According to Gil Reich of Answers.com, “The most important thing to remember about links is that you’re trying to get somebody else to put your message on their site.” So, how do you do it?
As Reich points out, one way of doing it is through flattery. This tactic should come naturally since most all of us have probably used flattery to get things in the past.
The approach however, is often difficult. Popular link builder Debra Mastaler of Alliance-Link suggests looking for the source instead of targeting sites such as CNN or Digg. Reich also adds that users should target the people who are at the center of the community.
For example, see who is frequently being linked to and tweeted. He says Twitter and other social sites are very helpful because the best link building is done through relationship building.
Reich does offer a word of caution in regards to outbound links. He says users need to be careful and monitor when linking out. With WikiAnswers, Answers.com has to be especially careful since it is user generated content. In addition, they use nofollow and hope the community will not take advantage of them. (Correction: See Comments.)
As for the future of link building, Reich does not see it changing dynamically. He says it is similar to the search industry in that the “Wild West” phase is over and people are doing what works. Talking about on-page optimization, he recalls Google’s Matt Cutts saying that SEOs shouldn’t chase the search engine and alternatively, chase the user. Applying that idea to link building, Reich says, “It’s don’t chase the engines, chase the community.”
Are you link building through relationships?