Anybody who tells you that backlinking is dead as a result of the Google Penguin update is just trying to scare you or shock you. Backlinking is alive and well and it will be for a long time to come. Google may be putting more emphasis on other factors such as on-site optimization and content now, but that does not mean getting backlinks to your sites will now have no effect.
What the update does mean though is that backlinking has changed and it is no longer about pounding 1000’s of backlinks out all using the same anchor text. Some people may be testing and finding that it can still work to do it that way, but they are treading on thin ice.
One of the most common factors of the sites that are still standing and thriving since the Google Penguin update is that they have a strong, diverse backlinking profile.
What do I mean by strong and diverse? I mean that they have a large variety of anchor texts used for their backlinks from a large variety of sources. They also have a good number of backlinks from authority sites as well as from sites that are relevant to their own.
To Google, their backlinking appears natural and they don’t get 1,000 backlinks one day and none for the next 2 weeks. This is what I mean by a strong and diverse backlinking profile.
Now you already know about anchor text diversity and the need for varied backlinking sources, so I am going to give you 10 backlinking sources that will help you build that strong and diverse backlinking profile that you need. Let’s not waste too much time and get right into it.
Backlinking Source 1: Website Directories
Ok, I bet this first one just threw you for a loop. Aren’t website directories from like 2002 and aren’t they useless now? Turns out they are actually still very useful and make for some very easy backlinks from some very well established sites. You can submit to either free or paid directories. Most people stick with the free ones which is what I recommend.
I wouldn’t go too crazy submitting to website directories, but do a few per day for a week or so and you’ll be in pretty good shape. http://www.directorycritic.com/ is a good site to find a big list of free website directories to submit to. Just click on the link for “free directory list” and have at it.
Backlinking Source 2: Guest Blogging
Ah yes, the age old guest blogging method. Since the death of private blog networks happened, this method should be one of your power methods to beat out your competition. Not only can you get some great exposure for your sites, but you get some seriously powerful links with this method.
Google tends to put more weight on links that are in the main content area of sites than those found in the sidebar. And guess where your link will be when you get a guest blog post posted. To do this, just Google for 10 or 20 of the top blogs in your niche and contact them asking if they accept original guest posts. If they do, write up a compelling article and there you have it, some powerful link juice that Google loves.
Backlinking Source 3: Blog Commenting
In the past, a lot of people used programs like Scrapebox to quickly blast out thousands of irrelevant comments on any old blog they could scrape. While this worked fairly well for quite a while, it is a horrible idea now. But blog commenting in and of itself is still a great idea. Rather than blasting thousands of irrelevant comments, now it is important to comment on relevant blogs or articles with an interesting and on-topic comment while including your backlink.
You can search out high page rank posts that are relevant to your site to comment on and get some very powerful backlinks. A pro tip that I tell people is to not use your anchor text when commenting on the really high authority blogs. Instead, just use a first name. This greatly improves your chances of your comment being approved which is the only way we get the backlink.
Even though the backlink will not be using a relevant anchor text, the link juice that you get is still very valuable and if the site is relevant to your own, Google will see that and put a higher value on it.
Backlinking Source 4: Social Media Sites
Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, these are all sites you should be trying to get links from almost daily. With Twitter, you want to tweet links to your pages and posts and hope for re-tweets as well. With Facebook, you want to post links to your pages and posts as well. The same for Google+ and with Pinterest, you want to use interesting pictures in your posts and pages so that you can pin them for easy backlinks.
It is very easy to get these social backlinks by yourself, but if you really want to ramp things up, here is a secret that I use. I use a site called Amazon MTurk to create a “gig” for people to tweet or facebook my links. I pay something like $.10 or $.15 when someone completes the gig and have anywhere from 20 to 50 people complete it.
This means that my links are being Tweeted and/or Facebooked by 20 to 50 original accounts that often originate from all over the world. Pretty powerful and pretty cheap. Of course if you have good content or give people a good reason to, they will tweet and Facebook links to your site without you having to ask or pay.
