WP SEO Tips: How to actually build links – Part 3

April 2nd, 2007
WordPress Tips

This is part three of the Link Building series here on WeblogToolsCollection. I will be touching on some final thoughts of actually how to build links to your site. The initial first two posts were some background notes for everyone to learn about how linking works and how outbound linking works.

I will touch on two major areas. What you should be doing and what you shouldn’t be doing.

Link Building and what you should be doing

Link building takes finesse, creativity, and social engineering. Why do I say social engineering? I say that because it takes networking and talking with new people. Be a friend, be a co-worker, be an associate. These are some of my secrets of how I’ve built my network of websites.

Becoming friends with people is key. Spend time and invest into those people. I started out a few years ago and hopped onto IRC at Freenode in #wordpress which helped me network a lot more. You can catch me in #wordpress from time to time now under the nickname element. So if you’re around, give me a poke or a shout out in the chat and I’d be happy to reply back.

But anyway, back to making friends. Friends can often, more likely than not, turn into links. Links that have values of PR4, PR5, PR6, maybe even PR7 if you’ve been helpful to that person. Oh, that’s right, before I forget, be useful. Don’t just make friends and then jabber about nothing. Offer something to them that they find useful. Sometimes they will want to thank you with a linkback to your site. I’ve done that myself for friends when they’ve coded me something or helped me revise an article for my site.

Lastly, on the what you should be doing, the most important tip I could ever tell someone is this: content is king. Unique, strong, useful, and supportive content is the key to any great website. I will never subscribe or even want to visit a site that just feeds from other content. While yes, my blog does use other people’s content in quotes, I give my own opinion and quite frequently write unique articles. Content is king and key. People will want to link to you when you provide useful information instead of just garbage.

What you shouldn’t be doing as a blogger

There are a few things you shouldn’t be doing as a blogger (of course, completely in my opinion — Jonathan). Don’t let politics get in the way. Try not to slant your site one way or the other based on what you feel is important in politics. I will write about some things that I don’t always enjoy writing about, but as it’s part of the site, I need to write it.

Secondly, don’t hate. Don’t write about other sites discrediting them or hating on someone else. It actually will discredit you as an author and you will lose readers because they don’t want to read that garbage. Be positive. I am by no means saying that you can’t write about bad things that happen, but give supporting points and try to have a positive spin on the post to some degree.

I know this post is getting long, but I’ll conclude here shortly.

Lastly, the fastest way to lose backlinks is stop posting. I do believe there is a certain degree which you can post too much and too little, but don’t let weeks, months, years go by without posting. Keep the site updated and relevant and you will keep your readers’ attention.

Please do leave comments on this, I would love to hear your feedback and what your thoughts are on what I have to say here. Thanks for reading and keep your eyes open for the next WordPress SEO Tip article coming next week!




  1. John (17 comments.) says:

    Thank you for a great set of articles.

  2. Jonathan (1 comments.) says:

    Truly my pleasure.

    If you have any suggestions for the next series to come about for me to write on, I’m completely open to suggestions — from anyone.

    I’ll be coming up with some ideas for single articles for now on WordPress SEO, but please feel free to drop me a line and suggest something.

  3. Rasmus (10 comments.) says:

    Yes, thank you for a really great article series.

    When I saw the headline of the first article, I thought it would be a lot more specific series on what to do when linking. But I think that perspective you’ve chosen is much more useful.

    Keep up the good work, and I’m looking forward to read the next article.

  4. Steve Wordpressguy (2 comments.) says:

    Rings very true.
    I really think content is king when it comes to getting backlinks, for example I link to all the time (including today) because it’s such a great source of quick links into new plugins and themes.
    That said, about a third of my backlinks have come from people I’ve taken the time to ask questions, comment on posts or just say “hi, like your site” when posting about them.

  5. Phil (1 comments.) says:

    This whole series has been a good summary of ethical blog SEO. Thank you!

