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Making A Case for Contentless Link Building

by Jon Cooper
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Trust me, I’ve seen content work, and I use it all the time in link building. I’m not saying content is irrelevant when it comes to links (stating that would be pure insanity).

However, we all need to take a step back and think about what we’re breathing in as practically the gospel. Joel Klettke talked about this on Twitter recently:

 

 

 

So, instead of writing another post about how amazing content is like every other big business SEO blog, I’m going to make a case for contentless link building (Even though Joel talked more about spam, I’ll make this as white hat as possible), but first, you need to understand why content is the talk of the town.

What content is for link building at the core

What content is for websites is a alue proposition. It gives people a reason to link. That leads us to two different thoughts:

  • Content isn’t THE value proposition, rather just A value proposition
  • Content is relatively new to link building because value proposition is new. This implies that we used to build links without providing a value proposition.

Therefore, there are two ways you can build links without content:

1. Providing an entirely different value proposition
2. Obtaining links that do not require a value proposition

Let’s start with #2 first.

Value Proposition-less Link Building

Building links to a site that has nothing to offer leads to obtaining links that any website can get. The more people get a type of link that doesn’t require a value proposition, the more likely it is to be called spam.

So, we have to pursue easily obtainable links that aren’t popularly sought after. To make things simple, lets start with the links that ARE popularly sought after:

• Article submissions
• Directory submissions
• Social Bookmarking
• Blog commenting
• Forum posting
• Etc., etc.

But, just because these types of links are heavily sought after, it doesn’t mean that we can exempt them altogether. Rather, we just have to pursue these types of links from sites that aren’t widely used for link building purposes, and ones that are more quality assured.

For example, we wouldn’t want a blog comment link on a page with 1,000+ other comments, regardless if it were a highly authoritative blog. We also wouldn’t want a link from a free directory with a million other links. I know this sounds simple and elementary, but bare with me.

The second route you could go is pursuing types of links that aren’t heavily sought after. All this means is finding new types of sites to get links from. For example, when Pinterest was in its infancy, it was a perfect place to get easy links that had value. Now, after it’s been talked & blogged about, the value has diminished (Pinterest even made the links NF).

As you can see, this type of link building relies on the fact that you’re creative and always looking outside the box for linking opportunities. You have to be quick on your feet, and keep most of your goldmines to yourself.

Alternative Value Proposition Link Building

As I said above, content is but one value proposition. Here are a few other quick examples:

Product quality – The more satisfied customers you have, the greater likelihood you’ll get talked about across the Web. Take Kifaru for example. They offer some of the highest quality outdoor gear in the business, and as a result, they get talked about (and linked to) by their customers.

Community – If your website offers a wide range of members or fellow customers to communicate with, then you’ve got something of value. Private forums are a great example.

Design – If you’ve got an eye opening design, your visitors will be much more likely to look into you and your business, and as a result, your likelihood for attracting links increases. Code Quest is a great example; I tweeted about them the moment I saw them (a tweet’s not a link, but one of my followers could’ve easily seen it and linked to it).

These are just a few. There are a variety of other value propositions you could offer your web visitors.

Conclusion

This is just the white hat side of things. I could easily delve into some grey/black hat ways to get links without content (actually, that’s exactly what grey/black hat mostly is), but I’m not trying to force you to turn to the dark side; rather, I just want you to think about what we all sometimes blindly accept.

Thoughts?

This post was written by...

Jon Cooper – who has written 119 posts on Point Blank SEO.

Jon Cooper+ is an SEO consultant based out of Gainesville, FL who specializes in link building. For more information on him and Point Blank SEO, visit the about page. Follow him on Twitter.

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