Backlinking Source 5: Social Toolbars (Slick Social Share Buttons)
This is similar to the previous backlinking source, however, having a toolbar such as Slick Social Share Buttons enables visitors to quickly and easily “like, “plus”, “tweet”, “stumble”, etc…. Think of getting these as a person voting your site as useful and having quality content. What does Google want their top results to have? Useful information and quality content!
You can use the same method as I talked about above with Amazon Mturk to get “likes”, “plusses”, etc… In a way these aren’t exactly backlinks, but then again, in a way they are. One thing is certain however, the more you get, the more well received your site will be by Google and the more likely it will rank on page 1.
Backlinking Source 6: Social Bookmarking
Social Bookmarking is another way of sending social signals to Google about your site. You should “Bookmark” every post you make on your site on at least the top 5 or 10 social bookmarking sites. For a list of the top social bookmarking sites out there, just look at
As soon as I post a new page or post on any of my sites, I always bookmark it on at least 5 sites. It only takes a couple minutes once you have created your accounts and is a quick way to draw Google’s attention to your new content. It is also a nice little backlink to add to your diverse group of backlinks.
Backlinking Source 7: Pinterest
With Pinterest being the hottest and fastest growing site on the web right now, we can hardly ignore it. Not to mention it is very easy to get backlinks from Pinterest to your sites.
All you need to do is include a compelling or interesting picture on each of your posts or pages and after you have published it, immediately “pin it” to your Pinterest account. If it is compelling enough, you have a good chance of getting some re-pins which means some more backlinks automatically.
Google loves Pinterest right now, so take advantage of it and start pinning. It is very easy to get started and very easy to Pin any pictures that you want from your sites.
Backlinking Source 8: (Free) Press Releases
Press Releases are still a very powerful form of backlinking for your sites. The great thing about press releases is that people often times forget about this type of backlink and you can submit them for free to a number of different free press release submission sites.
The biggest thing that you will want to do is Google for a press release template to see how to write your press release. Or, you could head over to prweb.com and search there for how press releases are written as well as how the link is included at the bottom of each press release.
Video is still very important to use in your marketing and that includes for getting backlinks to your sites. Youtube is the obvious first choice for uploading your videos to, especially considering that it is owned by Google. However, there are a number of other pretty good video sites that you can upload your videos to also for some nice backlinks.
Metacafe, Dailymotion and Vimeo are all good places to submit your videos to as well. To place your backlink, just include a link to your site in the description of your video. Your video doesn’t have to be something fancy or anything, it could be as basic as putting together 10 images or so with some music and creating a video file out of it.
Backlinking Source 10: Document Sharing Sites
Document sharing sites gained popularity for backlinking a couple of years ago but I feel like the method never really got it’s real recognition. It is a powerful method and since the Google Penguin update, some of the document sharing sites have actually shown a very significant increase in rankings. That tells me that it is still one of the best places to get backlinks from.
Some of the top document sharing sites are: Scribd, 4shared, docstoc and slideshare. In order to submit to them, you typically need a pdf or powerpoint file that includes your backlink in them. Then you just upload the file to these sites and they do the rest.
This is one backlinking source you do not want to overlook as it is very quick and easy to do and it appears that the Google Penguin update actually put more value on them than they had before.
OK, so that concludes the list of my top 10 Backlink Sourches to dominate Google, post penguin. Using at least 10 different types of backlink sources is a good start to your backlinking diversity, but preferably you will have even more. There are a ton of great ways to get backlinks, but I just wanted to cover what I believe are the top 10 to use right now.
Just to recap, here are the 10 backlinking sources again.
1) Free Website Directories 2) Guest Blogging 3) Blog Commenting 4) Social Media Sites 5) Social Toolbars 6) Social Bookmarking 7) Pinterest 8) Free Press Releases 9) Video Sites 10) Document Sharing Sites
With everything we have talked about thus far, you are well equipped to beat the latest Google Penguin update. But why stop there? In the next article we will talk about some more ways that will help you to dominate the search rankings post-penguin-update.