Ask the Experts: Top 3 Link Building Strategies in 2013

Ask the Experts: Top 3 Link Building Strategies in 2013

Every inbound marketer becomes overfilled with joy when they see their website getting linked to from other quality sites. Getting links from authoritative websites is a very tough job. And link building is imperative for ranking for keywords like Toronto SEO. You'll need a good content strategy in order to earn those valuable links. Even though link building without content is possible to a certain extent, getting links from authoritative sites requires a creative strategy tailored to the specifics of the business.

So what kind of link-building strategies are going to work for you in 2013? We asked several industry experts this question. Let's hear what they had to say!


Ann Smarty

Owner of

Daniel Smulevich

SEO Executive @Verve Search

Jason Acidre

CEO @Xight Interactive


Vinny La Barbera

Founder & CEO of

Kim Tyrone Agapito

Industry Guides, Researches and Whitepapers

Joshua Titsworth

Analyst @Vizion Interactive


Michael Ramsey

SEO Manager @TechWyse


Ann Smarty - Twitter: @seosmarty

Ann-Smarty1. Guest post but do it right: Only high-quality guest posting works. Try doing second-tier link building as well but don't overdo:

2. Give away something for free. For example, photos! Nowadays everyone has a camera, so just start your own collection, host it n your site and invite people to use your photos for free. They will give links to you because it's awesome.

3. Evergreen content: Huge guides teaching your audience something. Make it really useful; re-package it into an eBook someone can download and take with them while traveling. Brand it well and enjoy your links coming. Tools like Viral Content Buzz are perfect to get an initial word out about your awesome guide. After that (if you did everything right), links and shares will be flowing on their own.

Daniel Smulevich - Twitter: @DSmulevich

Daniel Smulevich1. Link Bait
Google has improved in understanding which links are not real editorial votes, therefore as an industry we should progressively move towards link earning. Whereas deliberately provocative content will work well as link bait, it will not get you the right sort of attention. Think of interactive pieces that may not only interest, but actually be useful to your target audience and their influencers. Just remember that the visual aspect is often as important as the content.

2. Partnerships
You now know that you shouldn't build links for search engines, but for humans, so you should focus on links as source of relevant traffic and a way to get your brand in front of your target. Getting a sponsored feature on an online publication in your niche will cost you a fortune, so why not strike a deal to provide content they don't have the capability to produce. For instance, you may use one of your web developers to create interactive and customisable guides that take advantage of the publication's content and add value to them, and propose the magazine to publish them on their property.

3. Get Your Link Back
I'm finding an increasing number of sites with inbound broken links with TRAFFIC. Every site usually has a certain number of broken inbound links, however when they are hundreds or thousands 301-redirect them may not be ROI effective. You can set a custom report in Analytics that shows you the broken referral links that are leading people on your website, but they are given a 404 page (and then often bounce). Start with 301-redirecting just those links- this is precious traffic wasted! Click here to add this report to your Google Analytics:

Jason Acidre - Twitter: @jasonacidre

Jason AcidreGetting contextual links through content-driven marketing

Creating and publishing content assets on a regular basis is definitely on top of my list of most effective link building techniques. Given that the links produced through this method can surely add value to the site (in terms of business, SEO and branding perspectives).

It's also easier to get ton of quality links to a site if it has a massive resource of content, as the brand/site is seen to offer real value to its target audience, users, community and industry. Doing outreach (to get links and shares to content assets) is also far more sensible than the other types of pitches link builders do.

For more resources on link baiting, you can check out some of my old posts on how to do it:

Relationships, associations and collaborations

Relationship building has been very important in online marketing these past few years, particularly in building strong links. Some of the stuff that you can actually do to get high quality links from your industry peers are:

  • Regularly contributing content on their site (particularly on high-traffic publications in your industry), to continuously absorb traffic from them and to also build strong signals that can exemplify trust and authoritativeness in the field.
  • Getting your peers to write content for your site, which can help you build more natural links to your site (from them as well as from their followers).
  • Getting natural links from them, as they are more likely to use the content of their peers as a reference on their own works.

