How to Rank on Page 1 of Google without Buying One Paid Link

seo

For the past nine years, I have spent the majority of my time as an SEO. Whether it was helping other companies or building my own sites, at one point in time, I ranked for some of the most lucrative keywords on Google.

Online poker,” “credit cards,” “online dating,” “Forex trading,” and “hotels” were just a few of the terms I ranked well for. And I wasn’t just on page 1 for these keywords. For some of them, I ranked within the top 3 results.

Unlike most SEOs, I didn’t spend years to do this. I was able to rank well on Google within a few months for many of the terms I mentioned above.

My big secret

So, how did I do all of this? By building legitimate links.

Don’t get me wrong, like most SEOs, I have bought text links. In fact, I probably bought over 7 figures worth of links throughout my SEO history. The problem with buying paid links, however, is you’ll rank really well in the short run, but, sooner or later, you will get caught.

Trust me. I have had a ton of sites that I personally owned that got banned from Google. So, take a page out of my book, and learn from my mistakes. Don’t waste your time buying links.

If you don’t believe me that buying links isn’t worth the risk, look at the statement Matt Cutts from Google’s Webspam team gave me:

Google continues to take reports of link spam, including paid links that pass PageRank, very seriously. I put out a call for linkspam reports in March and we’ve been investigating all those reports. We do use that data to improve our algorithms, but we also take manual action on those linkspam reports. In fact, we’ve been developing new tools to help us tackle paid links that pass PageRank and other types of linkspam.

Link building doesn’t have to be painful

There are a ton of ways you can build links without spending thousands of dollars. Here are a few tactics that have worked for me throughout the years.

Send out emails

It’s painful to send out emails asking for links, but it’s really effective. If someone is linking to your competition, he or she will probably be willing to link to you too.

All you have to do is send that website owner an email like this:

Hi John,

I know you don’t know me, but name is Neil Patel, and I’m with KISSmetrics. I noticed that you link to a few of my competitors such as Omniture, so I thought I would take a shot in the dark to see if you would be willing to link to us as well.

Don’t worry, KISSmetrics isn’t another me-too analytics solution, which is why your website readers will see value in us. Unlike some of the other solutions in the market place, KISSmetrics allows you to track, optimize and improve your conversion funnels with a simple and easy to use report.

Thanks for taking the time to read this email.

Have a great day,

Neil.

If you can’t figure out who links to your competition, all you have to do is go to Yahoo and type in link:http://yourwebsite.com within the search box.

Write great content

Lists, how-to guides and white papers are all great ways to build links. As long as the content you are writing is really good, people will link to it.

For example, Passages Malibu, a drug rehab center, wrote a detailed article on illegal drugs. The article isn’t sexy, but it describes every illegal drug, where it can be found, the side effects, and how to spot if someone is high on that specific drug.

Good articles like that will always get links. It may not happen within a few weeks or even a few months, but over the years, it will end up being linked to.

When you are trying to write good content, make sure you are:

  • Thorough – you have to write really detailed content. If you don’t cover all of the aspects of the topic you are writing on, don’t bother publishing your article.
  • Writing good headlines – if no one reads your content, no one will ever link to it. So, make sure you come up with a creative headline as it will increase the odds of someone reading your content.
  • Including pictures – no one likes reading big blocks of text. Make it easier on your readers’ eyes by including pictures.
  • Spicing things up – writing factual content isn’t enough to build links. Write on up-and-coming trends and information that others haven’t written on. And make sure you do not regurgitate the same information.

Don’t forget the basics

One easy way to get more links is to submit your website to popular directories. Directories like DMOZ, Yahoo, and Best of the Web are good sources of links as long as you are submitting your website to a related category.

For example, if you have a tech website, you wouldn’t want to submit it to a financial directory. Instead, you would want to submit it to a tech directory.

If you are looking for a list of directories to submit your website to, you can find them here.

Write a guest post

The easiest way to get a blogger to link to you isn’t to pay him or her. It is to write a guest post on his or her blog, similarly to this.

In every guest post you publish, include a short bio that describes you and your company. And, obviously, link your company name to your company website.

Here are the steps you need to take to become a guest author:

  1. Go to Technorati and search for related blogs.
  2. Once you have a list of related blogs, do a bit of research and come up with some content ideas that may be useful for their readers.
  3. After you have some topic ideas, send the blogger an email asking if he or she is currently accepting any guest authors. Within that email, tell your prospective blogger the content idea you have and show him or her how it would be beneficial for the blog’s readers.
  4. If you are accepted to be a guest author, great! If not, move on and approach other bloggers.

Conclusion

There are tons of ways in which you can increase the number of sites linking to yours. It isn’t rocket science, and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg like these link building tactics.

I know the tactics I mentioned above aren’t fun and sexy, but they work. Try them out. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

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Comments

  1. It seems like everyone says not to buy links, but everyone that says that, does it themselves. Talk about mixed signals. When a competing site has hundreds of thousands of links, there is only one way to reach that volume, get some AMAZINGLY incredible viral stuff going, but even then, you probably still have to revert to a little buying, but I would never (wink, wink).

    Enjoyed your talk at BlueGlassLA.

  2. I haven’t bought TONS of links in my career, but now I’m paranoid after reading the statement from Matt Cutts. No longer will I try to take short cuts.

    Do you have any thoughts on pinging services like these: http://bit.ly/a0PbV5 (link to Fiverr gig)

    Thanks for the email template too, I like how you go about asking for links.

  3. You say in one heading “link building doesn’t have to be painful” and then you follow it up with “I know sending emails are painful”. Hate to be obvious man, but your article of how to do this is nothing but painful and you said it yourself!

