Win the Best High Volume Links
By Kristi Hines, Internet Marketing Specialist, Vertical Measures
One of the more frustrating things during the
process of competitor link research is finding that
many of your client's competitors are doing nothing
but getting the lowest quality, but highest
quantity links possible. And, of course, even
though your usual standards are to get the best
quality links, your client simply wants to do
what their competitors are doing. So, what do you
Here are some ways to get the best of the
competitor's links for higher volume, while still
sticking to your principles of better link quality.
Reciprocal Link Exchanges
There is still debate on the effectiveness of
reciprocal link exchanges, with Google cracking down
on link farms, and any site that is obviously
participating in "unnatural" link building
activities. So, how do you get quality out of this
method of link building?
The biggest problem with reciprocal link exchanges
is that people will exchange links with anyone. So,
a coffee site is linked to a hot tub site, which
obviously has zero relevance. Therefore, if you see
competitors doing link exchanges, look for the
resource pages that are most targeted to your
So, if your client sells sunglasses, look for a
resource page that just consists of sunglass sites.
But, don't send the request just yet...
Now that you have a selection of highly relevant
resource pages to choose from, shoot for the ones
that have a good PageRank on a domain that has even
better PageRank. If Google considers the resource
page with only sunglass links a PR 4, and it's on a
PR 6 domain, it can't be that bad of a link.
Next, if at all possible, try for a three-way link.
If the site doesn't specifically say they don't
accept three-way link exchanges, then find a
relevant page that has the same PR rating as the
resource page you want your client's link on, and
add their link to it— as opposed to adding it to
your client's domain.
Essentially, you'll have to build a link to get
another, so the work is a little more involved than
a simple two-way link exchange. But, you're more
likely to get your exchange accepted if you already
have their link placed. You can get bonus points by
helping out the webmaster by checking for broken
links on their resource page as well, so they have a
reason to go modify it.
In the event that you must add the other site to
your client's site to get on a really good, relevant
resource page, the best way to do so is in content.
If the site is relevant to your client's, and your
client happens to have a blog or other informational
pages (preferably with an equally high ranking),
then you can offer to put the other site's link
there. (This way your client isn't sitting on a
resource page that would alert Google to the fact
that they may be participating in link exchanges).
Amazingly, client competitors have done quite well
leaving bad comments on several blogs. If you have a
competitor who is doing this, here's how to get the
best of those links:
Same as above: Choose only the most relevant blog
posts to comment on, regardless of whether a
competitor is writing "great post" on poetry sites,
while back-linking to their pet supplies website.
Again, as above, make sure you choose blog posts
that have high PR on a higher PR domain.
Go above and beyond your competitors and leave an
intelligent, well-worded comment on the post. Try
not to think of the comment as just a link—think of
it as reputation management as well. In the off
chance one of your customers were to stumble across
your comment, would you want them to read something
that sounded like spam?
Forum links are some of the most easy to acquire, as
you can find many forums out there that allow
The key to forum links is, again, relevancy. If your
client sells medical scrubs, find medical and
nursing forums. This will not only make your links
more valuable, but may also garner the links more
clicks as well.
And, of course, if you want clicks on your links,
you'll need to make your part of the discussions as
valuable as possible to position yourself (and the
client you represent) as an authority in their
niche. If people ask questions, answer them. Answer
them in detail. Don't just drop a short reply into a
thread, just to get the link in.
The "interesting" thing about forums is that
although they allow links, they will typically call
anyone who adds a link to their signature a spammer,
especially if you're new to the forum. The key here
is to defend yourself. Point out that you've been
actively participating in the forum, leaving good
responses, and that the forum rules allow
signatures—therefore, you aren't breaking the rules.
Also, try to explain that "spammers" usually leave
unrelated links, whereas yours shows that you have
knowledge in that niche. After leaving a
well-mannered defense for yourself, you usually get
left alone, and actually get a better rep—assuming
you keep up in participating after that point.
Another popular, high quantity link building
technique is taking one article and submitting it to
tons of article sites, or taking one article,
"spinning it," and then submitting the different
versions to tons of article sites.
Because of the over-saturation in article marketing
of hundreds to thousands of articles being published
daily, it's important to write quality articles and
place them on the highest ranked article directories
(based on PR and Alexa), and make them stronger and
more valuable for your client's links by promoting
the articles themselves by building simple links to
them, sharing them socially, and so on.
Finally, we get to directories. The principles of
relevancy and high PR apply with these as well. In
addition, if it isn't too much in pricing, try to go
with the premium/featured listings, as these will
put you on the first page of your chosen category.
That way, if more submissions come in, your site
won't be bumped to a lower ranked second page. And,
the higher above your competitor's back-links that
your client is, the more valuable their link
---Source: Vertical Measures July
2010 newsletter (www.verticalmeasures.com). Kristi
Hines is an Internet Marketing Specialist with
Vertical Measures providing link building services.