How to Build Backlinks in 2018 (NEW Guide)

Backlinks are the nitrous of every successful SEO campaign.

This new guide will teach how to build backlinks in 2018. Every strategy you will read is battle tested.

Through hundreds of successful SEO campaigns, we now know what does and does NOT work.

Ready to get started? Let’s jump in.

DOWNLOAD 1,000 + link prospects so you can start acquiring quality backlinks.


Table of Contents

  1. What are Backlinks?
  2. How to Build Less Backlinks (And Get Better Results)
  3. What is Your Risk Tolerance?
  4. 5 Rules for Quality Backlinks
  5. Avoid These Backlinks on Tier One
  6. 4 Quick Ways to Grow Your Site’s Authority
  7. How to Build “Foundational” Backlinks
  8. Power Backlinks
  9. Grey Hat Backlinks
  10. Bonus: How to EARN Backlinks

A “backlink” is created when an external website links to yours. This why some people refer to them as “external backlinks”.

Here’s how it looks in action:

These links are a large piece of the ranking puzzle.

But before we get into the heavy link building strategy…

You need to make sure that your site is ready for backlinks.


How to Build Less Backlinks (And Get Better Results)

Here is the ugly truth about link acquisition:

It is costly and time-consuming.

To combat these two issues you must learn how to get the most out of every backlink.

Here’s how you can accomplish that goal:

  • You must have a technically optimized site
  • You must have a strong site architecture
  • You must have valuable content

Here are the basics you need to cover before you jump into link acquisition:


1. Fix All Technical Errors

Technical errors hurt user experience.

When you hurt user experience, Google limits your organic traffic growth.

The first thing you need to do is avoid speeding through this process.

Otherwise, you may end up wondering:

“Why aren’t my backlinks working!?”

Think of SEO as a puzzle.

You can’t complete a puzzle without having all the pieces.

Making sure your site is technically optimized is an important piece of the SEO puzzle.

Here are the technical issues you need to look for:

You can use Screaming Frog SEO Spider to find most of these issues such 302 redirects, redirect chains, 404 errors, canonical errors, duplicate META data and incorrect uses of directives.

2. Develop a Strong Site Architecture

Your site architecture is how link equity gets distributed through your site.

The better your site architecture, the less backlinks you will need.

If you are using a content-driven SEO approach, then I recommend the reverse silo.

Here’s how it works:

The reverse silo is great because it is the most natural way to build site authority.

Think about it:

Would you rather link to a high-quality blog article or a boring category page?

3. Produce VALUABLE Content

Content is the last and most important piece of the puzzle.

If you don’t think content is important, then you might as well stop reading now.

Your content strategy will make or break your SEO campaign.

It doesn’t matter how many backlinks you get.

It doesn’t matter how well you optimize your site.

Your SEO campaign will eventually fail if you don’t take content seriously.

Search Quote

I’m going to be writing a lot on content marketing on this blog in 2018, but for now…

I want you to do one thing:

CARE about your content.

You don’t need to be perfect, but do not publish garbage content.

Like real garbage, garbage content gets sent to the landfill where no one will ever see it again.

I’ll end my content rant there.

Just know your content will determine the success of your SEO campaign.

Want to learn more about how to create perfect SEO content that actually works? Check out Content Academy.


What Is Your Risk Tolerance?

Before we get into the intense stuff, you need to gauge your risk tolerance.

The question is:

Are you willing to use risky tactics?

Or:

Are you risk averse and would like to take a “cleaner” approach that decreases your chances of a penalty?

I recommend you take the latter.

Two years ago, you could nail a brand new website with any PBN backlinks, and the site would rank within a month.

It was like taking candy from a baby, but Google caught onto this.

They introduced a “sandbox” that holds new websites back.

I’m not going to debate the existence of it because we’ve tested it.

Here’s the conclusion:

Before: you could rank a site in 1 month with PBN backlinks.

Now: it takes two, sometimes three months to see the effects of PBN backlinks.

Knowing this, we have gone away from PBN backlinks.

But it’s not just because they take longer to work.

It’s because the time and financial investment isn’t worth it anymore.

The time and financial ROI was huge two years ago when Google wasn’t as savvy.

Now the amount of time it takes to run a successful PBN and the amount of risk involved, isn’t worth it.

In 2018, a better approach is to focus on relevant backlinks from real websites.

This will help you avoid penalties and get you the long-term results you desire.


5 Rules for Quality Backlinks

If you follow these 5 rules you will watch your site’s organic traffic climb every month.

1. Keep It Relevant

Relevancy is the most important criteria for effective link acquisition.

I have never, repeat never, had a site penalized that had a 100% relevant tier one of backlinks.

Google bases “relevancy” on these three things:

  1. The general content “theme” of the linking domain
  2. The content on the linking page
  3. The relevancy of the backlinks hitting the domain

To see a site’s link relevancy use Majestic’s Topical Trust Flow Topics.

Keep in mind:

Link opportunities that don’t have Topical Trust Flow Topic relevancy can still be valuable.

Make you evaluate your opportunities beyond third party metrics.

If you need help prioritizing link opportunities, then I recommend Relevancy Pyramids.

2. Let Authority Sites Be Your Friend

The stronger the site, the better the results.

Since Google doesn’t update PageRank anymore, you have to rely on third party metrics.

None of these third party tools are perfect, but they will do the job.

I recommend you analyze opportunities using all available options.

The best link analysis tools are:

3. Focus On Real Websites (With Real Traffic)

Getting backlinks from sites with real traffic is another way to solidify your tier one.

These are the hardest backlinks to get but are also the most rewarding.

Since you will never know the exact traffic data of a site without getting in their analytics, you will need to use SEM Rush.

4. Distribute Your Anchor Text Intelligently

Distributing your backlink anchor text recklessly can hurt you twofold.

First, wrong anchor text distribution will inhibit your site from ranking. Last and most important, aggressive anchor text can land you a penalty.

As a general rule of thumb aim to keep your exact match anchor text below 1%.

The majority of your anchor text should be branded or naked link anchors.

Here’s an example:

Go here.

5. Let Your Backlinks Live in Clean Neighborhoods

Focus your efforts on getting backlinks from sites that have high standards.

If they are linking out to “scammy” industries, then you do not want your link to live there.

Examine every prospective website and ask:

  • What are they linking out to?
  • Are the outbound links relevant?
  • Are the outbound links going to respected, trusted sites?

If you see “viagra” or “gambling” or anything of that nature, then avoid that website.

You now know what a squeaky clean link profile looks like.

Now let me explain what backlinks you should NEVER use on tier one.


Avoid These Backlinks on Tier One

There are certain backlinks that should never touch your site.

If you decide to use these backlinks, just know that your risk for a penalty is much greater.

I have seen websites get penalties for using these backlinks.

I’m telling you that because I don’t want you to think I’m guessing.

It is a FACT that these backlinks can land you a manual or algorithmic penalty.

(Almost) Everything That’s Irrelevant

Your tier one should be a wall of relevancy surrounding your site. I said “almost” every link should be relevant because there are some situations when pure relevancy isn’t a must.

More on this in a second.

Public Networks

You can go on almost any SEO forum and buy backlinks on public networks. These networks will often advertise their service as “private blog networks”. But that’s a lie.

Once you are advertising a network, it is no longer private.

Throughout Google’s short history, it has gone out of its way to smash public networks. After that, they go out and destroy every website that is using these networks.

It’s easy for Google to spot these networks because:

A) there are an excessive amount of outbound links (typically 25-50+) on the homepage: homepages on REAL websites don’t have a ridiculous amount of outbound links on the homepage.

B) the outbound links are completely irrelevant to each other: there will be links going to gambling sites, SEO sites, fitness sites, etc. It doesn’t make any sense.

C) the content for each post is thin (only 250-300 words): Google’s Panda algorithm hates thin content.

D) you can run, but you can’t hide: some networks will attempt to block Ahrefs and Majestic crawlers, but its actually a footprint. On the other hand, networks that don’t block crawlers will likely get reported to Google because of an angry competitor. It’s a lose-lose situation.

DoFollow Blog Comments

These are some of the cheapest backlinks you can buy. They are also the perfect recipe for landing a penalty.

Large amounts of outbound links + irrelevant links + outbound links going to “bad neighborhoods” (gambling, pharma, porn, etc.) = a toxic backlink

Remember link building rule #5?

You don’t want your link to live in this environment.

Sidebar, Footer Backlinks

I’ll admit that sidebar and footer backlinks can work, but they are also risky.

Standalone links look like paid backlinks and you know how Google feels about those.

Vendors that sell these high authority backlinks are also selling them to other websites. Most of these website will be irrelevant to yours. That’s because these vendors rarely turn down money.

As a reminder:

You don’t want your link to live with irrelevant or “bad neighborhood” links.

One more important note about sidebar/footer backlinks:

These links are almost always site-wide links.

This can destroy your site if you are using a keyword-rich anchor text.

It will wreck your anchor text profile.

I know web designers, marketing companies, and web hosting companies love footer backlinks.

So, if you do decide to use them, I recommend you use branded anchor text.

There is one exception to this rule:

If you can manipulate the code so that your link only shows on the homepage (where most of a site authority resides).

If you are using WordPress, you can use this Restrict Widgets plugin.

Automated Backlinks

As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid automated link building tools on tier one.

Some of these softwares include GSA, Ultimate Demon, and SENuke.

These softwares leverage spammed platforms and will likely land your site a penalty.

You now know what links you need to avoid like the plague.

Now let me show you how to preserve your site’s authority.


4 Quick Ways to Grow Your Site’s Authority

Before I jump into “Foundational” backlinks, I want to show you how to boost your site’s authority. Remember, the purpose of link acquisition to build the authority of your site.

The more authoritative your site is, the easier it is to rank for keywords.

1. Fix Broken External Links

Remember, every external link you place on your site leaks authority.

That’s why it’s important to audit your site (here’s an SEO audit checklist) to find broken external links.

This applies to both external links in your content and in the comment section.

To find broken links use one or all the following:

  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider
  • Siteliner
  • Google Search Console
  • Ahrefs

2. Reclaim Lost Link Juice (404 Link Reclamation)

404 link reclamation is at the top of the list because it is the easiest.

To find all 404 errors on your site use Google Search Console or Screaming Frog.

If you find 404 errors, run the pages through a bulk check on Ahrefs or Majestic.

I recommend doing both just in case you miss some links.

When you find pages with link equity, you must 301 redirect them to a relevant page on the site or to your homepage.

3. Find and Fix Redirect Chains

Sometimes the most obvious solutions are right in front of your face. Redirect chains are another simple problem that can boost your site’s authority once fixed.

This is what a redirect chain looks like:

Redirect chain

Do you see the problem with this picture?

The problem is that “Page B” is acting as a buffer between “Page A” and the final destination “Page C”.

This technical issue is robbing “Page C” of authority.

To fix this you need to 301 redirect “Page A” to “Page C” like so:

redirect chain fix

By fixing a redirect chain you will send authority/link equity directly to the page.

That is more effective than making the link equity pass through a buffer.

Use Screaming Frog SEO Spider to find redirect chains.

4. Change 302s to 301s

302s redirects block authority flow and could be stealing authority from your site. Identify all 302 redirects on and off your site, and change them to 301s. Once again, use Screaming Frog to find 302s.

You now know how to improve your site’s authority without building new backlinks.

Now it’s time to learn how to build foundational backlinks.


How to Build “Foundational” Backlinks

“Foundational” backlinks improve your site’s TrustRank.

The more “trustworthy” your site is, the better you will perform in the search engines.

The Foundational backlinks will create a layer of trust around your site. That’s because you will be using nothing but unoptimized, branded backlinks on authority sites.

We use this exact approach with every client we take on and it works extremely well.

Important note:

You should only use naked link or branded anchors for foundational backlinks.

Social Media

The first thing you need to do is secure all your social media properties.

At the very minimum, your business should have:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google + (Personal & Business)
  • LinkedIn (Personal & Business)
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

You don’t have to actively market on these platforms, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.

For example, for Gotch SEO, my social media manager decided that Facebook was our best social media platform based on referral traffic and engagement.

That’s why we are “all-in” on Facebook and not as active on the other platforms.

Choose what platforms work best for your business.

At the minimum, populate these accounts and share some content, so that you at least have a base.

Exclusive: Get access to 300 + sites for securing your brand


Business Listings/Citations

Google values business listings so much that it is apart of the local search algorithm.

This should be more than enough for you to use them for ANY SEO campaign.

The cool part about listings is that about 50% of them give you a DoFollow, unoptimized link.

Business citations are a perfect way to build a foundation of trust around your site.

Remember earlier when I said that not all backlinks hitting your site need to be 100% relevant?

I was referring to business listings and social media profiles.

Google trusts these platforms and is well aware that all types of businesses will be using them.

In a sense, they get a pass for not being relevant.

Make sure you check out our citation building service if you don’t want to waste your time building citations.

Niche-Targeted Directories

While most directories are pretty much worthless, there are some diamonds in the rough.

Niche-targeted directories offer both a relevant and DoFollow link.

As you know, backlinks with both of these characteristics are hard to come by.

Use these search strings in Google to find niche directories:

  • NICHE + Directory (Example: “fitness + directory”)
  • NICHE directories
  • NICHE + “submit site”

Geo-Targeted Directories

Geo-targeted directories are a must-have link source for local businesses.

Here are some search strings you can use to find geo-targeted directories:
city + directory
directory + city
submit my site + city
niche + city + directory
city + directories

Niche Relevant Blog Comments

I’m always amazed why so many SEOs skip out on niche relevant blog comments. Too many SEOs neglect them because of the dreaded “NoFollow” tag.

I highly recommend you don’t neglect them.

My agency uses niche relevant blog comments to:

A) create a layer of relevancy around our client’s site

B) improve to the ratio of DoFollow and NoFollow backlinks

C) diversify our anchors in a meaningful way

D) sometimes get small amounts of referral traffic

Back in 2013, I was the first person comment on one of Brian’s article:

BC 1

This one comment has sent my site 143 visitors since:

BC #2

E) build a relationship with the blogger that you could leverage for backlinks in the future.

Point “D” is the most important and where most SEOs mess up.

Don’t go to a top blog and write a “me too” comment or something general/useless.

This doesn’t build relationships.

You have to contribute to the blog in a meaningful way.

Most important:

You have to give VALUE.

This doesn’t mean you need to write a five paragraph essay.

In fact, I advise against that.

Focus on one point and leave a concise, well-thought out comment.

Niche Relevant Forum Backlinks

Participating on industry forums is an excellent way to build brand recognition.

And if you do it right, you will drive some relevant referral traffic to your website.

Here is the traffic the BlackHatWorld.com has sent my site since 2014:

BHW

This is referral traffic coming from 18 different threads in the forum.

Forum members have linked to my content, but it wouldn’t be hard to orchestrate it if you are creative.

There aren’t many forums that allow signature backlinks, but many still allow profile backlinks. These profile backlinks are valuable because they are relevant and DoFollow in most cases.

To get the most out of your forum profile backlinks, I’m going to show you some quick techniques.

1. Prospect for relevant forums

Use the following search strings in Google to find forums:

  • forum + NICHE
  • NICHE + forum

2. Take time to fill out your profile

Since your link will likely be a naked link, you need to leverage co-occurrence.

Co-occurrence is when your website’s target keyword phrase is near to your link.

Just write a legitimate profile description and make sure to toss in your main keyword.

3. Understand the forum “personality” / etiquette

Every forum is different and you need to learn how each operates.

Some tolerate a little self-promotion while others will ban you for it.

