17 Creative Link Building Ideas : Please Add Your Own

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For a follow-up to the post on link-building techniques, I’ve decided to take some articles off of my compilations for creative link-building ideas on the Search Marketing Wiki. I hope you enjoy these ideas for more and more are coming — Feel free to add any ideas you feel relevant in the comments field of this post and I will add them to the Search Marketing Wiki. I am constantly combing the web for more ideas, feel free to let Search Engine Journal and the iMarketingGuru wiki know of your ideas.

Here are the following top tactics to creative link-building:

  1. DO give as much away as possible – If you’re a designer, create WordPress, Mediawiki, Joomla, Drupal, Pligg and other highly authoritative CMS solution themes. If you are a programmer/know a bit about how to code some cool gadgets/widgets, make a Firefox plugin, make Facebook Applications and iPhone applications.
  2. There are also various open source scripts and apps out there you may put your name on. There are the Firefox plugins and themes of course, but have you thought of Thunderbird plugins, SalesForce/vTiger/SugarCRM plugins, Feedburner add-ons, Del.icio.us. Add-ons and creating API-related widgets/tools?. Are you an expert on a given subject or niche?

  3. Submit guest posts at other blogs and network within the community of your niche — Grouping up with others results in higher levels of synergies concerning both linkability as well as monetization of your site(s). What about joining a site network or blog network and contributing content as much as possible? This Does work. Look at Engadget and the WebLogs, Inc. blog empire. Build up a lot of bad authors, slap on a brand with a whole lot of link building and networking = high advertising revenues and exponentially increasing levels of revenue.
  4. Aggregate all of the stories that made it to the front page on the Social Bookmarking Sites — Post them to your blog and resubmit remixed copies of them every 3 months or so while giving attribution to the original author. Wikipedia is also a great place to find great articles for submission to the social bookmarking sites — Just add a bit of viral social media content to the ideas found in the articles, and you’ve got yourself some SERIOUSLY authoritative content.

  5. The Amazon Book Review Trick (links & traffic) – Write reviews for all books in your industry in order to get your reviews out there very well (Make an “About Me” page, which includes your email or even something like “Webmaster of iMarketingGuru.com”). If the book has an amazing sales rank, your review will be read hundreds to possibly thousands of times a day. *Hint* Of course, there is that whole section of Author blogging with commenting systems on most after all…*Hint*
  6. Exploiting eBay for Traffic – Figure out a legitimate way to auction something that actually promotes your site. Have a gift certificate or store credit, or a sample product of some sort / lists of tips, etc. The second step is to get people to find your auctions. Use the eBay Marketing article for ideas…
  7. Do Co-operative advertising online with others – what about building links by riding the links of other authors through their newsletters or co-marketing to get more newsletter/blog subscribers.
  8. Promoting your website on the P2P File Sharing Networks — You can name it “Complete_Guide_To_SEO.mp3” or “Top_10_Secrets_to_SEM.mp3”. When naming, it’s important to remember that people will be searching using keywords, so you must try and incorporate those keywords into your title. (Get a list of all P2P Networks & just get your site names EVERYWHERE – spam these sites/networks if necessary (this is VERY black-hat, be wary))
  9. Become an Expert : Yahoo Experts, AskMe, ABuzz – New York Times, AllExperts.
  10. Free “Radio” Advertising… Online Submit your music requests on behalf of your URL once to several times per day. For a pretty comprehensive listing of stations on the internet, visit Internet Radio List. Get your URL out there as having the song requested by the staff of yourdomain.com
  11. An Interesting “Twist” on Message Board Posting (Stories on Publicly Traded Companies) If you have an article or idea on your site, especially a TIMELY article or idea, that relates even indirectly to the operations of an important publicly-traded company, you can post a brief note, including the page’s URL, to the Yahoo! Finance/Google Finance message board under their ticker symbol. You can also post this to Raging Bull.
  12. Get interviewed on podcasts, the radio, TV and various venues including print and web content. — Get as many links as possible from these sources for extra link love.
  13. Exploit the Corporate PR Agencies and PR depts. – All major corporations have PR people devoted to combing the web for positive (and negative) mentions of their company. Most of their web sites have press centers or press rooms. If you target large, reputable companies, you can incredibly increase your PR. This will result in both traffic and more links — Just have the content on your site to support this affluent traffic. Publish book reviews, product reviews, etc. –> Manufacturers, software companies, authors and publishers will generally consider posting a link to positive reviews.
  14. Courtesy Website Reviews Visit & critique a few of the sites these sites have listed for review, and then submit your own URL to be reviewed. Coder.com, Critics-Corner.com, SiteOwnersForums.com. Followed by this tactic, you should visit the webmaster forums and review sites in exchange for even more reviews of your site. The DigtialPoint forums are excellent for this as well as Sitepoint and all other forums dedicated to Webmasters.
  15. The eBay Leveraging Idea – The main idea: objects that get LOTS of attention on eBay: original Van Goghs, Lambourghinis, Paris Hilton/Celebrity memorabilia, houses in the most elite places in the world, etc. — Of course, most of us don’t own any of these items, but if you know someone who owns a Ferrari or any of the above item(s), hit him/her up (you could possibly even place ads of products you don’t own, for the products would NEVER sell – their only purpose would be publicity). He/she would likely let you try to auction it on eBay if you set the reserve at, say $1,000,000. You could then place your URL in the image prominently so as to gain more traffic — Anyone else have ideas on this tactic? I’m sure there are more creative inputs than this.
  16. Make your audience into Superstars — Start by doing profiles of the other webmasters and sites in your niche — Also, do biographies and profiles on the BIG names in the media in order to influence even larger people — Can anyone say, fan site networks solely created for links?
  17. Make’em laugh. Hire a comedian to do a great Youtube video. GIGMasters or Entertainment Unlimited may be a good place to look for someone. (This is in attribution to Trafficology.com)
  18. Give testimonials – If you have a favorite software solution you use or you love someone’s product/service, contact them, they will love to have a testimonial from you on their site (with a link back to your site of course). You can also do this for content developer sites who post great content and put up great information for their users.
  19. The list does go on and can be added to in the Link Building article on the Search Marketing Wiki — Feel free to give yourself link credit for your idea(s) and man, the list is a mess so try to keep it clean.

