on down the line. Link farms can get you de-listed from search engine indexes, so don’t even try them.

Affiliates can provide you with one-way inbound links if you use affiliate software that links directly to your site rather than through a redirect. But many, many affiliates are now placing all their affiliate links in redirects of their own invention, to help protect their commissions from pirates who will simply apply to the program themselves to get a discount.

Posting to web forums and blogs regularly will get you one-way inbound links, but they’ll only have search-engine value a small percentage of the time. Many blogs and bulletin boards use search-engine-unfriendly dynamic file formats, automatically encase links in script, or use robot instructions to prevent spiders from following links.

Many one-way inbound linking strategies fall into the great-if-you-are-lucky-enough-to-get-it category, such as winning a web award or being featured on a high PageRank website just for being so great.

Other one-way incoming link strategies are in the this-will-take-forever-to-get-anywhere category, such as offering to provide testimonials to all your vendors in exchange for a link to your site. (Hint: If you can get more than twenty links that way, you probably need to simplify your supply chain.)

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