Link Building Secrets – Post Panda and Penguin

This is a guest post by Gregory Smith.

You tell me your secrets, I’ll tell you mine. It’s true, we are all weak at heart to “want to get in on a good secret”. As you’re aware, it’s not very often in the world of Link Building that professionals share their secrets, but in the one off special occasion of being a guest here on the wonderful blog of the beautiful, most professional – Kristi Hines, I’m in a “terrific” mood and am going to share a few of my personal secrets – the ones that have gotten me to where I am today. Before I jump into the realm, let’s first take a good little look at what our Link Building amigo, Eric Ward has to say about Link Building secrets:

“Link building secrets? That search on Google comes up with over 20 million matches. How secret is anything out there with so much discussion about it? And which of those 20 million shiny nuggets are real secrets rather than fool’s gold?” -Eric Ward


Link Building Secrets


The truth of the matter is that link building of any sort – whether it be secretive or a wide spread strategy – the reality is that one strategy might possibly be a golden egg for one site, while being nothing more than useless for another. No matter how much I write on the topic or someone else, you aren’t going to build links manually until you’re good and ready to do so. Would you rather spend the rest of your life begging another webmaster to put your link on her/his site, or would you rather have the most powerful links on the web come to you free, without much work?

The process of link building can be so overwhelming, confusing, tedious and dreaded to some, that they completely ignore link building as a whole. In other cases, business owners and webmasters alike are taking the easier route and buying links or just simply using link building software and the biggest portion of these type of businessmen are now sitting tightly in Google’s sand box through their lesson learned by Penguins and Pandas. Learning to create backlinks on your own can be a huge advantage and learning these link building secrets can prove to be beneficial.

Let’s Get Started Shall We?

A couple of my link building secrets will be easy managed, while others will prove just a bit more difficult. Pay attention to the methods mentioned as some are industry specific. There’s no reason to get your panties in a wad over it though, and there’s not a bit of sense in grabbing your ink pens and paper, I advise you to simply bookmark this page and refer back to it as yours to keep. Also note that you don’t need to implement every strategy mentioned here – simply take a few and run with them.

1.)  The Trophy Flipper

The Trophy Flipper (the networking almighty)  is one of my personal strategies, and one I do personally implement. It requires a little work (I know you hate to hear that) , but the benefits are overwhelming. To perform the Flipper, follow these simple steps:

Your niche doesn’t matter; this method can be used for any market. What you want to do is brain storm a contest you would like to hold. You won’t be running a contest, but what it consists of is you developing something along the lines of “best website”, top 50 SEO blogs, top high schools in Florida, coolest and smallest product, or anything you can come up with. The point is to place other websites in a position to win an award. In your personal contest, you want to include at least the “top 50″, in any contest you create.

Once you have developed your contest and have located the top 50 best sites you can find in any particular niche, the next task is to email the site owners and inform them that their website has been chosen to be entered into a major award contest, and tell them that they could potentially win an award. Not only does this position you as the expert on the topic, but once you determine how to place the sites from #50 to #1, you then want to send the site owner their award. How will you get these awards? Simple, you will go to Fiverr and for $5 have someone to create the awards for you, with numbers on them, from 1-50. Have the nicest looking awards possible created, the quality will reflect upon you.

Not only does this generate a ton of traffic (because all 50 sites will be promoting their awards!) – you get powerful one-way links once the nice award has been placed on their sites. (It’s also a great idea to create the awards as embedded images.) What kind of contest you choose to create will solely determine from what niche and domain you receive links. If you run a small contest for “colleges with the highest benefits” or anything of the sort, you will receive .edu’s, but like I said, this all depends upon you.

2.)  Capture The Link By It’s Tail

When your first starting out with any Link Building campaign, be it for yourself or a client: optimize your link anchor text by implementing the long tail keywords related to your niche and also focus on buyer keywords. This is a great way to get more traffic to your website and it also generates stake holder claim very fast.

Focus your entire Link Building campaign on “obtaining just the right amount of links.”  Your target objective here is to capture just enough to rank number one, for your target keyword(s) and you must do this without putting your site in the path of being stepped on by the one thousand pound gorilla (Google).

Link Building is what causes most penalties to take place. If you have learned a thing or three lately from all those tears caused by the Penguins and Pandas, the one single thing that should of attracted your attention the most was “Over Optimization” and Bad Links. Link Building is the back bone of the web and will always be a number one ranking factor in any Algorithm, the way links are built will always be watched very closely.

Do not try to concern yourself with shortcuts and tricks.

