TMCnet Feature
March 12, 2019

Effective Link-Building Strategies That Still Work Today with Brian Hong

There is a common misconception in the marketing world that link building no longer works according to SEO expert Brian Hong of This myth is often circulated by people who either don't understand the new rules surrounding link building or don't want to take the time to learn the new requirements since obtaining high-quality links is more challenging than it was in the past.

According to Brian, marketers that fall into this category usually rely on other optimization strategies such as on-page optimization and content marketing rather than focusing on links.

As it turns out, however, links are still important in the world of SEO according to Brian. Google (News - Alert) not only evaluates websites based on their content but also on their incoming links. Trying to obtain a top position in the search engine results without high-quality, authoritative backlinks is practically impossible.

Brian suggests that the key to success with link building is to focus on quality rather than quantity. If you can obtain links from high-quality, trusted resources, it can help your site perform much better in the search engines.

So, we sat down with Brian Hong and he gave us a selection of link-building tips and techniques that  are still effective today:

Asking For Backlinks

One of the fastest ways to start getting incoming links when you are just building your business is by asking people if they will link to your site. Start by thinking about people that you know in person. Along with family members and friends, you can also reach out to business associates or clients to see if they are willing to link to your site. Ideally, these links should come from within the content of the site that is linking to you rather than the sidebar or footer of the site. Contextual backlinks are viewed more favorably by the search engines. The site linking to yours should also be closely related to your niche.

Building Relationships

Relationship-building is another important component of obtaining high-quality links. Becoming more active on relevant forums, blogs, or Facebook groups is a great way to start meeting other people in your industry.

Make sure that you post helpful or interesting content. Everything that you post should add value to the topic or discussion.

Getting involved with others in your industry using these methods is a great way to start building relationships. Over time, this can lead to highly-relevant backlinks from other sites. As an added bonus, having strong relationships with others in your field can help your business in many other ways as it grows.

Leaving Reviews Or Testimonials

If you have a good experience with a particular product or service, leaving a review or testimonial on the company's website can benefit you both. Not only does the company get a boost from the positive review but you also usually will have a chance to leave a link to your website. This not only increases the number of backlinks pointing at your site but may even result in direct traffic if people click on the link.


Blogging can be an effective way to build backlinks. You just need to avoid using spammy techniques. For instance, don't create a blog that only has one post and a link to your site. This is a surefire way to get your site and your blog penalized. However, if you build an active, well-respected blog that is frequently updated and offers high-quality content, you should be able to safely post a link from it to your site.

Guest Blogging

Writing guest posts for other blogs is a good way to establish yourself as an authority in your industry. It usually also provides you with a chance to leave a link pointing back to your site. If you are going to implement this strategy, only write for blogs that are related to your industry. It is also important to create high-quality content that readers will find beneficial. After all, your reputation is on the line.

Obtaining Directory Listings

There are a lot of low-quality directories out there that were designed solely for the purpose of link building. Avoid adding your site to these directories since they are viewed negatively by the search engines.

Instead, look for high-quality directories that are closely related to your niche. For instance, if you can find a niche-specific directory that allows you to post informative content along with your listing, it probably is safe to add a link. Use your best judgment. It is usually easy to tell the difference between high-quality and low-quality directories.

Evaluating Backlinks On Competing Sites

Research each of your main competitors to learn more about their backlinks. If a site was willing to link to one of your competitors, there is a chance that they will be willing to link to your site, as well. There are a lot of different tools out there that you can use to view and analyze backlinks.

Repairing Broken Links On Your Site

Go through all of the links that are pointing at your site to make sure that none of them are broken. Moving pages or updating your site can often result in broken links, leading to unwanted 404 errors.  Redirect any broken links to active pages on your site so that you don't lose out on the traffic or the SEO benefits.

Taking Advantage Of Your Competitors' Links

Most of your competitors probably link to a lot of the same websites. Take a look at their outgoing links to figure out which sites are the most popular. Usually, these sites will be some of the leading authority sites in your industry. If you can obtain a link from one of these sites, it can do wonders to boost your site in the search results. In a way, it is like having your competitors link to your site.

Converting Mentions Into High-Quality Backlinks

Oftentimes, people will write reviews or articles about your company but won't bother linking to your site. If you find any of these articles, consider reaching out to the webmaster to see if they are willing to include a link in their content.

Below are some other tips that you can use to build backlinks:

  • Make sharing your content easier by including an RSS feed on your blog or website.
  • Write about interesting, relevant topics that people in your industry will want to share.

Focus on topics that are not time-limited. Once you find a good topic, write a detailed, well written, interesting article about it. Try to make the content as informative and useful as possible so that other people will want to share it with others.

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