    “Over Years” it will happen? That’s an easy sell to the boss man who wants results yesterday! “oh boss, just give it a few years and we’ll do well” isn’t going to fly.

    Again, Obvious Man will be ‘obvious’ and point out that to be buddy buddy with Mr Cutts requires you to say crap like this in your article. Look at Rand and Seomoz. It just is a shame because you’re supposed to be a guy that people look to for answers and you’re just stating the company line of Google. They’ve been saying this same thing for 5-6 years but people still buy links and do it successfully, and until they change their algorithm, everyone will continue to do so. Chances of getting caught are less than 10% if done right.

    You mention getting several of your sites in trouble, but when you use high profile sites to buy them, like TLA, what do you expect? There’s plenty of other places to do it without such risk and/or do it on your own.

    Just my two cents.
    Señor Obvious Man

    • When people are getting caught they aren’t just using services like TLA or Conductor. I have seen people get caught even when they manually hit up websites and pay them for a text link.

      You are right, in which most sites that get caught are too greedy and the knowledge I blog about is basic. But the basic stuff is what we tend to forget, and I hate to say it, but it works well too.

    • You are too harsh on Neil :) He just pointed out something that will eventually happen. If you buy links you are assuming a risk, although it’s a small one, it’s a risk…

  4. Dwight Zahringer :

    I’m with señor above. These are good guidelines to follow, true. However like many industries of the past and present you can buy many things with “white envelopes” including links.

    Be smart, careful and stay under the radar.

  5. Very cool stuff. I have gotten some negative results with asking for a link via email but, then again, I might have just been dealing with jerks.

  6. I find the sending an email to other publishers is one of the most effective method. It all in the wording of the mail.

  7. Hey Neil I really love your blog and always appreciate how you tell it straight in your post..but in this one it does seem like you didn’t have enough info to actually encourage people to NOT want to buy links. It seems thats how you were successful to get it done in months and NOt years as you say. Probably my least favorite article on the site..either way I will be reading more. I really think you should go back and reevaluate this article..

  8. “Always learn from you mistakes” but never repeat it. This is really a key for SEO.

    • If you’re not learning from your mistakes, you’re running around in circles.

    • I think it’s more than just learning from mistakes it is alter your course and being responsive to change that enables us to keep achieving the best we can in the SEO industry. Learn to adapt to the change around us as it occurs and we can stay on top of the game.

    • This rule is good for everything you do in life, not only for SEO. The more complete sentence would be “Always learn from your mistakes, but most importantly, learn from other peoples mistakes”.

  9. I totally believe in content and yes as much rhetoric as it sounds, “content is king”… my website has some very solid organic traffic only because of consistent and quality content… because I don’t do much about it, other than bringing good content and keeping it easy to share…

    • That’s fantastic. Keep providing good content and you’ll naturally create more and more back links.

      • Thats perfectly true Neil.. Its been almost 2 years since I have created my website and now when I see my stats I find that people usually gave my website as reference to other people which means indirectly they are building links for me. This is possible only through quality content and good SEO.

  10. As far as Google goes, it is better to play on the safe side. After all, how are you going to beat hundreds of engineers and PhDs…

  11. Another two good ways to get legit links are news releases and getting listed in your local chamber of commerce.

  12. No doubt buying links is not advisable by Google as per their guidelines. But as you said if i mail to any website related to my business, website and linking to my competitors and that website ask for money to link back. Will these kind of links will be treated as Paid Links by Google or any search engine?
    I can understand if you pay any arbitrary website for getting back links to improve your Page Rank that for sure can be identified as Paid Links.

  13. Does the same apply to DuckDuckGo search engine?

  14. Web Tasarim | John Alden :

    Nice article Neil. It seems that every one of the major SEO’ers advise against buying paid links. Building a natural link profile i believe, helps both your website & your friends network :)

  15. Agree with much of what you said, but emailng for links of one the cheesist and amateur thing a business person can do. I get get a 25 plus of those emails a week. The people asking for the links sound helpless – like they have not a clue how to give first (share of yourself with good insight, info, commentary) as the true way of achieving seo success. Worse yet are the people who are hired to ask for links.

    Sure something can work. But it doesn’t it’s not tasteless and unprofessional.

    • Tell that to the 4 interns I have calling up for links all day. And not with the scripts they run off of. Also, who designed the email/telephone pitch? Was it customized before they made the call to the blogger?

      When I’m scoping for links, the idea is to get involved in the site before you go asking around for some love. Be one of the regular commenters for a month.

      And please don’t try and slap a $5 article on some poor guy’s site. Quality matters. And no one links to sub-standard content. Or XFactor style sites.

  16. Thanks, Neil! I’ve read all of your posts in the past few months, and I definitely will continue doing so. This blog is a very valuable resource for people like me, getting started in the web business. :-)

  17. Another great article, Neil! I’ve passed it on to my students through Facebook -> Twitter -> LinkedIn

  18. Neil,

    I’m a one-person company who has been developing and promoting a site in a very competitive marketplace. But it’s just too much for one individual to find organic google juice. I can do the development or I can do the marketing, but not both at the same time. What do you recommend?

    • Marketplace Slaman?

      Differentiate and then specialize. If you want to sell blue widgets, then start by becoming the authority/ranking for size 2 blue widgets …

      Unless you’re in web design or something. Then PPC is the way to go.

  19. Ipad Cases Blog :

    I thought about buying links but after reading this, I realize now that it’s not worth it.

    I’ll try your advice since I’m a new site and hopefully start building those relationships.

