Backlink Gathering Tricks

The entry will start out simple, with more manual tasks, and eventually evolve into how to emulate viral link growth using RSS feeds of popular sites, and intelligent tagging. Don’t just read the category, then skim the paragraph. Although the categories are generically named, the information held in them is rarely out there.

Here’s a few tricks I’ve learned.

Bookmarking
There’s no reason to ever be bookmarking individually. Sign up for a bunch of services, and use the same nickname/password for each. There’s 2 services for this that will allow you to do this fast. Head on over to http://www.OnlyWire.com, and http://www.SocialPoster.com. Of course, it’s a bit of a pain in the ass to sign up for each service, but it’s worthwhile, and afterwards, all of them can be bookmarked with a single click. Altough many of these are no-followed, the given anchor text can still give you a boost.

Use Script Footprinting to Your Advantage
By using script footprinting(click the link above to learn about that), you can easily find similar scripts using Google. Load up some macro plug-in, like IMacro, and have it automatically plug your information into the submit forms. This can be used for many places. Among them pligg(digg clones), directories, article submission sites, CMS’s, you name it.

Digg Sniping
Monitor digg, and any other social news site you can. Whenever something hits the front page, comment on the article itself, not on digg. Especially if it’s a do-follow link. Most articles people comment on have very few links that go directly to that page, and hence are worth more(even if the homepage is high PR, only a fraction of the link juice gets sent to the article you comment on). If something frontpages Digg, you can be sure that it has at LEAST one high powered link going directly to it, and probably many more from all the digg rss feeds/blog posts/message boards that the article will be posted to in the next 24 hours. As a result, a link on this page passes a LOT of link juice. Netscape’s propeller, Newsvine, and Shoutwire are other worthwhile sniping targets.

Social News Sites – RSS, and Other Uses
Submit to digg, reddit, proppeler, newsvine, sphinn any you can find. Extra points for do-follow links. And don’t just submit. Promote. Get friends to vote. Use web proxies for extra accounts. If you get 2-3 votes quickly, most places will keep you on the “upcoming” list for significantly longer. Ranking on any of these sites will get you a lot of links, from both direct references, and people who syndicate the RSS feeds(the real point of this section). Add anyone who votes for your article to your “friends” list. Always remember that your page doesn’t have to get votes for the backlink to count as well. It has to appear, and not get deleted.
Edit: Thanks to DoshDosh for pointing out a line I accidentally omitted. Everyone, submit your articles only to relevant sites. For example, sphinn is NOT the place to promote your new web proxy or fresh fruit website.

Piqq.us
As an extension of Social News, use Piqq.us. For those who don’t know about it, it’s the replacement for diggboss. You digg/stumble/propel their members, and in exchange, they do the same to you.
Don’t be afraid. Just make sure your article is quality. All it does it get you a little extra chance to be seen. I don’t use it too much myself, but hey. You’re welcome to. They support digg, stumbleupon, and propeller. It won’t rank you to the front page, but you can be damn sure that it will make sure you stay on the upcoming, or “Most Votes So far” page for as long as possible. To get everyone started, here are some invites. I’ll try and keep them fresh throughout the coming days.
Invites Updated @ 4:57PM, EST (Nov. 28th)
# 2918 http://piqq.us/signup.php?r=826&c=6beo2tgveh474de4880e
# 2919 http://piqq.us/signup.php?r=826&c=5cbmt8km9c474de4881a
# 2920 http://piqq.us/signup.php?r=826&c=da39jjo4gr474de4881a
With Piqq, the important thing to do is not be lazy. Make sure you actually stumble/digg/whatever. Relying on referrals is a slow, painful, and largely fruitless process. It doesn’t take long to actually digg/stumble/propel, so just do it.

Use Generous Tagging to Snag RSS Syndication
No, I’m not about to suggest people actually search by tag. Come on now, let’s be honest here. What they DO do however, is syndicate RSS feeds based on technorati/digg/delicious tags. So when you’re tagging your article in your blog, or on social bookmarking services, be generous. “web 2.0″, “social news”, “marketing”, etc. Do your research, and figure out what tags people seem to be syndicating. You can do this by experimenting with a bunch, then checking your backlinks with Yahoo. Whenever you see a blog you don’t recognize, chances are you found a tag syndicator. Most of these use a do-follow link as well. Beyond that, tagging generously will give you a Google bump for short tail terms. It sees your blog/site’s internal links, and it trusts that anchor text is relevant to the page it links to.

WordPress Plugin Use and Abuse
Make yourself a test blog on a subdomain. Install every plugin you can find. Look for anything that allows input from external sources on the web, or anything having to do with comments. Top Commentator plug-ins, recent comments, anything involving a comment RSS, all that. Footprint each script. Notice which ones default to a do-follow link, and search around online for that. For comment dependent plugins, make an intelligent comment, and bookmark all of them. Every few days, come back and do it again. For anything that pulls from an external source, make a note in a text file of the keywords it searches for, then use those tags whenever possible.