Scan through the forum and see if members are sharing links in threads.

4. Increase your post count & start adding friends

The more posts/friends you have, the more trust you build on the forum. Also, more connections send more internal links back to your profile page.

This will slowly build the authority of your profile page.

5. Start a thread

Starting well-thought-out threads is a great way to build credibility on the forum.

Okay, now you might be asking what’s the point of doing all this?

The goal is to increase the amount of internal links hitting your profile page.

This leverages the forums authority. As a result it will increase the authority of your profile page hosting your link.

The second goal of all this work is so you can become a part of the forum community and so that members trust you more.

If you have a good reputation on the forum, you can share your content without getting flamed or banned.

You now know what it takes to build a solid foundation of backlinks. Now it’s time to get into what I like to call “Power” backlinks.


Power Backlinks

“Power” backlinks will accelerate your results because:

A) they are the most relevant and

B) they are the most authoritative

Content-Driven Approach

As hard as it is to produce quality content, there is no better way to drive high authority backlinks to a website.

There are only three things you have to do with a content-driven approach:

  1. Find the right keywords to target
  2. Create a great piece of content around that keyword
  3. Promote the content (social and backlinks)

When you create quality content, you are creating ASSETS for your business.

No matter what Google does, it can never take away your content.

You need to approach link building with a long-term mindset in 2018 and beyond.

I use the investing analogy pretty often, but it’s true for SEO.

There is a compound effect of producing and promoting content on a consistent basis.

Keep in mind:

The following tactics are effective without content.

But you will get even better results if you build links to strong content assets.

Editorial Backlinks

For a link to be “editorial” you can’t have access to the site and your link must pass editorial review. Google values editorial backlinks more than any other type of link.

Sadly, getting these high authority backlinks can be challenging.

First, you have to build relationships with bloggers in your industry. Second, you likely need to produce quality content to get natural backlinks.

My agency has acquired thousands of high-quality editorial backlinks at this point. We can get these high authority backlinks because we have built relationships and have the connections.

If you don’t have the time to find opportunities, reach out, and write the content, then I recommend using our popular Blogger Outreach Service.

Niche Relevant Guest Posts

Guest posts are effective in two ways. First, if you contribute lots of value, it will build your authority in the space. Second, your guest post can send relevant referral traffic to your website.

Keep in mind that Google frowns upon spammy guest posting. That means you need to focus your efforts on producing a valuable guest post. If you give value, then there is nothing wrong with injecting backlinks to your website.

To get the most out of your guest posts, you need to get contextual links. Contextual links are far more powerful than author byline links.

That’s the cool thing about our blogger outreach service. Since we write the content in a ghost writing format, we place your links within the meat of the article. That way, it looks like a genuine recommendation for your website.

Click here to read more about our blogger outreach service.

If you want to DIY it up, then use these search queries to find opportunities:

NICHE + “guest post”
NICHE + “contribute to”
NICHE + “write for us”
NICHE + “contributors”
NICHE + “guest writer”
NICHE + “guest post guidelines”

The Merger Technique

The Merger Technique is the process of finding a relevant expired domain and 301 redirecting it to your site.

The concept is simple:

You just acquired a relevant business and want to redirect to your mother company.

The key is for the expired domain to be 100% relevant.

These domains are harder to come by, but it is well worth it when you find one.

Resource Pages

This is an oldie, but a goodie.

Although SEO’s have abused this strategy, there are still some diamonds in the rough.

Once you find the pages, it’s best to see if there are any broken links on the page.

Use the Check My Link plugin.

You can use this as leverage when reaching out.

If there are no broken links, then you will need a strong content asset. Otherwise, you will likely get denied.

The White Alternative to PBNs

You already know about the White Hat Alternative to PBNs, but I explain it here as well.

Instead of buying an expired domain and rebuilding it, you are going to:

  1. find an expired domain
  2. scrape its backlinks
  3. then reach out and let the linkers know they are linking to a dead resource

If the expired domain is relevant, you can ask the linker to replace the dead link with your site.

To improve your success rate, suggest 2-3 quality resources (including yours).

You can also recreate the original content if it’s relevant. This is obvious, but the content must better than the original.

Reach out and let the linker know about the new, revised piece of content.

This strategy requires more time and effort, but you get more link placements.


Grey Hat Backlinks

I stay away from grey hat techniques at this point, but I did live in this world for a long time.

NOTE: if you take the grey hat route, you are increasing the likelihood of getting a penalty.

None of these tactics are safe and I have seen websites get manual penalties using each of them.

If there is so much risk, then why am I showing you?

The reason is because many of these techniques work well.

These techniques are best for people:

  • Who have a high risk tolerance
  • Who want to rank without creating great content
  • Who don’t care if their site gets penalized

If you have a low risk tolerance then you have two options:

A) avoid these backlinks altogether or B) use them on tier two to boost your tier one backlinks.

Leverage Relevant Expired Domains

If you are going to create a PBN, then you might as well do it right.

Don’t just buy any expired domain.

Try to find domains that have relevant Topical Trust Flow Topics to your niche.

This won’t always be possible, but it’s worth the patience.

Getting a link from one relevant domain is more powerful than several irrelevant domains.

Here are my favorite tools for finding expired domains:

Here’s how you can use DomCop to find expired domains:

Some other options include: ExpiredDomains.net and Moonsy.

Web 2.0s

Creating web 2.0s on sites like Tumblr, Weebly, and WordPress.com is an old grey hat strategy that still works. Just be careful because it can land you a penalty. I have gotten manual actions removed from clients because of web 2.0 backlinks.

I recommend you avoid using these backlinks on tier one.

Read The Art of The Super Web 2.0 to learn how to build them correctly.

What to Do Now…

I hope this helped you learn a thing or two, and make sure you drop a comment below if you have ANY questions whatsoever. Don’t be SHY. I’m a pretty nice guy.


BONUS: How to EARN Backlinks

Many people doing SEO confuse earning backlinks with building backlinks.

These are two different concepts.

To EARN, means that you DESERVE backlinks.

Have you ever taken a second to think about why your website even deserves backlinks?

I’ve realized that there is only one way to EARN backlinks…

You must become obsessed with pleasing your users.

As of late, I have become consumed with the overwhelming ambition to please my users.

After hours of thought, I’ve realized that effective SEO starts with the user in mind.

You have to be user-centric.

If you please the user, you will please Google.

I used to spend so much of my time trying to figure out how to “trick” or manipulate Google.

I can’t get that time back, but I have learned an important lesson:

To build a real business, you must focus on pleasing the user.

All the time. On a consistent basis.

Understand that:

  • Happy users ARE your marketing.
  • Happy users will EARN you backlinks.
  • Happy users will SHARE your content on social media.
  • Happy users will RETURN to your website.

Your SEO campaign will transform when you put your users first.

Let me show you how to earn backlinks by being user-centric:

11 Ways to Earn Backlinks

1. You Have to Become User-Centric

Let’s face it:

if users don’t like your website, then Google won’t either.

Your focus shouldn’t be on manipulating algorithms.

Your focus should be “what can I do right now to help my prospective customers or readers?”

There isn’t a single website online that can’t improve user experience.

There is always room to help more and give more.

A website that puts 100% effort into pleasing the user, will earn backlinks.

You need to remember how Google interprets a backlink.

It is a vote. Some of these “votes” are better than others.

Think of it this way:

The U.S. just went through an election cycle.

Candidates from the Republicans and Democrats are battling to earn their party’s nomination.

When you cut through all the media noise there is a powerful marketing technique at play:

Endorsements.

Whenever a candidate gets an endorsement from a well-known figure in the party, it is a huge deal.

A single endorsement can get enormous amounts of news coverage.

Here are two examples:

Google Trends After Sarah Palin Endorsed Donald Trump
Google Trends After Sarah Palin Endorsed Donald Trump
Google Trends After Glenn Beck Endorsed Ted Cruz
Google Trends After Glenn Beck Endorsed Ted Cruz

Look at those spikes immediately following endorsements.

Think of backlinks as endorsements for your website.

What does your site/blog have to deserve a big endorsement?

Small endorsements are fine and will compound overtime.

But getting an endorsement from a well-known site in your industry is way more powerful.

The only way to get such endorsements (backlinks), you need to give tremendous value for the user.

2. Your Content Must Please the User

You know how competitive content marketing is in the entrepreneur, SEO, and marketing industries.

Bloggers are pumping out incredible pieces of content.

Sometimes these content pieces are 10,000 words.

Others times, hundreds of hours are investing doing research and finding data.

This is the standard in these industries.

Yet, this isn’t the standard in every industry.

Should it be?

Maybe.

But it’s not.

There isn’t a single formula for creating content that pleases a user.

That’s why it can be dangerous immersing yourself in the industries above.

It narrows your view.

You start to think that “good” content has to be 1,800 words or more.

The truth is:

“Good” content comes in all shapes and sizes.

There are no laws for creating great content.

I do not believe that every piece of content you create needs to rank on the first page of Google.

Yes, most of your content should focus on a single keyword.

But, don’t let the search engine determine what types of content you want to produce.

There are times when you need to solve a micro problem in your content.

This micro problem may only get 10 searches a month in Google.

WHO CARES.

As long as you have the intention of helping someone, it will improve the value of your website.

There isn’t a problem too big or too small.

SEOs get wrapped up in data, but forget about the user.

Who cares if Google is telling you that a particular keyword only gets 10 searches a month.

For all I care, that is an opportunity to help approximately 10 people.

You want to know what’s funny?

When I created the article “How to Index Backlinks 100% of the Time”, there wasn’t any search volume.

I created that article over two years and it is one of my most trafficked pages on my blog.

I didn’t care that it didn’t have search volume at the time.

I just knew it was a problem because I was the one struggling with it!

The moral of the story is that your content needs to help people reach a goal or solve a problem.

It doesn’t always to be monumental.

Creating something that makes someone laugh is solving a problem.

Showing someone how to sharpen a pencil is solving a problem.

Telling someone about the mistakes you have made helps them avoid those mistakes.

You get the point.

Focus on the user first.

What are their problems and what can you do to help them?

After you figure that out, then you need to make sure that…

3. Your Content Stand Outs

Creating rehashed garbage won’t get you anywhere.

It won’t help you in Google and it won’t help your business grow.

The successful businesses we see in the world are innovative.

They don’t think about how to copy their competitors.

They think about what they can do that’s different and unique.

Take a look at the pages ranking in Google for your target keyword.

Think: “What can I do that’s different than these 10 pages?”

Here are the common characteristics/quality holes you want to look for:

Outdated Content

Creating updated content is the single biggest way to be different.

Time is the enemy of many blogs.

Not all content will become outdated if it’s evergreen.

But, it depends on the industry.

For example, the SEO industry changes at a rapid pace.

Marketing in general is always changing and there are always new mediums emerging.

Content gets outdated.

When you find outdated content, there is opportunity.

The most obvious plan of attack is to create an updated piece of content, but that’s not all…

You must create an updated piece of content that blows the other one out of the water.

Don’t play nice when it comes to helping the user.

It is a competition to see who can help the user more.

You need to win.

Lack of Depth

Sometimes it’s mind boggling why some pages even rank on the first page of Google.

Many times, these pages are ranking because their site has so much authority.

If a page is ranking because of its site authority, it is an opportunity for you.

Pages that rank in this fashion will likely have “thin” content.

You can dominate them by creating content with more depth.

Not just a little more depth. Create massive depth in your content.

Like I said above, don’t let it be a competition.

Your content should be so good that your competitors don’t even attempt to beat it.

Lack of Data or Research

Some content ranking on the first page of Google is great, but lacks data and research.

If you identify pages like this, you can overwhelm them with data and research.

Leverage trusted data sources in your industry.

If there isn’t lots of data available on hand, then create your own case studies.

These case studies will give you unique data that will make your content stand out.

Lack of Personality

Some content on the first page of Google will put you to sleep.

The content has a “corporate”, impersonal tone.

Content becomes “corporate” when the company loses sight of the user.

They become out of touch.

Great content and copywriting is suppose to be simple and personal.

Beating corporate speak is my goal with Gotch SEO.

When I see content that’s ranking well (without personality), I know I will smash them.

I do my best to speak to YOU.

I want YOU to know that I’m helping YOU.

YOU are what matters.

YOU are the reason why I even produce content.

Use “YOU” in your content.

Speak to your reader.

You aren’t writing for an audience.

You are writing for a single individual.

Do me a favor:

I want you to “LOL” next time you see a page ranking with “corporate”, impersonal content.

Why?

Because it’s your job to push them off the first page of Google by being personal and caring more about your users.

Lack of Readability & Visual Appeal

I’m sure you have seen it:

  • unbearable big blocks of text
  • no headings
  • no images
  • white font on a black backgrounds
  • distracting designs

As I mentioned above, there are pages that rank because of their website’s authority.

Some of these pages will have essay-like content that gives me college flashbacks.

To beat them, create content that:

  • is readable. (Use bullet points, lists, etc.)
  • is easy to scan. (Use descriptive headings)
  • uses beautiful visuals. (Use images to break up long content)
  • has black font on a white background. (It’s easier to read/a proven copywriting principle)
  • doesn’t have distracting design elements. (Your content is the most important element on the page. Don’t let your design take away from.)

4. You Must Be Willing to Do What Others Won’t

You have likely noticed a trend in this article already. Great content marketing AND ranking pages in Google requires enormous amounts of effort.

You have to be willing to do what others won’t.

The good news is that most people are lazy.

It’s hard to sit down and write every single day.

It’s hard to think outside of the box.

It’s hard not to get distracted.

But that’s what it takes if you want to create content that produces results.

You aren’t always going to get it right, but the more you produce, the better chance you have to succeed.

Produce. Produce. Produce.

And when you finish producing, start producing more.

5. You Must Be Creative

Being creative is hard.

Everyone struggles with coming up with unique ideas.

Many of your ideas will likely suck, but it doesn’t matter. You only need a few good ideas to stick to start seeing growth.

Creative content will attract high authority backlinks.

At the same time, don’t feel like you need to always reinvent the wheel.

Brian talks about this a lot, but you should look at content that has performed well in the past.

Use tools like Buzzsumo and the first page of Google to see what content has attracted the most backlinks.

You can then use the same idea, but create something completely unique and better.

Keep in mind:

This is still creativity!

The only difference is that you aren’t coming up with ideas out of thin are.

Instead, you are using ideas that are already validated. This will increase your content’s chances of success.

6. You Need to Be Unique

I can’t stand rehashed information. I see it so often across all verticals and it’s painful to see.

Rehashed content won’t earn you backlinks.

If all you can think of are rehashed ideas, then don’t publish at all.

It’s better to publish one super unique piece of content than it is to produce rehashed garbage.

Make it unique.

Be creative and be different.

Bloggers link to content that is innovative, unique, and super valuable.

7. You Must Outperform Others

As I explained in a previous step, you need to beat your competitors.

There are likely a few competitors in your industry that are producing stellar content.

You need to outperform them.

They are the benchmark.

Analyze their content and do your best to understand why it performs well.

Ask:

  • WHY do they get so many social shares?
  • WHY do they get so many blog comments?
  • What makes them different from the thousands of other bloggers in your industry?

Understanding why they are successful will help you develop a plan to beat them.

Remember:

The goal isn’t to beat them in a slimy or unethical way.

The goal is to beat them by giving MORE value.

That needs to be your goal no matter how hard it may be.

8. You Have to Be Consistent

Instead of trying to be perfect, you need to be consistent.

You should try to produce at least some content everyday.

Will it always be a masterpiece?

No.