  20. Just like buying links will get you in trouble with search engines, does buying traffic also has the same effect. And how legitimate are these traffic sending websites; who promise to send 10′s and 1000′s of hits for a very cheap amount.

    • Email Marketing Blog :

      Yeah, buying mass traffic has got to be one of the most useless inventions ever created. Unless your using a targeted method (either geographically, keywords or otherwise) you’ll just be wasting your money,

    • Buying traffic… the quality of the traffic won’t be worth it. It’s very short lived.

  21. latest gadgets :

    Hi Neal, I read the article you mentioned on illegal drugs and realised the importance of writing good content which is useful for the readers.

    Also, sticking to the basics holds very important indeed…the guest post idea and the steps are something new that I learned here…

    Very useful write-up, Cheers!

  22. Thanks for your insight Neil, I never have purchased links but know other SEOers that have and still do. It’s actually amazing they are an SEO company and paying “$100.00 a month” in an “advertising” section but really it’s just a paid text link. The Guest Blogging seems to be the latest craze right now with info graphics.

  23. Right now I am figthing to get to page one with honest SEO techniques. I am a bit frustrated as there are very spammy sites on page one for my keyword right now an mine is around page 10.

    I see why people end up resorting to spammy tactics as it seems to work for the most part.

    • Your site is just a me too of the first one. And the second one. And the third, fourth and seventh one. If I was in your place, I’d redo my site – make it look less like a general store for now. Then I’d pick up an interesting product like the Antenna-aid bandage off of there and hype it up.

      Send every decent to small time tech blogger you can find a couple of these. Or better yet, cal them asking what color they’d like for one of these and then send it to them. Ask them to blog about it a week after they got it – good, bad all is welcome. Chop your commission from that product in half and give it off as cash back. Advertise as the lowest price online. Look up Gizmodo’s & Engadget’s comments. Look up Tech websites that got dugg during the last year. Send Walt Moss and Ars one for kicks as well! Make a YouTube video!

      Six months down the line, become a general iPhone Case store.

      It is understandable that it may seem too much, heck it probably is unless you have a couple grand. But then, try buying 50 PR5 links from TLA and see how much that costs!

      BTW, did you go ahead and get every free link that everyone on the first 4 pages have? Just checked out your competition and just look them in in Y!’s Site Explorer. They are in places for free, where you should be as well.

      Also, as per my experiments, dashes don’t work for EMDs which is the primary reason sites like iphone4cases.com are even there. So get yourself one of those as well.

      Also, since you are an affiliate, why not target buying keywords? They will convert way better than anything else on the planet.

      iphone4casesguide.com
      buyiphone4cases.com
      cheapiphone4cases.com

      I need to shut up don’t I?

  24. Hey Neil,

    Good stuff…one thing I’ve been wondering about lately.

    I see a lot of blogs with url’s like http://blog.domain.com
    Are incoming links to your blog more effective if your blog is at a url like http://domain.com/blog/ instead of on a subdomain?

    Brian

  25. I think you left out one big piece: patience.

    Folks think weeks, but in SEO, check points should be months.

  26. sell textbooks :

    Great post Niel! These are all good ways to help someone write and maintain a good blog. You don’t need to buy links just find the right place that teaches you how to get them.

  27. I Do many things but I noticed that its can get rank on only one data center or regional specific but how can we achieve rank on Global searches lets me now

  28. Yes I totally agree with this… buying links is dangerous. But who is to say one of your competitors is not emailing google hundreds of times saying that you are buying links?

  29. Thanks for the resources. Finding quality sites to link back isn’t always the easiest process. I still can’t believe people think that buying links is acceptable…especially after reading your article!

  30. The key is to get a variey of links from many different sources. If you focus all of your attention on one place and that site goes down, so does all of your popularity and link value.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  31. Ok,

    So google is a private company and wants to provide the best service for it’s people. So, it makes sense to say no to paid links as people with money can just dominate the search engines thus providing a bias service which does not suit google.

    I understand that but I’m confused on the definition of paid links. I know the simple answer is paying someone for a link but isn’t this what yahoo also offer for $300 a year? A link?

    I have also seen many top SEO companies offer link building services. Isn’t that just buying links in a indirect form?

    Can someone clear this up for me please?

    Thanks :)

  32. I like this post very much, It’s key behind the seo and how to rank on the front page of google. I tried to submit in dmoz.org but i can’t do it properly. I can’t find the submit button, will you please help me to submit in dmoz

    regards

    • It’s a little tricky, but you need to go to a specific category. Try emailing their help for assistance. Or search for forms online that tell you exactly what you need to do.

  33. maybe an obvious question but im asking it anyway: website A agrees to link to website B for free because they are a friend, have built relationships etc. website A also links to website C for a fee. How does google know the difference?

    • Sometimes they can tell because if website C bought a link from website A, they probably also bought links from 100s of other sites. And one of those sites is probably known for selling links, so then they start looking at all of the other sites that are linking to you.

  34. You said that paid link directories are bad, but the link you provided to a list of link directories is a “pay-per-link” directory. Seems a little contradictory?

    • Some of those directories are free. ;-) And even with the paid ones, if you ask nicely they may include your site for free.

      As for the Top Directories List link, they have a “free” category.

    • Some of them are trusted and the others aren’t. DMOZ gets away with it because that’s their ‘processing fee’ for keeping their standard high.

      Can your spiffy directory pull the same stunt? Sure, but it’s a lot of effort and you have to prove that you’re legit. Same reason Mahalo gets away with scraping and you don’t. Further reading – http://www.seobook.com/black-hat-seo-case-study

      I only go to directories to find websites to get my content on nowadays, but that’s just me. I’m a sucker for editorial links, nothing else rocks my boat.

