SEO Link Building – Free SEO Tutorial (Part 3)

In this tutorial, my aim is to cover everything you need to know about SEO link building, including ways to build backlinks and common questions you may have.

Before I begin, let’s me quickly go through some fundamentals.

– Link building is about building links FROM other websites to YOUR website, not from YOUR website to OTHER websites. You may laugh, but many newbies can’t even get this idea right.

– Next fundamental. In the SEO world, we often use the word backlink, which refers to links from OTHER websites TO your website. If you link to other websites, that’s NOT a backlink to you.

– Last fundamental. SEO link building is not just about building backlinks. It’s about building SEO backlinks. (Read this article on the difference between a backlink and an SEO backlink.)

Once you are clear on the fundamentals, let’s move on to the exciting part……

Ways To Build Backlinks

1) Google’s answer to link building

Officially, Google wants you to create great contents and/or services in your website, so that people can see the value in your website and link to you.

If you strictly follow this strategy, it may take you a long time before you can see any result.

But there are ways to accelerate the process and I shall list them below:

– Create link bait. For example, write an article on 101 ways to do something or a long list of resources. This kind of article will usually arouse people’s interest within your niche and thus link to that article. If you have a blog, put your link bait article in the Popular Article listing. The idea is to get more people to read that article and link to it.

– Provide a useful online application on your website, so that people will naturally link to you in their blogs or forums.

– Distribute free templates or scripts of any kind, such as WordPress theme, website template, free script, free plugin etc, with a backlink to website. When people use them, they will have to link to you.

The rest of the methods are not recommended by Google. But they are proven to work and are very likely to continue working for many years to come.

2) Effective textbook ways to build backlinks

Just pick up any SEO ebook and you’ll see these link building strategies:

– Distribute articles to article directories, aka article marketing.

– Post comments in blogs.

– Post in forums.

– Create pages in Blogspot, Squidoo, Hubpages and other social networking sites.

– Adding stories to Digg, Propeller and other social bookmarking sites.

– Press release.

– Submit your link to non-reciprocal link directories.

– Exchange links with friends or other webmasters, through article exchange or blogroll exchange. Though Google doesn’t like reciprocal links, reciprocal links still count. Just don’t over do it. What Google frowns is EXCESSIVE reciprocal links.

3) Other seldom-mentioned but effective ways to build backlinks

– Create accounts in social networking sites and membership sites that show your profile in public (there are thousands of them out there, with high PR) and include backlinks in your profile. You can create as many accounts as you like. (This method is extremely spammy, but it works.)

– Create your own linking network within your domains. This is applicable to those with lots of domains. You can divide your domains into groups and cross link them. Just make sure that they are not reciprocal links. (This method can be very powerful!)

– Create a simple software and submit it to hundreds of software directories, with a backlink to your website. Most software directories have high PR. These are great backlinks for you.

4) Buy links

Although Google says “do not buy links”, buying links still work. If you want backlinks from high PR web pages (not website), buying links seems to be the only option for most people.

But use it at your own risk. I doubt Google has an algorithm to catch you. In most cases, websites are caught because someone reports it to Google.

5) Participate in link building systems

– Link exchange networks

This is the earliest form of link building system, where webmasters create a link directory on their websites and link to one another. Such links are categorized under reciprocal links (i.e. I link to you, you link to me).

This kind of link building system is infamous and Google hates it because it doesn’t provide any value other than boosting search engine ranking.

There are rumours that Google ignores exchanged links (or reciprocal links). I doubt it. Google may discount reciprocal links, but it doesn’t ignore such links.

Honestly, I am not a fan of link exchange and have never tried any. My advice is stay away from such networks because there are better and safer linking systems out there.

– 3-way link networks

Instead of “I link to you, you link to me”, 3-way link networks work by linking A to B, B to C and C back to A. To Google, these are not reciprocal links.

This is my preferred link building network and I have used it for years. The only downside is such a linking network can only build backlinks to the homepage. If you want to build backlinks to internal pages, aka deep linking, you’ll have to resort to the 3rd option.

– Content syndication system

In such a system, you will post articles to a network of blogs or websites within the system. You can view this as another form of article marketing, except that the submission process is much simplified since you are doing it through a centralized system. This is my favorite link building strategies because I can build unlimited backlinks to unlimited web pages.

Common Questions About Link Building

1) Do nofollow links count?

No. Here’s what Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, wrote “The essential thing you need to know is that nofollow links don’t help sites rank higher in Google’s search results.”

