7 OTB Link Building Tactics You Didn’t Think Of

by Martijn Oud

This is a guest post by Martijn Oud.

I’d like to share some outside-of-the-box (OTB) ways to build links with you. You’ll see most of them are really not that hard to execute but do require you to think of something creative yourself.

1. Be the first to do something new

If you’re one of the first to do adapt new technologies you can score some pretty great links. Take the new EU “Cookie Law” that require sites to get the end-users precision to use cookies.

The businesses who were the first to adapt to this earned some great links from media in examples like “how it should be done”, “conversion killer”, “spotted in the wild” etc. Other (older) examples include: 

  • Rich Snippets (schema, hReview)
  • New social media sites (Pinterest)
  • HTML5/CSS3
  • Keyboard controls

2. Enter cheat code. Receive links.

The Konami Code is a cheat code that appeared in many video games. If you enter this cheat code on some websites like Google Reader, an Easter egg appears. If you implement a funny use, you’ll get a few links out of it. The first one is at http://konamicodesites.com/ and often blogs will write about it and include the best examples.

The more creative the use, the better.

3. Famous people

I haven’t actually seen this in use yet but if you name your product, app, business or maybe your office after someone famous, you can get a few links out of it. This would make a great addition to that persons Wikipedia page and student’s writing papers/theses might include a link to you on their .edu blog.

For those that are skeptical, think about it this way: you’re receiving publicity (and links) by association with their names. That’s why you see things like Hulk lunchboxes that aren’t anything more than a lunchbox with the Hulk logo on it, yet it sells more than just the average lunchbox alone.

Just to be safe, make sure the person is dead (copyright and what not). Bonus points if it’s an infamous pirate.

4. Funny single serving sites (or use your infographics)

I’m sure you’ve stumbled upon them; sites like http://instantrimshot.com/ and http://isitfridayyet.net. These get passed around like crazy on social media, mostly because of the humor, but also because of the people who thought ‘who would even create this!?´.

If you can’t think of something funny related to your niche that people would want to share, you can use one of your infographics. Buy a domain with the title of your infographic, slap your infographic on there and an embed code plus your social sharing buttons. Make sure to give it a nudge on Twitter and see how it goes!

5. Unclassified directories

Directories are frowned upon nowadays but the quality of the link comes down to the quality of the directory. So while these links are harder to get, they pass more value because of it.

  • Green hosting directories
  • Open source directories
  • Video directories
  • Regional/local directories
  • Image directories
  • .Mobi directories

6. Archive ALL your data

You should start doing this. Right now. Make a database of notable landmarks, screenshot your homepage every year, keep a copy of every guest post you’ve written, store product prices, and save at least one of your old business cards.  This will not earn you links any time soon but it will help you create some great nostalgic content in a few years.

Examples include:

  • Jon Cooper´s business card throughout the years
  • What we blogged about in June in the last 5 years
  • Blue Bananas have tripled in price in the last 7 years

Consider making this public data to invite more people to write about it.

7. April Fools

Get thinking already. April fool jokes make perfect link bait. Every year the most unique/funny ones get listed on tons of blogs and news sites. And 9/10 times it’s the same businesses taking advantage; Google (and all of its products), ThinkGeek, Reddit, Improv Everywhere, College Humor, etc. Get on that list!


You see how many of the above examples include humor? This is a great way to build links that can get you potentially some great media coverage and that’s the real big link juice. If you have any questions and or suggestions, please leave a comment below.

This post was written by...

Martijn Oud – who has written 1 posts on Point Blank SEO.

You've just read a post by Martijn Oud+. Martijn is an in-house SEO from the Netherlands. You can follow him on Twitter and check out his personal blog here.

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  1. Great format, but…Link Building is becoming a thing of the past for many and link building tricks and secrets only lead to penalties. Not much of anything new here.

    thank’s for posting.

    • Jon Cooper says:

      There’s no tricks or secrets that are freely available, but there are still some new ideas out there. There always will be. No, you won’t find a list of 100 link building strategies out there that we haven’t heard of, but new ideas will come up all the time if you keep your eyes open.

      • You definitely hit the point there Jon, the point here is that there are thousands of ideas yet there are these ways that some might not be aware of.

  2. Marie Haynes says:

    I’m going to disagree with Gregory Smith. Link building is still super important. You’re right that “tricks” aren’t going to be as valuable, but really I think what the author was writing about here was not “tricks” but rather content ideas that will attract natural links.

    Thanks for the ideas!

    • Martijn Oud says:

      You’re absolutetly right Marie. “Tricks” is the wrong word for this. While the Konami one is just a fun little gag I do believe tactic 1, 5 and 6 can work for everyone!

  3. Ok, bear with me here because I’m relatively new to SEO and this might be a silly question. But, I don’t understand how number 4 works. If you buy a new domain to host something really cool, how is that building links to whatever site you’re working on? Aren’t you just building links to a totally new website? How does it benefit your site or your client’s site?

    • Jon Cooper says:

      You could either:

      1. Put a few links on the microsite back to you; they’d become very authoritative over time.
      2. 301 the microsite to you after some period of time to pass the link juice

      Hope that helps! Thanks Jordyn for the comment 🙂

      • Thanks for answering my question Jon! That was indeed helpful!

        • Panks says:

          Hello Jon,
          Nice post .. I am a only a link builder .My question is how can i redirect “http://googleggekblog.wordpress.com” this to some of my original domain like which don;t have wordpress inside . as i can’t edit the header and most of the microsites are the same . Please be more specific how can i do that if want to do it ..


  4. Liam Kenneth says:

    This is a great post with some good ideas! @Jordyn I think number 4 works by getting X amount of people to share and link to the new site and put a link on there back to your main website and hopefully your main site will get a nice amount of visits

  5. Steve Floyd says:

    Great post! Just a heads up, but in the second sentence under # 1. Be the first to do something new – it says “that require sites to get the end-users precision to use cookies.” Shouldn’t that be “permission to use cookies”?

  6. Gregory says:

    Some nice ideas here… I think some people get caught up in the idea of “link building” as a separate entity to marketing when in actual fact when done properly it is essentially the same thing…

  7. Ben Troy says:

    we need to know about the newest black hat search engine optimization tactic: negative SEO

  8. Tom says:

    “Directories are frowned upon nowadays but the quality of the link comes down to the quality of the directory”
    It really all depends on the quality of the directory. If it is a niche directory that is not overflowing with ads, it can attrack a lot of quality traffic. If these visitors are happy with what they find, they will share or bookmark or link form their sites. This increases the value from Googles perspective and a link from that directory is of more value than a link from a spammy, scraped links directory

  9. Felipe Bazon says:

    Man you just gave the craziest idea with tip number 2 “Enter Cheat Codes. Receive Links”.

    I´ll keep you guys posted on the success of idea, I´m certain it will generate many links to one of my websites.

  10. salvatore says:

    I think this could be interesting, but I’m very skeptic about using infographics in that way… this could lead people to build unuseless websites just for the nth promotional image and don’t like this so much, it seems too forced. Rather exploting the second point (the best of this list, in my opinion) and/or using some infotainment in our website should be really great.

  11. Love the ideas, love the tips, all I gotta say is, SEO Rocks! All-together though, good post on link building.

  12. Panks says:

    Hello Guys,
    I asked a question many days ago from Jon. And i check it every day for the answer but i never found it. You treat small guys like this who are learning seo ,reading your blogs and gather some courage to ask some question from you experts.
    This is just real waste of time to read you guys and subscribe your newsletters.


7 OTB Link Building Tactics You Didn’t Think Of - Point Blank SEO