“SEO and Link Building both are long term strategies and should be taken seriously.”

3.)  Internal Linking Mayhem

Believe it or not, the links within your website that you use to link your pages together (internal links) are extremely beneficial towards your link building campaign and SEO. These links do count. The recent Penguin update showed us that “we don’t always want to use keyword anchor text.” There are more intelligent ways to go about doing things the right way. Links on your site (blog posts) that point to authority pages within your site are considered quality links. The more authority pages you have within your site, the more authority links your site has the potential to develop. Don’t overdo it!

4.)   Google Link Search

Use Google’s advanced, related search feature to find related sites that will allow you to add your URL. This simple, yet effective strategy will open up many amazing doors – so many that you may overlook it as being too easy. I suggest you not take the effectiveness of this strategy too lightly.
Google Link Search Examples:

“allintitle: add+url” “your keywords”  or  allinbody: submit+your+link “your keywords”

5.) Post Penguin & Panda Anchor Text

Do not create all of your Anchor Text using your focus keywords. What you need to do is begin implementing; what I call the “Anchor Text Percentage” . To implement the Anchor Text Percentage, you have to focus your attention around generating a 40%, 40% x 20% variation of Anchor Text’s. You are to add 40% anchor text’s such as those similar to click here. You want to use 40% anchor text similar to your brand and then you have 20% left to flow your money keywords.

6.)  Google Alerts and Quora

Create Google Alerts and Quora notifications pertaining to all of your keywords. You want to sign up for daily alerts and as soon as you see new websites popup or those who are posting content frequently, contact them and offer a content swap, offer to guest post or simply request a link exchange.

Another great tip for using Google Alerts is to sign up for key phrases such as “hire a social media expert”. What market you are in will determine what kind of clients you are trying to get for yourself. Sign up for every key-term possible, and every time someone online posts something related to what your potential clients would post, you are the one who has the opportunity to contact them first.

* Looking for new clients? Use a term similar to; “Hire an SEO company” “hire a mentor” buy a new car” in your Google Alerts, and rope the cow before it’s placed in the barn!

It’s always a great idea to work with tools that help you to learn what questions your potential visitors are asking. Use those questions (as your keywords) to optimize your next article.

7.)   Pimp Those Infographics is a platform that allows you to edit your images and embed links, videos, etc into them. This is an amazing way to add a ton of value to those info-graphics everyone is chattering about. Just creating quality images with links in them – links which help to explain a subject such as the process of SEO – is a great quality image that everyone will love to repost on their site. In return not only will you create brand awareness, but you will be establishing some really nice one-way links too!

8.)   Interview Industry Experts

Whether it be simple text interviews or some great quality video interviews, this is another really wonderful way to establish links to your site! In fact this is a method not many people are implementing. Don’t be scared to reach out and talk to the industry experts in your niche. Reaching outside the box is what creates success!

9.)  Link Diversity Like a PRO

Forget about building link’s for the purpose of SEO, Page Rank or anything of the sort. Diversify baby! Reach into the unknown, and build links that won’t be indexed on site’s that use the “no index tag”. The purpose of this is, it will create brand quality, drive traffic and etc from places you normally don’t travel around the web. The more you look, the more you’ll be able to diversify your link acquisition.

10.)   Search Engine Operators

Google Search Operators are used to narrow your search and find great new linking opportunities. Below are the best search engine operators.

  •  ”add comment” “your keywords”
  •  allallintitle:your keywords
  •  allinurl:your keywords
  •  directory your keywords
  •  allintitle:blog your keywords
  •  allintitle:directory “your keywords”
  •  allintitle:forum your keywords
  •  allintitle:group your keywords
  •  allintitle:post your keywords
  •  inurl:blog “your keywords”
  •  inurl:directory “your keywords”
  •  inurl:forum your keywords
  •  your keywords “add a url”
  •  your keywords “add site”
  •  your keywords “add url”
  •  your keywords “add website”
  •  your keywords “add your site”
  •  your keywords “testimonials”
  •  your keywords “favorite links”
  •  your keywords “favorite sites”
  •  your keywords “leave a comment”
  •  your keywords “no comments”
  •  your keywords “recommended links”
  •  your keywords “recommended resources “
  •  your keywords “recommended sites”
  •  your keywords “related sites”
  •  your keywords “related URLs”
  •  your keywords “submit a url”
  •  your keywords “submit site”
  •  your keywords “submit url”
  •  your keywords “submit website”
  •  your keywords “submit your site”
  •  your keywords “suggest a url”
  •  your keywords “suggest site”
  •  your keywords sponsors
  •  ”recommended links” your keywords
  •  site:edu
  •  site:gov
  •  site:org

Have a look at the Search Engine Operator cheat sheet.