    • Replace Mahalo with DMOZ and you’ll get my point.

      Most people who try to “pull a Mahalo” and spam up Google will likely fail because they lack

      • the public relations & affiliations needed to attempt to legitimize such a strategy

      • the willingness to lie just to get a bit of media ink

      • the public relations & media savvy to pull such a major bait and switch without getting caught

      • the domain authority to make it work algorithmically

      Nº3′s just spite, but the rest are real reasons why it doesn’t work for everyone.

  35. This is realy a good post about getting ranked on the first page without paying for links. Netcrew has used these techniques several times, and I can assure you, it works!

  36. Yes Neil, this article has a good idea for SEO. As I always wish to have a lot of knowledge for this SEO. I really thank you for sharing some of your ideas. In my life all I do is to set and play in my computer and I don’t have any job to feed my family and also my self. But when I discover this internet marketing, I decided to do so…. For now, I am still not earning online, but I am doing the best that I could for my future…. Thank you again Neil…

  37. I have been steadily building my links for the past week an have gone from page 14 to page 6 in Google. Yay!

  38. To everyone bashing Neil about acting like a Google puppet, take a second and remind yourselves who makes the rules for this game.

    Is buying links effective? Yes it is. Very effective. It is also something against Google’s guidelines.

    And that is why Neil deserves props for the way he’s penned this one down. None of the usual it is ‘immoral’ B.S. I’ll not repeat all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Neil makes a great case of it all in the comments above.

    Here’s a SEOmoz article titled 8 Ways to Buy Links Without “Buying Links” – http://www.seomoz.org/blog/8-ways-to-buy-links-without-buying-links

    I love ‘buying’ links myself. Want to know how I do it? I hire a journo or someone reasonably well known in a niche, pay them $200 for an article that’d make the reader clamor for more and then I get it onto the big player’s site on that niche or into some city newspaper. (Does wonders for your or your client’s repo as well.) I’ve even managed to get one of my site’s quoted in the NYT a few months back with a similarly well written piece.

    Don’t think ‘buying links’ think resource allocation to acquire links.

  39. Great article. I’m glad to see what i have been doing is the right thing. It took a few months, but we made it to the front page of google!

  40. Writing great contest will always push your blog to the first page. This has helped most of my articles even when I’ve not written any guest post or done much link building. Thanks for the great post.

  41. “If someone is linking to your competition, they’ll probably be willing to link to you.”

    Great advice there and we’ll def be trying this out!

  42. Thanks for the advices Neil.

    I have one question though. I guess you know about the different tools and softwares we can get in this business like f.i. Article Submitters to build links. What is you opinion about them, and do they really work?

  43. Thanks Neil, great post as always and worthy of linking.

    One of the problems is that your competitors might have a lot of spam backlinks (acquired by anglela’s backlinks, or automation ..), so always best to filter and use Matt Cuts’s “Would the page you are getting a backlink from annoy the user” rule.

  44. Being new to the blogosphere and website worl in general I have done lots of information digging for the best way to build backlinks. I have never paid for a link and would never have thought to as I have always seen those as worthless links. That said I have found this article informative and shall tweet it.

    I would like to add that all of my sites rank 1st for my chosen keywords.

  45. However, I know some people who use links to see the classification of SEO and never optimize the site itself only for the results and money, and we believe that not only false, but no ranking.

  46. replica breitling :

    Hi Neil,
    All the things, you told,are very effective. I ahve also heard about profile Links. Are they useful?

  47. The things you told above are genuine stuffs but if everyone just does what you said then i think we wont be able to rank high for already ranked keywords … it will be very difficult for new sites to rank that way .. for start-ups wise link building might be helpful to get good SERPS and traffic ..

  48. Another two good ways to get legit links are news releases and getting listed in your local chamber of commerce…

  49. I just creating an article and post it in my blog everyday. And yes I do even rank in google with in the first page. But it is not enough, so I guess this post really help a lot.. Thank you Neil.

  50. If you put the time into planning, it does not have to take years to see results in SE rankings. Create a ten word, keyword list and focus on making your website titles and subjects mention these words. You can research what words are searched more often or their “relevance.”

    Taking the grass roots approach for a long term vision will trump your competition’s short mindedness in the end. It took a year for my current company to optimize key areas of our thousands of pages. Take time to build the infrastructure and if you plan right, you will see a big difference in the short term, but achieve more long term success.

    Know what your competition is using to SEO themselves.

  51. Nice article it shows that the honest way is the better one, i also think that you have to be patient.

  52. this is really interesting now i am trying to used this kind of techniques. because some of my sites penalized by google for some penalties.

  53. Perfect timing. Was about to buy some inbound links. Thanks for the explanation.

  54. I like the simple email you send asking for links :D

  55. I asked many times to sites owners to link my sites but all of them wanted links to their site from me.So I think it is not very useful opinion.

  56. Davina Marshall :

    Hi Neil,
    Thanks for the post. I hope you don’t mind me using your email template. By the way, did you get my email link request? :) Seriosly, I can confirm that this method does work, used it on many occasions with huge success. As you say, stay well clear of paid backlinking especially when you can use this method for free.. Got you bookmarked Neil..

  57. I think Google don’t like link exchange any more. so, what happen when we exchange or buy links like that.
    any way, thanks for your share! however, I think the content is most important thing to promote a site.

  58. As far as Google goes, it is better to play on the safe side. After all, how are you going to beat hundreds of engineers and PhDs…

  59. Another great SEO lesson Neil!!! Guest posting is awesome for your blog. If you are able to convince many bloggers to allow you to do a guest post will help a lot in ranking up your site.