I think I have only two on my own list of best link building strategies to implement this year, although there's really a lot of techniques out there, I just like focusing on those that I believe that really work.

Anyway, if you're really interested to learn more about effective link building techniques, you can check out my recent post on how to get the links that really matter.

Vinny La Barbera - Twitter: @VinnyLaBarbera

Vinny La BarberaThere are many different ways to build a strong a link profile in 2013; however, the one that we at imFORZA have found to be the most effective and to hold the most longevity through all of the recent and possible future algorithm updates is through content marketing.

By producing quality content, preferably content that has a unique and creative angle on what's most relevant, and promoting that content through social circles and effective outreach, a company can garner lots of valuable backlinks in the short and long term.

The key to effective content marketing for link building though is to really focus on who the content is for. Once that target audience is determined, then the combination of useful, relevant information along with social promotion and outreach to the right influencers can be extremely powerful - and very effective.

Kim Tyrone Agapito - Twitter: @kimoftheworld

Kim Tyrone AgapitoBeing the first and thorough means a lot and content publishing for link building is no exception. But then again, what type of content? Try researches, whitepapers, and analyses – things that you would normally print out, edit, check and then submit to your professor or academe advisor; or pieces that can vie for a Pulitzer award should there should be a version of it on your niche. I might be exaggerating but achieving something close to that wouldn’t hurt. As a quick reminder, these are pieces that you would be PROUD to be attributed to you. These are materials that are hard to produce and consequently deserve to be linked at.

Get into News

With proper branding and anchor text (and of course content), getting your press syndicated by hundreds of websites can be a good thing. Just make sure you have a news item – something that calls for having a press release to begin with.

But the real gem in getting into the News is having a genuine and authoritative link. Think of CNN, BBC and all those new network acronyms. Yes, that could be a wishful thinking to many of us but Google regards news sites very highly, including those small, local and niche news sites with a lot lesser traffic.
Think of the fact that Google religiously screen and monitor what is indexed in, add that to today’s social nature of news = links and tons of referral traffic for you.

Timeless / Evergreen / Green Content

You certainly have heard of these types of content. These articles that could stand the test of time, content that would still be relevant, authoritative and linkable after a considerable number of Page Rank refreshes and algorithmic changes. Examples of these articles can be found on WiseGeek, eHow and to some extent Squidoo (often considered compressed or tweaked Wikipedia entries with a couple of BIG and UNIQUE POINTS or totally FRESH information).

Joshua Titsworth - Twitter: @joshuatitsworth

Joshua-TitsworthI don’t think there are any “top techniques” for link building this year. Since Penguin hit a lot of people had to change what they are doing. But the one common thing I’ve been working on is focusing more on getting the client better exposure/promotion. But, my three favorite ways of getting links recently are:

  • Use existing resources on the client site, or have them created to use for promotion. We’ve got a client who has an energy conversion calculator on their site. For most people that may not seem like something enticing, but we found some Q&A sites where people were looking for a way to do that online. It’s a quick, easy and legitimate way of dropping a link. What would be a good online resource potential customers would want? Build it, promote it, get links.
  • If you haven’t started building some social accounts to use for clients, start now. Social accounts that have a lot of activity on them have more push than those just created 5 minutes ago. Get the accounts created and start using them. You can always tweak and change the voice the accounts later to fit whatever need you may have. Actually use the account or get someone else to use it. Keep it general enough so it doesn’t get pigeon holed into any particular niche until you need it to be.
  • Make the product pages on the client site interactive. I could literally spend my entire paycheck at Not only are their products amazing, but the fact they take time to create videos for some of them being used and allow for customer photos to be uploaded is pretty cool. Customers are able to give direct feedback and share experiences, which is why if you think about going this route you’ll need to make sure the customer service team is top notch. I’m not saying to copy exactly what has done, but it’s a good example to look at to draw inspiration from. Not every niche is as social as theirs and not all will be willing to share photos. If you’re looking to create pages that spark interaction, make sure you know who the audience is you’re trying to communicate with.

