Three Ways to Build Quality Backlinks Without Guest Posting

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Three Ways to Build Quality Backlinks Without Guest Posting

This week, Matt Cutts made another announcement about guest posting being a bad way to build links.  People (including myself) have been warning about this for years. Whether it is the mommy and product review bloggers listing in “Media Kits” that  they are “PR Friendly” or the people who still allow article submissions – you have to be smarter with your link building strategies. You don’t have to be a huge brand with a ton of money to get links, but you do you have to be smart and creative.

Because you have a ton of technology that didn’t exist in the 90’s or early 2000’s, you can still build a ton of high quality links and rank your sites. Here are three different ways you can build backlinks that are high quality, relevant, inexpensive, and don’t require guest posting.

However, before I give these advanced link building strategies I want to go over quality content. Why because link building is based around having something unique, relevant, and high quality.

What is Quality Content for Backlink Purposes?

Quality content is going back to the basics of SEO.  It means providing an amazing user experience for everyone involved. Quality content is as simple as having an easy-to-use process for completing a conversion and finding information that people want to share. It adds value and gives actionable items without a ton of fluff or filler. It is also something that will appeal to and be informative to your user base, the person shopping, and to the journalists and bloggers that write for your industry’s trade publications and blogs.

Now think about how I defined quality content and look at how you can apply it to the three link building strategies below.

1. Building Backlinks with Video & Technology.

For the past two years, I have been using and now work with a company called Viewbix.  Viewbix is a customizable video player with over 20 interactive apps that let people sign up for your newsletter, shop through calls to action, or even stream YouTube channels through the video player.  When a Viewbix player is shared on sites like Facebook and Twitter, the majority of functionality remains in tact giving you increased exposure to everyone who follows or sees it in a newsfeed. This strategy helps you use video to build links naturally and effectively. However, this only works if you have an engaging and informative video (quality content) that people want to watch and share.

So, how does it work? Once you create a video, select the apps that are most relevant for the content.  For example, if your video is about Blue Widgets and you have a video series, an infographic, or sections about other uses for blue widgets you will want to reference these within the video as additional resources.

Once you place the video inside the player, you can use the YouTube app to stream other videos from your series so that people can see you are able to back up your knowledge with more detailed videos about the same topic.  Also, make sure you reference different episodes or resources on your website within the videos so people know where to find them.  Viewbix takes this a step further with their list app which lets you open the app midroll and display a link, description, and image to the exact locations you are referencing. If you don’t want to interrupt the video, you can set the list app to open at the end to display everything you referenced giving the viewers a way to find your resources, share them and hopefully link to them instead of your video.

What is the List App?

The list app lets you upload a list of images, descriptions, and trackable links to your video. By using the list app, you can link to the high quality posts you reference within your video, plus any infographics, or anything else you reference in the video. By having the list app open at specific times during the video, people can find the relevant pages and resources within your website if they want more information.

The last thing to remember is to make sure people can reach you. Your main call to action can be a button on the player that says “Buy Now”,  or you can include a phone number, contact form, or email link. Even better, add the Skype app so people watching the video (even on Facebook and Twitter) can call you through the actual video. The ability to get the attention of journalists and bloggers with the video and have a direct line of communication to you during or after watching the video is very powerful. This is why Viewbix is an amazing way to build backlinks with your videos. You can track, measure, test and then repeat the process to drive a ton of quality links if you do it well.  Viewbix has both free and paid versions, so I highly recommend you try them out.

2.  How to Build Backlinks with Webinars.


Everyone spits out webinars as a link building method, but I haven’t seen many people who are able to really make it work. An executive from a large company may be able to get a million people to listen, but to often when I hear someone higher up speak, it is a ton of fluff and means people are less likely to link to you. Instead, they link to the Executive or “Authoritative Voice” site, to your webinar sign-up form (on another site), or anywhere but your own url.  Use the big name to attract a lot of people, but also have people who work in the field for a living give actionable items while playing nice with the “Expert”. This will result in higher quality content that users will actually want to reference.

Things to remember for generating backlinks from Webinars.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using webinars generate quality backlinks:

  • Have actionable items people can take away with the resources existing on your website.
  • Host the description and information about the webinar on your site so as people share they come to you.
  • Make sure to have internal links to relevant resources on your site for the panel members to review before the webinar and be able to reference during it.
  • Have the webinar signup, listen, and download pages on your site.  If it exists on your site, when people share and link to it, you get the social signals and backlinks.
  • Remember to include social sharing apps on the webinar download page if it is different from the sign-up page.
  • Link to guides, resources, and infographics that reinforce topics from the webinar on your site from the sign up, listen to, and download pages. Do not include spammy content!
  • Include links when one of the resources on your site is mentioned so listeners can see them.
  • Make sure to mention your url, thank everyone for attending, and remind them when and where the recording will be available.