  60. until recently, i didn’t know that you could be banned from Google…at least not for things like this.

    the linking game is an important one, for sure. asking for links and getting great content out there have been helpful for me.

    guest posting is THE way to go. i’ve blogged about it…even had an opportunity to guest post a few times!!

  61. This is a great post on what it takes to really dig in and do quality work and be rewarded for it.

    The problem is, it’s in Google’s best interests to show the organic results that display adsense because of the revenue they get from adwords – hence the eHow’s and other content farm fed sites can build content quicker faster and for dirt cheap.

  62. Nate,

    Thank you for this post. You’ve really convinced me out of paying for links for short-term gain and putting business at risk for the long-term.

    L

  63. Very useful information in this article. I haven’t paid much attention to rank well in Google (I’m stuck in 2 since I launched my Twitterlive tool in January 2010) mainly because a high ranked site not always means it is good but because it has tons of links to it. I’ve paid more attention to spread the word about my tool and to rank well with Alexa which is more relevant in terms of web site traffic.
    Having said that now I want to concentrate more in ranking better with Google, but seems to me that back link alone don’t do the trick because I have a fair amount of them.
    Google is indeed hard to figure out.
    -S

  64. The tip about contacting website owners, within your niche, can be extremely potent. Often, If you just ask someone politely, you can often get some VERY high quality on-topic links.

  65. I really like the idea of guest posting – many blog owners seek guest bloggers to write for them.

    I remember “back in the day” when sending out emails asking for links was widely accepted…not sure if I believe it is still the thing to do. I have sent out several such emails recently and the owners of those sites seemed to act as though their site was too good for my link. Hmmm…what do they know ???

  66. Well..you have to do your research first. What kind of links can you find on their site ? How is their style of writing and would your own style “fit in”?

  67. Great article. I have been following your blog from quite some time now and I have seen you putting stress on content writing and not buying links but text links is a cumbersome job. I am not sure whether it is worth the time and especially when you are a one man army in your website.

  68. Hello Atul,

    Really appreciated this article and reading about your experiences. I like to come back to visit your site and learn more.

    -Bryan

    P.S. – I’m in OC too.

  69. This is one of the most honest SEO article I have seen through out my 6 years working in the SEO industry. Most people will just tell you to buy links, but experience is worth a lot money and that is something you cannot buy. But instead of selling mine, I would like to share mine here.

    I too was crazy in the boat of promoting my own sites and ranking crazy high for keywords. I have tried every black hat trick in the world (buying links is blackhat…). Whether those links were on entire sites, or whether those were on donation pages of top sites including phpbb and others. I had links coming from PR 9 domains… Those were quick success. You will rank high for 3 months, 6 months, and a year tops until you will get under the watchlist. Your site will be removed from Search Engines, you will lose your Pagerank, and lastly you will lose a significant portion of your income if not all because of it.

    I agree that bosses want results and that is because most bosses are morons who don’t know about this industry. SEO is “Branding”. You cannot create a brand in a matter of weeks. It takes YEARS for GOOGLE to become what it is. Don’t get me wrong, I expect results as well. You can get great results in 3 – 6 months with just organic linking, link-baiting etc. For one of my site, it has a Pagerank 6, it ranks high in the niche’s top keywords (just about any keywords we want it to), and it is just one year old. When did it start ranking high? Within three months we started seeing results. Haven’t paid a single dime in advertisement. I have links coming from top sites including Wired Magazine, Mashable, TechCrunch, Problogger, Webmonkey, Smashing Magazine etc. Most were obtained through the technique of link-baiting and also some were obtained through the method of emails. It requires a lot of work, and I would be another person in the boat of saying “content is king”, but I would also say that your “site’s layout is the kingdom”. I think a good reason for my site being mentioned in top sources which I mentioned above was because it looked good. The fact that it was credible looking gave the site a consideration in the eyes of top editors. If you have a site that looks UGLY, then don’t even bother showing it to people. Because people hate ugly sites. And good looking sites buy credibility.

    What Neil shared above in terms of sending emails is the strategy not only used by SEO experts, but also SEO SPAMMERs as well, who use this at least hundred times more. So you are competing with 100 spam emails that look just like yours. Now how can you make yours stand out?

    Be Personal, don’t make the same pitch everywhere. Create custom pitches. HAVE A FREAKIN GOOD LOOKIN SITE. Be thorough in your email. Explain how it is benefiting them to link to you. Always thank the webmaster / editor.

    Good Luck.

    • Thanks for the very thorough insight, it definitely makes a lot of sense. People just need to get it in their head that you can make it happen, but it just takes a lot of work.

  70. Hi! This is the first time I comment to your blog.
    I have a question
    “If I use 10 kinds of automatic link building tool to your website, let`s say give your website 20,000 of spam links and link from top page to your blog. Will your blog be penalized?”

    If possible, I can establish SPAM SEO company.

    Example, Your website appear the top page when search “Online poker”
    My client website is No,2. They want to appear No,1.
    I will not try to pick my client website No,1.
    I will try to your website down…. How do you feel? It can`t be.

    The 1st, Mr, Matt,cuts says that

    Q: I’m worried that someone will buy links to my site and then report that.
    A: We’ve always tried very hard to prevent site A from hurting site B. That’s why these reports aren’t being fed directly into algorithms, and are being used as the starting point rather than being used directly. You might also want to review the policy mentioned in my 2005 post (individual links can be discounted and sellers can lose their ability to pass on PageRank/anchortext/etc., which doesn’t allow site A to hurt site B).

