Link Building is always a topic of conversation for anyone in the world of Internet Marketing. People who push only organic SEO tend to be quite focused on the overall process of building masses of links with target anchor text on sites which may pass link juice.
Personally that's a narrow minded point of view that really limits your overall link building goals. The reality of the situation is that links drive traffic, reputation, new visitors and potentially new customers. A well thought out online promotional program will assist you in your organic SEO link building efforts. But you need to have a holistic view of link building.
We build links to achieve a number of goals:
- Promote the site. We produce great content and we want the world to know about it.
- Highlight other sites we think are great. We do this by commenting on articles we love, participating in discussions.
- We are promoting a contest or promotion based around a product. This could be considered link baiting but it's also showing people how creative and fun we might. When I was Director of Internet Marketing for BetUS we had alot of fun with this great link bait program - it was flattering that Rand Fishkin from SEOMoz thought it was genius marketing. We had fun doing it and it was very successful.
- We are building links to increase our search rankings. When I was at Bodog we built links for SEO specifically but tracked it with Clicktracks and optimized from there - times were very different but it was (and is) an effective tactic - it certainly worked there. Check out the case study on Lyris.
- We are participating in a community such as StumbleUpon, Facebook and Twitter. This isn't for the purpose of building links directly. It's promoting our product, service or just talking to people. We generate content, talk to people and they shockingly enough they may link to us directly but that's not the initial goal (we don't whack people over the head).
I just finished watching Rand Fishkin's Whiteboard Friday on the same subject. I strongly suggest you check it out:
What other link building tactics do you use now? Let me know what you think of my take on link building awesomeness. Have a great Friday the 13th!