You may enjoy the use of this neat little tool. It’s a desktop software that gives you quick access to the following search engine operators.

  • links:
  • related:
  • cache:
  • info:
  • exact match (“”)

Here are a couple of more tools free for you to use.

11.)   Omitted Search Results

Find omitted results when you perform a search in Google to determine the competitiveness of your keywords or to determine the ranking of a site, etc. Omitted results are the true results of any search. To find the omitted results, after you have completed your Google search, you need to add &start=990 at the end of the Google URL that appears in your browser. This also offers some really nice link building tricks. Just perform the search, add the code to the end of the string and wah lah! You can now find a lot more sites to link to and review. Those will be the ones that Google wouldn’t show you in a normal search. This is also the pro’s secret to finding out how competitive a keyword truly is! Shhh, Let’s try and just keep this one between you and I, ok (our little secret) !

12.) Twitter Cards “Rich Snippets”

Unless you’ve been hiding behind a rock for the past month, then you know by now that Twitter has implemented “Twitter Cards.” This is simply a Social Media content markup, similar to Google’s authorship. Twitter Cards give your Tweets a awesome new look and will very likely increase your content syndication, thus leveraging more traffic to your website and maximizing your link building opportunities from Twitter’s Social Media platform.

Instead of taking the long way around the bin, simply download the WordPress SEO plugin, as it has already implemented the Twitter Cards implementation. This will save you a ton of time, keeping you from going and choosing a code and having to add it to the HEAD section of your site.

13.) Competitor Analysis

If another site appears as your competitor, in many cases you wouldn’t choose them as a competitor unless you somewhat felt that they could perfom as well as you in a competition. It’s fair to say that we’d like to put our competitors in our dust. To do so simply use a nice little tool like SearchMetrics to learn all about the content your competitor or any other site, for that matter have created, which is producing results and have had the most shares on various Social Media platforms. Tools such as the one pointed out allow you to dig deep and learn of what content produced the best results for others and you can take what you find and target it, with an attempt to produce a more productive result. If someone else created something that produced great link building results, there’s a really good chance that you can take what you have learned and produce even further results.

Link Building On Twitter

Social Media and Link Building

Webmaster Radio

Secrets Are “Tricks” and “Sneaky lil Tricks” Create Short Term Success and Google Penalties

When following Google’s guidelines and attempting to manage a successful business Website, you can’t afford to perform any sneaky little tricks, better knows as Black hat SEO.  Those who perform tricks to gain better Search position, are those who wear a (metaphorically) black hat and those who perform (tricks) link building secrets are the only ones who have to become faint at heart “each time Google updates their (Website) algorithm.”

“There’s NO SUCH THING As a Link Building Secret – There’s NO Easy Way To Build Links”

Professionals in the Search Engine Optimization and Link Building industry are extremely generous – to the point of stupidity at time’s – when it comes to sharing expert advise. All the deep dark secrets are already out there (on the web); there is no secret way the pros do things and there surely isn’t an easy way out. To get to the top of your niche food chain, it takes rigorous effort, sweat and hard damn work. If you aren’t applying either of the three, then you, my friend don’t have to bother with the worry of replying to endless emails on a daily basis, because you DO NOT deserve to ever own a successful Website.

I shared a few really awesome link building strategies of mine, and in all honesty – I don’t think it would of done any more good for me to delve in deeper, explaining how to go about building links to article directories, forum links, blog directories and those similar, because you already know how to do those things. The next step in the process, is to start working and continue following those who know the ropes, or should I say the web!

“But I Thought Content Was King”

Content is king, though without links, content wouldn’t even be discussed in today’s modern web. Links are the strings which inter-links the web together and the more high quality strings (Links) you establish, the higher up your content will be positioned, in your desired search engine. Continue building those links and always remember: there is NO secret to doing it the easy way. When you work hard and continue to do so, good things will happen to you, and others will be glad to help.

Speaking of help, the comments section below is there for a reason, if you have ANY Search Engine Optimization questions or need help with your Website, please feel free to ASK all your most desired questions and I’ll gladly reply with the most professional answer as I possibly can.

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  1. says

    The Other day, I’ve done same sort of research work and my Link Building Strategy worked really well for my client.