Webinars can be an awesome way to attract links.  By having an authoritative voice you can bring in bloggers, journalists, and listeners.  By having other panel members with solid experience to share actionable items you can get a lot of great follow ups and people referencing the webinar.  If they reference it or mention it, there is a good chance they will also link to it.

3.  Go old school! Building backlinks with traditional PR.


Remember in the stone ages when people read these magical things called books and magazines that were made from dead tree byproducts?  These paper things were a great way to get people to find your brand.  They would find you in magazines and newspapers and then pick up this other magical device called a land line telephone.  At some point there was a person called an operator that would connect you with the person you were trying to reach.  This could easily be the first form of SEO! How you can use this old basic model to build quality links back to your site?

Pitching newsites with bylines & article ideas.

In the past, appearing in these publications would bring more attention and drive more calls and foot traffic to your store.  In modern times, we call these visitors, links, and traffic. It’s really that simple. You either buy ad space in the publication or pitch an idea to a journalist to write about a topic and include you. Think about what traditional PR firms did before the internet and tie those practices back into your link building strategies.

Host an industry event or use direct mail.

Host an event and invite your local bloggers, journalists, and industry people. Send out affordable and relevant gifts.  Make sure they are eye-catching, unique, or somewhat insane like what Grasshopper did with their chocolate covered grasshoppers.  Having a creative PR and Marketing team that can work within a budget or no budget, or even getting a group of local businesses together could build enough buzz to generate interest and get a ton of high quality links.  You can do it online or offline, depending on your business.

PR isn’t dead.  It has become cliché mainly because everyone is copying everyone else and not always measuring KPIs or Metrics.  Find those unique and creative people and start listening to them.  They are usually hiding in a cubicle or are frustrated because other people get the attention within your company.  Kick the kiss ups to the side and let everyone share their creative ideas in an open and safe environment.  Your next PR pitch that could build a ton of high quality links could be hiding with the person who is ignored, sitting in a corner quietly and doesn’t get attention because they don’t speak up much. You may even consider a secret submission form where everyone submit their ideas and retains a second copy so when you pick the idea, only the right person can claim it!

You can take what Matt said with a grain of salt,  or ignore it (which a ton of people will do), or you can go back to the basics.  I prefer to go to the basics – which is building quality content that people will find engaging, want to share and link to. Once you have the quality content, create a sales or lead funnel that is easy to follow and find a way to get your information out there.

Closing thoughts.

Even if guest posting was dead, which I honestly believe it is not, there are plenty of other ways to build and attract high quality links to your site. Use technology to enhance your current marketing and help people discover the great content and resources available on your site.  If you do webinars, think about how you can incorporate the resources your site provides into the conversation. You also want to remember to go back to your basics. Sometimes using traditional and offline marketing is the best way to attract the right audience and get you high quality backlinks. Tradeshows, direct mail, and even standard media pitches are great ways to build buzz and drive high quality and authoritative links.

Images: Shutterstock

Adam Riemer
Adam Riemer is a long time online marketing veteran. With more than 10 years of experience in SEO, Ethical Affiliate Management, Adware and Theft detection... Read Full Bio
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  • Ivan


    Nice tips – I am particularly keen in good ol’ PR. They still work wonder – if you know how to do it.

    I also want to highlight pitching authoritative figures in your industry to mention about your brand in their next piece of publication. This can work… to assume, the hyperlink to the brand site should be tagged as “nofollow”, yes? Or not? Or…?

    Pardon my confusion above – it’s all soooo ambiguous, and Matt’s video does make guest posting eeeevillll (yes, many guest posts are spams and low in quality, but there are still gems somewhere.)

    • Adam Riemer

      That depends what your goal is. Do you need the link, not need it, do you need more no follows, etc… I usually let them decide. Letting the person writing decide or the site is the way to make sure everything is natural. I pitch the ideas and let them choose.

    • Jim

      You’re right Ivan. After Matt’s blog post on guest posting everyone wants to stay away of it .

      Also ​Google penalized all customers of GuestPost Shop – company that was bribing bloggers to accept their guest posts.