So when you build links, make sure that that link is not a nofollow link. You can easily identify nofollow links using Firefox plugins such as SearchStatus.

2) Do links from PR 0 sites count?

Yes. There is a myth going around saying that links from PR 0 sites don’t count. It’s a myth. What doesn’t count is if that link is from a web page that is NOT indexed by Google. If a web page is indexed by Google, it doesn’t matter whether the web page has PR 0 or PR 10. They will all help in your search engine ranking, but to different degrees of course.

Some experts say you should only post articles to popular article directories. I say NO. Distribute your articles to as many article directories as possible. I’ve gotten websites into top search results solely through article marketing alone. All links count, even if they have no PR.

3) Do links from unrelated contents count?

Yes. This is another common myth. Links from related content MAY score better, but links from unrelated links definitely counts.

4) Do links from duplicated contents count?

Yes. Links from unique contents MAY score better, but links from duplicated contents definitely count.

The only concern here is because the content is duplicated, Google may not index that the web page. As I said, links from un-indexed pages do not count.

“Kenneth, are you trying to say  Google penalizes duplicated contents?”

I wouldn’t say Google penalize duplicated contents. What happen is when Google indexes many web pages with the same content, it will only show some of the web pages and keep the rest in its sandbox. The priority usually goes to those websites with high PR. So let’s say you distribute an article to 300 article directories, probably only 200 of them are indexed. The other 100 may not be indexed and thus those links are not counted.

5) What is the relationship between PageRank and link building?

Technically, PageRank (PR) is like a vote. If a web page with high PR links to your web page, that link will carry more votes and thus add more to the PR of your web page. 0 PR doesn’t mean that web page carries no vote, it just carries lesser votes.

One thing to note is PageRank is web page specific. A PR 8 website doesn’t mean all its web pages have PR 8. So if you happen to buy links, make sure you pay for links from web pages with high PR, not just websites with high PR.

6) When submitting to link directories, can I go for reciprocal link option?

If you have done submissions to link directories, you will know that there are 3 options, free, reciprocal and paid. Don’t go for the reciprocal option. This is because over time, some of these directories may close down and you may end up having lots of bad links on your website, which can harm you SEO ranking and even get your website delisted.

I think I have more or less covered all you need to know about SEO link building. If you have other question about link building, just post your question below.

123 thoughts to “SEO Link Building – Free SEO Tutorial (Part 3)”

    1. There are so many variables that encompass SEO that it is not even funny. One may focus to make sure they have H1 keyword place, some may ensure to optimize images, one may focus on trying to outrank their competitors for a particular keyword. One of the key things has to be consistency and persistence in building your web pages and doing proper SEO.

  1. Learning a lot at this valuable Blog. Link building is a time consuming process where quality is as important as quantity. Article marketing has been the most favorite way of almost all Gurus to get more back links over a period of time.
    Unique quality niche content + onpage and offpage SEO + backlinks = Organic Traffic :)

  2. Great post…

    I’ve learn a lot about SEO in the past, and some things seems to be a myth nowadays. There are people that says Google is going to penalize you if you this or you do that.

    Unique content + Honest backlinks = front page of Google

  3. Kenneth, thank you again for another fantastic post. I really appreciate how much you are willing to share. I will have to say that a high PR webpage, not just site, does seem to help with your PR in my experience. I also feel that .edu and .gov probably have more value than others.


  4. Kenneth, thanks for your tips again.

    I fully agree with you on the following.

    “What happen is when Google indexes many web pages with the same content, it will only show some of the web pages and keep the rest in its sandbox. The priority usually goes to those websites with high PR.”

    Hence if we have a new website, I would usually prepare another set of unique articles for article marketing.

    What’s always in my mind is, how does search engine consider a web page as “unique”? 10% 50% or 70% uniqueness?


  5. Kenneth,

    Wow, it is apparent you spent some quality time putting that article together. Your efforts are much appreciated, and although I have been using a number of your methods for years, I always seem to learn something new from your articles.

    You are appreciated!

  6. Hi Ken,
    I’m a newbie as you call it. I really hope that you read this comment. I didn’t know that linking from the other website was better than the other way around because the way the net is NOBODY told me until just now. I doesn’t mean that i am stupid just ignorant. There is a difference. The way you framed what you said made me that way”stupid” I think that there is a better way of saying it than the way you did. Remember when you started did you know? I am sure that you didn’t. I noticed this type of attitude before in some of your other articles. I personally don’t like it. I understand that sometimes you need to repeat yourself many times but maybe its good to put a link or a faq where common question like this one can be answered in detail so that no one has to be ignorant anymore. We all learn at different rates and different ways, visual, written so you need to make allowances for that. Other than that your articles was written well it covered the material and was tightly focused.

