The Only Link Building Secrets Out There Are The Ones You Don’t Listen To



One of the comments left after my link building interview on SearchEnginePeople (thank you Ruud) made me raise an eyebrow.  It said:




Good advice but they are completely basic and well known . i always think whether their are some hidden secrets which make the link building very easy


Bold is mine.  The comment was made in response to a list of link building tactics I supplied in the SearchEnginePeople interview.

Whenever I speak at a conference or workshop,  people pull me aside after my spiel and ask if I’d share the “real insider tips” on link building.   Never mind the fact I had just spent the last 45 minutes on stage sharing how we use the media, customer surveys, website elements, RSS, directories, content development and offline sources to build quality links.

Nope,  they still think I’m holding out.  So they sidle up to me and start asking questions.  The conversation usually goes something like this:

Person:  Good talk Debra, got a few nuggets but  can you share a couple “easy” “secret”  tips with me?

Me: Thank you for saying that.   Sure I’d be happy to share my favorite insider tip with you, it’s super-super “easy”, effective and can be summed up in one word!

Person: (laughs and breathlessly scrambles for a pen)  One word – oh boy this must be a great tip!

Me: Yep,  and best of all, it’s very inexpensive to implement.

Person: Really?  WOW!  What is it?

Me: Postcards.

Person: (blinks rapidly) Wait, what did you say?

Me: Postcards.

Person: (sounding a little confused)  Do you mean  Is that some incredibly high PageRank site with free dofollow links?  (gets breathless again)  How do you get them?

Me: Nope, I mean postcards as in those little paper things you send in the snail mail.  We use them as part of our link building campaign to increase email open rates.  That’s the “secret” “easy” link building tip I have that works every time.

Now… some people press me for details and I’ll explain how we use the postcard to increase  our email open rates, build trust and brand.  It’s a “secret” communication weapon I’ve used for years and works everytime.   They get it, smile and leave happy.

But others don’t smile and don’t get it.  They’re convinced there’s a cache of  “easy”  “secret” tactics known only to link builders and using postcards simply couldn’t be one of them.  I get asked about redirects,  widgets,  comment dropping and paid links  because people think these are link building “secrets”.  I’m not sure why but believe it has to do with the fact they’re not talked about as much and people equate them with some degree of difficulty since they’re more technically related.

I get it, I used to be under the same impression until I actively worked with these techniques.  Redirects are awesome and can point a lot of link juice in a short period but you still have to have the pages in place to redirect from.   Widgets work too provided you target the right demographic and have the money to get them launched.

Thinking about it, I consider the technical tactics the “easy”ones  since they’re (mostly) automated, dependent on scripts and require little if any marketing strategy.  They’re certainly faster than the tactics I recommend but fast doesn’t always equate to long-term and in marketing, you want long-term.

So… my two cents about this comment:

i always think whether their are some hidden secrets which make the link building very easy

No, there really aren’t any “secret”  link building tactics, what you hear  is pretty much what’s out there.  But there is some secrecy around website sources and where to find them so the answer to the question is yes and no.    Focus on finding partner sites that have been:


  • online for a couple years
  • have been indexed
  • will allow links in content areas
  • use clean links
  • are host to your demographic
  • are in the major directories


And so on.  It’s going to be hard to meet all the criteria I listed so go for as many as you can.  If you do, you’ll find it “easy” to rank well no matter what tactic you use.  That’s the big “secret”.  🙂