  6. Will (2 comments.) says:

    Great set of articles, Jonathon, thanks a bunch. I’m relatively new to the wordpress world and these have helped a bunch. Kudos!

  7. Moridin (4 comments.) says:

    To be honest, this entry does not provide any more info than content is king and make friends. The rest is too basic, even for new bloggers. The two first parts where quite nice, although perhaps you shouldn’t have tried to go for a third one.

  8. Josh Nelson (1 comments.) says:

    I have to agree with Moridin. This is very basic information and probably won’t be of use to anyone with anything beyond a minimal understanding of blogging. Regardless, I appreciate what you are doing.

    Any chance you’d be willing to do an advanced version of this?

  9. Ade (4 comments.) says:

    Secondly, don’t hate. Don’t write about other sites discrediting them or hating on someone else. It actually will discredit you as an author and you will lose readers because they don’t want to read that garbage.

    I have a blog friend who is making a lot of noise over nothing right now. So this hits the nail quite on the head. Also, he did lose hios credibility, at least to me.

  10. Dave (16 comments.) says:

    I agree with always trying to keep a positive spin on content and opinions. I spend limited amounts of time reading others’ blogs, and I have little patience for sticking with a blog which has a negative slant (ie. celebrity gossip, and hardcore political sites from the left or right mentality).

  11. IhateDesign (2 comments.) says:

    very helpful info, thanks for write and sharing!

  12. Chris (1 comments.) says:

    Frankly, I think it needs to be said more often than not, that content is king. Given the sites I’ve visited where there’s a plethora of ads to the point where the essence of the blog or subject in question is hidden, some basic comment sense posts like this one serves as a reminder for all of us.

    While I use certain ads in my blog as an example, I’d be an idiot if all I did overtime was reiterate someone else’s work. I believe Jonathan is right on the money (so to speak).

  13. Phil (3 comments.) says:

    Lastly, the fastest way to lose backlinks is stop posting.

    I totally agree! I had to stop posting a couple of months back as I moved house and had no Internet connection. Now the links I missed out on in that period are coming back to haunt me. In the last week my Technorati rank has dropped nearly 30,000 places as some old links have stopped being counted and there were no new ones appearing for a while :(

    It won’t happen again, I can tell you!

  14. Jason (75 comments.) says:

    This has been a great series. I’ve been able to learn some pretty useful things and confirmed the validity of others. Thank you, sir :)

  15. Adam Jusko (1 comments.) says:

    Another way your readers can build backlinks is to submit their sites to Bessed. If you really want some backlinks, help us Build a Better Bessed by “seeding” topics relevant to your site.

  16. Mike (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks for this series of articles… very informative!

  17. Sean (2 comments.) says:

    Great article. I agree that making friends can help a lot. To get noticed you have to out your name out there. Comment on other blogs frequently, you’ll get noticed. Stay friendly and the people will like you.

    One mistake I think I made was actually posing TOO much. Now I have some good posts that are lost behind the first page. Also, with such a small reader amount these posts won’t be seen.

  18. Sam Barrale (1 comments.) says:

    Hi, my first time on a blog. I have just set one up on my store page and plan on leaving usefull information relative to what I sell, passing on tips for personal safety taken from my 30 yrs as a police officer. Hope that is what a blog is all about. If not set me straight and I’ll rethink it. I missed the first two parts to your post. Is there somewhere to go to read them? Thanks

  19. Britgirl (5 comments.) says:

    This blog is so chock full of interesting content that I now check it out every day. This is the first time I’m commenting however. Though I was expecting to read something different (given the title and the past articles – ) I did like this article and appreciate the work you did putting this and the others together – I don’t think it can be said often enough – content is king. Not ads. Ads are fine when they are used discretely, but on so many blogs they get in the way of the blog content.Anything that helps me understand and utilize SEO (and/or analytics) more effectively is very welcome – even when you understand it there is still a ton to learn.

    Nice going, keep up the good work.