    So, he said link seller will be punished but buyer can`t punish.
    This is the question of mine.

    So that I think your website banned reason was not buy links. By another reason I think.
    Thank you! Your blog is wonderful!

  71. I am also a SEO! I havent any word to appreciate this post…..Really i am impressed from this post….the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us.

  72. my site is the top spot for “unblock at school”, which according to Google keywords gets 50k searches a month. However, I am only getting 5 unique max from it.

    So even if you manage to get your site to #1, it doesn’t mean you’ll make money…

  73. I like the email template you are sharing here. Will perhaps give it a try and see if I was able to get a few links from that… I have not emailed anyone to ask for linkbacks yet. :)

  74. Kajabi Review :

    Great post. It’s so tempting to buy links, so it’s very interesting to see this post. I noticed that you refer to getting articles on other blogs as your main SEO strategy now. Me too. And you’re right, sending out link request is paaaaaainful as heck. lol ;)

  75. Kajabi Review :

    One other thing that I meant to say was, that I focus a lot on low competition keywords to help with rankings. I am a keyword research “genius”… lol. But I tell you for big keywords…it’s tough not to buy.

  76. electronic reviews :

    Seo is one of the simplest arts in theory. Everyone says all you have to do is write a few articles or place a few forum profiles. But in practice it is not that easy for some major keywords you need links in the thousands, sometimes even the hundreds of thousands. My brain is still working out an effective way of doing this on a consistent basis

  77. Its not an easy task to bring the keywords in top which has more competition which we need to build some quality back links for it.

  78. It was a good lesson on why we should not buy text links. It was under speculation by me but I guess in the end it might just not be worth it.

  79. I have been tempted to buy links but the downside is simply too great. Nothing beats old fashioned methods you mentioned like asking for the links, writing articles – or “how to” guides, and listing your web site on various directories. Thanks for a good article that breaks it doen to the basics

  80. good post…buying links is tempting but google is not stupid and they wll catch up with you in the end!!

  81. Buying links is never the way to go unless you want to get banned. While I don’t believe I could get to page one that quickly I have quite the competition to knock out. These tips should really help though, thanks.

  82. I would really stick on the ‘ natural and legitimate links’ period! Would cost time but no money involve. The math is simple, if you have good articles/content like this site, you would probably be linked to other site who would find it informative and useful for other users as well. Thanks Neil for this very nice and informative article! God bless! :)

  83. Commenting on do follow blog for some link juice is considered ethical or not if you are taking part in discussions ?

  84. Excellent Article Neil. I really don’t prefer reciprocal link. I never ask another person to link to them, because normally not every person will agree to us.

    Really, i don’t prefer buying links. Buying links is a waste of time. But i really till now don’t understand why still google does not ban sites which sell links. Just i google, several keywords like buy text links. Lots of people just selling links.

    Why don’t Google Ban them? Why adwords are still allowing to advertise to sell text links?

  85. So I totally understand that purchasing links is not a good long-term strategy, but what does that mean, exactly?

    Is it not a good long-term strategy to buy links indefinitely or is buying links for a few months then stopping still considered “long-term”?

    In other words, will 6-month-old links or even 2-year-old links come back to bite you WHENEVER Google finds them? In other words still, does Google have some sort of statute of limitations for paid links they discover — will they penalize you if they realize you’re no longer actively buying?

  86. but i m updating posts in my blog regularly and getting links also, but still it is in unranked, can you give me the solution

  87. I would have to agree links take a while to build over time this seo article is nice….

  88. The best websites are those that are built to last – by offering something valuable in the first place. That’s what makes others want to link to them.

    Thanks for the post, Neil.

  89. nice article….
    thank you for shared… :D

  90. ourscompany :

    Greetings Mr Patel,

    This is really a great post and very helpful and we agree with your view. We need to be natural in our activity and if we able to share good information across the network then it will by default generate lots of links and trust vote.

    For an example: The content you wrote here liked by so many users and hence they are referring the content and this effectively increasing the backlink, trust vote for you and for your site and also helping in online branding which is essential.

    Thanks again for your great content.

    - Matt
    from http://www.ourscompany.com

  91. There are some good points but no one is gonna know for sure how google rates certain factors for sure, they are mysterious. For example i went and submitted my site to 800 directories the other week, and i noticed a jump in my rankings just from that for “directory submission”.

  92. In my opinion writing great content is what will get you the audience, everything else is secondary.

  93. It will always remain a mystery on how Google rank the pages and indexed sites. Nowadays it’s very difficult to create links and post to sites, owners and authors are very strict when it comes to filtering and approving of comments. If your fortunate enough, you won’t be treated as junk or spam. Hope to hear more suggestion from you Neil.

  94. I’ve been working with Seo for some time now I’m not a web master but i’m interested in how to rank well in search engines
    I think Neil is right don’t buy links

  95. Sökmotoroptimering :

    Great guide man!
    I use some different tactics to get the links, but good content and frekvently updates to your site is a good thing!

  96. I have managed to get several sites to Nos. 1 or 2 on the first page against about 24 million competing sites without buying links. In fact when you look at some of my sites the amount of links they have is pathetic, but I believe that the old cliche “content is king” is dead right.

  97. Stay away from link firm and bad neighbors, get good back links from good sites is the best way to reach your goal.

  98. I have a question about the emails: do you actually send them out from the same domain as you’re promoting? If so, aren’t you worried that someone might mark the message as spam?

  99. I haven’t bought TONS of links in my career, but now I’m paranoid after reading the statement from Matt Cutts. No longer will I try to take short cuts.

