Building Links “Outside The Box”

outside-the-boxYou often hear people say “think outside the box” when it comes to building links,  its a way to say “do something different”  or ” be creative”.    But what exactly is “the box” and how do you “think outside” it when it comes to  links? 

Good questions but hard to give stock answers to so I went looking for an example to illustrate the point.  Found a good one after reading a press release today from the Cable & Telecommunication Association for Marketing.  Let’s take a look at how “thinking outside the box” can help you find credible  resources and build links.

Recently the  CTAM  released a report analyzing four generational groups and their online behavior.  No surprises overall save one as it relates to the Mature (age 65+) market.  Here’s some of the findings:

Seniors aged 65 and older (also referred to as “Matures”) have made the Internet an integral part of their everyday lives. In a recent study, 77 percent report that they shop online. In fact, Matures lead all other generational groups when it comes to this online activity. They regularly use email (94 percent), go to the Internet to look up health and medical information (71 percent), read news (70 percent), and manage their finances and banking (59 percent). Matures also turn to the Internet for gaming, approximately half (47 percent) of online Matures regularly play free online games.  

Bold in red mine because it’s the part that raised an eyebrow and got the link brain going.  People 65 and older are playing games online? At first I was surprised since I equate “online games” with things like WarCraft and WhackAToad  but then I remembered hearing how intellectually stimulating activities such as crossword puzzles, SuDoku and word search have the potential to keep Alzheimer’s at bay in older people and it made perfect sense.    Here’s where the “thinking outside the box” kicks in.

Developing a widget for a crossword puzzle, or daily email blast would be easy, helpful and a great passive tool to expose your brand to a segment of the market with a lot of disposable income.  If you’re catering to this crowd, create the puzzle (do something different)  and make a lot of noise (be creative) when doing so:

  • Launch a media blitz
  • Take out an ad in on/offline magazines
  • Get involved on social networking sites like Eons, ThirdAge
  • Get involved on blogs like Aging Hipsters 
  • Co-partner with another company selling to same demographic, drop puzzles in items e/mailed 

The demographic itself may not link since they tend not to have websites  but all the organizations who cater to them – will.   This is the “thinking outside the box” part.  :)

The real secret to good link building isn’t about redirects or directories or librarians, it’s about opening the box and looking beyond the obvious for opportunities and openings.   Might be time to start unpacking!


  1. Shirley Monge says

    I wonder if that’s one of the reason that people don’t post comments? That even though you might like what someone writes, you’re not sure how to reply?

  2. Nana says

    This is great, am already thinking about ways to use this information


  3. rohn smith- Seo Expert says

    HI it is really fresh content.I am keeping eye on this blog.

  4. Tom says


    Thanks for the info. I think I am going to give Majestic seo a try….:)


  5. Tom says

    Hi Debra

    I am a small business owner who is a total novice to linkbuilding. Having discovered your website at Eric Ward’s site I am now a regular visitor.

    Could you please tell me where I can find unbiased reviews of link building/ link finding software? I was going to buy seo spyglass but wanted to find out what others here think of it… is expensive.

    Thank you very much in advance

  6. JH Marketing says

    I think this is a great example of what I would call user focused link building. That is, thinking about strategies to build links that create value to those searching the net. Good stuff!

  7. Kevin of IMAVEX says

    Very interesting – something I don’t think folks consider enough in search engine marketing in general is properly identifying their target demographic. Typically we think of web design, web content, but how it relates to link building is a superb application.

  8. Melvin R. says

    Very interesting. I guess it’s all about identifying who has quality websites and how can you add value to them so they would link to you. In your example, you’re adding value to these websites by helping them cater to and serve older individuals.

  9. James Christian says

    Great post. Just found your site and think you have some really informative content.


  10. surfvoucher says

    Here in Costa Rica Online Bingos are making millions with the “mature” audience and it’s been that way for a couple of years now, weird the study it’s showing those stats till now.

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