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Crazy Link Building Ideas That Work

Jason Acidre

by Jason Acidre on 23rd May 2012

LinksToday we welcome a post by Jason Acidre Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, and blog, Kaiserthesage who is looking at some of the most clever strategies he has ever seen for building links.

The world of link building has been a little crazy these past few weeks, with the help of unnatural link penalties and the penguin update being rolled out by Google. With those game-changing updates, everyone who’s really willing to fight and survive in the SERPs should definitely be thinking more out of the box on how they approach link acquisition.

Developing strategies is not easy, but it’s not that hard as well. The key to coming up with a strategy that will really work and fit both in the standards of Google and your site, as a brand, highly depends on your “goals”.

That’s why setting up a goal before attacking is imperative, because that’s where strategies are born. And it’s indeed easier to identify methodologies to use once you already know what you want to achieve and/or where you want to be.

Let’s say your objective is to get your site/brand in front of thousands or millions of your target audience (where a portion of those views could be linkers who might write about or cite you/your story), then one of the fastest ways to achieve that goal is by getting your brand featured on high-traffic and high authority sites, right? Now, you’ve got a strategy.

Getting back to the topic, most effective link building strategies are content-dependent, because it’s the first reason why people will link to you anyways. But now, the competition for content generation in any industry is getting tougher, so you’ll need to think ahead and you’ll need more guns to fight back. So below are some ideas that could work (that I immediately thought of when asked to write about crazy link building strategies). Though they may not be as crazy as what you’ll initially expect, which perfectly demonstrates just how creative our industry has become. Whatever your view, I do think you’ll find them useful and scalable when played around and be implemented.

Buy/rent old link bait or pages your competitors have linked to
Find successful link bait in your industry and pages your competitors have contextually linked to in the past (preferably posts/pages published years ago) and contact them to ask if they’ll be interested in selling these pages.

It’s best to make a list of prospect pages first, and segment this list by levels of priorities and difficulties of acquisition, so you can create easy-to-personalize email templates (for faster outreach).

Once you have found blogs who are interested with the deal you are offering, you can then start redirecting those pages to the pages of your site that are relevant to the subject that those pages are pertaining to (or you can also start a new page that will specifically tackle the very same topic of the bought webpage to make the redirected links relevant).

You can see a similar strategy by Rand Fishkin here.

Bonus tip: offer to buy the content instead, so you can further enhance/update it, and for the request to be more appealing to your target prospects. Then have them redirect the old/outdated page to the new and improved content (hosted on your domain), where you can also choose to give credit (link) to the original owner/creator of the content.

Generate more easy-to-create content for guest posts (Interviews)
Find book authors and authority bloggers in your industry and try to do an interview with them. Once you’ve received their answers from your questionnaires, you’ll then have a rock-solid content that you can use as a guest entry for other blogs.

The great thing about this approach is that it’s very easy to generate this type of content and certainly a win/win/win situation for all parties; the interviewee gets a chance to promote his business/product, you get a good quality link for contributing the content as a guest blog entry, and the blog who’ll host the content will get expertly written content (knowing that the content will contain high-value information based on the experts’ answers to your industry-related questions).

Offer premium images and cinemagraphs to bloggers

Images are a necessity for bloggers, especially to those who really care about their blogs’ readership, since it’s an important element that helps bloggers to entice and capture their readers’ attention. Filling that demand in your industry’s blogosphere will definitely translate to immense opportunities for links.

Everything in this arena has to start with a list, so create a list of top quality blogs in your industry that somehow lack in terms of visuals, and try to extract their contact details as well.

There are a lot of options to choose from when doing this approach. You can set up a private database for your images/cinemagraphs, so the blogs that you’ll be contacting can easily choose from the images (related to your industry) hosted on your private gallery. And/or you can also choose to make all of your images embeddable (which will include scripts that will automatically give link attribution to your site as the owner of the images), so bloggers can easily copy and embed the images to their blog posts.

You can also create cinemagraphs which are still images with slight movement. To get started check out these other helpful resources:

Create/build expert and linkable personas
Mold someone to become your site’s online brand ambassador, because they can be a strong asset for link acquisition/attraction. You can create a fake persona or choose any member of your company/organization and make every effort to build that person’s authority in the field (it may take you a few months to get this going, but will definitely pay off once it builds momentum).

I’ve seen many who have been successful with this approach, and this definitely increased their likelihood of getting hard-to-replicate links to their company’s website. Why? Because reputable personas (particularly on the web) can:

  • Get editorial mentions for their works
  • Easily create opportunities for guest blogging or a regular column
  • Get interviewed by other bloggers
  • Easily persuade people to link/share when doing manual outreach

Set up Google Alerts for your brand ambassador(s)’ name(s), as you’ll have a reason for contact when they do get mentioned on articles from other websites, where you can request for link attribution to their company’s website (e.g.: Mike Essex, from Koozai).

