David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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Earlybird Link Building

POP QUIZ:  How do you build links to a website that is not yet live?

Those who are new to the Web might wonder why you would want to do that.  Let’s suppose your website takes 4 months to develop.  If you build some links to your domain, then SEO-wise you can hit the ground running when you are ready to go live.  Imagine going live and already having 100 links indexed by Google.  You have a head start.

But who wants to link to a non-website?  Nobody, of course, except…

Let me tell the story of a shy little girl named Melanie.  Her parents moved to a new town, and let’s just say that the kids at her new school were a little less than welcoming.  What’s a girl to do when nobody wants to be your friend?

Be your own friend, of course.

Eventually, anybody who is a good friend to herself will radiate confidence and self-esteem and will emit an aura of worthiness.  Soon, Melanie had plenty of friends, just because she was a good friend to herself.

So, too, with link-building.  If you are not yet ready to seek links from other people, set up links to yourself.  Here are a few ideas how to do this:

Set up pages at Social bookmarking and social networking sites.  Most of them allow links in your profile, and the more friends you have and the more items you vote on, the more link juice your profile will have.  LinkedIn is great for SEO .  FaceBook is good.  Squidoo is ideal (Set up lots of topical pages and network, network, network).  MySpace is useless from an SEO perspective.

Submit articles to general article directories and how-to/expert websites.  In the resource box, you can place a link.  These links are hardly ever checked by the website administrators, unless something looks fishy.  Make yours an exquisitly useful, quality article and most places will accept it.

Submit comments on DoFollow blogs.  Some blogs automatically add all comments. Some bloggers will read your comment and approve it if it adds value, without looking at your website.  Some bloggers will follow your link and nuke your comment.  (I did just that a few minutes ago, which is what inspired me to write this post.)  Ah…but if the commenter had posted a lengthy comment that really added to the discussion, I might have approved it, and I think most bloggers would … although some might remove the active link to a non-functioning domain.  Keep in mind that who you link to matters.

Set up blogs on other domains.  You can set up blogs on Blogspot and WordPress and on hundreds of smaller websites that allow users to set up blogs.  many of these overlap with the advice above to set up profiles at social networking sites.

Buy blog posts.  There are plenty of paid blog review websites, such as Blogsvertise.  And there are self-serve paid blogging sites like LinkVana

In fact, you can build hundreds of links before you even have a website.  All you need is to harness the power of user-generated content on other websites.  However, there are a few caveats.

1.  It still requires work.  You might not yet have content on your own site, but you have to put quality content on the other sites, and the better the quality the more links you can build.

2.  It helps if your site is live.  It might take 4 months to develop, but in 24 hours you can have a nicely designed on-topic interim home page live on your domain.  I suggest you do this.

3. This is not hoity toity SEO.  This is guerilla SEO.  There is nothing wrong.  There is nothing shady.  It leaves a bad taste because it should not be like this, but given that the longevity of links and the gradual accumulation of links does count to your success, it would be foolish not to take advantage of these opportunities to quickly position your new website to compete with the established players.

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24 Responses to “Earlybird Link Building”

  1. Mitch (4 comments) Says:

    Interesting post. I actually did something like that with one of my sites. I created all the content and pages, including links, before uploading them. Now, most were outbound links, but that didn’t necessarily matter to me as much as all the linking I wanted taken care of before I launched the site.

    Man, now you’ve just gone and made me have to subscribe to another blog; shame on you. ;-)

  2. Sire (1 comments) Says:

    You could also join the many forums that are available, although you have to find out which are dofollow, and comment making sure that your link is embedded into your signature.

  3. Julia (1 comments) Says:

    Thanks for the post. The information was new to me. I’ve never heard about link building to a non-live site. And I didn’t even guess it could be possible. I was doing some SEO for my company’s website and I always started building links only after the site is up and running.

  4. wilson (40 comments) Says:

    Well, David. I done 4 out of 5 methods that you’ve mentioned on above article. The only thing that I never done is buying blogposts…

  5. Wongsk (2 comments) Says:

    I just submit my blog post to blog carnival , giving some comment and leave a signature with link in forum but not all forum can allow you to do this.

  6. Dennis Edell (1 comments) Says:

    Excellent article! I just found you through SEO Diva’s commentluv…off to subscribe now ;)

    Any chance for a subscribe to comments plugin here?

