LESSON #78: Off Page SEO (Link Building)

By | December 8, 2010

In the previous lesson we discussed On Page SEO, and covered over a dozen optimization factors that you can implement on your website.

Today we’re going to learn about Off Page SEO.

(Watch this video…)

Join my coaching club

Main points:

  • In most cases, Off Page SEO contributes more to your search engine rank than On Page SEO. (The exception is when there is little or no competition)

  • For practical purposes, Off Page SEO can be boiled down to one thing: link building.

  • Some links are more valuable thank others. To outrank a competitor, the combined value of your inbound links should outweigh the combined value of their inbound links.

  • Factors that may determine the value of a link:

    – The PageRank of the page linking to your site
    – Was the “No Follow” attribute used?
    – Is it a reciprocal link?
    – The anchor text in the link to your site
    – The page title of the page linking to your site
    – The number of outbound links on the page linking to your site
    – The quality/reputation of the sites being linked to by the site linking to your site
    – How the link was created (self created?)
    – The age of the link to your site (how long ago was it created)
    – The placement of the link on the page linking to your site
    – The keyword relevancy of the page linking to your site

  • Ways to get links:

    1) Spam link building

    -Automated tools
    -Black Hat

    2) Conventional link building

    – Directories
    – Blog comments (that don’t use “no follow”)
    – Trackback Links (Linking to other blogs from within your blog posts)
    – Free blogs
    – Guest books
    – Social media profiles (List of social sites)
    – Social media posts
    – Forums (in posts, signatures, and profiles)
    – Q&A Sites and Wikis (Yahoo Answers, Google Groups, Wikipedia, etc.)
    – RSS feeds (submit to aggregators)
    – Bookmarking (List of social bookmarking sites)
    – Free classified ad sites, FFA pages, etc. (spam)

    – Article Marketing (See Lesson #79)
    – Asking for Links

    Strategy to get links to outrank competitors:

    1) Identify the top 3 sites on Google for your targeted keyword.

    2) Find out all the places that THEY are getting links from. (See Lesson #76. UPDATE: Yahoo Site Explorer is no longer in business. Instead, try ahrefs.com, opensiteexplorer.org, Traffic Travis, or SEO Elite)

    3) If a self-created link is possible from any of those sites, do it.

    4) For all other sites… Look for contact information on them. (If no contact info on site, check whois on domaintools.com)

    5) Send a personalized email or phone call to each of those website owners (free email template)

    – Note: links from .gov and .edu sites are great!
    – Make friends


    Not allowed by Google, but these methods are widely accepted by the marketing community as being acceptable and ethical.

    – Buying links
    – Building your own link network (free idea: jigglingtheweb.com)
    – Joining a link network

    Recommended Link Networks:
    Backlinks Ninja from Jeff Alderson & Charles Kirkland
    SEOLinkVine from Brad and Matt Callen
    1WayLinks from Jonathan Leger

    3) Natural link accumulation

    -Content is king
    -People link to you without being solicited

    “Link baiting” ideas
    – Blog posts including “lists”
    – Blog posts that are aggregations of resources
    – Highly controversial blog posts
    – Pictures of kittens (etc)
    – A tool
    – Free software download
    – Free web application
    – Free ebook
    – Games
    – Quizzes
    – WordPress theme
    – Firefox extension
    – Collection of public domain pictures
    – A contest

    Ways to get your links built…

    1) Do it yourself
    2) Hire an SEO firm
    3) Join an SEO Outsourcing service
    4) Hire your own workers (see Replace Myself)

    Final tips:
    – Content is king
    – Google does look at activity on your site (ie. traffic).
    – Positive traffic growth trend affects SEO.

    To learn more about SEO, I recommend the Professional SEO Training Course, which is used to train SEO industry professionals around the world.

    Action steps:

    1) If you’re doing SEO, choose one or more link-building methods to start with.
    (Assuming you’ve completed the previous two lessons)

    2) Get links!

    We’ll be looking at Article Marketing in the next lesson.

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below 🙂

    Have a great day!

  • 93 thoughts on “LESSON #78: Off Page SEO (Link Building)

    1. Eric Post author

      Yes I would say stay away from the black hat methods. But the grey hat is a tough call. It’s very difficult to be competitive in SEO without utilizing such methods. So I’m going to have to leave that up to your own convictions. Either way, I would recommend diversifying your traffic with another source beyond SEO. For example, list-building… if you’re building a list with your SEO traffic, then you’ll still be able to get traffic from your list even if the SEO disappears.

    2. Russ

      Right on, without commitment there is no accountability, no responsibility, and no reason to do anything. Good stuff Eric.

    3. Source Directory

      Hi Eric, Glad to be back and following you again. I remember you took a look at my blog over a year ago. Totallyhowto.com unfortunately went down and I lost the blog. I had to start from scratch again, but I think it looks better now.

      This post was eactly what I was looking for. We all need traffic right? Looking forward to getting back into the groove again.

      Let me know if you have any tips for the new blog. Thanks again.