Michael Ramsey - Twitter: @Moketronics

Michael Ramsey2013 is going to be an exciting year for SEO. (With the way this industry goes, what year hasn't been exciting?) Google is trying harder than ever to combat web/link spam, finally announcing that they're going to start paying more attention to some of the worst spammed search verticals.

  • It's impossible not to point to content as one of the most talked about link building strategies over the last couple years. Guest blogging has really taken off in particular. The thing is, “content marketing” is not new at all. The idea of publishing great content for users to reap SEO benefit has been one of the best options for a long time. Of course it's not always easy to come up with awesome content, and it's more important than ever to focus on quality. As some of the old, easy and spammy link building options start to fail more and more, strategies have to shift. If you write content that deserves value and deserves to rank, you're doing exactly what search engines want. It's a lot less likely that a post that says much the same thing as 50 others posted months ago on more authoritative sites will ever be of much use.Reworking great existing content into a wider array for formats is going to be particularly valuable. That amazing blog post could also be a video, podcast, deck, infographic or some other format will only increase the places it can be promoted.
  • Community building is also going to be more important than ever for promoting many sites. Certainly some situations aren't really appropriate or viable for building out an invested and active community, but in most cases it can work if carefully nurtured.As more people start getting involved in social media, sites like tumblr, social bookmarking recommendation engines, blogs or their own websites, they become sources of traditional links and social signals. The power of a community will push your content, promotions and website in general further.
  • Partnerships and other types of collaboration are also going to be huge. This of course ties into content marketing, but even beyond that there will be some great examples coming of unique ways for complementary websites to work together. This will be particularly valuable to SEOs working on small business sites. It makes perfect sense to reach out to similar businesses in geographic areas where they don't complete. Of course this can't just be a link exchange or wheel scheme. Instead, it will be content exchanges, cross promotions and other concepts that are beneficial to users as well as the sites themselves.

What do you think about link-building in 2013? Please share in the comments below!

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  • avatar


    A successful link building strategy is a vital part of your site’s SEO.
    The most common link building strategies that survive and are widely used by marketers and website owners currently include – broken link building, roundup posts and the skyscraping technique.

  • avatar
    Cheyenne Webster 


    I am currently working on our link building strategy and doing some research. I have an expert in the industry to interview but I am battling to work out the best way about it for SEO value.
    Please help?

  • avatar

    I have successfully used Facebook to promote my website and build links. With Facebook, you can reach specific targeted groups and stay in touch with those interested in your business. I want to utilize morke social platform but i don’t have a good knowledge in how to utilize twitter and other social platforms effectively.
    My Previous comment was posted without name sorry for this mistake.

  • avatar
    Shashank Bhattarai 


    I seriously not able to understand second tier link building strategy till now even if i read more blogs about it. Some where says giving push to second link to main site from social bookmarks or using 2nd tier for main site.. what is the exact one ??

  • avatar
    Christy Kunjumon 


    Hi All, I am extremely happy to see the response from all. I believe these link building strategies will help lot of link builders. (Y)

  • avatar

    If our blog is run on any of the popular Content Management Systems, we’ll already have an RSS feed. If we don’t, create one. If we do, burn it at so we can get statistics on our subscribers. For link building, it’s simple. There are sites out there that will scrape our content (stealing it without permission). When they do, make sure we get a link back by 1) including links to other pages on our site in our posts and 2) installing the RSS footer plugin for WordPress (adds a link to our blog after every post).

  • avatar

    Thanks for the great contribution Jason. I liked the freebies section. That really creates more traffic and build the audience.