It’s the ACT of producing content is what’s actually valuable. That’s because your efforts will compound overtime.

It’s about putting hard work day-in and day-out.

You can look at Derek’s blog and see that he only publishes 1-2 times a month.

Does that mean he’s chillen’ the rest of the month?

NO.

He’s working on other parts of his business that will bring value to his readers.

It doesn’t matter how often you publish. It matters that you are producing value on a daily basis.

The more you produce, the better you will become.

Your thoughts will crystallize.

It’s obvious when someone worked super hard to produce a piece of content.

That’s because the more effort you put into a piece of content, the better it will be.

The better content is, the more backlinks you will attract.

But you HAVE to be consistent.

Consistency isn’t some God-given talent. It’s about organization and planning.

That’s why you should consider using an editorial calendar.

Editorial calendar help end decision fatigue.

You will wake up and know what needs to get done without having to think about it.

You want your content production to be on auto-pilot.

Here are resources for creating an editorial calendar:

9. You Have to Build Relationships

To earn backlinks, you need to build relationships.

Your blog can’t be an island in the middle of the ocean.

You need build connections and relationships.

These relationships will lead to backlinks.

You won’t even have to ask for a link most of the time.

Just the act of establishing relationships with top bloggers will often lead to links.

That is, as long as your content is valuable and unique.

When trying to build relationships, you need to always focus on what YOU can do for the person.

Do you remember what I said about being user-centric?

The same principle applies when trying to build relationships.

You should be thinking about how you can help the prospect. Not how you can get more out of them.

Give, give, and give more. Then, you will receive.

Think about it:

Why would anyone want to link to your blog after getting a cold email request? I know I wouldn’t.

To get your blog and name “out there” you need to use repetition.

That means your name needs to visible on many fronts.

Start with a well-thought-out comment on their blog. Then follow that up with a Tweet or response to a Tweet of theirs. Then send them a non-committal email.

Repeat this cycle over and over until it’s obvious that they know your name.

Once you have gone through this effort, THEN ask them how you can help them in one way or another.

How can you give them value? Why should they link to your content?

Does your content deserve links from a top blog? Is it THAT good?

You will always have a biased answer.

That’s why you should seek outside opinions.

ASK top bloggers what they think about your content.

(Asking bloggers “what they think” about your content is a great way to get exposure).

10. You Need to Build an Email List

That’s right. One of the best ways to earn backlinks is to have an email list.

That’s because you can email your list whenever you publish a new blog post.

The people on your list are receptive to you and like what you are doing.

Many of these same subscribers also have blogs of their own.

It is much more likely that a loyal subscriber will link to your content than it happening at random.

I’m sure you have seen this happen:

A top blogger publishes a new blog post and BAM:

They have countless social shares and comments within hours.

How does this happen?

It’s because they promote their content to their list!

Having an email list is a true asset for your business.

You have complete control of your email list.

It isn’t affected by algorithm changes.

It isn’t affected by policy changes.

It is yours and it is the ultimate asset.

Growing an email list should be a priority for EVERY business.

11. You Need to Promote Your Content

Yes, to EARN backlinks, people must see your content.

Invisible content doesn’t get backlinks, no matter how good it is.

Content promotion is a topic I’ll be explaining in future posts because it’s comprehensive. Make sure you SUBSCRIBE to see those training articles when they come out.

Here is a simple technique you can use:

Similar Content Outreach

This is one of my favorite tactics. Here’s how to do it:

The most important element of this strategy is to have a great piece of content. It needs to be much better than the other relevant piece of content they are linking to.

To find prospects use Buzzsumo or look at the first page of Google for your target keyword.

Take the top 10 results and run them through Ahrefs or Majestic.

They may not change links, but they might link to your resource in a future article. If they don’t link, then they will likely share the content piece on social.

There are many other sneaky outreach techniques I’ll be sharing in later posts (join my list now to avoid missing out).

For now, remember to share your content on your owned media assets such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

It’s important to engage with the audience you already have because it can lead to natural links.

Bonus: What About Guest Posting?

I’m a big fan of guest posting, but it’s not a way to EARN backlinks for your website.

The reason is because you are the one responsible for placing the link back to your site.

That isn’t earned.

In essence, YOU are deciding that your website or content is worth linking to.

EARNED means that you created a great piece of content, promoted it, and someone linked to it by free will.

Like I said, there is nothing wrong with guest posting for:

But as far as being an EARNED backlink, it is not.

If you control the link, it’s not earned.

Conclusion

To actually earn backlinks, you must focus on giving tremendous value through content.

There is no shortcut.

There is no quick fix.

You just need to think about how you can help your users.

Then, create content that actually helps them.

Be user-centric and the backlinks and social shares will compound over time.

Now to you:

What are YOU doing to EARN backlinks for your website?

Let’s keep talking in comment section and share this article if you enjoyed it.

Thanks for reading!

DOWNLOAD 1,000 + link prospects so you can start acquiring quality backlinks.

Comments

  1. Great post as always Gotch

    Looking forward to RFA, and the 2nd and 3rd part of this post
    Im interested if you automate and what you do for it, or in fact any technique that you are using

    Always great content, im certain if your an aff links with software guides you could be another 100k per year blogger (you may already be, or possibly busy enough for now!)

    Keep up the good work sir!

  2. Gotch ! You made my day, after your love i just started to concentrated to web 2.0 and dofollow, nofollow and forum un-optimized anchor links, it makes my site awesome and gives good ranking at all.

  3. Hey Gotch, nice article 🙂

    I am very interested how you build T2 links and what content you use. Looking forward for it.

    And q quick question: by saying “Pad the site with a ton of unoptimized supporting links” what quantity do you mean? And where do you get these links from: web 2.0s, social bookmarks, guest posts… ? :]]

    1. Stoyanov, thanks for the comment!

      I outsource almost all of my link building, and when I say “a ton”, I don’t mean thousands of links in a week. It would be like 20 supporting links for every 1 power link. Just don’t go too crazy, and keep link velocity low at all times

      1. Great article, but wait, so you know all this info, but you outsource most of your link building? Even Tier 1? Who do you outsource to?

        1. Hi Jason,

          Thanks for the comment. Yes, I have three full-time employees who work for my agency and large virtual staff who handle repetitive tasks. If you’re looking to do the same, I recommend Elance (Upwork).

  4. Hey Nathan,

    Nice job man, this is a very comprehensive guide on tier1 links and I can’t wait for part 2 & 3 of it.
    Keep up the good work.

    One thing I want to ask you though is about the new “Sandbox” update which prevents new sites from ranking for 30 days or so.

    Up until now when I was poking it took only a few days to see the outcome and I could get a good feel of the keyword competition judging by the poking results.

    Now with this new update it’s making the competition assessment harder because you have to wait for 30 days until you see the final outcome.

    So in terms of competition assessment and keyword research, how do you handle that?

    Thanks.

    1. Erik, thanks for the comment and good question. Unfortunately, poking doesn’t work as well as it used to. The big difference now that I’m noticing is that when I poke the site, it will show up somewhere in the top 100 for a few days and drop off the map. In my opinion, this is a good sign that the site will rank.

      Keep in mind, because of this new update, you need to spend more time on the keyword research and competition analysis stage. Relying on the poke to determine competition isn’t a sustainable approach.

      I still build links the same regardless of the new sandbox because your rankings skyrocket after Google releases the stupid filter off your site. It’s nothing but a deterrent.

  5. Nice surprise to wake up to on a Sunday morning…..lot’s of good stuff for me to focus on. One area I do not have a strong understanding of is the 301 redirects.

    I also get nervous with paid links since I figure the big G might be able to crack down on those type of links….

    1. Thanks for the comment! Yeah, 301s are tricky and definitely need to do your due diligence. As far as paid links, there is always a risk, but if you’re VERY selective about where you place your links, then it becomes difficult for Google to tell whether or not they were bought (this is ideal).

      – Gotch

  6. Great stuff Nathan, I always enjoy reading your blog posts as you are very transparent. A couple of questions if you don’t mind:

    Do you think its ok to use links from the same domains toward different pages of your site? On a large scale? Example: high pr social bookmarks towards several deep pages, or blog comments from the same web 2.0’s?

    Also, I made the mistake of purchasing a PR release with exact match anchor texts pointing to my site, came out to about 400 no follow links from high authority places. How should I go about diluting?

    Thanks!

    1. Robert, thanks for the comment man and thanks for the good question.

      I reuse supporting links often because I don’t care about them weakening in link power since I’m only using them to dilute and diversify my link and anchor profile.

      For “Power” links it’s a different story. I’ll hit a target site with 1-3 links max from the same domain because I don’t want the power links to weaken since they do most of the ranking work.

      Hope that makes sense, let me know if I need to clarify haha

      – Gotch

  7. Thank you, sir. I bought your Anchor Text Bible and have followed your journey in the SERPs, a lot of what I see matches what you’re doing, great work.

    I have one minor disagreement though, you can definitely use a tool like GSA as long as you set it up correctly and cap the links per day to maybe 5 or 10. Links will come into the index, links will go, but the velocity will stay steady.

    The thing is that the amount of links that tool can build will usually (most of the time) be way too many for a local business site (client SEO). Even pretty competitive local SEO usually only calls for maybe 50 to 300 links. It is certainly good advice to steer people doing local SEO away from powerhouse tools.

    But, I think you can definitely use tools for tier 1, if you know what you’re doing with uniqueness, platform variety, and velocity. Better than buying Fiverr gigs, because you have control, you can just drip.

    I also see a lot of sites in competitive niches using GSA to rank #1 (along with other tactics). They get away with it by using aged domains and correct anchor text ratios. I’m sure you are seeing this as well.

    1. Michael, I really appreciate that man, thank you so much.

      I totally agree with you on GSA. The point I was trying to make in the automated tools section is that in the wrong hands and with inexperience, automated tools are very risky. There are plenty of people who still rank well with tools, but they REALLY know what they’re doing and know how to eliminate footprints.

      Hope that makes sense 🙂

  8. hi i have a question that has been bugging me for a long time
    what do you think about putting links in the footer (credit links)
    meaning for example i designed a template and made a dofollow link in the footer to my blog (the anchor text would be brand only)
    is this a good thing to do ?

    1. Hi Sadik, good question and thanks for the comment. There’s nothing wrong with footer links as long as they’re branded. It’s actually a really great strategy for marketing your services, building your brand, and for sending some established authority to your site (and indirectly benefiting from the links you build to your clients site).

      – Gotch

  9. Hi, another great post and I’m really looking forward to part 2. What about link velocity? How important do you think the speed at which you build links is? I was also confused by this: “Avoid expired domains for a future 301 redirect if…it is deindexed – I know this doesn’t matter”. Could you please explain to me how it doesn’t matter?

    1. Hi Greg, thanks for the comment! It’s always best to build links slowly at a steady pace.

      For the 301 redirect statement: Google still counts 301 redirects even if the domain is no longer indexed.

  10. Very informative post as always, I definitely learn something new every time you post something 🙂

    When reading thru your 2014 link building revised ebook I had 2 questions come to mind: When you say 5% exact match anchor text and you are targeting 3 main keywords for a site would that mean 5% per keyword(15% total) or does it mean 5% total for all 3 keywords so roughly 1.67% each?

    Also, how many different partial match anchors do you recommend using?

    thanks!

    1. Mike, thanks for the comment – I appreciate it!

      Yeah, my anchor ratios need to be updated in that book. For updated anchor text ratios, you should read my blog post: https://www.gotchseo.com/anchor-text/

      At this point, I rarely ever repeat exact match anchor text. When it comes to keyword-rich anchors, you should try to make every single one unique.

  11. Hey Gotch,

    I am a big fan of you and specially your Web 2.0 article, I want you to write and publish articles every day about new techniques (Hahahaaaa).

  12. Hey Gotch. Awesome guide. It really helpful.

    Just to make it clear:
    1) For a fresh site, should I send let say 3-5 high PR links with exact anchor as my first backlinks or build web 2.0/social bookmarks & signals first with branded/naked url anchor before powering it with high PR exact anchor?
    2) For a fresh site, should I have at least 10 pages before starting my link building? or homepage (1000 words), with 5 inner page is sufficient to start link building?

    Thanks

    1. Luke, thanks for the comment!

      1. I prefer to poke the site with keyword-rich anchors and then dilute, but you can do it in reverse. I’ve tried both ways and they work equally as effective.
      2. Right now, it would probably be best to have at least 5 pages of unique content before hitting the site with links. Can you rank empty silo sites still? Definitely, but it’s not as easy.

      – Gotch

      1. thanks for the reply Gotch.
        I have another confusion.
        For article directory submission (Goarticles etc), can I create only 1 unique article and submit it to multiple article directory site?
        Or each directory site with unique article, like web 2.0?

        1. Hi Luke, if you submit an article to GoArticles or Ezine Articles, then it only submits once. HOWEVER, people will reuse and syndicate the content on occasion. It shouldn’t matter because you shouldn’t be using any keyword-rich anchors with article directories anyway.

          Let me know if you have any other questions, thanks!

          – Gotch

  13. Hey man, really good stuff, thank you.

    Are you planning to go into detail about the poke pad prod etc etc?

    Like for example, in step 1 for the first poke, let’s say one doesn’t own his own PBN site. Would you try and find someone to buy 1 power link from?

    I literally outsource everything for my clients, so a rough idea of what you’d do if it was 100% outsourced would be sweet, and a 100% inhouse guide would be kickass too.

    Thanks man.

    1. Hi Ethan, thanks for the comment.

      There’s a chance that I will. If I didn’t own a PBN, then I would just buy the backlinks from a relevant website.

      I outsource all of my work too, but so that’s not a bad idea. Thanks!

      1. Hey, Nathan. What do you mean buy buying the backlinks from a relevant website? Where can you buy such backlinks?

        Also, when you outsource your work, if everything for tier one has to be done manually, what exactly are you outsourcing, isn’t this risky?

        Thanks

        1. Hi Matt,

          Relevant links are the most important links you can get. As far as where to buy them, I unfortunately can’t out the people who sell them here. Shoot me an email and I’ll help you out.

          Outsourcing isn’t risky if you understand what you’re doing 🙂

  14. Hi Gotch

    Thanks for clear information about Tier1 Creation,

    I would like to ask you,i comment to a blog with my branded anchor.The blog i put the anchor has 450 pages and because recent posts see in the homepage i see(in ahref) that my site take 450 links nofollow.

    Is that any problem with this,my strategy was to take 1 link and because the structure of the blog that i comment i take 450

    thanks again

  15. hi i want to apologize and also thank you for your time
    recently Google released algorithm named “pigeon” on 28th of last month and i noticed that i got little of boost then but then Google did another update on 1st of august and then all my rankings and traffic are now 0
    i even rank on 2nd page for my brand name
    the anchor text i a using now
    98% on generic and brand anchor text
    and 2 to 3% on money kw
    i build links through through blog commenting forum posting and guest posting

    i also mention on more trick i do when i build link in forums sometimes they won’t allow a do-follow link but if i added it in y profile it will show in all my post as do-follow is this bad
    site : koungeek.com
    since y site is in foreign language i translate the anchor texts
    http://i57.tinypic.com/2q3679j.jpg

  16. Hey, I just get confused and searched alot but didn’t find satisfactory answer, My question is ” for tier 1 backlinks, lets suppose we create 20 web 2.0 blogs(on tumbler, webbly, logger etc). now i have posted content on these web2.0 blogs and i want to do social bookmarking for them, Now the thing is how sholud i do bookamrking for them, suppose if i take one url of each these web 2.0’s and bookamrk them on my google+ , then i think its a clear footprint because google can clearly see that all blogs belongs to me. Whats your opinion about this? 2nd also tell me what will be the process for other socail bookamrking sites too,, either i should create create different social profile for each web 2,0 blog for socialbookamrking or i can do all bookamkrs with one profile.