  20. Matt Ellsworth (6 comments.) says:

    This is definitely a great part 3 in this series – parts 1 and 2 were great as well – and there is a lot of great advice in here that more bloggers should use.

  21. Dave (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks for the series… lots of great info.

  22. Hip Hop (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks a lot this really helped me out

  23. Jonix (3 comments.) says:

    great article to finish(?) the series. I like this perspective that you choosed to give us. There are “thousands” of how-to links over the internet, but your perspective is a fresh and appreciated breeze in that over crowed sea of posts.

  24. Dustin Senos (1 comments.) says:

    I think one VERY important thing to point out following this posts theme of “content is king”, is that GOOD content is king.

    Do yourself a favor and look up some writing tips online. Get people you respect as better writers then yourself (family, friends, parents, co-workers etc) to review your content. Your mom might not know what encapsulation or subsurface light scattering is, but she will know how to form proper sentences around it.

    I get turned off of sites as soon as I see spelling mistakes, and I know I’m not alone, so make sure to double check everything.

  25. Shutter Box (1 comments.) says:

    Great series Jonathan! I have to agree that content really is still king ;-) Looking forward to your next tips.

  26. Sheena (1 comments.) says:

    Making mature friends with decent page ranks is something that I need to do. Thing is, I don’t want to kiss butt doing so. I managed to weed out the teenybopper crowd.

  27. Jonas (1 comments.) says:

    Looking foward to the next article. :)

  28. Jonathan (7 comments.) says:

    I’m glad everyone* enjoyed the last article of the WordPress SEO Tips Link Building series. But do keep an eye out for the next series and/or just article.

    I’m actually in Sri Lanka right now (in case you haven’t read my blog post about it) and I’m loving it here. I flew in this morning after leaving Singapore, but I’ll find time to write the article when I get back this coming Saturday.

    As before, please do feel free to post suggestions or send me feedback directly if you have any suggestions or hopes about something you want me to write about. In the end, when all is said and done, the only reason I write is for you guys (and gals!) to benefit from it.

  29. Rahel (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks a lot for this series. WTC is one of the blogs I visit on a daily basis to fnd WP-specific tools and tricks, and I’ll be adding this to my arsenal. Thanks again, and keep up the good writing.

  30. Dave J. (Scoop0901) says:

    One other thing that comes to mind to not do is blog on kink — it goes with the politics, religion, and sex taboo about conversations in real life. Those rules, as you hinted on, carry over the the blogosphere, as well.

    Everything else is great!

  31. Mike @ Emerging Earth (1 comments.) says:

    By your reasoning, any human who cannot produce links is worthless.

    I happen to agree.

  32. paul (1 comments.) says:

    Great article…I actually read something 100% through…wow I am growing up!

  33. Nikhil (2 comments.) says:

    Its a Well Written Article !! and yes theres no denying from the fact that making friends or like you said ” social engineering ” helps in getting links . Looking forward for some more informative posts .
    btw It would be cool if you can write a detailed article on ” social bookmarking sites ” , ofcourse when you get time . O yea ! enjoy your trip to Sri Lanka . thnx !!

  34. jeffld (1 comments.) says:

    All this talk about Search Engine Optimization is interesting, but I didn’t visit this site for that reason. The reason I visited is because I saw the link on the wordpress dashboard and it caught my attention. I’m not really too concerned about SEO. The reasons that I run a wordpress are more academic for me than to try and build a super site that attracts millions of visitors.

  35. Matt Keegan (5 comments.) says:

    Content is king, provided that the content is good, unique, and encourages a reader response. That is why I am so in favor of blogs: user generated content adds value to the site and everyone benefits.

  36. Jonathan (83 comments.) says:

    And as always, if you guys are interested in what I write, you can always head over to my full time blog at Google Inside. You can read the full feed here as well.

  37. Steven Snell (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks for the tips. I agree, networking and making friends is key. I personally make an effort to link to people I consider part of my network and I’m sure others do to.


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