Intelligent Trackbacks and Commenting – Basic
Learn to love it. http://commenthunt.com/. It lists a bunch of different blogs that have a do-follow link policy, and is very rarely wrong. Keep in mind, the blog admins are aware of this condition, and are much more anal about which comments they accept. Also bear in mind that this means they’re probably friendly admins, and are more likely to accept trackbacks. So give it a good search through before posting any blog article, and see if it sticks. Don’t be too aggressive though, or Akismet anti-spam will nail you to the wall, and then you’re completely dead in the water. Also, notice how old the entry is. Some people get annoyed with comments on excessively old, out of date articles. Remember to always reference a specific thing from the article. Not just a generic compliment. If you do something too generic, not only with you probably get stuck as spam by the moderator (Akismet again!), but the comments will barely ever stick. Also, avoid referencing, or god forbids directly quoting, the title or a line of the article. This is common by link spam programs, and will get you nailed as well.

Intelligent Trackbacks and Commenting – Advanced
This one is for you programmers out there. WordPress uses templates, and predictable flags. Write some software that searches Google for a keyword, and perhaps a WordPress footprint or two. Google blog search also works. A second piece of software loads the results, and parses out the comments (which is possible thanks to the lovely templates wordpress uses). My blog, for example, has the following footprint:
Start of a Comment – <li class=”alt” id=”comment- OR <small class=”commentmetadata”>
End of a Comment – </li>
If you’re especially good, you can parse out the date, and find the most recent entries.

Create a Free Template – Sneaky Backlinks, and Normal Backlinks
Most free web template, or free wordpress template sites (or actually, pay ones for that matter), are more than happy to accept free templates. Either make them yourself, or commission someone to make a bunch of them. 10-20 if you can swing it. Add your anchor text to the bottom of the page, small as possible without setting off red flags. Make sure to say it was “coded by XYZ”, where XYZ is the anchor text and a link. Beyond that, you can also have a layer that shows up on mouseover of a certain link or image. 99% of people will delete the link, but not the layer. So chances are, you’ll still get it crawled if you set it up properly (it’s hard, but possible). This can also work for plug-ins, but it’s more difficult

StumbleUpon – Making the Best of a No-Follow Situation
the next entry I release will be a detailed write up on stumbleupon. But for now, suffice it to say it’s good for discovery, and for planting your own anchor text (although it is no-follow). Everyone always brags about high PR stumbleupon profiles. From a backlink prospective (ignoring anchor text), this doesn’t matter. However, they DO get crawled more frequently, and the sites they link to get crawled more frequently. So by getting a high-PR stumbler to hit your page, and then by stumbling the same one yourself, your profile will get the PR juice, and get re-crawled. Now the advantage of this is that you can set your own anchor text for the site (although you can’t control the other stumbler), and that anchor text will factor in. Also, I know from experience that there are several places that syndicate the RSS feed of the stumbleupon “Buzz” entries.

Launch an Affiliate Program – Basic
managing an affiliate program is something I’ve always wanted to do, so if anyone has any interest, comment/email me about this one.
While many people promoting for you will cloak your link, many also will not. Each non-cloaked one is a backlink. In addition, it’s a badass excuse to submit yourself to extra directories that show only affiliate programs.

Launch an Affiliate Program-Advanced

* Multi-Tier Program: Create the program not just 2-tier, but multi-tier. You’ll have many many moochers who will try and just get affiliates, and live of of them. This is what you want. You have people doing the publicizing FOR you. Not only that, but it’s not on spammy-ish directories and whatnot. In many cases, you’ll be one of 2-3 outbound links. And here’s the beauty of it. Let’s say you offer 20% commission on sales that they make. You then offer 20% commission of any referrals commission. And 20% commission off the commission of the commision your referral made, by referring someone else. It sounds good enough to warrant aggressive promoting (via forum sigs and others) by many. The way it breaks down is this.
1st Tier Sale: 20%
2nd Tier Sale: 4%
3rd Tier Sale: .8%
4th Tier Sale:.16%
So the most you could ever, realistically pay is 25% commission. And that would require what? 5 levels? And in exchange, you garner enough links from various affiliates that you’re almost impossible for them to outrank, AND they’re doing your promotion for you.
* Site Cloning
You only need one site to rank up on Google. Have that be your multi-tier affiliate program. Promote that via directories and sigs. After that, pay or download some quality templates, and create clone sites. Submit them to the different affiliate programs. Commission Junction, ShareASale, all of those. That gives you access to as many affiliates as possible, without breaking the rules about having more than one affiliate manager per store.

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