    “According to my strategy, Keyword can be your anchor text, but it is only on range 20% – 30% backlinks, the rest should use naked url (e.x:,, etc) and general anchor text (e.x: read more, visit this website, source link, etc).”

    The metrics discussed are close enough. Thanks for awesome article.
    Siddartha Thota just posted How to Backup Android Contacts [Ultimate List]

  2. says

    Hey Gregory,

    What an amazing post you wrote here. I just wrote an article about the best 8 SEO articles of the first half of 2012, and I would have added yours if I would have known earlier.

    SEO and link building needs to be simplified and done over and over again. There is no shortcut. That is what I came to the conclusion. I kept looking for ways, but finally said I will stick to four or five ways to build links and work on those.

    Thanks for the article.
    Samuel just posted 25 WordPress Plugins You Might Need?

    • says


      Hi, I would of enjoyed being in that article, hopefully you’ll create another for that later half of 2012. It is our #1 goal, and is what is my driving force to (RxSEO) become listed as one of the most favorable SEO’s in the industry. We’ve come a very long way over the years, and look forward to being rewarded, just like everyone else. Thank you..

      Most Link Building professionals (i will not name them here) are incompetent of understanding Link Building and SEO. It’s really a “shame” to see some of them given the credit, for which isn’t deserved, but you have to understand that in this industry MONEY play’s a huge role as per your reputation, and knowing the right people goes a very long ways.

      Those of you, like me “who don’t a tree in our backyard, in which produces money” has to work hard, and work extremely hard for what we get, and some of the ways I out,lined above are those “things” you will need to follow.

      As an SEO, I have worked for many years to get to where I am , and and worked very hard on every little thing I’ve done, to get to where I am. If you are building a Website, I suggest that you start to do the very same thing. It take’s time…..

      While you wait, “guest post”, and FORCE your way into the lime light….

      thank you for commenting, I am going to be answering any questions you guys may have about Link Building and more SEO, so get those questions in here!!!

      If anyone’s interested in “guest posting”, let me know I might just have a great opportunity for you. Be sure to follow me for a lot more, where this came from…..

    • says

      Well, I just thought I’d throw a dog a bone. As an SEO, I have a ton of tricks up my sleeve, I recently announced to the readers of my blog thatr I’d be releasing a lot more SECRETS throughout the post’s of my blog, as a follow of RxSEO, you’ll just have to pay extra close attention to grab the low hanging fruit. 😉

      thank you for commenting, and if you have any questions, be sure to ask!

  3. says

    Google has definitely had enough of blog networks and shady link building tactics – those days are over. 99% of my niche site income was killed after Google deindexed BuildMyRank and then came out with Penguin – terrible but that’s what I get for resorting to “gray hat” tactics with linkbuiding. Learned my lesson and am now doing authority sites with only completely white hat methods and barely even focusing on SEO anymore.

    • says

      Well, keep a close eye out, as I’m preparing to write a new article (on my blog) about how i ranked on the first page of google, in 4 months, 100% white hat, for the generic keyword: LOCAL SEO is currently on page #2 for that kw..RxSEO nor any of our clients lost rank during panda and penguin.

      I’m pretty sure u won’t wana miss it…
      Greg Smith just posted How To Benefit From Latent Semantic Indexing

  4. says

    Gregory, this is unlike any link building article I have ever read.

    I had believed that you either had to roll up your sleeves and work (guest posting and the like) for links or go black hat—especially since the value of the easy links (commenting) is diminished.

    Your contest idea is ingenious. You get all the valuable links…and no one complains!

    David Sneen just posted Prequel to the Earn More Spend More Group

    • says


      Thank You – what you have said means a lot to me. You seem as someone who has had the time to read quite a few article’s too?

      thank you

    • says


      Are there benefits of being a host of a guest blogger?

      The answer is yes…It depends upon many factors, including who’s “voice” you allow your blog to be spoke through, and the free content. Guest Blogging is a mutually beneficial marketing strategy. Both receive traffic.

      Look at it like this, let’s say you guest post on (my personal blog), well the person (you) or whomever guest posts is going to promote their post, driving a bit of traffic to my blog, meanwhile, I promote it, and drive traffic to the guest posters post, and diverting traffic through his/her links – to their personal blog.

      This is just a very basic idea, hope you understand.
      Greg Smith just posted How To Benefit From Latent Semantic Indexing

  5. says

    Loads of great tips thank you

    I expect to see loads of “Top 50″ awards coming out in the next month or so 😉

    What is the searchzooka link in there for?