      So is obvious we have to go old school on backlinks. Go to events mee connect with people in the industry, approaching newspapers and magazines etc for quality backlinks,

      Huh, This come back to 2004 – 2005 makes me feel younger 🙂

      • Ivan


        Thanks for the link – well, we should all stay away from such network, I guess. But how about Ann Smarty’s MyBlogGuest? No bribing whatsoever involved, though…

        😀 Google has gone retro, I guess… It seems that they want us to go grassroot; to go back to the good ol’ ways of getting vote (a.k.a. link)

        Hmm.. should we just do (cough) link exchange – again – in any subtle forms? e.g. Hey, let’s exchange our expertise in a post, shall we – including some links inside – for attribution-sake 😉

  • Justin McGill @ Workado

    These are some great additional ideas. I had never heard of List App.

    • Adam Riemer

      No problem at all. List App is part of Viewbix and works great for me and some of my clients.

  • Cijaye

    Adam, its great to see an article from you along my morning discovery of whats new in our world. One thing about you is that you TRULY get it and have so much to offer beyond the basics – even when you are basing it all on fundamentals. When we last spoke (re: Lou Babs and Moogs) your value adds were so priceless that I walked away beyond impressed. Once again I will do the same. Take care!

    • Adam Riemer

      Thanks Cijaye. It’s great to hear from you again. I appreciate the nice words and am glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Kevin Choi

    I absolutely love how the article provides technical specifics about back links while holding strict attention to quality content. Guest posting has a historical reputation of being slightly spammy – even though guest posts are suppose to command some authority. Guest posting with an honest agenda, however, is powerful. The focus on quality content makes me think that websites using webinars and videos should keep their intention and motivations honest, instead of abusing them for link spreading. Guest posts and guest videos are pretty transparent and when the intentions are spam-like, and I sense that in the long-run everyone can see through it. Great post!

    • Cijaye

      Well said Kevin. Quality is quality. As long as that’s the mission – it can lead to great things no matter what the tactic. 😀

    • Adam Riemer

      Thanks and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I agree, if you can create quality content and you let people know how to find you, they will reach out and they will eventually link to you naturally which is what backlinks were originally intended for.

  • James Perrin

    Nice post Adam. I think you’ve added some great tips, but for me getting links should be the byproduct of creating good content, and having a good promotion strategy. Growing a social following with influencers and creating content tailored to their needs is arguably more effective than just creating content for a link.

    • Adam Riemer

      Hi James,

      I agree 100%. Once you have the good content, you can always help to give the best possible options and create an experience for that content to be shared and linked to. That is the second part after you create it. How can I make it easy to reference and easy to share.

      Thank you again,


  • Preeti Kaur

    These are some amazing tips and thoughts. I had never heard or read about List App but it looks good for SEO. Will try to explore this option

    • Adam Riemer

      Sounds good. I love the product and use it on my own sites.

  • Thomas Zickell

    This is how I have been running my clients websites I wish I had more time for my own to be honest. However doing RCS more old-school real marketing is where I’ve always seen true ROI I admittedly am extremely lucky that I did not go the route of guest blogging because my writing skills are so poor.

    However I would like to put this out there don’t you guys believe that high quality guest blogging such as YouMoz is 100% legit?

    You’re doing somebody a favor by expanding their knowledge base on something you know quite a bit about. That’s how I’ve always seen very high quality blogs like the one I mentioned.

    I also think that if you follow a blog, and somebody new comes on and shares their information with you do get something beneficial from it most of the time. Obviously some people are much better than others however should not be the true determining factor?

    However like so many things in the search industry people abuse it kind of sucks that the saying “this is why we can’t have nice things” applies to the SEO industry now. because of the people who straight up abuse every thing given to them by Google I’m not talking about the people who actually put in hard work doing something to benefit the end user I’m talking about the guys that wanted just to a shoddy job and get paid for almost nothing.

  • Bradley SEO Marketing

    I like the idea of going back to “quality first”, but the whole idea that Google may frown upon guest posting/blogging really bothers me. If I have good information to share, and I find a venue where my voice is heard by an audience that appreciates the information, then I should be able to communicate without the fear that Google will slap my hand at some future point for promoting my own damn website (or my client’s).

    The argument circulating that guest posting/blogging is being abused and that “this is why we can’t have nice things” is infuriating. If a website is allowing poor content and spam guest blogs to be published, chances are good that their website will be penalized anyway for any one of Google’s myriad of guidelines. That’s like saying newspapers and news outlets should no longer allow op-ed pieces because it wasn’t generated by a “staff” writer. This further inhibits the world view expressed to the audience by the publisher, and forces a “my content only” scenario.

    I agree with your statement: “You don’t have to be a huge brand with a ton of money to get links, but you do you have to be smart and creative.” However, I would also offer that you should be able to offer your content to an audience that doesn’t already know how smart and creative you are.

    You hit a nerve with me… stepping off my soapbox. Good article!