    4. Michaela

      Eric I watch and then read all the comments.
      So definitely Google is able to detect automation, as Google thinks that “manipulating Rank” is bad, and it is determine to punish automation. Any automatic package even if it is a great and inventive one, it has an unique, limited algorithm, and Google is able to determine “patterns”. Being in sand box is not fun, we better avoid this… LOL
      The links coming from authority sites (.edu, .gov) are priceless, but we need serious research to link with relevance.
      Thanks for the lesson
      As usual

    5. Graham in UK

      Hi Eric
      Another good video to explain about getting backlinks to your site-thank you.
      I can’t think why anyone would think Eric’s Tips is “spammy” because you provide such good information and reply to comments to help and advise. Google aren’t stupid and can tell that this is a genuine site.
      Look forward to the next video on article marketing as this is the most important one for me.
      Thanks again
      Graham in UK
      P.S. It’s nice to see your new picture of your loveley wife and you together.
      P.P.S. Eric, your short hair looks very severe!

    6. Elaine

      Okay, so I received the many bonus ebooks, but where is the How to Sell Web Hosting for a Profit ebook? Please send me the download link or as an attachment, pretty please.

    7. Saleh

      Hi Eric,

      This is my first comment in your site. I just wanted to thank you for giving out this valuable lessons for free. I also have one question that may not directly related to this lesson . My question is how you do php redirect for your affiliate links ?

    8. Herb Rogers

      Where do you use all these back links. ie where do you list them so they show up where Google can see them?
      I “over the objection of my wife and frinds have stuck with this program.” It is the only A-z program that I have found.
      My dog (tobie) even comes into my office when he hears your music. He stays all the way through the lesson and waits to see if I load the next one befor leaving. ” Maybe the next inter-net will be for dogs” heheh

    9. Micah

      Google can find the links to your site virtually anywhere they appear…provided the No Follow attribute is not used.

      One of the best places to make your back links visible to Google is via article marketing:

      LESSON #79: Article Marketing

    10. Vijay Gaikwad

      Hi Eric,
      Really nice article regarding SEO. Thnx forn sharing with us but i hav one question if i changed the domain name of my indexed site it wil be affect on indexing or ranking.
      Hoping positive response frm you.

      Vijay Gaikwad

    11. Natural Gumption

      Great presentation and easy to follow. It amazes me how easy the theory for SEO is, its just putting it into practice that takes some effort. Thanks again.

    12. Micah

      Hello Vijay,

      If you move your site to a new domain name, it would need to be indexed by the search engines all over again. Older domains tend to receive better ranking as well. Also, any links to your old domain would no longer direct visitors to your new domain. These are all things to keep in mind, but it might be worth it if your new domain name is better!

    13. Nombulelo

      Hi Eric
      Thanks for all the work you put into the lessons – its a treasure cove of learning material!
      I got information about Affiliate Marketing and Pay per Lead. I thought I would start with these business models and when they are set up and running go on to the information marketing busines. My reasoning is that since they do not need for me to have a product to sell, it may be easier for me to get started. I’m also looking for other business models that will bring in much needed money as quickly as possible after set up. I do need to set them up right for the type of business. My question is, is there a fundamental difference in setting up websites to start up these types of business or are the principles in Erics Tips common to all internet businesses?

    14. Giddu


      Can anyone post their experience with the seo services that are being recommended here.

    15. Micah

      Hello Nombulelo,

      These tips will be helpful to you if you are building any kind of online business. For example, all online businesses would do well to build a list, gain free traffic from search engines, properly set up the sales flow for any products, etc…

    16. Eric Post author

      I think they still have some value, but for SEO purposes you need to get back links that do not have the no-follow attribute.

    17. Rich Hill

      Hey Dez,

      I was in your camp for the last few years, as far as spinning goes. I used to tell my readers to run away from anyone or anything that remotely mentions spinning. They not talk good English like I are…

      HOWEVER, this is until I accepted a trial offer with Jon Leger’s ArticleBuilder. This is not a commercial, but the super spun articles are better than anything I have ever seen before and they read a heck of a lot better than 99% of the articles that I purchase, or write myself for that matter.

      I took a 3 year old site about credit scores that had a ton of self written but stagnant content that had been languishing and started to post 3 to 5 times a week with these super spun articles and went from PR-0 to PR-2 at the last update, and Alexa scores dropped way down below a million, and the first time ever am on page 1 for a 13 million competitive keyword! Tell me if you think those spun articles don’t work.

      The end result is that I used to agree but not anymore.

      HAPPY NEW YEAR and wishing everyone success in 2012.

      Thank you Eric for all of your great work too!

    18. Les

      Hi Eric,
      following your endorsement I purchased a subscription to Backlinks Ninja on 17th March 2012.
      This is supposed to be run by your buddies: Jeff Alderson & Charles Kirkland.
      As far as I can see I have set up my website correctly in the control panel, but after 2 weeks – NOTHING.
      NO keyword rank change – and as far as I can see – no links.
      Yes; I have watched all the tutorial videos – such as they are, and there is a knowledge base section (with nothing in it) and that’s ALL the instruction that has been provided.

