Off Site SEO with Free Link Building Strategies

Off Site SEO


SEO teams often forget that SEO is really about traffic – not ranking. Ranking helps, of course, but the entire purpose of ranking higher in search result is to obtain more traffic. As a result, people & even SEO “experts” spend all their time worrying about things like SERP and keyword rankings, and not enough time focusing on their overarching internet marketing strategies.

SEO teams often forget that SEO is really about traffic – not ranking.

Off Site SEO

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Free link building strategies

If you have a new(ish) site or haven’t developed your off site SEO much, check Alexa for domains linking back to your own.  Chances are, the report will reveal that very few (if any) domains are linking back – so building quality backlinks will be vital to the site’s reputation & pagerank.  Along the way, those links provide useful traffic if properly placed, and can play a major role in your marketing strategy long before you achieve that #1 spot on Google. Avoid “black-hat” SEO methods or trying to automate backlink building – these automated links generally are either low-value links from bot-generated forum profiles, or just as low-value links resulting from link building strategies that Google highly frowns upon.

As a result, the most efficient free link building strategy is also the most time-consuming & tedious – writing articles, submitting press releases, participating in niche forums & question sites, etc., not to mention identifying ‘do-follow’ backlink opportunities (the preferred type of link for SEO, assuming the link is from a quality site).

Once your site has grown enough to afford it, SEO outsourcing is a common route to take for backlink building.  This allows the site owner to focus on providing their own services rather than lose hours chasing links. If you’re not quite at that point yet, here are a few sample methods that the ViralFever team has used to obtain quality one-way backlinks without dropping a lot of cash:

Build your own social groups

Example: Email Marketing on Reddit (

Reddit is one of many social networks that allow users to build their own groups, or “subreddits” as they call it.  When we first found it, /r/Email had no active moderators but was still receiving fairly steady content submissions. A simple volunteer message to the Reddit admins offering to take over the moderation of the subreddit resulted in access to a page on a PR8 domain which self-updates regularly with user generated content.  That’s the beauty of these social groups – when run properly, eventually the users begin to submit more content than you do as the administrator! The same goes for other social networks as well, such as the viral marketing LinkedIn Group we’ve just launched (which you should all definitely join, by the way!). With some quick CSS & sidebar edits, the subreddit quickly provided a single, non-spammy, & strong “do-follow” link directly to, and even with “Internet Marketing Strategies” as the anchor text.  (Warning: Reddit is another universe – once you go in you may never come out!)



Google likes fresh content - Without steady, fresh content (at the very least monthly), eventually your ranking will decrease. Adding an RSS feed is an effective way to avoid this, since feeds can be automatically distributed and automatically ‘ping’ feed sites such as Technorati, alerting them to fresh content.  Some corporate sites choose to only use their feed when they update their site’s static pages, but the results are exponentially more effective if real, useful content is being written.  Generally, it’s best to have a minimum of 350 words for Google to recognize the page. The maximum word count depends entirely on the attention span of your typical reader. As with backlink building, blog writing/management/distribution is often outsourced to either established writers or ghostwriters if it proves too much upkeep.

Off Site SEO = Time & Commitment

Let’s face it: off site SEO is tedious & time consuming. If you have the time & patience to do it yourself, however, it can be extremely rewarding.  Otherwise, you may wish to consider outsourcing the campaign – in some cases it can even be cheaper then paying for a PPC campaign!

What free link building strategies have worked for you? Tell us in the comments:

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About Nathan C Brown

An avid tech nut and supporter of Internet freedom, Nathan is the founder of the National Media Alliance. He regularly consults on Network Marketing (particularly Social, SEO & Email Marketing), Web Analytics, and Website Design. Before his years in marketing, he spent his time touring the United States as an Organizational Communications and Public Speaking coach & author. His secret? Coffee in the morning and scotch at night.

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  • ambreen11

    Thanks for sharing such a useful information. I hope it will certainly
    help people searching for some reliable and professional seo services.

  • johnthomas1433

    Are you really stating that we should be checking Alexa rank? Even newbie webmasters do know the fact that the Alexa has the most flawed metrics in the web, and that’s one site that we absolutely do not check ?

    • Nathan C Brown

      No, I’m not suggesting relying on Alexa ranking – but if you’ve never worked on your SEO, checking Alexa’s backlink report for domains linking back to your own can be quite revealing :)

  • vida_llevares

    Thank you for emphasizing that SEO is all about traffic, not just ranking. A lot of people focus much on ranking that they end up spamming.

  • furious

    I agree that link building is actually about getting more visitors, rather than just spamming links.

    I would add forum and blog posting to relevant places as a nice free way to drive interested traffic/visitors to our sites.

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