  100. Legitimate links are the only realistic way to go, even if it does take a long time and is time consuming.

  101. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for such a nice post. I am doing SEO for a site since last 4 months. I brought that site form third page to second page. But suddenly it got de-ranked from second page top to the bottom of second page. Please can you help me on this?

    Thanks,
    Gabrielle

    • This happens often and is the name of the game. I think you should find the root of the problem and fix it. It might be that some of your links are no longer valid. Or your competitors have begun a more robust link building program.

    • I think legitimate links back are the key to the ranking. If you were de-ranked it is probably because you are having to many links too quickly.

  102. Hello Neil,

    great information you provide here, can you clarify something for me?

    When you say dont buy links does that mean directory links? I submit my site to directories all the time, is that dangerous from an SEO perspective?

  103. The more and high PR backlinks more are the chances of getting more. If a newbie starts asking for guest posts, send emails, there are very less chances of getting backlinks. Linkbuilding for starters will become long and tiring.

  104. What a great article! It’s true, using black hat methods or paying astronomical fees for some marketing company to backlink the heck out of you won’t rank you a “winner” in your expertise. The key is good content, use of keywords, and interesting content. Nicely done, bravo!!

  105. Thanks for the post, we are currently trying to follow it step by step to help our SEO positioning.

  106. Great read Neil,

    So I get that paying for links is a bad option in the long term, but what if i only want to get a good amount of traffic/ranking for a short term (e.g. 6 months). What would you suggest? Going to these websites that apparently submit hundreds of links or pay someone for SEO optimization?

    • I would suggest paying someone with the time and resources to optimize your website and build links. You can contract out to firms for 6 months, and if you decide to continue service you can extend past that amount of time.

  107. Hi Neil,
    Thanks for sharing your secret. I’m new in seo field so I will follow your secret to get top ranking in search engines. Specially I would like to say thanks on content writing techniques.

    Regards
    John

  108. Looking into submitting with the Yahoo! Directory. For 299$ a year, is it really worth that much money?

    Cheers,

  109. There is a right way to rank on Google page one things like title description and domain name are huge factors to get on Google page one websites get hit constantly from Google Panda and algorithm changes its best left to seo experts to get results

  110. Hello Neil,

    Very much appreciated hence it’s very convincing and practical. I know several Ineternet Marketers waste their hard earned money to buy backlinks without knowing the fact that it’s not going to work on the long term. Once again thanks indeed for this valuable post.

  111. Hi Neil,

    Can you help my site rank better on the search google?
    I also have getthinamerica.com

    Thanks

  112. Everyone has good seopack to boost google ranking?
    I used http://topseopack.weebly.com
    And my site now rank page 1 after 3 week.
    Sorry my english

  113. This is a great way to rank higher but surely this would take longer as the process involved here can be quite time-consuming but I guess you’re right in saying that is a very organic way to rank higher on Google – so, thank you for this, much appreciated!

  114. I’ve got my site on page one of Google for the search terms I aimed at, but intend to keep working to stay there. Finding out who links to what site is interesting, but typing in ‘link:http://yourwebsite.com‘ seems a bit flawed (or I’m missing something here) – for example, for sites I know have links elsewhere, it shows nothing at all, yet testing it with say, google.com works. Any thoughts?

  115. I got my bounce house rental wet site to page 1 of google many times and fell off do to stupid things like changing my host provider from foreign to local or my web builder randomly added extra letters in the site after i published it. Many times i fell off of page 1 on google and had to recover. It is not easy to stay at the top! links are very important to page 1 rank. I thank everyone who writes on forms about improving your rank in search engines. I think reading a lot is the best thing a person can do. This helps with learning. Thanks for your advice.

  116. Increase content for website instead of spam links.

  117. what about buying blogroll links? could that get you banned if you only buy a few?

  118. I simply could not go away your site prior to suggesting that I extremely loved the usual info a person provide in your guests? Is going to be back ceaselessly in order to inspect new posts

  119. THIS ONE IS A NICE ARTICLE…. you have a good knowledge!!
    really beneficial for me…
    Thanx for sharing
    this is useful information….

  120. Really beneficial for me…
    Neil Patel Thanks for sharing
    this is useful seo strategy…

  121. Neil Patel our site just got ranking on 1 in just two months :) your the best

  122. may i ask you one thing, how to make comments for backlink

  123. hey neil,
    this post sounds good. i will definitely try these all. great contents.

    Thanks.
    Matt

  124. Question about approaching other bloggers and wanting to write a guest post for their sites: How do you know you can count on them to just let that link to your site on their blog? What stops them from removing said link and pretending they wrote that article?

  125. This Article has worth in link building…Thank You admin

  126. dont forget to use blogging services…..
    like,
    opera
    livejournal
    blog
    blogspot
    Xanga
    Myspace

  127. There is a big problem with SEO’s and the way search engines work. They work for $ so therefore they have to generate it.
    Besides DMOZ – Yahoo and Best of the Web are PAID links.
    Google has the same. So dont buy links unless its from us?
    And now when searching (for almost anything) you will get
    sites that offer nothing but links to sites that actually offer what you are looking for. And these sites of course offer paid advertising. IE Will put your link at the top for $.
    Doesn’t matter if it is half way around the world.
    So WHAT is relevant? What makes what right?
    Google flexing their “authority”?

    Imagine this: use Geo IP?
    Search format : (zip code) (distance) (keywords or phrase)
    So if your looking for a electrician
    355555 40 miles general electrician home wiring
    And ALL it brings up are those bushiness that have websites and are located within 40 miles of the zip code you inputted.
    Nothing more.
    No PAID links from ANYONE …
    Imagine that.
    OH wait – wont happen.
    Money …
    Revenue …
    BUY ME!