    1. If you think it’s going to be a footprint than don’t do it. I can promise you, Google has bigger fish to fry than to go after you over some web 2.0s. Just use something like Social Monkee and you’ll get links from social bookmarking websites all with different IPs

      1. Nathan,

        I have looked at social Monkey before, would you only use these for Tier 2 links?, any value for diversity for Tier 1 or diluting over optimized anchor text?

      2. No, I m not asking about ip variation, i m asking about account, suppose i have 20 web2.0 sites on tier 1, now i want to bookmark them, so tell me how to bookmark them, should i create 20 separate account on each social bookmarking site to bookmark each web2.0 site with different account, or can i bookmark all these 20 web2.0 sites with one account. (for example like twitter: should i create one twitter account and bookmark all these 20 web2.0 sites through that account, or should i create 20 twitter accounts for each web2.0 for bookmarking).

  17. Nathan!
    Super methodical in your approach to SEO. The challenge I am finding with client is educating them properly the work that needs to get done in 2014 and beyond to rank their sites.

    I am finding it extending the sales cycle but totally worth it because they stay longer.

    Do you recommend showing clients this list with PBN? Does that not compromise your PBN method?

    1. Rey, I appreciate that 🙂 – compromise my PBN in what way? Like they’ll reverse engineer it? This is pretty unlikely since they’re running businesses and don’t have time for SEO. Being transparent is always the best route in my experience.

  18. What type of backlinks are you using to “poke” the page you are building links to. Could this be a web 2. or more like an expired domain? sorry if this question is so basic. Im at the beginning of my seo journey

    1. Hi Jason, thanks for the comment. Poking works best with powerful links generally from private blog networks or paid links. Which means links with high PageRank, Page Authority (PA), and Domain Authority (DA)

  19. One question about the press releases Gotch,
    Do you use dofollow or nofollow links on them?

    BTW, there was an algo refresh/update on August 26th…did any of your sites were affected between August 25-27th and do you have an idea what this update were?
    Many suspect that is was a penguin…
    A lot of my sites which had clean profiles went down and I was hit badly.

    1. Hi Andy, thanks for the comment

      The press release distribution I use sends it to sites that are 90% nofollow.

      As far as the update, I wasn’t hit at all. I’ve been playing it pretty safe lately because of the constant changes, but been doing a lot testing. So, I’ll be coming out with those results on my blog soon.

      – Gotch

  20. Hey Nathan, I’ve bought your Anchor Text Bible, loving your work. I’ve bought some high PR Expired domains (between 35-42 PA, +/- 30 DA each, ) and used 3 of these to do the initial high pr link poke (with exact match anchor text) to 3 money sites. For the money sites I did good keyword research and they are in really low SEO competition niches. However my problem is these High PR Links do not seem to connect with the money sites as of yet. These PBN sites are very good quality, they are indexed and have correct natural anchor text, non-spamming natural sites. I’ve submitted these pbn sites to google with the Google XML sites wordpress plug-in and for one even submitted the site with Fetch as Google through the web masters tools. Still these links do not seem to show up on my money sites link profile. When Alex Becker talks about it his pbn links seem to show up very quickly. Can you offer some advice?

    Thank you!

    1. Fisher, thanks for the comment and for the support!

      What are you using to track your links? Ahrefs, Majestic, etc. Also, are you blocking the robots from tracking your links?

      Either way, if the links are indexed and cached, then Google knows they exist. It takes time for Google to give a link it’s full power (sometimes months).

  21. Hi Nathan

    I have developed various quality web 2.0 blogs, but unfortunately Google has not indexed them yet. It has been over 03 months. Only wordpress and blogger are got indexed. Can you please share some web 2.0 blog which Google indexes.

    I am in dire needs of these.

    1. Salman, thanks for the comment. Web 2.0s are getting harder to index, but if you follow the strategies in this post, you should be able to get almost all of them indexed. If those strategies aren’t working, then a) the web 2.0 platform you’re using has the “noindex” tag or B) you’ll need to be more aggressive with tier two links

  22. Very nice and informative post.. One question i have in my mind.
    If i want to rank a movie site and want to rank on movie name or movie reviews but thing is that i have to work on each movie name which is going to release soon..and it will endless process. So here how can i built T1 links cause i guess i have to repeat complete process of T1 link again and again right? or it there some trick?

    Thanks in advance

  23. I find your article is useful and easy to understand ! I already subscribe to your newsletter but yet to receive anything. Im looking forward to put your advice into action and to improve my site ranking. Is grateful if you can give me so comment about my site! cheers!

  24. Hi Nathan

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article i am little bit new to seo please answer my little confusion

    Step #1: Poke the site with a “Power” link << ( Please define time period we should poke it for week or month )
    Step #2: Pad the site with a ton of unoptimized supporting links << ( we can make nofllow relevant link ? how much 25 to 30 )
    Step #3: Wait and watch how the site reacts << ( how long we should wait ? )
    Step #4: Poke the site with one or two more “Power” links << ( You mean blog commenting on pr3 dofollow blogs with primary keywords)
    Step #5: Keep padding the site with supporting links
    Step #6: Poke the site again IF NECESSARY.
    Step #7: Keep padding the site while slowly decreasing link velocity << (please elaborate this step )

    my question seems like stupid or too basic so you can reply me via email.

    Thank you sir.

    1. Baber, thanks for the comment.

      For step #1, I usually poke and wait 2-4 weeks to see what happens. For step #2, 25 to 1 is a pretty good ratio. For step #4, not sure where you got that out of the article, but no. Blog comments are not “Power” links. For step #7, you decrease link velocity because you go into maintenance mode once your site is ranking

      – Gotch

  25. A great article with some interesting ideas. Still not sure I want to pay for links but there are so many ideas I think I have a lot of work to do. It is very exciting though so thank you a lot for the article.

    CMS

  26. Thanks for the great stuff, you have solely brought my SEO to the next level. I have a questions, would you recommend never doing SEO from Google Chrome?

    It sound slike a bad idea right of the bat but when you think about it, I wonder if google can really identify that I am in some type of administrative part of the site, see what kind of content I am entering and then associate that with the link when it it gets crawled then devalue that link. Kind of sounds like a lot.

    Or maybe it simply sees that I frequent sites like yours and then puts me on some type of NSA-esk list of people to watch and potentially zap or become extra suspicious of sites that I have WMT or GA set up with.

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

    Sorry if you have already covered this at some point, I have not seen any info on it.

    Thanks!

  27. Hi Gotch,

    When adding keyword rich anchor text links (poking) is there any specific time frame you follow? Say a maximum number of commercial kw links per week/months?

    Best regards

  28. Hi Gotch,

    What do you suggest about the velocity/speed in which you gain an exact match or partial match anchor keyword? As if we gain these too quickly we could trigger an over optimization filer. Great work keep it up!

    Tom

  29. Hey Nathan,

    How long would you wait in between ‘pokes’ to see how the rankings are affected? I’ve seen many other guides where people are sending these power links every few days seemingly randomly and I like your approach better 🙂

  30. hello nathan ,

    i build a web 2.0 on weebly , it has been 10 days ,my web 2.0 is not indexed

    i searched site:mysite.weebly.com also

    tell what to do to get indexed

      1. i have made 20 web 2.0 different platforms like blogger tumblr weebly and others but non of them seems to index. As said providing authority to web page i have written privacy policy terms of service and about page to the web 2.0 i made but non of them are indexing. Are you facing similar problem or do you know way to fix this issue. ?

  31. Hi Nathan Gotch,
    I think it is really awesome, I was thinking to build backlinks but did not aware of tier backlinks. I have read this article detailed and found that tier one backlinks should be strong, till date I was building direct backlinks to my sites only, never have any ideas about tier two backlinks.

    I am now going to read your next article on tier two backlinks, thanks for useful info, It would be useful for niche website building from day one.

    Regards,
    Bhavesh Sondagar

  32. Hi Nathan,

    Thanks for the great resource and valuable info. For the tier 1 business directory submissions like Yelp etc. are you outsourcing it and if so where or are you doing it yourself? I am doing it manually at the moment using a form filler (LastPass which is free) and opening up as many tabs as I can to speed the process up but it’s rather tedious. Also, what is your opinion on utilizing a service like Yext for local directories and citations? Or do you feel that manual is better?

    1. Jackie,

      Thanks for the comment! Yes, I outsource all business citation work because it’s extremely time consuming. I personally use Bright Local (Not an affiliate link) it’s affordable and they do a great job. Yext works, but it’s way too pricey.

  33. Whats you opinion on NOFOLLOW links and their value?
    Do you think Google just uses dofollow links to in their Pengion Anchor Text algorithm to calculate link diversity?
    Otherwise, what’s the point of NOFOLLOW other than looking natural? (Say, 80% follow, 20% nofollow).

    Thanks Gotch, always like your opinion.

    1. Michael,

      Thanks for the comment. The only real purpose of NoFollow links is for diversity and keeping things “natural”. I personally like about a 50/50 split with a large portion of my NoFollow links coming from relevant blog comments.

      – Gotch

  34. Hi,
    Thanks for Sharing Beautiful Post.Before Read This post I don’t know about tier Backlink I am new in blog so it is very helpful for me Thanks Again For it keep up it.

  35. I love your site Gotch!

    I just had a question.. The tier 1,2 and 3 articles are good.

    I am just wondering; for lower competition niches/keywords a 3rd tier certainly isn’t needed?

    Would love to hear back,
    Hein

  36. Hi, the detailed artile is really good thing to see over your blog. I have been hearing about Tier link building since penguin update, but do you feel that this tiered link building is still effective specially after the latest penguin 3 update?

    Still not sure what links to build.

      1. Thank you for your prompt feedback, I will have a try on this. I do have got some success with links when added a hig PR links from one of hte Private Blog Network of an individual but not as good as I could. But anyway I will have to try the tired link as y ou detailed here and check.

        Thanks anyway for your prompt feedback

  37. Thank you for sharing this!
    I’m sure you’re tired of hearing this but I too learned a lot from you…
    Found myself pinned here in your site reading all your articles; haven’t finished yet but will get there!

  38. Nice post Nathon. I landed on on your site while reading Neil’s post on “How to Build High Quality Backlinks in a Scalable Way” and I must tell you that I have learnt nothing from here but… don’t be angry you are 100% f*****g right.

    I mean people waste money and more important Time on link building strategies which provide results but are nowhere close to a proper ROI. Like Scholarships..

    I will definitely subscribe to your post and would also like to know a bit more about your services.

  39. Hi Nathan,
    Really great post!
    Quick question regarding the 301 redirects –
    that’s a method I’ve started using during the last year. Why do you think that the limit should be 3 redirects per site?
    If the websites are relevant – do you still think there’s a change to penalty?

    Also, from your experience, did you find a significant improvement from this method? (I’m referring only to redirects to the money site).

    Thanks!

    1. Roy,

      Thanks for the comment! It’s not the law that you should only use three redirects, but anything more can start seem sketchy. I’ve seen websites with hundreds of redirects and never have any issues. But of course… that doesn’t mean you won’t if you were to do the same. As long as the domain you’re planning on redirecting has solid links, it will give you a serious boost. The more relevant it is, the better.

  40. Hey Nathan,

    Thanks for this post really helpful. One question though on this point…

    “Step #7: Keep padding the site while slowly decreasing link velocity”

    I was under the impression that you should keep building a positive link velocity?

    Could you elaborate a bit more ?

    Thanks

    1. Hi George,

      Thanks for the comment and good question! You want to decrease link velocity once you’re ranking because it will be link overkill and could trigger a manual review.

  41. Dear Nathan, i am building 5 or 6 tier 1 links on a monthly basis. I am using original articles for this. Someone is saying to me that just 5 or 6 is very low and will not help. Pls advise.

    1. Hi Salman,

      It completely depends on the industry and the competition. There is no set amount of links you should build per month. Just do what’s necessary to get results without going overboard

  42. Nice Post, Nathan.
    I have a question, If a buy a post in an relevant blog for tier 1 with good metrics, TF > 30 & DA/PA > 30 too for example. My new post will be PA 1. Should I make a Tier 2 in order to increment the PA, right? So, what is the benefit to do a Guest post or Create an own PBN?

      1. Thanks for your time Nathan. I am another question, when you talk about ¨Pad the site with a ton of unoptimized supporting links¨ what do you mean? What kind of links do you recommend to use it?

  43. I dont have any questions about this guide, but i want to write this comment to thank you for all this free information.

  44. Thanks for the information Nathan, Just a quick question.
    Do you still suggest to follow this Tier backlink strategy, especially after so many updates google came up from the time you have written this post?

  45. Hi Nathan ,Great Article,thank you

    “Step #7: Keep padding the site while slowly decreasing link velocity”
    “You want to decrease link velocity once you’re ranking because it will be link overkill and could trigger a manual
    review.”

    If already rank to 2 or 3 keywords but my strategy are to rank with more,could i keep give link with branded anchor,generic and naked to increase branding and juice flow the whole site or this action is possible to trigger a manual review?

    thanks

  46. hello ,
    I have a blogger site ( name.blogger.com ) I wonder if you can use the tiers techniques it … he will gain relevance to google ?

    tksss.. sorry for my English

  47. Hi Nathan,

    Thanks a lot for sharing so much valuable information in a really easy-to-understand way. The 301redirect subject really caught my interest.

    I recently bought a 100% niche relevant domain from a friend. It’s not an expired domain. He hadn’t paid the hosting for about 6 months and this domain now shows a hosting suspended page and is also no longer indexed in Google. The domain/site on it was ranking fairly well in pages 1-3 for the top 10 keywords till a couple of years ago, and basically was neglected for over a year until he decided to sell me the domain.

    I am wondering if doing a 301 redirect as it is now from the registrar would be the best option, or if it would be better to put up a site on the domain get it indexed and then do a 301 using htaccess as soon as it gets indexed. I have never done this before, am very eager to but at the same time am also worried reading that a 301 can pass on a penalty if the domain had a penalty attached to it. I have no way of knowing for sure if it has a penalty, or is there a way to find out (there was no previous manual penalty from what I was told)?

    I do not want to use this for PBN as it was quite established and visible so competitors may identify it easily as PBN site. Also, the Majestic TF is currently 0 & CF 5, Ahrefs URL rating 5 & domain rating 34, Moz DA 12 & PA 23. So not really interesting for PBN. I am wondering what you would do, and what you feel would be the best use for this domain?

    Thanks again, I appreciate sharing your thoughts on this.

    1. James,

      As long as the domain is relevant and you haven’t used an redirects in the past, it’s pretty safe to 301 it. Just try to limit how many times you 301 because it starts get sketchy after 3 or so

  48. Hi Nathan, who do you recommend for outsourcing blog comment to? I’ve used PPH before and they’re too spammy to show clients (and they do ask), also which PR service do you recommend? Cheers.

  49. Hi, thx for your post.
    I have a fresh blog, should I make tier 1 directly to my money site, or should I do it for my post? Which option would be the best?

  50. Hi Nathan,

    Thanks for the most interesting and inspirring articles I have read for a long time! I definitely will try some of your great techniques and see where it gets me.