  6. says

    Just as you have said, working on your link profile is like walking on a tight rope. You have to be careful that of the big G that can come calling when you least expert.

    One for the best strategy of building backlinks is through content generation. Epic content acts as perfect bait to attract natural backlinks which is the right ingredient that search engines look for.
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  7. says

    I’m no expert when it comes to link building. I’ve been around awhile, but I haven’t exactly been acting on all that I have learned so I’m still fairly new when it comes to actual vs theoretical experience. But I do know that there is a lot of stuff out there on link building that maybe once worked or was more effective. Still, I think this is a great list of some techniques, some of which I hadn’t heard before. That Trophy Flipper certainly sounds like a great idea 😀

    In the end, yes, content is king. But I like how T. Harv Eker says it in Secrets of a Millionaire Mind states the concept: “You’re probably familiar with the saying ‘Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.’ Well, that’s only true if you add five words: ‘if they know about it.'”

    Thanks for sharing!
    Grady Pruitt just posted My Understanding of the Law of Sacrifice for Success

  8. says

    Someone else called this post “epic” and I second that! I’d say this post falls into the category of the “strategy of generosity.” Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge! I too like the first suggestion a lot and am planning what kind of contest I can put together.

  9. says

    Wow…many of these things I have not considered yet. I can see link-building as becoming a powerful tool but at the same time, if it’s not done correctly or efficiently, then it could be all for nothing. This is an information-packed post. Thanks for the heads up.

  10. says

    I’ve found guest blogging to be really strong for link building purposes post-Panda/Penguin. It’s a really strong way to get solid backlinks that deliver results. And it’s a cool system because guest blogging benefits both parties, as the site you are writing for gets good content, and you get the SEO benefits! Everyone wins, which is great.

  11. says

    Hey Greg,

    Nice share here really!

    Just want to share my story. I am also hit by the penguin update and my Alexa and SE rank really drop. I used to get 400+ visitors per day but after Penguin update, my traffic get less than 50 which is shocking because I don’t do any black hat method. I kept on searching the net and my problem last for 30 days without finding the solution.

    So I decided STOP! I am only making myself guilty in front of Google spiders when I am looking for solution. So I said to myself, Google cause me the problem, why don’t he also solved the problem for me :-)

    At that time, I don’t do anything except writing and posting article at regular basis and after a month, Google get back my rank and now I am getting more traffic than I have ever and I am happy.

    That’s my story :-)
    Edille just posted Feature Phones or Smartphones – Which One Should You Choose?

    • says


      Hello Edille, and thank you for visiting Kristi’s blog. I appreciate you participating, as a commenter. I have reviewed a lot of our client’s link portfolios, and studied a lot of panda/penguin case studies, as well as done several myself, and I can say; congrats! I’m happy you was able to figure those problems out, and better understand how to recognize them, correcting them yourself.

      keep up the good work – see you at the top! 😉

      gregory smith just posted SEO Hit’s Copywriting Head-On with Karon Thackston

  12. says

    Hi Gregory,

    First off – thanks for sharing the Search Engine Operator Cheat sheet – This I’ve found quite useful.

    And secondly – Great post! You’ve mentioned quite a couple of High valued tips and tricks which quite honestly a lot of people / webmaster just don’t know or don’t use. I can’t tell you how many people online there are not practising what they preach.

    • says


      Thank you, you have no idea how much this means to us. We love seeing other’s re-posting our ( content around the web. We are currently writing for Search Engine Journal and SEOmoz, so you’ll be seeing us a bit more, hopefully.

      Thank you, so very much Chris!
      gregory smith just posted Questions To Ask An SEO Client

    • says


      That’s an awful huge compliment. I don’t pesonaly play around on WF. WF is solely known as a place to make money (what’s that say about the quality of the forum) but not so much as a place to gain quality or add it. Thank you for your amazing words. I hope to see other’s comment more like you!! :]
      gregory smith just posted Questions To Ask An SEO Client

  13. says

    Great article, Robert. I learnt a lot of new things from it that I did not before. Definitely one of the better articles about dealing with the Panda and Penguin updates. Like many, I have been hit quite hard by these and am still reeling from the aftereffects, trying different things and starting from scratch in many ways basically.

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  14. says


    I did not know about twitter cards = too much vacation this Summer.

    Do not forget about blog comments like this one as a great way to build links too.

  15. says

    I have not done link building for a long time and recently a client is asking me for help in this area. This article has been really helpful in giving me ideas on how to go about with task again.

    Thanks Gregory and!