      This software is advertised as ‘fully automated link building’ after all.

      A request for support on 26th March, has been met with stoney silence.

      Looks like this has been $147 of wasted money.
      Perhaps you need to re-evaluate your endorsements of software that either does nothing or is not actively monitored?

    19. Micah

      Hello Les,

      If you have been testing your results, and it’s not working for you, you probably should cancel. However we are still hearing from people who are having success with the service.

      You might want to ask Jeff and Charles what strategies are currently working.

      I know that they do their best to reply as quick as they can, so you should receive a reply soon, if you haven’t by the time I’ve replied here.

    20. Les

      Thanks for your comments Micah.

      I did finally get a reply from ‘Trey’ – who had been busy – allegedly because of having a baby.
      While I sympathize with any new parent who has to juggle making a living and caring for kids; this was not the sort of response I wanted to hear from a business that has taken $147 of my money!

      The upfront-marketing of this links program is first class, and together with Eric’s endorsement was what originally got my subscription.
      However that is where the whole thing stopped.
      I am now half-way through my first $147.57, with not even keyword tracking happening from Google.

      The Backlinks Ninja support centre is a sham:
      # There is a ‘Knowledgebase’ section with no knowledge in it,
      # a ‘Troubleshooter’ section with no Backlinks Ninja,
      # a ‘News’ section with no news,
      # a ‘Downloads’ section with no downloads,
      # and finally; the Post Reply button in ‘View Tickets’ DOES NOT WORK (in either Firefox or Opera).

      The reason given for keyword tracking not working (for the previous 2 weeks) was, and I quote:
      “Sorry about this. I just forced the system to update the rankings for your sites.

      Looks like our tracking is falling a bit behind. I just spoke to the programmer last night about this. He is in the process of bringing some more servers online to get things caught up.

      Thanks for your patience with this.”

      I am NOT patient with this:
      For their hefty $147 monthly subscription fee; I expect a reasonable level of professionalism and support.

      I would love to ask ‘Jeff’ or ‘Charles’ what is wrong with their program – if there was actually some way of contacting them:
      This alone smells at best of professional incompetence, and at worst – a scam.

    21. Eric Post author

      Hi Les,
      I’m sorry you’ve had a sub-par experience with this.

      I can tell you it’s not a scam. I’ve known Jeff for years, and he’s invested a lot into this program… he also uses it for his own business. I have not talked to Jeff about it lately, but I’ve heard that ALL of these link building sites have been experiencing problems lately because of constant changes made by Google, and Google’s efforts to weed out link-buiding sites.

      Regarding the support center… that’s just the default template. I’ve seen dozens of helpdesks with no knowledgebase, etc. It doesn’t mean it’s a sham, they just left the default template even though they aren’t using those features.

      If you’re not happy with the service, of course you can cancel, and if you’re within the refund period you can request a refund.

      If you would like, please contact me at my helpdesk and I will give you Jeff’s email address. I do not want to post it publicly here.


    22. jason

      Hey Eric I really like all your training it’s help me alot is it ok if I share your video with my family member

    23. goshawk


      You has always been so supportive! Thanks for bring us such a great lesson.

      I am thinking of using SEO software to increase search engine ranking, but there are so many….
      Particularly, I found the following software seems quite powerful
      1. SE Sniper
      –> I am not sure how it works. Does it mean that if more people click my website, my site will rank higher?
      2. Digi Traffic Accelerator
      3. Internet Business Promoter

      Have you used them? And do you think they are useful?

      And I would also like to know do u think website indexer useful?

    24. goshawk

      Eric, thanks you very much for your valuable lesson.

      I want to ask something more.

      Do you think Internet Business Promoter (IBP) works( it promises refund if my site dun rank top 10 after using IBP)? Is it similar to Senuke X?

      And how does SE Sniper work?
      It seems that this software help “clicking” my site but not building blacklinks, does it work?

    25. Micah

      Hello Goshawk,

      Thank you for your question. We haven’t used those software programs, so we’re not sure how they work, or how useful they are. Sniper programs typically provide you with the information to pattern your business after other successful campaigns and strategies.

      Perhaps some other readers might be able to share their experience with these software tools?

    26. Micah

      Hello Goshawk,

      If the refund guarantee is straightforward, with a set time period for making a claim, then it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try!

    27. Micah

      Hello Shashikant,

      Google can find the links to your site virtually anywhere they appear…provided the No Follow attribute is not used.

      One of the best places to make your back links visible to Google is via article marketing:

      LESSON #79: Article Marketing

    28. Matt Ensor


      I’m thinking of link wheeling, is this a current practice you undertake & recommend?? & what would you say about the ROI??

      Is it best just to stick to Articles & Asking for links to ensure in the long term I wont get a google slap..


    29. Micah

      Hello Matt,

      Yes, natural is best. Eric has a number of sites where he made no effort to game the search engines, or rely on specific strategies. He just focused on putting out good content on a regular basis.

      Those sites are currently ranking in the best spots for many top keywords.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    The maximum upload file size: 50 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here