    I’m wondering what you think about collecting some expired domains with an “OK” link profile which is not neccesarily within the same subject as the site you want to build. Should I save my efforts and try to find some relevant sites instead – EVEN if I find sites with a great link profile? And more over: where would you put a site like that (tier 1, 2, 3 etc.) if we assume that I actually put in some effort and write great, relevant content for this site?

    Again – thanks for a great article … I’m just in the middle of the process of going through all the content on your site and reading your ebook as well 🙂

    Nicolai

    1. Nicolai,

      Thanks for the comment and that’s great to hear!

      Personally, I prefer relevant expired domains, but irrelevant ones can work if the metrics are there. Using them tier two is a safe bet

  51. Thanks for sharing your tier 1 link buidling strategies Nathan. . I want to share my experience with “building” backlinks for one of my blogs at it might be a helpful insight for your readers. It is in a low to moderate competition niche, but all those sites that came on the first page of google were not dedicated to that particular subject. In other words they just had a post about it, but that’s all – sites with high authority. So I decided to build up a blog from scratch that is entirely dedicated on the niche – or micro niche blog that only contains content on pretty much few keywords. I rolled up my sleeves and did about 95 articles – some long enough (800-1000 words) others much shorter. As you can imagine I only focused on putting up some content. After 1 month and a half, for one of the keywords I’m on 7th position in google, and for another major keyword I’m on the 11th position in google – NO BACK LINKS building whatsoever.
    So in my view, if you have a dedicated blog on one niche, and do a good number of quality posts, you can certainly outrank even sites that have very high PR, thousands of backlinks, and thousands of articles – at least that’s my experience.

    Anyhow, thank you again Nathan for sharing this helpful info – keep my email in your newsletter loop, as I want to be updated of other helpful tips and tricks regarding SEO!

    Regards?

  52. Thanks for a superb article!

    How many tiers are you working with yourself, and is there any really good reasons to take it up to a level above, lets say, three tiers? Obviously your answer on the first part of this question pretty much answers the last par 🙂 Have you – if possible – in any way tested this, or is it what one could call “common knowledge” among experts like yourself?

    Thanks!

  53. Hello,
    nice article!
    I’m a french webmaster and i’ve got a question, how can u get a strong backlink ? ( Power Links: You Can Say These Links Go “H.A.M.” ? )
    Thanks for reply ! 🙂

  54. Hi Nathan,
    I’m actually trying your strategie and i have build Tier 1 links manually with your recommandation.
    I have read your article for Tier 2 and you said that you outsourcing some task, can you pm me some good contact to do this ?
    Thanks !

  55. Hi Nathan,

    Thanks for the informative article.
    Will you advise what’s the best spinning article to use for getting quality results?
    I’ve been using thebestspinner for a while, but I wonder whether there’s a better option.

    Regards,
    Anna

  56. Hello! Want to know its Tiered 301 redirects still working in 2015? I had plan to start Tiered 301 link building and make redirect on register with masking links…

  57. Hi Nathan, I want to thank you for the great posts and also for the “2015 E-Book revised” that I have recently downloaded (y)

    In fact I am newbie to SEO and my English isn’t that good I couldn’t understand the definitions of these words poke/pad so I missed the poke/pad strategy

    2nd when talking about ‘tier one’ backlinks is it only about: submitting to online directories, press releases or guest blogging and ‘PBN’ as well (which i don’t know what it means exactly), but how my web 2.0 tier two backlinks should link to such irrelevant websites from tier one with high DA and PR using targeted keywords related my money site ? I mean the keywords from tier two will be lost in the process ?

    For example: I have a money site about Facebook how to’s
    Tier one press release eg: about my blog anchor test “how to download Facebook videos”
    Tier two web 2.0 let say downloadfbvids.blogspot.com keywords rich articles 2 3 backlinks to tier one which has only about one power link? or should they be directly linked to my money site ?

    Once again thank you so much, I hope you keep up the great work you’re building your audience

  58. Very nice article Nathan. I’m doing seo myself for my wesbite. I have a website with 80 pages and each page i want to rank rather than the homepage as each page is distinct and talk about specific topics. As per your suggestion in creating web 2.0 blogs, do i have to create 80 * 10 = 800 blogs to start with or I can just create 10 blogs and in each blog add 80 posts and point them to my pages in the website?

    1. Hi Sam,

      Thanks for the comment! You should create less web 2.0s and target your homepage or only a few internal pages. It’s better to isolate your link authority going to a few pages and then distribute that authority through internal links. 80 different web 2.0s would be ineffective. Plus, I would never target that many keywords at the onset of a campaign. You should focus on ranking one keyword and one landing page before trying to rank 80 different keywords and pages. Hope that makes sense.

  59. Hi, Nathan ! I can’t say if the post was more informative or the comments and your replies !There is just so much GOLD here, Thanks man for letting us grab as much as we want !! 🙂

  60. am really fed up with the Tier 1 & 2 Buildings, what you actually saying is to poke main keywords as First Anchor Text then pagging Helping keywords.

    I have a strategy let me show you..

    You could even go for this strategy: PBN, SAPE, and SER links -> URL shorteners -> Web 2.0 sites -> Money site
    This way I have never been penalized, but achieved great ranking improvements!

    What do you say?

  61. Hi Nathan,

    Thanks for the useful stuff.
    What about the IP variation in case of manual link building? Is it ok to build about 100 of backlinks from the same IP or is it better to use proxies?
    Please, advise.

    Thanks,
    Anna

  62. Hi Nathan, isnt there any automated solution to build brand , naked url links?
    thats because as you say exact match anchors should be the less percentage of your backlink profile, so then how we create the other big percent, i think that creating them manually consume so much time, cant i use a tool like GSA or senuke?

    1. Hi Ivan,

      I don’t recommend using GSA on tier one unless you are willing to get a penalty. To increase your branded anchor profile, you should focus on business directories, branded properties, and even niche blog comments.

  63. i run a coupon blog. Similar to retailmenot, coupons.com, krazycouponlady.com etc etc.
    My question is how to gain links to store pages? I can buy links directly..But i am looking for a natural method to gain links.
    Can you help me out?

    1. Hi Abdul,

      Create keyword-targeted content and make sure you have internal links to your store pages. Then all you need to do is acquire links to your content and your store pages should rank (if you optimized them correctly and your links are relevant/quality)

  64. Hi Nathan, thanks first for excellent post.
    Read it entirely and read also comments.
    My question would be this: you are using this strategy, which obviously works for you and your clients. My congrats to that, of course.
    How much time do you need to rank the site on first page with this strategy?
    I mean, we all do backlinks and we all do some experiments. Eventually we (who doesn’t give up), also succeed.
    My “strategy” brings me top results in 3 to 6 months.
    And is by far, not so soficticated then yours. Let’s say I am just in the “testing mode”.
    I would really love to hear your opinion specially about link velocity. I can be as agressive as hell, here on my small Slovenian furniture market – the question that I am searching for answers is – what is the right amount of backlinking in terms of velocity.
    Also – according to your post I made some huge mistakes in the past on my projects (agressive backlinking and agressive anchors also). But I am still ranking. Does it mean I will get penalized in the future? Run some test which all show my projects are not too spammed and not to risky. Thanks.

    1. Hi Matija,

      Thank you for the comment! It’s possible to get away with aggressive link tactics, but it’s more of a matter of how long? Some niches allows for more aggressive behavior, but as a general rule of thumb, it’s best to take nonaggressive approach and think about the long-term

  65. Hi Nathan, Even the article is from March, to be honest I just discover it. I spent today few hours to read your articles about SEO, as I’m a novice. Good job. Thanks a lot!

  66. Hi,

    thank you for this great Post. There are way too many SEOs out there, that make link building an own science with tiers here and tiers there,tiers everywhere.

    You got straight to the point with a good and a Bad backlink in concern of anchor Text. Thanks a lot for sharing your information.

  67. Hey Gotch!
    Thats undoubtedly a great post for Tier one backlinking. I am a new comer in SEO, you said PBN plays a great role for ranking a site. But, as far as know, PBN’s are expensive. I have a group of friend and we have planned to make PBN, means each of us will make one blog with good domains (DA, PA). What you think about it? Will it be good like other PBN’s?

    Regards

  68. Hi Nathan,

    A really useful post which I also tweeted. Well, I want to ask that please say something about building proper web 2.0 blog posts on free platforms. What is good ratio for anchor text as 2016 is near.

    Thanks

  69. Hey Thanks for Writing that Great post. Its Really helpful

    My Question is How much Backlinks can i Build from a website. I Mean if i get a backlink from x website to one of my post. and i create another post on my site and again i get backlink from same site.
    In short What is the Limit to get backlinks from a single site. ofc a Relevent site to our niche/topic

    Thanks

  70. Hey Gotch, great writeup man. Was hoping for a quick clarification on web 2.0’s. Obviously there are different types. On one hand, you’ve got the generic “keyword.tumblr.com” type properties. (which I think you’re referring to) But on the other, a brand could have a portfolio of assets like tumblr, blogger, wp, etc.. I believe you have a few yourself. Do you see any risk in publishing content on these properties under your own brand? Assuming no kw rich anchors and other silliness? Thanks in advance amigo. And again.. great writeup!

    1. Casey,

      Thanks for the comment. There is no problem with branded properties as I explain in this post. You have it exactly right. The keyword-targeted web 2.0s with spammy anchor text and garbage content are what I’m referring to/what you should avoid

  71. Hi Nathan,

    Nice read, we all need to shift to new practices at one point.

    I got two questions about site structure and duplicate content.

    – One of my blogs is MNS site with let’s say 14 articles. It’s a WP blog, the home page is filled with excerpts of the latest post. The categories are indexed and they contain the same excerpts of the posts that are on the homepage. According to ”Siteliner” I have 59% of duplicate content. What would be the best solution to that typical problem (as we all know a lot of WP blogs are with the same structure)

    – On interlinking: If we don’t want to rank the homepage for any KW, whats the reason behind the linking from an article to the home page? Improving overall domain authority may be?

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Mikey,

      Thanks for the comment.

      – I always “noindex” categories to avoid this issue. You can “noindex” categories, tags, and archives with All-in-One SEO Pack or Yoast

      – That’s exactly it: just to grow site authority. If you aren’t trying to rank your homepage, then you can send the links to a more important top level page in the silo

  72. Gotch. I love/hate this post!

    Love because I am planning an authority site for 2016 and want to stay as clean/white hat as possible and you’ve given some great pointers.

    Hate because I’ve been trying to move away from PBNs because I know they’re on their way out, but I’ve been burying my head in the sand because your approach is so much more work!

    Keep ’em coming.

  73. I appreciate your current advice on PBNs – I am beginning to back off of them for the same reasons you’ve listed. I have also noticed that there is more to worry about with PBNs than just having them de-indexed, as it seems the majority become “devalued” by Google at some point… and this makes things all the more complicated. Keep up the great work, Nathan.

    1. Joe,

      Thank you for the comment! Totally agree with your statement that Google is “devaluing” you them. I’m not entirely sure how they are doing it, but expired domains have dramatically decreased in strength over the past 1-2 years.

  74. Nathan,
    Thanks for the email link to the article! Great info and I’m printing it out to use as a guide. I find that most of my clients want to jump right into building links before cleaning up technical issues and getting their content up to a quality level which is where I tend to put most of my initial work and then focus on distribution. After they are up to speed on those things then I look at backlinks.
    Thanks again.

  75. Great article – appreciate your straightforward (no hype) writing style. Do you have any suggestions regarding how often (number per week or month) that you should limit getting quality white hat/relevant links to a post? Given the fact that you’ve done all the other things (site architecture, quality content, optimized site, etc) properly – and you have some social activity around your target posts.
    There’s always the “depends” part of the answer – I’m just looking for some best practice suggestions to avoid a manual review in the future…
    Thanks!

    1. Chris,

      Thank you for the comment! There really is no “limit” as long as the links meet the “quality” criteria. Obviously, it shouldn’t be super aggressive upfront for a newly published piece of content. There should be a steady climb in links over the course of months

  76. Thanks for this informative post about Quality Link Building. I want to ask you if I do DoFollow blog comments on relevant blogs to my niche, does this considered SPAM??

    Because in the beginning of your post you mentioned that many of the outbound links from DoFollow blog comments will be going to “bad neighborhoods” like gambling, pharma, etc. Then you mentioned also the benefits of niche related blog commenting?

    Can you advice me whether I have to continue commenting on relevant DoFollow blog or leave blog comments at all? Because I don’t want anything to impact my site ranking in search engines!

    Thank a lot.

    1. Hassan,

      Thanks for the comment. Most “DoFollow” blog comment opportunities will be heavily spammed. It’s unusual for blog comments to be left “DoFollow” as this point. I don’t recommend it.

      Niche related blog commenting will typically give you “NoFollow” links, but they are still worth it for the reasons I explained in the post.

  77. This is a massive list to digest Nathan. I have had a fair share of success using PBN but lately I am seeing that Google has started giving less value to the low quality content website.

    Probably, this is a time to recreate a PBN to look more like an authority website. I really doubt if the social media signal has any significant impact though

    1. Taylor,

      Thanks for the comment! It’s probably easier to get a link from an authority site, then it is to build one from scratch 😛 just saying..

      Social media alone won’t have much of an impact, but combined with other factors it likely does. Plus, there is no downside for having your social media profiles secured/active.

  78. Hey Gotch, excellent article I read in 2016 🙂
    I have only 1 question, can you please tell me:
    If I want to rank the homepage of my website, then I should select static page on WordPress? Secondly I should only build links to homepage to make it rank well in search results, please tell me.
    Waiting for your reply anxiously…

    1. Hi Davis,

      Thanks for the comment. You just need to optimize the homepage around your target keywords. Optimize the META data and inject keywords on the page. You should focus your efforts on building your overall site authority instead of nailing your homepage with links

  79. Hello Gotch,
    I really like your detailed guide about backlink creation in 2016. I have two questions. Can you explain resource pages ? I don’t get this point completely. I am using scoop.it for content curation. My friend said that I shouldn’t use it but it refered me traffic. Even I got backlink from this portal. What you suggest? I would appreciate your quick reply.

  80. Hi Nathan,
    Awesome stuff as always!
    I have created a network of 10 blogs(WP, blogger etc) and I write unique content to these blogs and create links from here to my site, is this a good strategy or no?
    Thanks

  81. Hello Nathan

    Thank You very much for this Amazing Stuff for newbies in this sector. I was so much excited about How to Build tier One Backlinks, One of My friend send me this link and said He is the only guy who can help you about POWER SEO. and when I started reading your article, I said just Thank You GOD The Nathan Only guy who can Help me !!!!

    I found too many things from your post. Most I had a great weakness on Interlinking, Your one Picture is enough easy to understand about inter-linking.

    Thanking Yours
    Avenue Sangma

  82. WOW. Another great article Nathan! One question for you… would a sitewide footer link from a client’s website be alright providing that the anchor text was branded and the site wasn’t too big?

  83. Hi Nathan! On my reading journeys accross a SEO forum I have found an (interesting) technique of getting quality links: buying a (contextual) link on an already published article, which already has authorithy (incoming links, shares, etc). Unfortunately, the poster only shared the technique, but did not say too much about the results. Have you ever tried anything similar?

    1. Hi Alex,

      Thanks for the comment! Yes sir. You can either acquire the link by paying for it or by reaching out. Either way, you will have to offer some type of incentive (money or value) to get a link on an established page.