  • avatar

    Awesome information regarding link building. Thanks for your advice and i think this will work

  • avatar

    Great article, and it’s work ( this page is on top 3 of google).

  • avatar
    Jitendra Vaswani 


    Amazing post Christy. Thank you for sharing this very insightful article with us.
    I like Ann Smart guest posting techniques. Guest posting should not be done to spam blogs or links. It should be done in proper way.
    Other experts in this post are SEO gurus, their methods are always helpful to webmasters.

  • avatar

    Hi Christy, thanks for sharing these tips. I think broken link building is showing more on the radar in 2013

  • avatar


    Hi Christy,
    You’ve done a excellent job on this article. Awesome information regarding link building. Thanks for your advice.Keep it up.

  • avatar

    Hello Christey, I have landed in this blog while traveling through the blog land. I am in this SEO field for last 7 years. As per my experience, I would like to include one thing – the latest link building strategies are such as content marketing, micro blogging, class C IP specific directories and bookmarking submissions, forum submissions etc. If you will do quality works then it is obvious that you will get good benefit! I like your post and tweet this to my followers. Thanks For sharing!

  • avatar

    @Ann Smarty in recent blog of matt cutts, he mentioned that now a days people are using guest author or blog in headings and that people should avoid this. He also states its has little value now because now people are misusing guest blogging activities.

  • avatar

    Very useful post, very informative regarding link building! But you didn’t add any part of social media, where I think social media is the most important part of current SEO situation

  • avatar
    Louie Sison 


    Good job Christy,
    Those were seven golded link building strategies from top ranked SEO personnel. One of my fave link building post so far.
    Currenltly, I get backlinks from my interview blog post series from the sites of people I interview and from their followers.
    God Bless,
    Louie Sison

  • avatar

    Writing and sharing the content that creates value for readers is the only source to drive visitors to your website. People love to read unique information. Create something new and share on your blog. The best way to drive traffic is writing the content on the topic which you know very well. You will see people are appreciating your knowledge.

  • avatar

    Really good post! Your post has given very valuable information. I am sure we want to implement all these valid points in to our Link building strategy.

  • avatar
    Shawn Gossman 


    Great blog and great strategies on link building. I especially like the one about writing guest blogs and giving something away for free. I am a photographer myself and I might consider taking photos and giving away stock images online. 🙂

  • avatar

    Since the update of Penguin, i think all the aforementioned points are equally important for link building.
    Good share! Thanks!

  • avatar
    Christy Kunjumon 


    Hey Jason, Thanks for your valuable views! & it seems everyone find this very useful. Let us implement all these valid points into our Link building strategy.

  • avatar

    This highlights the relevancy of the quality links and content . Strategies mentioned here are very much effective, especially after post penguin.
    Great work Christy 🙂

  • avatar

    I vote for Ann & Mike.
    Guest Post is valuable, but do it right. Well said Ann!

  • avatar

    Great post Christy! So content is still the king and it’s not that easy to have a relevant content because it requires knowledge on what’s happening in and around the industry. Content writers just can’t simply do it!
    Ramsey, looks like you are always thinking of creating unique content 🙂

  • avatar

    Since the Google has tighten their efforts to catch up low quality and irrelevant links, finding an effective link building method is very important.
    Very informative one, Thanks!

  • avatar

    It is already proven that guest blogging with quality content can survive the penguins.As a white-hat link building method, Guest blogging will be on the top for the coming years also.
    Christy, Great job..!!

  • avatar

    I have successfully used Facebook to promote my website and build links. I tried other methods, like Pinterest and Twitter, but they did not work for me. With Facebook, you can reach specific targeted groups and stay in touch with those interested in your business.

  • avatar

    Thanks for the opportunity guys! And really glad to be part of this post 🙂

  • avatar
    Michael Ramsey 


    I look kind of crazy in that picture. O_o
    Glad we got such great people to contribute!

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