  7. Thank you Ken for the in depth explanation. It really does help to have someone in the know explain in detail what does and what does not work when it comes to link building.

  8. Hi Friends

    Google is Best and Top Search Engine, We know that But not everyone from us know How can get traffic and visitor from Google.

    Many Times I looking for site or software to help me.

    Sometimes it takes weeks to months for Google to crawl your new website. I am putting here a list of 5 best methods to make your site get indexed within hours, which I follow whenever I launch a new website.

    Submit Site url To all Search Engines.. submit url free

    Thank you and Good Luck

  9. The SEO subject is a real hard one to get right. there is always something new in every article I read. I will certainly re-read the articles you are preparing to reap better benefits. Thanks.

  10. Hello EveryOne,

    I am not sure if this happens to everyone here as well as Kenneth.

    My adsense earnings have tremendously gone down for the past 3-4 days.

    I am now making only 10% of the amount I usually made.

    So sad about this. Does this happen to you people?

    1. December is typically my worst month every year. Income drop by 10-20% (not to 10%). I reckon that’s because most of my sites are health related and when it comes to holiday season, people are not interested in their health. But interestingly, there will usually be a surge in January. That’s when people drink and eat too much and start getting lots of problem again. LOL.

      1. Yes, you are right. December is usually a good niche for presents and gifts due to XMas season.

        I read some articles on the net which says about smart pricing. That big G is rather particular about sites with low CTR (which consequently affect the entire account). Another saying about smart pricing is that big G expects the clicks in their ads to convert well (to prevent social traffic and click frauds). Which means they expect the clicks to lead to sales so that the advertisers will come back for more in long terms.

        Kenneth, how is your views on this? I understand this thing can get very long hence I hope you can cover in future topics if possible.

        Smart Pricing is something I learnt today after a year in adsense. Hence I hope it can be educated to others so that they can learn it the soonest.

  11. In regards to the nofollow link, I think it still count as a link. I am saying this because I do see links that are nofollow on my google webmaster tool. But I guess it doesn’t have much weight as a dofollow link.

  12. Very useful informations you giving away here!

    Great Blog and high quality content!

    There is only one way to build Links you don´t mentioned here :

    You can use RSS feeds to build backlinks to your website. Just submit them to several SS directories!

    1. It’s better to spin them. I don’t have proof but I got a feeling that links received from the same content are devalued.

  13. Put up is nicely written and it contains many good things for me. I’m glad to search out your impressive manner of writing the post. Now it turn out to be straightforward for me to grasp and implement the concept. Wonderful post. Keep it up and thanks on your share! Thank you very much.

  14. Thanks for your information, your question and answer section helped me a lot and I also get my question’s answer. However I also know that link building is one of the great ways to attract search engine. But you provided some more information about link building.

  15. Thanks for detailing the step on how to get rank higher on Big-G..The information is very helpful to me as I am learning SEO. Thanks again..

  16. Thanks for your information, your question and answer section helped me a lot and I also get my question’s answer. However I also know that link building is one of the great ways to attract search engine. But you provided some more information about link building.

  17. Link building is a time consuming process where quality is as important as quantity. Article marketing has been the most favorite way of almost all Gurus to get more back links over a period of time.

  18. The link building will definitely help your website’s PR and increase the traffic and increase the keyword ranking. Sometimes it will take time for the search engines to index your site. The effect of good article, directory submissions and Forum posting are better to create the link building.

    Thanks for sharing such an important blog.

  19. This are some great tips to link building. One of the main things I have found that is important is relevence of link

  20. Hi Ken,
    Thanks for this training information atleast now I have to watch my sources of backlink as I have been told to buy lots of programme that will boost my backlink, if that will get me into trouble with google then am better off doing it my own way.

  21. Amazing Article!! I was looking for some information on seo and backlink process that can throw some light on my knowledge. I wanted to know how to get backlinks and how can it be beneficial. thanks for the post!!

  22. Undoubtedly your each article is very informative but the more impotent thing is the way of writing you follow.
    I have read so many articles on link building so for even yet this one is unique.
    many thanks for sharing!

    1. They don’t. They can only guess by analyzing your link pattern and whether you get links from link farms.

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