  128. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on
    the web the easiest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people think about
    worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top
    as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  129. Hi all :)

    Personally I don’t like guest posting, except if you have a good relationship with the blog owner.
    I prefer nowadays social websites and RSS Feeds directory / aggregators.
    Thanks for the article.

  130. Suitable for all keyword? that mean short and long keyword…

  131. I know many people who utilize inbound links to determine the particular distinction connected with SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION and don’t boost the website per se limited to the outcome along with cash, along with all of us believe that not merely untrue, nevertheless no standing.

  132. If you are looking for long term success then you have got to play by the rules otherwise you risk all your hard work going down the drain.

  133. Damn Man !

    I Dont think which this small things you can rank on google , Even if you implement this I dont think it works.

    Tell us how you ranked on page 1 for rank on page 1 article.

    We want real explanation of your website ranking.

    How you worked , where you submitted , you undergone any seo services , you used any seo softwares , you contacted any seo experts.

    We want that , Not this basic things that everyone know and would work in this overloaded google

  134. Great info I’ve tried to get listed on DMOZ about 3 month ago how long does it normally take?

    Brad

  135. You are definitely right.
    Although these methods may not be fun and they may be time-consuming, they are proven methods that will work when executed correctly (and by that I mean natural and white-hat).

  136. Thats right! However it clearly takes patience and discipline to follow these steps to rank in google. But ultimately, if its too easy, then everyone can do it. So its not easy ;D

  137. Really this is nice article, your all things are working…

  138. Great article. Going strong for so long, absolutely amazing mate.

  139. Dear Neil is is Good to Upload you Tube Video And Ezine Articles….??

    And Much Classified Ads Plus Article On Regular Basis On Our Website.
    And One Thing More .. If We Want To Make Rank Of an Particular Keyword Like : Stock Tips Or Forex Tips Then how to Use Keywords In Post – Should We Write In Full Manner Or Divide It Into Parts – Stock, Tips…etc..

  140. Hi Neil, Thanks for a great post!

    I would like to also submit http://www.bizidx.com as a business directory that can be used to increase web visibility for any business.

    I have recently written this system and am eager to contribute to the SEO industry though it!

    Regards,

    Wynand Murray

  141. I agree with this 100 percent.

    I have ranked many sites on page 1 and 2 of google with 0 backlinks.

    All it too was good onpage seo and a quality article. I have found thesis to be the best SEO framework for wordpress and it simplifies things but not having having to use a bunch of seo plugins.

    Lately I have been using quality SAFE backlink pyramids
    from this site:

    http://www.thegaryhalbertletter.com/Boron/TChapter7.htm

    Hope this helps,

    Jimmy D

  142. This is fairly new… I have not heard of buying links..I’ll google more on it. Maybe because I have only started my website for a week Lol. I am still in the learning curve.. Thanks for this informative post

  143. Overall, I discovered spending the time to create quality content or hiring a writer to do it works best. It can be exhausting at times waiting for results but it’s much better than purchasing links which can backfire and make your site disappear.

  144. I find this post very useful But the whole quicksprout site is even better

  145. Hi can I know if there is anything I can do do rank on page 1 within a week??

  146. This is a great blog. I would love to pick you brain to learn new things from you. Do you think you can rank a website on page 1 of Google in 2 weeks? Can you give us a tip on how you did so good?

  147. This is a great article, I would like it if you could create a do and don’t list to help me improve my page ranking.

  148. Neil, this is the best way to build links but it does take a lot of time!

  149. By the way Neil “You’re the best at making cereal”…
    ja, ja….Just kidding… This is one of the most honest and informative SEO article I’ve ever read. Thank you.

  150. I hired this company MI Dynamics. http://www.midgr.com

    Linkbuilding gurus.

    Hiring the wrong guys can be disastrous. I hired this Indian company off freelancer and they built weird links in porn sites and .ru domains.

  151. I did not understand at the end how you did your sites rank high what to do?

  152. Very Interesting . Thank you . Hope full it will help me perk up my site .

  153. This article is great! I am currently taking a digital marketing course and we have to create a webpage and try and rank it in Google based on a specified keyword. I am trying to gather more information to do just that! Thanks!

  154. This is a awesome article, I am trying to gather more information to do just that! Thanks!

  155. Thanks for this good article,Neil.Subscribed to your newsletter.And you are best in choosing post titles. :)

  156. Hello Neil,

    Thanks for your tips. As I listened to your advice, I sent out emails to website owners that linked to my competitors websites. But they either did not reply or replied with the amount I need to pay for each year in order to get linking. Secondly, GMOZ doesn’t seem to accept free link submission and Best of the Web required $149 to link submission. It’s very frustrating to see my website is still rank 0 while my competitors who started their websites later than I did got ranking of 2. Is there any other great ideas you would like to share to improve ranking?

    Thanks for your time.

    Best Regards,
    Kent.

  157. This is awesome article..thanks you for post.

  158. I am currently applying some of these tactics, but the 1 you mentioned about guest posting I have not tried as of yet. I am submitting articles to Ezine Articles, Hub Pages and other directories. I will implement this link building tactic.

  159. If you build it they (readers) will come, but slow and steady definitely wins in the long run.

    Learning to cultivate a relationship with your readers is ideally the best way to increase web traffic.

  160. Thank you for this wonderful info! I’ve always bought links in the past, but I’ve heard that they can get you blacklisted by search engines. What tips would you have for a new forum to become popular and actually draw in users?

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