So how do you make these personas become authority? Start with the basics:

  • Let them blog, or hire someone to ghostwrite for them on a strict schedule.
  • Have them actively participate on social networks (Twitter, Google+ or Facebook) by interacting with other industry thought-leaders.
  • Develop their own follower base through content marketing, guest blogging, community discussions (blog comments, forums and social networking).
  • Mention them through the site’s other external content distribution campaigns.
  • Shape their own unique identity in the industry as an expert.

This marketing approach (thought-leadership) can pretty much work on any form of business industry, and is a scalable tactic from both marketing and link building perspective. I’ve seen this link building method working efficiently across a wide range of industries, including for adult sites; wherein they can create personas (their escorts, etc…) to blog (like building external personal blogs for their personas) and target different segments of their audience to help yield more traffic as well as high-value links to the main site.

The views expressed in this post are those of the author so may not represent those of the Koozai team.

Image Source

Chain via BigStock

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is the Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, and also a marketing consultant for Affilorama, the world’s largest affiliate marketing training portal. For more SEO, social, content and link building strategies, you can check out his blog, Kaiserthesage.


  • Mike Essex

    Mike Essex 23rd May 2012

    Hi Jason. Thanks for writing this great post for us.

    What I find interesting is that many strategies that were “outrageous” a few years ago are now common sense tactics – e.g. outreach years ago seemed like it took a lot of time for low reward. Now it’s one of the best tactics.

    Likewise tatctics that were normal years ago wouldn’t now be touched (e.g. reciproocal links). It certailny worth keeping an eye on anything that seems outrageous today as you never know how things will go.

    Reply to this comment

  • Alessio Madeyski 23rd May 2012

    Pretty crazy this time, but a thing that can make a difference and it’s really simple is: give your skype contact to people you’re collaborating with for a link.
    I’m calling this a crazy idea because it could end up in a loss of time, but for me it ended up always in the right way, creating a good relationship (and more direct) with people.

    Once you have that, you have them forever, and so it’s even more simple to communicate with them and ask them to do something for you.

    Be there for them, and in 90% of the case they are gonna be there for you.

    Reply to this comment

  • Pritesh Patel 23rd May 2012

    Great ideas.

    Could you possibly add ‘Length of time’ to each tactic to get going. Reading a few of those it seems they can take a while to build, develop, plan and action and then to see actual results.

    Do clients/businesses/marketers/bosses have the patience and resources? Some do and some don’t. In my experience, when hard work is required it tends to crumble as the buzz dies and plan B as activated…..”how can I get quick links?”…..I’ll finish there.

    Reply to this comment

  • AkashArora 23rd May 2012

    I will try to follow all these crazy link building Ideas for my blog. Thank You very much sir for sharing these useful Ideas :)

    Reply to this comment

  • Jim Seward 29th May 2012

    What happens when you’ve spent all this time and money building up the authority of one of the staff members as an authority, and then they use this new found authority as a springboard to get a new job?

    You’ve spent time/money and the net benefit to your client is zero.

    Actually probably less than zero as the authority figure will be using his/her notoriety for their new company which is likely a competitor to the original.

    That said, these days you can’t help but involve people….no one buys anything from a logo

    Reply to this comment

  • Emma Drury 4th July 2012

    I love the persona idea, it’s a springboard to so many other great opportunities

    Reply to this comment

  • Noman Ali 21st November 2012

    Some great ideas, and plus one for guest blogging stuff with an expert interview. This post or action will give you 1000% benefit i am saying this because i experienced :) Overall good one Jason.

    Reply to this comment

  • Ryan Davies 9th December 2012

    Some good ideas here, although buying pages is a little outside of my ability right now :) I like the idea about interviews etc, that is something which I am going to try and implement for my site.

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a great article!

    Reply to this comment

  • mcaullum 24th March 2013

    Instead of going to third party for links,,,deploy links which are worthy and look natural to search engine along with quality content is the key

    Reply to this comment

  • I’m still shocked that many seoer’s are gaming the system reciprocal linking may be old hat but back in the day it was one of the only ways to get interest from internet users who were almost certainly interested in what you had to offer back in the day most of my traffic came from a web ring… lol remember them :) This was pre google, No one was gaming the system as there was no system to game.

    However now we now know what we should and should not be doing to get one over on the search engines and t its still going on. I did a search this morning for UK seo company and the link
    profile for the top site was unbelievable. They will get a huge kicking in a future update. as will most of their clients :(

    Should seoer’s take out insurance to cover the costs of a lawsuit when a clients business gets kicked by google.

    Reply to this comment

  • Satrap 20th June 2013

    I think interviewing an expert is something that most people can do with the right approach.

    A few of these ideas though (as great as they are) cant really be used by small sites.

    Thanks Jason.

    Reply to this comment

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