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How to Get Links

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Old 12-16-2009, 07:10 AM
bholus10 bholus10 is offline
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Default How to Get Links

This may seem like a pretty basic topic for an article, but have you ever really thought about this question? How do you get links to your website?

It is no mystery to the experienced website owner that links are the lifeblood of getting your website discovered by web surfers. It is rare that a surfer will just randomly type in your web address into their address bar, most new website visitors will discover your website from another website, whether that be a search engine, directory, or just a regular website that links to you.

Since links are the lifeblood of traffic, getting links should be one of the most important aspects of your promotion. Looking at how some of the most successful companies do it, we can learn a lot about building thousands of links in a short amount of time.

The Basics - A Quick Hit

I'm not going to waste your time by regurgitating information that has been written about in hundreds of other articles. There are certain link building methods which every website owner should know about. These are quickly looked at below.

Article writing is probably the most effective method for generating a lot of links in a short amount of time. Article writing is not only beneficial from a link standpoint, but it also gives you an opportunity to sell your expertise to potential clients - without them feeling like they are being sold.

Link exchanges, although once extremely popular, have lost some of their luster within the past year. Although I have not seeing any definitive proof to say that search engines penalize

link exchanges, some people claim that the search engines are not fans of link exchanges. Overall the link exchange industry has developed a reputation for being unprofessional and a little unsightly for the average website. Of course, there are others who are strong believers in linking.

There was a recent post in the forums on directory signups. Directories are a great way to build quality links that are generally free, and they can also be a great source of traffic for your website. All websites should take the time to submit to directories.

You Want More

These are some of the more basic link building tactics that you can apply towards your website. Although each of these has their own benefits within their own rite, they are also usually the exact same tactics that your competitors are using. As a business owner, you should not want ot just 'blend in' with the competition, you should want to be a step above the competition.

Simply put, if you really want your website to excel, you need to do more than just some article writing, directory submissions, and link exchanges. You need to create raving fans and subject your website to being newsworthy.

The Need to Be Linkworthy

This may sound overly simplistic, but if you want to get a lot of links to your website in a hurry, you need to be link worthy. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that currently your website is not commanding thousands of spontaneous links (if it is, please share your secrets). Getting thousands of spontaneous links requires creating something special.

Creating something linkworthy is very similar to creating a newsworthy story in public relations. If you want to get a lot of links, you need to have something that is unique, useful, insightful, fresh, and more often than not, free.

We can see examples of websites that are linkworthy all over the Internet. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, as bloggers, news outlets, and the general public was looking for someone to blame

for the tragedy that was unfolding, one blogger decided to create a comprehensive timeline of events with supporting documents. The list was exhuastive and certainly a lot of work, but the payoff was significant. This persons blog was suddenly referenced by nearly every other political

and current event related blog as well as several news sources. The content was unique, useful and free. The result was content that commanded thousands of links from high quality websites.

Another very popular example would be the recent buzz around the Million Dollar Homepage. The idea behind this concept was fresh, fun, newsworthy, and very unique. We all know the results as well, over a million dollars for an entreprenuing student in a very short amount of time.

Examining the Digg Effect

Digg, for those of you who are not familiar, is one of the Internet's more recent success stories. Digg is a technology news site which allows its users to determine which news stories belong on the front page and which news stories should be discarded. The system is unbelievably popular.

Websites that reach the front page of Digg often suffer from "the Digg Effect". They get so much traffic in such a short amount of time that their webserver crashes under the intense influx of traffic. Website owners who have reached the front page of Digg often talk about just how much traffic and new links they receive from the exposure.

Examining the dynamics of Digg is a great way to learn about what makes a website linkworthy. Stories that reach the front page of Digg often share common traits:

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Old 12-16-2009, 07:11 AM
bholus10 bholus10 is offline
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- They are unique
- They are 100% free
- They are useful
- Many are humorous
- Many offer unique and highly useful tools
- Many are filled with breaking news or the release of a study

Take a moment to follow the Digg spy which will allow you to see in real-time how users are reacting to submitted stories. What you should look for are stories that get a lot of positive 'Diggs' and the occassional story that gets a 'thumbs down'.

Applying this to Your Site

So how do you go about creating content that is link worthy for your website? You may just close this article out when you hear what I am about to say, but bear with me:

To get links, content is king.

Trust me when I say I am unbelievably tired of the phrase "content is king". This phrase has been thrown around so much in the SEO community that it has lost practically all of its meaning, but in this case there is no better way to talk about how to get links.

If you want to get links to your website, and not just a few that trickle in from articles, directories, or link exchanges, you need to wow others with your content. Offering the same content that every one of your competitors offers will do nothing to encourage others to link to you freely - you need to find something unique and fresh.

Finding incredible content for your website that is linkworthy requires a lot of creativity, often times a lot of work, and an investment of time and energy. The results, however, of having unique and linkworthy content, however, far exceed any time and cost that you may put into generating that content.

Take a moment today to look at your website, look at your niche, and think creatively about what your website could add that would cause people to take a second look at your website. The game of marketing is about distinguishing your website from the rest of the clutter - what can you do to set your website apart?
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