  7. David Leonhardt (122 comments) Says:

    Hi Dennis. That’s a good idea. I will look into it.

  8. Vegas Web Design (1 comments) Says:

    These are some good ideas to be doing. It is kind of like setting up pages on authority sites like hubpages, wetpaint, kaboodle and all of the others. I should start using Linked In.

  9. Chris (10 comments) Says:

    I’ve done most of the above too, but never all of it with the same site. I tend to do some things and forget others. The only thing I’ve never tried is buying blog posts. I’ve heard that they can really help, but since everything else is free to do, I usually end up leaving it at that.

  10. Daniel, The Hosting Blog (1 comments) Says:

    These are all good tips on how to build backlinks to your site before it is life. I think it is definitely a good idea to atleast do some minor link building so that when you do go live, atleast you have some sort of edge over the competition. However, you should atleast have some sort of content on your site even when it is not live. Like maybe 2-3 pages describing what you site will do or some sort of helpful resources.

  11. Neilzb (2 comments) Says:

    That was some pretty useful information, thanks. Sort of, you’ve heard everything on that list separately a million times before, but until you see it written down all together you never actually think to yourself ‘have I done all of those things’, and usually forget 1 or 2.

    The ‘do-follow’ blog commenting is an interesting one at the moment. It seems to be the current ‘hot topic’, which on the one hand is cool because it means all sorts of tools to help you find do-follow blogs etc are popping up, but on the downside it does mean that it will soon be abused (as every seo techniques seems to end up) and then be devalued by the search engines.

  12. David Leonhardt (122 comments) Says:

    Hi Neil. Any good SEO technique sooner or later ends up getting devalued by overuse/misuse. The only ones that will stand the test of time are being a) very topic-focused and b) very good.

  13. Free Loader | UK Freebies (1 comments) Says:

    Thanks mate great article.

    I visited the Blogsvertise site and it looks really good but I doubt i’d get accepted for not having enough written content. The Linkvana one is out of my price range.

  14. blogging Ads (1 comments) Says:

    Our site, http://www.bloggingads.com also offers blogpost purchases.

  15. Andy @ Free Press Release 001 (1 comments) Says:

    Well, if I learned at least one thing from that post then that is to use LinkedIn. Good tip.

    But as for the rest – I don’t really see how they are especially applicable to websites under construction…

    Still, solid advice. Well done.

  16. Linkbuilding-max (1 comments) Says:

    Your article is wonderful!
    It gave me a lot information as before I thought it’s quite imposible to build a link to a non-alive site. Thanks for the enlightenment :)

  17. Bill (493 comments) Says:

    Great advice. Didn't even think to build links to a non-live site, but "DUH!" Makes total sense. Wasn't aware, either, that LinkedIn was so good for link juice…learn something new every day!

  18. tim penny (1 comments) Says:

    Yes you might as well start link building even before the site is live. Sometimes it takes months for the search engines to "count" the links. This will give the new site a great start in climbing the serps!

  19. CSS Perk (2 comments) Says:

    Such a good idea! I think it's great to get the old SEO ball rolling early. Still, even after you are live and content rich these are great ways to build links. I have a site that is live, but doesn't have a lot of content and doesn't have adsense set up on it yet. I'm still working on link building though. Great post!

  20. Diet Blog (2 comments) Says:

    I think I would actually like to try this. I don't have a site in development right now, but I might have one soon. It would definitely be great to get a jump start on link building.

  21. Remodel Sacramento (1 comments) Says:

    A good list of sites to get backlinks from is Angela's list. Search google for 'angela's backlinks'
    High PR links with instructions. Enjoy!

  22. Fire Basket  (1 comments) Says:

    i have lots of hubpages related to literature and medicine, i love to make new webpages each day`–

  23. Emoticon Facebook|Emoticons Facebook (1 comments) Says:

    I totally agree with the writer of this post, you should start link building even if your website is under construction. By the time your website is live it will have a lot of back links already and will help to rank it faster in search engines.

  24. Eric Davis (1 comments) Says:

    I haven’t ever tried to promote a site before it’s live. The least I’ve done was to create a simple “coming soon” home page that talks about what the site will be about. This is also a good way to get a list of people who are interested in your launch announcement.

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