  84. Hello Nathan
    Had you updated this post?
    From the first comment by Karen (time stamp 2014), I can get the conclusion that you took the as a method that time, form my experience, I have used on one website in 2013, it really work, but I just used less than 10 that time.
    I have read lots of guru’s method. E.g. Neil Patel & Brian Dean.
    And I admit that their method definitely works, BUT, very very difficult to implement, this is specially for those new site and small site who have a small budget. Lot of the method are too ideal. (No offense , just for small website there are really ideal method).
    The method in your this post are more practical, I really appreciate it.

    1. Hi Scott,

      Yes! This post was updated for 2016 and my agency’s changed approach. I’m glad it was practical. I’ll be going deeper into each link building strategy in later posts

      – Gotch

  85. Hi Nathan.
    This is really fresh and good info.
    Honestly I am glad but also really sad after hear this…hehehe.

    I just start using PBN (And still learn about it), and then you say it is not recommended anymore.
    I usually used GSA, manual web 2.0, software like rankwyz, PBN and that is not recommended (and not works) anymore. Even for non English website.

    I need your thought whether this is good or bad.
    1. How about making review contest, so I get backlink from personal blog with real traffic (but not relevant topic)?
    I have a friend that know many real personal blogger (mix topic – usually personal blog), so this idea can be done. Is it good backlink for Tier 1?
    2. How about making good parasite site (that rank well in google and get real traffic) for tier 1 backlink?
    So we still can use “grey hat seo” for that parasite site, and also still get the quality link for Money site. Is it a good or bad idea?

    Thank you very much

    1. Antonius,

      Thanks for the comment!

      1. Relevant links are always best, but there are exceptions to the rule
      2. You can use cleaner white hat links for parasites. It ultimately depends on what your risk tolerance is

  86. Hi Nathan,
    I am working on SEO right now and you are a life saver. There are lots of SEO articles right there, and sometimes they overwhelmed me. This post is what I need to keep it rolling. I am on the technical part making sure our sites link worthy. I will build a strong foundation first before spending time for link building. Thank you for all your tactics.

  87. Holly Smoke! Glad I found this article. I am going to have to bookmark it. It is going to take me a while to absorb all of this info. But there were three or four things I have been having issue with on my site and they got addressed here. Much Appreciation.

  88. Nathan, this was a great article! It has helped me and my SEO effort tremendously. I started doing my own SEO and Marketing about a year ago after letting go of the company that was doing it and charging me WAY TOO MUCH. This has really helped the external linking part of my process. Thanks!

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Good question. The short answer is that’s not true. Google uses over 200 different ranking factors to determine the results. There is no doubt that social signals pay a minor role. However, social signals without backlinks typically won’t work. The opposite is true as well (as I explained in the article)

    1. If you are saying that you want to make a tumblr.com as your personal blog, then there are no risks. If use web 2.0s for artificial link building, then you can get a manual penalty.

  89. I have read your articles many times. In your article you are often using “indexed backlink your website”,I’m, unable to understand this point that is “Indexed backlinks your website” means will my website pages would come on indexed on google search engine or would come google index top 10 or will you tell anything new expect these two. Could your explain?. I’m a beginner I’m learning now I need your help.

  90. I found really awesome contentHere.From some days, i will searching for what types of strategies working in 2016.When i searching on Google find your site , It’s great to work with your techniques.

    Thank you so much for this Nice Article.

  91. Hello
    I don’t agree with “avoid web2.0 in tier1” because of high risk of getting penalized. Web2.0 are great and penalties were given not because of using web2.0 but HOW they were used (content, links, anchors, etc. etc…). Diversity is the key but please don’t write web2.0 are bad;)

    1. Thank you for your opinion, but I’ll be keeping it in the article 🙂

      Using web 2.0s for artificial link acquisition will increase your chances of penalty. That’s not theory, that is a fact.

      My agency has removed many manual actions that were a direct result of using web 2.0s.

      You should know that if you are the “Penalty Hammer” 😛

  92. I know and that’s why I don’t agree with that:) I saw web2.0 with tons of mk links, stupid/copied/generated content created by seo indians and they were a problem. In this case – ok, they were bad. If web2.0 website is always unique without mk links, valuable hand written content, not one and done, then it’s good.
    If you’re saying web2.0 were the problem, so no matter in which tier they’ll be, they’ll be always problem or unnecessary waste of time and money right?;)

    1. Yes, as long as the web 2.0 isn’t designed just to host your link AND it has some valuable content, then you shouldn’t have any issues. It’s really those one-page, garbage web 2.0s that land most people manual penalties.

  93. Hi I am seeing that many of the SEO person lost their client’s keywords rank[ I talk with many SEO guy ]. Generally we do Good quality web 2.0, social bookmarking, Document sharing, Video Submission, Audio Submission and tier links with persona profile. I use persona profile just for posting not for IFTTT. I saw, I also lost some ranking this year. Like the keyword position was 15 but now they are 20-30. But before this month everything was fine and I was getting rank properly every week continuously. What is the reason could be. Is there have any reason for year change.

    1. Hi Farhad,

      It’s because you are focusing on links that everyone else can get. Focus your efforts on getting niche relevant links and your rankings won’t drop. That is, if your content and on-site optimization is done well.

  94. Love your article, i think if using wordpress blog sites with great content, ex. i have 3 blogs that only write about watches, so they are watch expert sites and all link to my main webshop Watchfelt.dk – This in my oppinon will never be greyhat, as lons as i give the readers great content and help them decide, before they purchase anything.

  95. Wow… 5 300 words on that article and thats online about tier 1 (I read them all…)
    I just discovered your blog today and I must say I am impressed.
    VERY impressed.

    And my mozbar says this page is PA1…

    If it is not an authority page / article, I dont know what it is…

    I think you are going to join my “SEO Jedi Master list” definetly (plus you worked with Niel Patel! Dont tell me you are having breakfast with Pat Flynn too?)

    Well, I wanted to thank you about those tremendous informations and for the “35 lessons when starting an SEO agency” which is really great.

    Your article structure is very good too. I like this idea of “one sentence / idea , one line”

    You definetly got a new fan!

    Thank you again Nathan

  96. Great post Nathan,

    The biggest takeaway for me and PurpleFruit and my personal focus for SEO in 2016 will be “qualify” “authority” and “relevance”

    Its the underlying theme I have been picking up all of your posts. they’re all really great by the way, I’m definitely a fan.

    Thanks

  97. I just read through this before buying up some domains and really did help. We have a lot of users socially integrating into blogs but sometimes does more harm than good.

  98. Great guide Nathan. I’m learning a ton on your blog. I’m a little confused about something though. In this article you say that “I have personally had to get manual actions removed from clients because of web 2.0 backlinks.” But in your article on brand signals you recommend locking down all the major social platforms for your brand. Aren’t most of these platforms 2.0’s?

    So if you create an account for your brand on each of tumblr, weebly, etc. Will those be considered as ‘spammy’ 2.0s, or just relevant brand signals?

    Thanks for the great content!

    1. Hi Aaron,

      Thank you for the comment and good question! I should have clarified. The web 2.0s I’m referencing are those designed purely to host links. Branded web 2.0s aren’t a problem. Web 2.0s such as chicagopersonalinjurylawyer.wordpress.com with a illegible article and exact match anchor text.

      Here’s a sample of my branded Tumblr account: http://gotchseo.tumblr.com/

  99. Hey Nathan,

    Really appreciate this comprehensive breakdown – There’s an entire minefield of information here and it’s going to definitely help in some new projects I have starting. Again, thanks for your effort, and it’s great to finally see an SEO blog that isn’t spammed with call to actions, and pop-overs.

  100. Wonderful post Nathan. I really liked the idea of reaching out to the site owners and convincing about the new domain in stead of pointing to the dead domain.

    Could you please also share on, how to keep position in search engine once you have ranked.

    -Ashutosh

    1. Thanks for the comment! That’s easy, just keep producing valuable content and acquiring quality links to your site. You won’t go anywhere as long as you don’t abuse anchor text or use low-quality links.

  101. Are all these links still safe to point at our domains? as i seen the first comment was from 2014. Do you also only linking them to the domain once for each website, or could i use some of the same links three or four times to different pages on my domain?

    Thanks for your very useful website by the way, it rocks!

    1. David,

      Thanks for the comment. This article was updated for 2016 and yes of course the links are safe. I try to acquire links from different domains regardless of what page it’s hitting on my site. However, it doesn’t hurt to get more than one link from authority websites.

  102. hi nathan, this is a must read article though
    i used to work with ‘tier 1’ method like this, but most of them was not working as good as 2-3 years ago
    have u any ideas how we should ‘develop’ tier 1 better these day?

  103. hey Nathan,
    very honest and informative guide.
    i am doing seo for my travel website.
    wanted to know you thoughts on social bookmarking to money pages.
    does social bookmarking work?should i use a diffrent account when i create bookmarks to diffrent pages?

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts
    thanks

  104. really interesting all the factors, howevers google is constantly changing and even if you are doing everything perfecto you have the chance of being penalize, i have already subscribed to prevent this

  105. I’m very glad to visit your site, i’m an indonesian blogger, my name is Ibrahim Haryadi, i’v got many useful knowledge here abaout SEO, thank you very much.

  106. Hi Nathan, thanks for post. I’m trying to learn and here I found a lot of useful information but you have to put them into practice, and this is more difficult. I am still missing pieces:

    Suppose I have to rank a site of my friend Angelo.

    1) I have to use different profiles and mail address for each 2.0 webs, comment, foum, etc.?
    2) I need to use proxy to open account?
    3) If I open blog site how many pages I have to do for each one?

    sorry for my english, i dont speak very well

    many thanks

  107. Hey Nathan, This is great information, I was just looking for some PBN information and I landed here and found excellent post. You’ve covered mostly each aspect of backlinks with security measures. I learnt couple of new things here. As you know everyday algorithms are getting more mature and so what visitors. Being up to date with all changes are necessary to be in the market and be on the safer side. By looking into your post I realize that still there are few safe practices which I can implement.

    Thanks for sharing this information.

  108. Thanks for the post!
    Just one little question about buying expired domains. Does google pagerank still matters there? For an example is it worth buying expired domain with google pagerank 5 when PA, DA (moz, majestic indicators) and others are low?

    1. Hey Tanel,

      Thanks for the comment! PageRank hasn’t been updated in years and Google said they won’t be updating it. So, no it doesn’t matter. You have to use the metrics at your disposal such as Trust Flow, Ahrefs Domain Rating, and DA/PA

  109. Hey Nathan,
    I’ve recently subscribed to your news letter, I just couldn’t believe how transparent you are in teaching everything. And the tools that you recommend throughout your posts are super useful.
    I am trying to note everything down that I’ll need in actual implementation of these strategies and I had little bit troubles in creating account almost everywhere in internet. It is because I am trying to rank websites for local professions and every time I’ll need new facebook, twitter, Google+ account and hence new ID every time.
    Apart from this to get links in forums I’ll need different accounts and hence different IDs.
    Just wondering if you have any tools for this problem as well? Or Will I have to manually do all these tasks?

    It’d be great if you could post some more information on content marketing and also on page seo guides in your coming posts.

    Thank you Again!!
    Nirmal

  110. Hi Nathan,

    Many people have said thanks before, but I would also say thank you one more time.

    I have a question about backlinks. My company offers bookkeeping services in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands we speak Dutch and most of our domains are .nl.

    My question is: how important is the .nl domain and the language for backlink pages? Should I use foreign language websites for building backlinks and if yes can you give a rough estimation of the percentage .nl vs other and Dutch vs other language for my backlinks? If I write a blog comment on an English website it would be strange to use Dutch language, but Dutch is the most relevant to my website.

    I didn’t use the possibility to enter my domain making this comment. Is that clever from SEO pint of view knowing that you write about backlinks and I’m in the bookkeeping industry?

    Thanks for your time.

    Regards,

    Melchior

  111. Hi Nathan,
    After reading this Tier 1 building article and other factors to pass link guise. I have the doubt. Please clear, I want to rank for some article of my ISeenLab. As you told tier 1 link building is perfect for building ranking and sustaining year together ranking without penalty. On the another end, when we talk about privet blogging. I readed lot of article about Google penalty for privet blog. then who can I build Tier 1 in perfect way?
    Please demostrate the relation between tier 1 and privet blogging. So we can build fully controlled tier 1 links.

  112. I suppose this would kind of be a nice comment link. This article offers more than just link building. It’s a great resource to anyone looking to optimize their site. I was under the impression that blog commenting was useless but you actually changed my mind. I will also check out bright local.

    Thanks!

    Dan

  113. Have a question about what I’ve been implementing to get a lot of quality natural earned backlinks. Haven’t found many articles on the internet about this but I write a lot of quality blogs and post them on major social media sites. Each article I post I include a few revelant anchor text links pointing to different pages on my website. In Google Webmaster Tools sections “links to my site” I see many backlinks coming from these social media sites where I did anchor text links on my posts. Like many backlinks from Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogspot, Linkedin, etc. Has anyone ever tried this?

  114. Amazing, I was looking in the google for backlinks and I found this site, and this information here it is awesome. Thank you very much for your article I found it very educative one.

  115. Hello!
    I am reading this article-post of yours with great interest.
    The detail you provide is bracing, and laced with true expert insight.
    I LOVE the way you clearly teach the one-two-three how-to details…and are NOT hiding coy and sneaky sales funnels up your sleeve.
    Obviously you are giving real value…and it’s all stuff that I need and want to know to make my online work really connect with real people who are interested in what I am doing online.
    But hey, you don’t stop at the tier one backlink tutorial…you then go on to offer us tier two backlink tutorial…and it’s also sequentially laid out for maximum effect…which is to let a person like me get this SEO thing right.
    I am working in a niche best described as the God niche.
    And I want to get my SEO as squeaky clean as I can.
    With everything that you are teaching (for FREE!), I think I can do this.
    All the Best!
    Robert Farmilo

  116. Just to say thank you for all the information I am new to this and just starting out with my new website Wow there is so much to do on a website and seo but your blog will help me a lot again thank you
    Martin

  117. Hi Nathan,

    Thx for your blog full off great tips!!

    I have an question about the foorterlinks. Do you have an other plugin (it’s outdated)/ code for WordPress to manupilate the footer links.

    I’m from a webdesign company, what would you advice to do? Links al over the site (follow) with brand name, or anchors only from the homepage?

    Greetz Erik

  118. Hey Gotch,

    Been trying to get in touch with you in regards to your guest posting service. Hopefully we can work together soon! Thanks for the great quality content btw.

  119. Hi, Nathan. Thanks for the article. Was curious to get your take on a couple of nuances of guest posting. First, is there any value in contributing to respected industry publications if the primary goal is to grow site authority via the links? I am talking about blogs hosted by major brands in a given industry that you have to earn your way into. Secondly, if there is value in this, do byline or author profile links pass much/any value – and how would it compare in general to a link in the body of an article?

    Thanks again for the article and looking forward to hearing your opinion on this!

    1. Andrew,

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, there is value if you get a DoFollow link and it’s within the body of the content (that’s what our blogger outreach service does). If you trying to build your reputation and authority within your industry, guest posting is an effective way to do it.

  120. Gotch ! Fairly i was not out of PBN but i am damm sure if we go with the sites with good metrics, PBN still works like charm in short period of time. The other valuable ingredients for building backlinks in this post are simply awesome. I have been working with the 2.0’s and ignoring forums after the Anti Spam feature and post limit features got active on Forums.

    But i think i should be doing it again whatever the time it consumes.

    Cheers mate.

  121. Nate,
    I saw for your local seo article you recommended web 2.0 profiles to fill out the brand, but in this article you caution against using them.
    Could you clarify this point?

