Even though Google is fully committed to AI with RankBrain, link building remains incredibly important to get good positions. Only that 'begging' for links or a link exchange is a typical activity that you would rather outsource. Fortunately there are other ways to build beautiful links, either unknown or surprising. Varying from simple to spicy, here are 12 unusual tips for link building.
Matt Cutts from Google said it in 2014, and in March 2016 Andrey Lipattsev (Search Quality Senior Strategist) said it in a Q&A with Google about the two most important ranking factors: "Content. And links that point to your website."And okay, Gary Illyes (Chief of Sunshine and Happiness, really his official title) also said it in November 2016:"Ranking without links is really, really hard.”So if you don't want link building yet outsource, and you don't want to email strangers with link requests, what can you do?
Internal links count just as fast
Google makes no distinction at all between external and internal links. Search on your desired keyword + company name and link from your first page. Example: "Content marketing + flourishing" first gives my own page about B2B content marketing in Google, perfect to support a page about content marketing only.
Ask for your network
As an entrepreneur you have all sorts of physical connections: suppliers, customers, sector and network organizations and charities that you sponsor. Make it digital. See if they already link to you on their site. If not, ask them personally the next time you see them. And then send them your desired link by email.
Write a testimonial
In a testimonial you as a company share a positive experience with another company. Every time you engage someone, you can also write a testimonial that they would like to post on their site. With link.
Do an interview
From whom in your industry do you really want a link? Interview that entrepreneur or the director. Ask sharp questions, process the feedback completely and post the interview online with a photo. That guarantees you a link and attention via their social media, and perhaps a newsletter.
Greediness is entertaining and therefore provides links. Think of a funny fake product or a very strange news item. Keep it decent and not offensive, let at least two others look at it. Send a press release at the end of March to relevant news sites in your area.
Wikipedia is managed by volunteers who often deal with over-zealous online marketers who link spam. So first build a profile: improve a number of pages on topics that you really know a lot about. Then look up this tool (Wikigrabber) what broken links there are on your topics. Where would a reader be happy from a link to your content?
Interview specialists with one good question
"What is your tip for ... " or "What do you think the trend is for ...”You send that one question to the specialists in your industry. Start with the low-hanging fruit that definitely wants to work with it. Call the specialist you really want and call his or her name with the others. The content that you produce with this (fairly easily) will certainly be linked again by those specialists.
Otherwise invite yourself
Are you such a specialist but are you not listed? When you see that, respond immediately. Send them a unique answer that complements the piece well, and you too are in the list. With backlink of course.
Meetup with bloggers
Go to Meetup.com, sign up and search for Meetups with the word “blogger” in your area. You will find bloggers in your region that you can get in touch with through Meetup. You will find typical bloggers about food, design and fashion. Go to the Meetup and get to know them. What can you do for each other?
Day in and day out there is news. Often general, and there is still no translation to your industry or situation. Do you see an angle? Write a good credit article about it and distribute it with photos and links to your site. Yes, this is a challenge, but it also provides extra benefits. Example: what will the GDPR mean for freelancers?
Create a free job bank
This is indeed a piece of work. But once that job post is on your site and people in your industry know how to find it, then you will get job postings. And they will of course also promote this, for example by linking to it.
Image with link obligation
The image above comes from Pixabay.com and I then edited with Picmonkey.com. Both are free and for commercial use. I do have all rights to this image now. But you can do it here from Flickr.com retrieve and use provided that you place a link to my site. With this you get fully automatically relevant links to your site. Search the image in Google Images regularly and mail the people who use your image without a link. And yes, this tip really works. Go for images that represent a commonly used concept.