Lee Odden

Link Building for Blogs

As blogs continue to mature as marketing tools, there are an increasing number of “blog optimization” articles and posts appearing. However, many of these resources underestimate the importance of inbound links.

To think that researching and placing keywords in the “right places” alone with improve a blog’s traffic is only part of the story. Blogs are simply web sites/content management systems with some special features. Getting web sites to rank well and to engage more traffic involves a large number of variables and the same goes for blogs. The difference is that there are unique linking opportunities with blogs that are not common with web sites. These include:

  • Trackbacks
  • Comments
  • Social book marks
  • Tagging
  • Blogrolls
  • Guest writing on other blogs
  • Blog, RSS directories

Methods to gain links commonly associated with web sites include:

  • Backlink analysis on competing web sites or blogs
  • Search engine directory submissions
  • Profiles and bios
  • Testimonials
  • Job listings
  • Interviews
  • Contributions to non-profits
  • Article marketing
  • Social book marks (listed above too)
  • Press releases
  • Contributed articles to MSM web sites
  • Media coverage
  • Buying web sites
  • Viral marketing – linkbait
  • Buying links (if you’re into that – I’m not)

The mistake I see a lot of bloggers making is to ignore the linking efforts normally associated with web sites. Not all of them are applicable, like job listings, but many are.

Just so you don’t think I’m another rambling blogger touting the benefits of something that is yet unproven or achieved, check out these rankings on Google for Online Marketing Blog:

And on Yahoo:

These rankings involve no SEO smoke and mirrors, just good content AND inbound links. While these rankings are for my old blog address, the newer url is gaining fast #4 and #8. Either way, I get the traffic.

As you work on getting keyword phrases in all the right places of your blog, understand that on-page optimization is only part of the job and blog marketing gurus out there should pay more attention to it. A steady stream of inbound links from a variety of relevant and authoritative sources can make a night and day difference for your blog’s search engine positioning and quantity/quality of referring visitors.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar John Scott says

    Great rankings, Lee.

  2. Thanks John. I know I’m a shit for putting something like that out there, but why not?

  3. Avatar Aaron Pratt says

    At least you are being honest, I am blown away at your 10k links in yahoo, the only thing I do not agree with is that your inbound links are at all natural, but good for you, wish I had it in me to do what you do. You are an extremely efficient self promoter.

    Psst, you also moved up to page #1 for “pubcon” and several others phrases, yep it looks like it is still about the god damn links. 😉

  4. Hey Aaron, by no means are my inbound links ALL “natural”. At least not any more natural than a company getting mentioned in a magazine article because their PR firm arranged for an interview between the journalist and the company CEO.

    I used to do “traditional” link building, but haven’t bothered in the past year or so. At a certain point, a tipping point maybe, there’s enough momentum generated that you can gain enough links just by producing content. Links come to you unsolicited. There’s always room for a little nudge here and there, but it’s more productive overall to spend the time on the content after a while rather than manufacturing links.

  5. Hi Lee,

    Nice post, indeed. Could I translate it in french for publish it on my blog, a translation lab all about Internet, marketing and even … Google?
    Kind regards,

  6. That would be fine Jean-Marie. Just be sure to link back to this post. 🙂

  7. I am wondering what you think, Lee, in terms of how long linking (backlinking) will play as large a roll in the overal aspects of SEO rankings…

    My theory is that linking weight will subside within the next two years when an algorithym will come into play that includes a thorough analysis of website relevance and perhaps a third party authority website.

  8. Hi Fil,
    I don’t think there’s any doubt that current ranking methodology will change. That includes the way link citations are valued and interpreted. I do belive citations from other sources, pages without actual links for example, along with user data will play an increasingly important role.


  9. Hi Lee,

    Translation done! You can see it here : http://adscriptum.blogspot.com/2006/05/blogs-et-stratgie-de-rfrencement.html
    with a few good (at least I hope so!) inbound links to you.
    Reading your blog I see there are quite a few posts very interesting, and sometimes I’d like to translate some of them, always providing other BL if you agree.
    Kind regards,

  10. Thanks Jean-Marie!

  11. Nice post and congratulations on your success! I see new “blog directories” cropping up on the web all the time nowadays. Perhaps this will be the next “big thing” for blog marketing.

  12. Avatar Boston Web Design says


    Indeed we are seeing an explosion of social media, and social marketing. Along with this search engine marketing, optimization, link building, and many other social internet (Web2.0) developments are skyrocketing. Thank you for sharing this information there are many good points here!



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