  122. Hi, this is really good article for me (new member in SEO).
    i have many problems with building backlinks. After read your article, i can see a way to do it.
    Thank you

  123. Thanks for the reply, Nathan. Do you see any value from the byline link itself? Or is it really only links in the body that pass authority? Great to see the volume of comments on your site and that you’re taking the time to reply to everyone. Best – Andrew

  124. this is great article as usual, but i have a question and I hope to find the right answer here
    is buying expired domains with high authority (high DA/ PA ) and 301 redirect to my main domain is that will give a high authority to my domain name and also my domain will get the back links as well???
    note that my main domain PA 1 DA 1
    thanks waiting your reply thanks once more

  125. Hi,

    Love your blog and your articles. Thanks for sharing such great info. But I have a question …

    Now as we are nearing mid-2016, what are your thoughts on Web 2.0’s as a buffer for tier 1 links?

    Ron

  126. Excellent post and very thorough I also loved your anchor text post. I’ll be commenting on that one shortly as well.

    What are your thoughts on the following types of backlinks:

    #1
    -scholarship backlink campaign to obtain .edu links? i.e. creating a legitimate scholarship page and doing an out reach to .edu’s to get listed on their scholarship page?

    #2
    -.gov back links on goverment employee discount pages? ex: a resource page listing links to websites which offer discounts to AZ.gov employees

    -I’m going to ask an anchor text related question to this on your other post to keep it relevant. 🙂

    Thanks!
    Jonathan

    1. Hi Jonathan,

      Thank you! Good questions.

      1. This strategy still works, but many colleges are using third part scholarships sites now. So, the opportunities have dwindled down or been moderately abused.
      2. Yes, these would be excellent links!

      1. Hi Nathan

        Actually I read somewhere about .edu and .gov extension domain regarding link building, they wrote Google banned .edu and .gov backlinks. They mention now we can not get backlink through this website. Is it true?

  127. I was a bit late to this. Due to ill health I missed the IM stage for a few years.

    Yes, when I was marketing my sites, PBNs were hugely popular.

    The scene has changed a lot in the last few years.

    I would love to hear your suggestions on:
    Video Marketing – Youtube, Google+ and Hangouts – How that effect the popularity of the site/page from google perspective?

    Thanks!

  128. 1. FIX ALL TECHNICAL ERRORS

    100% agree, most SEO forgot about link role, and get backlinks before webpage is even established. This scenario can lead to serious problem during link building. Great tips.

  129. This was a very useful post. Thank you for creating. I’m particularly thankful that you focused on longterm as opposed to fly by night strategies. It’s great to meet individuals teaching sound knowledge! I was sure to share it as well!

  130. Nathan
    I know you said in your post that using GSA is not good anymore but, i was wondering how you felt about ranking Amazon product listings.? I was wanting to try and rank a Amazon listing. Could you use GSA to hit the “canonical url” with links.?
    Sense it is Amazon..couldn’t you hit it pretty hard.? I would like to know your thoughts. Have you tried this.??
    Thanks
    Rusty

    1. Rusty,

      Thanks for the comment! I haven’t tried use GSA on Amazon listings. However, we’ve used high authority links to rank them. You can use more aggressive link building when you are doing parasite SEO.

  131. Thank you very much for this help- a. informative article. I’m applying all these techniques and already got a big improvement on our antivirus-site.

  132. thanks for this article you are a perfect man, allow me to ask u a question
    if i gonna buy an expired domain to get the pa and da from it to my main domain
    should this domain has a relevant content or a content similar to my main domain???
    another question if I buy it should i post articles in order to make it active again and make it get more pa and da,, or all i have to do is 301 redirect without any article on the expired domain? and what kind of content should I write??
    thanks and I’m sorry for this long questions.

  133. Hey Nathan,
    Thank you a big big time buddy! 
    I was looking for something like this for so long. How came I have not seen this post yet?? You are in my bookmark now (y) Thank a million zillion trillion times!!
    I have a question if you could give me an answer please?
    Suppose I found broken links on any blog, now I should let the webmaster of that blog know that he got broken links? Or go to the broken links resource?
    Thank You.. 🙂

  134. Solid information. Blogging on a regular basis is one of my favorite tips on the list. I’d say that somewhere on the list there should be a tip for writing about your passion! If you had a blog and weren’t even up to speed on how or where to promote it, you’d likely have people willing to read and share it with their friends and networks. People respond to passion! They’ll keep showing up on your blog because you keep showing up. I’d rather have a passion to share with no marketing plan, than a marketing plan with no passion to share.

  135. Such a great& big article about getting a backlinks in 2016. It is very useful to work on backlink to increase in future days especially in 2016. Few of the methods are well now a day, most of the things are not yet know before this post. Great sharing & i would like to know how to get free .edu links for general websites. Looking for your share…

    Thanks for sharing !! Keep Sharing !!

  136. I have created more than 10 accounts in different web 2.2 social networking platforms, like tumblr, reddit etc. In these accounts i am using the name of my money blog. Is this safe to work or need to use different names for the account rather than using my actual blog name? and mostly i am using spin content to post in different journals and web 2.2 blogs and posting a link pointing to my main blog. Is this a healthy work to compete other sites in Google.? Hope you will clear my mistakes.
    Thank you.

  137. Hi Nathan,

    Thank you for the depth and perspective. I just got into SEO and am in a course from omgmachines. I was wondering if you’ve heard anything about the quality of training that people get there? I am deluged with so much information!

    Thanks again, keep up the good work!

    Sincerely,
    Daniel

  138. thanks your comment ,
    i would to thanks like for you that knowkedge his article is very nice and very helpful for me who are learning about the backlink however has been published.

  139. Hi Gotch,
    How should I say that I am reading your blog first time but its true. I read all type of blogs which are in the SEO industry. But frankly I have been forced by your blog to read your story completely. The way of your presentation of small things is no where. I loved your blog.

    I am little bit confuse in foundation back links, Your mean local business listing or some thing else . Plz explain
    How do you measure of anchor text frequency? like you told your anchor text should be less than 1%. Can you please explain more?

  140. “Backlinks” this word is much more attractive than a girlfriend in the life of a internet marketer or pro blogger. But like it is not easy to get many beautiful girlfriends the same way it is not easy to get the many high quality backlinks.

    People usually fall for the low ways to build backlinks but they have to pay for their mistakes in future. So it is always good to understand the need and how search engines use backlink as a factor to rank any website.

    Your blog posts are quite helpful to clear many doubts.

  141. Nice article , god job ! Can you advice to continue commenting on relevant DoFollow blog or leave blog comments at all?
    Have a nice day

  142. Hi Nathan,
    I am little confused, what kind of sites will come under tier 1 links, for example i will be using web 2.0, high pr backlinks, blog comments etc… in tier 2. Kindly please guide me.

    Thank You

  143. first i want to say thank you to Nathan Gotch for this wonderful article (very big also.. ).
    Actually am searching for best backlinks build article, now i found what i need.

    Thank you very much Nathan… Keep posting

  144. Hey Nathan, nice back links overview here. I would also recommend Spyfu as a tool to pull backlink details. It also quickly populates competition data as well. Keep posting!

  145. Wow so informative. This article is very helpful for me who are learning about the more advanced backlink. I would like to thank you for your knowledge that has been published here.

    1. Hi Aric,

      Thanks for the comment. Relevant DoFollow blog comment opportunities are rare. My recommendation is that you stop worrying about DoFollow vs. NoFollow when it comes to blog commenting.

  146. Could you share some more info on the relevancy of an expired site and why it’s so much more powerful.

    The more I read the more people are saying this is just Google marketing that people are repeating. Do you have any case studies or evidence of this?

  147. Thank you so much for this amazing piece of content. Actually, I’ve saved it as a PDF and the result is a 200 page ebook.

  148. Aren’t forum backlinks considered spammy though? If, for example, I find 10 forums in my niche, and drop my link in the signature area, would that not look spammy to Google? Would it be better to just leave all the links with naked URLs in that case, or would I instead opt for leaving a link in a thread as opposed to the signature area of each forum?

  149. Hey Nathan!

    This is very great article to know more about how to build backlinks in now a days. I start a new blog and now more careful to make backlinks under follow your instructions. Thanks Once again for sharing this article.

  150. Hey Nathan, If I was to implement the techniques you mentioned above, what is a reasonable timescale my customers can expect to see results? Thanks for an awesome guide.

    Moe

  151. hi… gotch…

    awesome article.. however.. ur post scared me a bit… 🙁

    i have an exact match domain… which have 50+ hompage link from forum..

    n rest r page level link…

    however.. i have not build any single exact match anchor for this domain…

    exact match is the big deal for me.. n i still regret it…

    but as the blog ranking for some keywords… i can not even change it…

    so how do i proceed?? any helpful resource or you suggestion would be a gold piece for me.. 🙂

    thank you… appreciate your hard work..

  152. Hey Nathan,
    This is the best article I can find about backlinking in 2016. Most of the stuff out there is outdated.

    I liked this article so much that I used it as a resource in my latest post. I hope thats okay.

    If you’d like to see it or you’d like me to take the link down, let me know.
    Cheers man,
    Eric

  153. Great post , to be honest, I found it by accident when researching about SEO Tools. I”m trying to get myself educated as much as I can on this subject for my site building business. I gotta say your information has been really helpful to me and I’m sure to a lot of people. I have bookmarked your citation service for a future business since I did my first one manually. Like you said it is really time-consuming, so for the next one I’ll make sure to use your service , the price seems pretty reasonable.

    cheers

  154. Really great post. So much knowledge for free? Thanks a lot. May you see only health guidance, and happiness in your family, and friends!

  155. Once again, a superb article. I started to learn SEO a couple of years ago and found your blog to be the most straightforward, honest and clear writing about SEO on the web. Trust me, I have researched and read a huge amount of SEO articles. Your guidance has been invaluable and my content sites have steadily grown over the past couple of years without penalty. I look forward to cashing those Amazon cheques each month and can directly attribute most of that to this blog. Thanks, Nathan. You are the real deal and I really appreciate your work.

  156. Hi Mr. Gotch,

    This might be a stupid question but I’m going to ask it anyway.

    I have a social site that allows users to join, upload and sample content from other users. But I am also a content creator on the site – so I upload my own content, have my own blog on the site, etc.

    I initially thought the best way to promote the site is to promote the content on the site (as you state in your post). But that’s really old fashion pr (public relations) and content promotion and there are companies and sites that do just that.

    Backlinks, it seems, are about raising your site (domain name) position on Google search engine.

    So when I create my backlinks do you think I should link to the content (my videos or blogs) or branded links to the site (homepage) which will raise the ranking of the site?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Eric,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Good question. The majority of your links should go to content. We use an 80/20 ratio at our agency. 80% of our links go to articles/content heavy pages. The other 20% go to the homepage because it flows authority through the site from the top, down.

  157. Thanks Nathan,

    What a fantastic, super detailed post. I’ve already found about 4 or 5 areas that I need to improve on my website. In particular having all the necessary social media properties and being more active on related niche forums.

    Cheers

  158. Hi Nathan,

    Whether google will penalize if we add hyperlink in the header(menu). And whether there will be improvements in the ranking if we add link in the PBN site menu?

  159. Thanks Gotch For Sharing such a valuable content, I will keep this guide in my mind while making backlinks,
    I have one question to ask, I am working as a free lance and I am doing SEO for one Fresh e-commerce website from last 8 month, I had done on-page and doing off page for it. from last 3 months I can see that the pages has been ranked on 2nd page but I am unable to take it on 1st page. There is nothing movement of that pages with relevant keywords. What is the issue ? Will you help me for it Sir ?

    1. Thank you for the comment Kajal.

      There are far too many factors for me to tell you what’s wrong without examining your campaign. Some factors that lead to ranking stagnation might be that your content isn’t good enough (relative to the first page results), your site isn’t authoritative enough, your links aren’t better than the first page results, your site is too young, you have over-optimized your anchor text, or you are simply in a competitive niche and you need to be more patient.

  160. Hi Nathan

    I love this article so much, and I download it convert to become my ebook for reference.
    I have some question want to ask you.
    1) I host a Photoblog, you know that Photography have many category, each post of my blog will be in different category, some will be Travel, some will be Landscape, Building and so on. The SEO is talk about the relevancy of the keyword, my homepage keyword is “Photography Blog, Photoblog, Photo Gallery” something like that, but in my blog post keyword will be related with the category, is that will be NOT Relevant ?

    2) I have follow your guide to build so many backlink or achor text to some of the high page ranking website. But why the Google seem like cannot “see” my link, what’s going wrong? Or maybe it will take long time to find out that? How I can know Google is found my link?

    Thank You
    Max
    Regards

  161. Thanks Gotch for writing all this for all of us. learned many things from one single blog of yours. I never understand this Reverse Silo. Is this Theme Oriented or we have to make Internal links inside our Blog post ?

    If this is Theme Oriented then I’m working on Blogger platform how can I understand and Implement Reverse silo in Blogger theme Kindly give me some DIY link !
    Thanks Agian !

  162. Thanks for the post as always. Was wondering, however, how many orders of your service (link building) does it take to typically see the results shown via the analytics screenshots shared?

    Thanks,
    Terrel Brinkley

    1. Hey Terrel,

      I’m assuming you’re referencing the screenshots on our blogger outreach service page? It really depends on the competition and previous link building efforts. Most unaggressive link building campaigns see substantial results around the six month mark.

  163. I find all of your information very very informative, and there is a lot of great stuff here. Thank you for taking the time to help us out. The one thing that is still unclear to me is what links are really the best right now? I thought guest posts are, but I am seeing conflicting information on that online. That guest posts are “spammy”. It just seems like you need links, but every time I attempt to do something I dig a little deeper and it’s all contaminated now. Ranging all the way back to 2014 there are reviews and posts saying how garbage guest posting is now.

    I guess I am just frustrated because no matter how informative this post is there is not definitive thing saying “go do this, but avoid this” … It does to some degree, but I don’t know … I guess I am just looking for some more specific help.

    1. Thanks for the comment Steve. It sounds like you are living in information overload land. Relevant links from real websites are what work best. Get them and you will see results. That isn’t a theory.

  164. Hi Gotch,

    As of my business, I can get backlink by sharing a free theme. This way it creates anchor text from footer like “Designed by CantoThemes” or “Theme by CantoThemes”. So my question is can it be harmful to my website?

    Thanks

      1. Hi Nathan,

        Thanks for your reply. Yes I will use only Branded link “CantoThemes”. And one suggestion for you. Please enable comment notification option. You have replied my comment but I don’t know. So I think you need to enable it. I hope it will help us to discuss more.

        Thanks

  165. Superb information!!!
    Sometimes I face problems with “IP blocked” during build backlinks so how can we avoid it in SEO.

  166. Hi I have read so many articles related to tiered link building. few people say not good few people say not effective

    Just wanted to ask if tired link building is still effective and helps to rank?

  167. Hi Nathan,

    Thanks for the awesome lengthy guide. This is very useful for niche bloggers as they always look for building links that are safe but will give the best results. After reading this awesome piece, I’m making up my mind to follow these tips or techniques for building the safest and most effective backlinks for my new niche blogs.

    Thanks once again! Keep up the awesome work! 😀

  168. Thanks Nathan. This is great insights especially for agency like us who is helping clients to increase their online presence. Will follow regularly now.

  169. So much in-depth news and research in your articles. I finish one and find myself at the bottom of a next one. One thing that interests me is using 301’s and one of your above responses to Ron answered my question about them. Your article section on Footer links is good too – these little details can carry a lot of weight. What are your thoughts on link location on a web page? Without putting too much variables to the situation – a top portion link is better than a bottom one correct?