    • Adam Riemer

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I also wrote this one about guest blogging which I think is relevant.

  • Csuccess

    Great article.

    My worry with PR is that even with the top PR sites, one runs an enormous risk of ode press releases being framed out to hundreds of really low quality sites . Now even if the links are no-followed, you still run the risk of the publisher stripping out anchors and linking back to you with your URL only.

    We have seen sites get smashed by Google because of this.

    Any thoughts on safeguards and also safe pr sites these days?

    • Adam Riemer

      Having the keyword rich links taken out and having brand links is a very good thing. You have to have a mix and the brand and url links are more “natural links” especially because they are how the author feels they should exist. The content in the site and post can also help to show relevance for the theme or keywords as well so I wouldn’t worry.

  • Rahul Thial

    “Quality content.” I agree that quality content is an important part of SEO. Moreover, the points you’ve explained are something I’ve never heard of. I learned something new from this post. 🙂

    • Adam Riemer

      Hi Rahul,

      I’m very happy you enjoyed the post. I have another one coming shortly with a few more strategies.

      Happy you enjoyed it!


  • Robert Antolin

    It depends on you and your experience, how do you build backlinks. If your method how to build backlinks is good then stick it and do what you did until now. Maybe you can add a few changes but not too much because it can have a negative effect.

  • karan

    Hi Adam

    Its an useful and informative article, after latest videos by Matt Cutts on article and guest posting i was wondering that is there any method left for creating backlinks, and after reading your article now i will try these tips.

    • Adam Riemer

      Hi Karan,

      Thank you. There are a ton of ways to build quality backlinks without Guest posting. I have another article I’m writing about ways to build links which I should hopefully finish in the next couple weeks. I’m writing it for this site as well so hopefully they will like it and publish it as well.


  • Joe Castro

    At some point Google will crack down / devalue links not based on the core value proposition of your business. E.g. Link Bait . How they do this exactly, I don’t know. But they will certainly try. If a link is a “vote” for what a site provides and webinars, videos, infographics, surveys etc. are not normally part of your core offering, why should Google count a link to that piece of link bait as an actual vote for your core offering? Answer, it shouldn’t.

    Tough call. But they will try. So for me, I’d advise trying to make the best content or service you can and to steer away from gimmicks . Some of the above are gimmicks. Not all.

    • Adam Riemer

      Hi Joe,

      Using video, hosting webinars, etc… can be content and relevant to your audience to enhance your site, provide more detailed instructions on how to use or get the most out of it or update users on industry trends. That is why people link to it. They are not gimmicks, they are forms of marketing and can be quality content that you work hard at to create great and to provide a better experience for your readers, customers or potential customers. This also helps to attract them to your site to bring in new business. This also attracts journalists, bloggers and media which can result in backlinks and shares.

      The videos and content you create can be used to enhance and educate about your core offering. I strongly disagree with your comment above about them being gimmicks. If everything is relevant and enhances your offering or helps to educate the visitor or your users, the links are well deserved, relevant and could be used to help you. If they are there for links only, not reinforcing the topics or use of your products, site or service, then yes it is a gimmick and should be devalued.

      I hope this helps clarify what I was talking about above.


  • Sagar Desai

    Hi Adam,

    Really an awesome article. After Matt Cutts Video release, i was thinking what could be the other ways to get backlinks. Your article really helpful for most of us. Looking forward to concentrate of all 3 ways you have described.

    Thank you!

    • Adam Riemer

      Hi Sagar,

      No problem at all. I have another post going live soon that features more strategies that you can use. I hope you come back to read it as well.


  • ahmed Allam

    Really enjoyed such new ways of marketing as old schools isnot effective now
    Thanks for sharing this

  • Sasha Stevens

    These tips sound great for websites that sell a product, conduct training maybe for blogs that are informative but what about services websites. What about the real estate industry? The main feature of our website is real estate listings, this is what visitors come to look for. Yes, we can do video tours of our area, video market updates, maybe even a video tour of the actual website ie. new listings but how do we use the asset of having all this listing information and market information and leverage that into these types of SEO?


    • Adam Riemer

      Hi Sasha,

      There are a ton of ways to build links with that type of content. With real estate you can create a full resource site instead of just your listings that can generate link bait. Think about talking about the local shops or food stores that carry local produce, creating recipes and why people would want to move there. Now you have a ton of link bait for local stores, local events and other places and can pass the traffic into your listings.

      I hope this helps,


  • Asif Mushtaq

    Thanks buddy to share nice knowledge… Thanks allot.. 🙂

    • Adam Riemer

      HI Asif,

      No problem at all. Glad you enjoyed the post.