    Miles Price is the publisher of the iMarketingGuru Search Wiki and President of iCluck SEO Services, a Buffalo, NY based search marketing firm.

Miles Price

Miles Price

Miles Price is the publisher of the iMarketingGuru Search Wiki and President of iCluck SEO Services, a Buffalo, NY based search marketing firm.
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  • Great list, I think you started with one of the best items on the list. I have tried to find unique ways to give away some links, and it is always appreciated.

    I added a footer that is just for links to other articles from my reader, it worked great. Scott

  • Interesting ideas, but have you actually tried all of them out? If you have, how did they fare?

  • Great List! I had a eureka moment with#9. Thanks!

  • That is a comprehensive list! This gives me a lot of new things to try. Thanks Miles.

  • Great list, thanks for sharing it 😉

  • Nice post! There’s a couple of points the same but I wrote a post about 5 outside the box linkbuilding tips and tricks here which I think is relevant:


    In particular, I love Patrick’s tips for using image hotlinking for link building.

  • How about some inexpensive paid sites such as http://www.naymz.com or linkedin.com there are a ton of these around – anyone have anymore of these websites?


  • Love these ideas. Going to start playing with these. Thanks for posting them.

  • Awesome post! Definitely a lot of ideas I had yet to think of!

  • I really appreciate this list, and the other information you give for small businesses like mine. As an SEO outsider, I merely aspire to understand many of these. However, having read your suggestion about Amazon reviews — and since I am a “Vine voice” — I hied myself over to Amazon and switched to my real name for reviews and added my URL. Is that all I need to do? Well, I mean, along with reviewing all the books in my field. Is it a negative that I have previously reviewed scads of books outside my field? I’m being so bold as to ask you these questions because your previous commenters haven’t asked many questions, contenting themselves with just saying how great you are (and you are), so you might have free time to consider my questions. I would certainly be grateful.

  • Excellent websites to check out CD reviews before you purchase.

  • Excellent website to check out CD reviews before you purchase.

  • Excellent website to research Book reviews.

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  • Great post. Really good information. Thanks for sharing.

  • i think that paid blogging works quite well. especially if you get onto some good blogs, that understand the things you have listed. You can get some really viral results.

  • I don’t agree with this one “Aggregate all of the stories that made it to the front page on the Social Bookmarking Sites ”

    What you mean to say is “Steal all of the stories that made it to the front page on the Social Bookmarking Sites because you’re not smart enough to write your own content”

  • I like the idea of promoting an MP3 or PDF on P2P networks. That’s pretty guerilla and smart.

  • Really liked the “give as much away as possible ” sparked a few new ideas for me.

    Everybody loves quality free stuff!

  • Good read above!

    If you have a forum or frequent a forum come and list it on http://www.tvworlds.com in the “Forum Link Up” forum and tell the tvworlds readers something about the forum – this will create a backlink for you on the new forum that is run by the person who is one page 1 of Google for many seo related search terms.

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  • I created a new site, but has few person visit it to see they want to purchase, so i want to link exchange with you, or could you provid me some link exchange source. really thank you for your help in advance.

  • Great List. Really Interesting.

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  • You can also use LookupPage for link building. Read more on http://collinlahay.com/2008/08/14/link-building-with-lookuppage/.

  • Most of the Link Builders are continue to study and explore the other new things and techniques where they can put their efforts for Link Building…

  • Great information thanks heaps

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  • Nearly clicked away from this article as 2 years old…but read on. The points are still great. Been looking for different ways to link build and the same stuff is usually repeated on all blogs etc. This is still original, 2 yrs on.

  • Lawrence

    We have always been looking at ways to build new and exciting linking campaigns and PR online. I think this article has some great ideas for our luxury safari holiday website!

  • I created a website that acts as an ideas directory for various topics. If you’d like a free back link, simply post an idea related to your website.. simpla as that. IGGIFY.com

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  • This article is really helpful for me… Thanks a lot.
    And I have a character encoding problem with my site.
    Can anybody help me… The document is XHTML transitional and the contents are in Japanese.

    Thanks in advance.

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  • It seems that a lot of people underestimate the power of press releases for SEO. I personally think SEO press releases are much more effective than the traditional press releases. A carefully crafted press releases can rank higher for keywords in Google search and Google news

  • Fantastic List,

    Thanks for sharing

  • Fantastic List,

    Thanks for sharing

  • Yogesh pandey

    I personally feel that for performing link building activity for your website, you have to be very innovative in your ideas and communicating it online.
    A credible link building is only possible if you have the capability to use each and every idea presented in the article in a communicative way .
    Linking from a content is always better and this way you are helping the readers to view a credible website of their use.

  • Great ideas! I`m positive that those practices can be classified as creating link building ideas, sadly most of them are going to work only for the clients that are willing to spend more for their SEO campaigns.

    Cheers, good article.