  170. Thanks a lot Nathan. I just started on my journey on SEO and it’s been a while i have been wandering here and there for a strategy to build backlinks and your topic has helped me a lot with it.
    Cheers

  171. Hi Gotch,

    It’s so long article but the content make the reader stay as long as you want. I have any questions to you.

    1. How many words you basically write an article?

    2. About the social profiles. If we only make many social profiles in various sites but we are not write any contents into it, is the method still drive us great position in search engine like google?

  172. Thank you Nathan for your insight on best seo practices. I have started working on my site; would you recommend bookmarking and profile building as a good way to get back links.

  173. Hi Nathan, this post is amazing I learned a lot of things reading this, I had to take notes in my notebook for remember the information. Thanks 🙂
    And I have a question, Do you think that his techniques work in the same way for the spanish public? or maybe I have to take a different approach?
    Bye and Cheers

      1. Hey Nathan me again :p, I have another question, with wich frecuency I should do the backlinks to my site, maybe start with 1 to 3 in a day o what do yout hink about this?

        Cheers

  174. Hi Nathan. Thank You for this useful blog post. I just starting a new Website and it’s not easy to know the good strategies in 2016. We don’t want to be penalize by Google.

    Continue your good work.

  175. Hy Nathan,

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog related to backlink. As I am also learning SEO, but I was stucked on many information. Thanks to you now I have got some useful ideas to improve the site I am currently working. I look forward to expect many more great ideas about latest techniques to rank a site from you.

  176. Hi Nathan,

    Great blog you have here it is really helping out!

    I have one question about blog comments though.

    Should I use my name or brand for the anchor text?

    For example “Conner” or “Poker5” when commenting?

    Are the comments less likely to get accepted if I use my brand name as opposed to using my real name.

    I would love to hear your personal take and suggestions on this.

    Please send me an email if you can.

    Thanks,

    Conner.

  177. This is one of the posts I will call complete guide to backlinks building. Its really a so long article with full resources. Thanks for taking time out to write this wonderful post.

  178. The article is well describe and all the information are valuable for doing seo , but sometimes some of the error are not fixed in Google Page speed insight , but once if all the error are fixed its quite good for doing seo .

  179. Hey GOTCH,
    Thanks for your post man.
    I want to know a little thing about blog comment.

    I know the way to comment on a blog/article. But should I choose relevant sites/articles to comment? I think it’s not necessary. But want to hear from you.

    Thanks.

  180. nice stuff Gotch 🙂

    Do you recommend to tag nofollows rel to
    1) lightbox/ popup images
    2) Terms, Privacy webpages
    3) mailto and tel links?

  181. what a superb article on link building techniques. brilliant!! i specially loved those two xls files where you added huge number of some superb links. hats off for you Nathan. 🙂

  182. Nathan, you briefly every aspect of SEO.

    Most of the techniques, I forgot and get back again and thank you for this.

    I’ve bookmarked you site now and hope to learn more and more from you.

  183. Hi Nathan,

    Its very interesting and useful for newbie like me…I have almost more that 200 content in my blog and thinking every day, why I am not getting traffic, now only I came to k now the importance of the SEO backlinks…thank you so much

  184. Hi Nathan!
    It was really a nice read. I must say, the post is very thorough and brief. Everything up to the mark.
    As you talked about Web 2.0 method and being it shady, I was scared a bit because I’ve been using that technique to rank for low competition keywords. For me that technique has worked wonders and I would recommend it to others ONLY if they don’t mind losing site 😛
    Thanks for this amazing post!

  185. Hi Nathan Gotch,

    Thank you for your valuable information I am following you on each post. Still I have a doubt My new domain name is REMOVED and this is getting back links up to 43,346 from REMOVED anchor text is REMOVED

    is this effecting my ranking…?
    can my domain have this much of links from a single domain ?

    Thank you

    1. Hey Ravi,

      Thanks for the comment. I’m not sure, but I recommend you avoid site-wide backlinks with keyword-rich anchor text.

      * I removed your URL (don’t share your niche to the public!)

  186. Nathan,

    What a wonderful tutorial on building tier backlinks. I’m actually applying this method to my sites right now, and it has been proven to work! Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge.

  187. Thanks for great article.

    Any thoughts for non-english segment of Internet?
    E.g. for Russia. Some services mentioned here are not good for SEO in this country.

  188. Great information thanks I work in web development & internet marketing and still learned a few extra tips here! I was curious from your experience do you recommend buying expired domains personally as a strong SEO tactic. I’ve heard various opinions on this. Once a domain transfer occurs will it’s link value diminish a lot or no? Any insight you could offer would be great thanks….

  189. Hi Nathan
    i have 2 question:

    1- how can i reduce it by some techniques ?

    2- how much does it takes for backlinks to do effect? 3 months ?

    thanks for your answer

  190. Thank you for the great read. I have gone over this, including other of your great articles, a couple of times as a references. I have a few questions. I have acquire a revelent domain from GoDaddy.com that has good DA, PD, CF, and TF. Do you recommend I use 301 to redirect it to my site or setup up the website as a different company and add a link or two to my site?

    Also, if I do the second option, should I use a different hosting company or will I be okay with doing this with the same hosting provider?

    Lastly, if I find another highly relevant domains with a good DA, PD, CF, and TF, do you recommend I do the same?

    Thank you

  191. Hello Nathan Gotch, It was a great post and a worth reading. My website is just few months old, and I am fighting really hard to reach in top rankings. But despite of trying hard, nothing happens… Till now, to be frank, i haven’t received any organic search, rather than traffic from facebook. Any Idea how i can improve. My website is https://www.bookletofhealth.com Thanks in advance.

  192. Hi I have question suppose I’m creating a web 2.0 link to any keyword so the question is each time i have to create a new blog for creating backlink to the new keyword to get EMD for the keyword or I can post it on the blog I have used previously. waiting for reply.

  193. Awesome post! I usually take my time to subscribe..but it is the first thing I did after reading this post Nathan. Comprehensive yet not crazy tech heavy to just go over my head… 🙂

  194. Hi Nathan,
    Awesome stuff as always!
    I have created a network of 10 blogs(WP, blogger etc) and I write unique content to these blogs and create links from here to my site, is this a good strategy or no?
    Thanks

    1. Thank you!

      Web 2.0s are on the riskier side of link building tactics. I can’t say whether it’s “good” or not because I don’t know the results you are getting.

  195. What is your perspective on Money Robot Submitter SEO software? Apparently, it is very powerful since it simulates human behaviour and it has a unique article spinner. My only caveat is that google has developed a system that can pick up spun content which can be damaging to a website.

  196. Hi Nathan

    Great post. I will keep reading your posts and articles.

    You helped understand better the mistakes I made previously for which I am still paying after 2 years.

    I have 2 questions if it is ok for you.

    Does the disavow tool work in your opinion? I used it 2 years ago but there are not significant changes.

    In case of algorithmic penalty and with no improvements after 2 years spenr to improve content and avoiding bad backlinks, would you try to recover a website or build a new one with a new domain?

    Thanks a lot and sorry if these questions are kind of basic

    Gio

    1. Hey Giovanni,

      Thanks for the comment.

      In my experience, no it doesn’t work. You need to get the links removed. Build a new one for sure.

      1. Thanks a lot!

        This answer is kind of striking me because I was expecting the other answer but I will for sure follow your advice.

        Actually I asked for a precise answer on this issue for more than a year and only you finally gave it me, many many thanks, I really appreciate.

        Only a last question: would you de-index the site presumably penalyzed and transfer the content as it is with some restyling or re-write the content from scratch?

        Thanks again!

        Giovanni

  197. Hi Nathan, Thanks for this wonderful post about how to create backlinks for your website, You covered every aspect about to creating good & authority backlinks. Good One Nathan. I have question In my mind, Can so many sitewide links hurt my website ranking or not ?.

  198. Thank you Gotch SEO. First site I have come across that provides a thorough, easy to understand, real information that really did educate me and my team. With all the will in the world there is no way self starters in the online market could ever get such a big steer as to the Do’s and Dont’s. in this magical world of SEO. The 4Locum team will be knocking on your door to use some of your services as we get used to the terminology and services available. Signed up for a number of the tools already. Lets hope the fog dissipates now we are armed with your insights.

    Really appreciated and if you are able to email us any updates or a ny other gems that could assist our Medical Job Board then we would value your input. THX

    David Mattock
    4Locum

  199. Good stuff! It’s funny how many bloggers out there are still promoting the benefits of high DA directory sites as if that is a huge step toward the end-all, be-all of the Google juice funnel. I just watched a video by Matt Cutts and he basically says that most directory sites (not to be confused with citation directories) are not only a waste of time and money, but can get you slapped. He did say that Dmoz , Yelp and a few others still matter but, the rest are just an exercise in futility. He also says the days of article directories such as Ezine and others have been put to rest as well.

  200. Excellent post! I’ve got my on page SEO on point for a few of my keywords (gone up two pages in about a week!!), now for the off site. I took a lot of notes and now have the beginnings of an off page strategy. Thanks! 🙂

  201. Hi Nathan,

    Thanks for the detailed guide on building links the right way. I know there are article directories which are not good for SEO, but having said so, there are still some article directories with good PA, DA and trustflow metrics such as articlebiz.com , articlesfactory.com and streetarticles.com

    I usually avoid article directories but any chance the ones i have mentioned above can help in the rankings?

    Awaiting Reply,

    Muneeza

  202. thank you for your post , this post is detail . I have a question for you . I read your post and check my site I see my site have 16 links broken . Reason: I set Schedule for my articles so It made broken links. What need I do to solve them?

  203. Hi Gotch,

    Nice post and very helpful. I am newbie to SEO and i would really appreciate if i can have your help in my journey to SEO.

    What i think of SEO and how to approach the right way.

    1. Have your website crafted based on user experience and give importance to tagging, meta tag, description, sitemap etc…
    2. index your url on local search engines.
    3. Blog relevant and use anchor text linking to the relevant pages.

    Am i going good so far.. What are the next 3 steps i should follow. what did i miss and what more should i focus.

    I would like your help with 3 steps at a time.

    Appreciate your help in advance.

    Albert

    1. Thanks for the comment Albert.

      1. Tagging and META data is at the bottom of the priority list. These are small changes that will have little impact on your results. And if you are referring to Tags for your posts, don’t use them. Tags do nothing, but create duplicate content.
      2. You can’t get organic traffic if your site isn’t indexed, so yes that’s technically right
      3. I recommend you read this: https://www.gotchseo.com/anchor-text/

  204. Hey there, I was wondering, on a scale from 0 (Google will never know) to 10 (extremely risky), how risky is it to hire a writer for the Huffington Post or cnn.com and have them put a follow link in a niche relevant article?

      1. And would it raise any red flags, if the very first backlink that hits a site is already a high DA (like 88) with a higher trustflow (like 57)? As in, a brand new site wouldn’t be able to score such a high quality backlink.

        1. Why would a high-quality, trusted backlink raise red flags? You will never get penalized for getting quality links unless you over-optimize your anchor text.

  205. Thanks for such an informative post. i need one other info. How can we easily find good PR sites for blog commenting? Because most of the sites have comment moderation and they won’t approve our comments with links. waiting for your reply.

    1. PR isn’t a metric you should be using anymore and blog comment links will do nothing for your rankings. The purpose of blog comments is to A) build relationships and B) maybe get some referral traffic. Focus on higher level link acquisition and stop wasting your time on “easy” techniques. Most importantly, read the guide you just commented on 🙂

  206. Hi Gotch
    Do you find that Web 2.0 link building has any effect in 2016?
    On another note, I’m glad you mention business directories. I wrote a guest post myself for another website and a couple of SEOs who read it seem to think that this is an outdated technique.
    I tried to explain that it shouldn’t be your only method of link building, but if you build the entries manually and add in as much detail about your business as you can they can be very powerful, as you say, especially for local SEO.

    1. Hey Paul,

      Thanks for the comment. Web 2.0s work, but are risky. As far as directories, using them as an isolated technique won’t get you results.

  207. Re : Blogger Outreach Service
    I am interested in using this service. My site already has over 300 backlinks but they are of low quality and didn’t do anything to my ranking. Highest PA is from Articlebase (35). The rest are in the teens. How will this outreach service help my ranking?

  208. Nathan, thanks for such a great article. Its the best guide I have ever came across for link building. I have been following Brian Dean for his link building techniques but your article is just superb.

    I checked my own site and for duplicate content it showed me lots of duplicated content on various pages of my site. So I am going to fix that first and will follow your guide one all technical issues are fixed.

    Thanks again

  209. Nathan, Thanks, it is commendable for the kind of efforts you have put in , writing this post. For me it is Fit to be a case of SEOpedia touching every nuances of SEO jargon in steps precisely.

  210. Hi Nathan,

    I’m just wondering, if I’m a local business targeting many countries, does building citation in one city affect my chances to rank internationally? Or does it just increase my local search ranking with no effects on the international ranks?

    Thanks!!

  211. Great post and i hope it will definitely helps me to make my site relevant and effective. Also these backlinks technique are pretty awesome ways to drive traffic snd learnt more about the Backlinks which i was very confused about this, now got clear only by this post. Thanks for sharing and keep updating.

  212. WOW! Nathan
    That’s really Great post. The way you compiled all the points makes it very easier to understand. Both Tier 1 & Tier 2 strategies were purely actionable and authentic. I’m feeling confident after reading your blog post. 🙂
    Keep up the good work!

  213. is directory submission really helpful or it degrades the website valuation. in my case i have seen degradation by directory posting. my website is a month old, how much backlink should i make.

  214. Hey Nathan, there are a few websites I end up (non-english content) with very few or even no backlinks and ranking well. In this scenario, is it better to have no backlinks or some relatively risky backlinks to compete with these pages?

  215. Awesome article, although to be honest it has made me even more hesitant to the whole back-linking routine. The amount of time, effort and hustling required for just one high quality backlink from a guest posting can be astounding.
    What is your opinion about link building packages?

  216. Hi Nathan,
    Great article! I totally agree with your answer to Jan St. It’s not the amount of backlinks you create that matters, but their quality. I actually published two nearly identical websites to test this theory. I managed to get about 50 lower quality backlinks for the first website, and only 10 high quality backlinks (.edu, .gov) for the second one. And guess what? After a few months, the second website is ranking much higher on Google although it has 5 times less backlinks! This goes to show how important it is to target the right websites during backlink building campaigns.

  217. Could you shed some light on article marketing? Do they still work? I’m thinking the really old article directories such as ezinearticles – they were penalized but would a good solid article there with a non-anchor backlink be worth anything?

  218. Good article, Nathan.
    Just to mention that have good friends with blogs or business is one of the main link sources.
    Like everyhting in life, to have contacts is simply the best.
    Congratulations for the post!

  219. Thank you for sharing this information. I will use this now to create my backlinking strategy.

    Think I’ll also create a diagram to explain easier to my clients and my bosses about what back linking is and why we do it.

    Great stuff.

  220. Sorry, even though my English is not good but I try to read your article with the aid of translation. Very interesting considering I could learn the tools of explanation sreamingfrog from your article and learn more how good backlinks. Thanks for sharing useful information.

  221. Hey Nathan,
    Great write ups..Really liked the way you explained everything. I really like the way you explained how we should search the theme based sites.
    Thanks once again for sharing this wonderful post.
    cheers…

  222. Hi Nathan! Great and Valuable Article on SEO, including tips for every SEO technique, free SEO tools dos and don’t and great and concise explanation for every topic. Thanks for Sharing!

    1. <