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A Short But Very Useful Guide to Finding Good Link Opportunities in 2012

Finding Good Link Opportunities

Links are still the currency of the web. In spite of the many changes to search engines algorithms and the way the search results are now gathered, displayed and sorted, it is safe to say that links are the only thing that is still constant. Your website needs them, no matter what. Full stop.

Having said that, and contrary to what many may still claim, some linking methods are dead and gone now. It’s nothing new in the SEO world though. Many good link building methods have become obsolete since I started my career in SEO many years ago. Some of the new ones we’ve found are now long forgotten too.

Google and other search engines are becoming smarter at spotting links built only for SEO purposes. Take web2.0 profiles. They used to be so easy to build. You would put up a profile with only the basic information and bam, the link juice was flowing. Today, if you do not keep the profile alive and do not engage in the community, eventually the link will lose whatever strength it might once have.

And, then there’s the whole social aspect of the web today. That’s something I don’t even want to go into in this post.

So what’s still working? Definitely guest posts. In content links are in my humble opinion the best type of a back link you can possibly build to your site. Pair them up with good and relevant content that will actually rank (no spun stuff here people, that doesn’t work anymore) and you have a recipe for a winner.

Press releases, as they partially fall into the same category as guest posts. Expert interviews, some of the link directories, especially the ones related to your industry also offer some good opportunities.

But how do you find them then? Well, if this is something you struggle with, here is a short guide to get you started.

1. Use search queries

Search queries are probably the easiest way to find great link building opportunities. They allow you to quickly discover sites that can potentially accept your content or allow you to place links, whatever you are looking for. Here are some of the queries you could use:

The opportunities are practically endless here.

TIP: Install either SEQuake or MozBar browser extensions to be able to quickly go through the results and pick the sites that offer the best link strength.

2. Flick through social networks

Social networking sites are a great source of great link building opportunities. You could build relationships with other bloggers and website owners there, relationships that can later result in swapping guest posts, your product or website reviews and more.

Moreover, you can build great links using the power of social media outside of your immediate circle. Posting up competitions, free reports and other free resources usually results in getting at least some links, especially if you manage to interest people enough to write about your stuff on their blogs.

3. Fire off Link Prospecting Tools

You could also use link prospecting tools to fully automate the process and do not have to worry about link queries etc. Such tools are designed to search through the web, according to whatever way you set them up and find good link building opportunities.

Link Prospector, a new tool by Gareth French of Citation Labs, probably one of the best link builders in the world, is one example of such tool. Created by someone with hands on experience, this software allows you to find thousands of good linking opportunities, from guest posts, press releases to interviews opportunities and more in a matter of minutes through a fully automated process meaning that all you need to focus on is the link creation, not research.

Building links is still one of the main activities when it comes to organic promotion on the web. Social networks might be posing a threat but personally I don’t think they will be able to eliminate link building entirely.

The fact is though that because of their influence, building back links today is a more complex activity than a couple of years ago. And, in order to be successful at it you first and foremost need to understand what works and what is an obsolete strategy in 2012.

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