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Aug 06
by Andy Hagans Strategy with 8 Comments

My recently published article, 101 Ways to Build links, shows that you have many, many link building tactics at your disposal. For any given website, you probably need to use at least a few dozen link building different tactics over the course of a year or more to rank for anything remotely competitive.

One thing I didn’t mention in the article, though, was that for a brand new site you need to build certain types of links first. Why? Thank TrustRank/the sandbox. To even get fully indexed (now that we have sandbox crawling), let alone ranked, you’ll need to get the domain some trust right off the bat, and this is only going to happen by building certain types of links in a certain way.

OK, so what is "certain types of links in a certain way"? Basically, we need trusted links to happen first, and then a "natural growth curve". Want specifics?

When I launch a new site, I go after two types of links right away:

  1. My short-short-very-short list of trusted paid directories (,,
  2. Link begging/buying/bartering at sites which already rank in the top 1-200 (if they’re ranking, they have some trust)

The latter is time-consuming and frustrating — but it has to be done, and sooner is better than later.  From Stuntdubl’s recent post:

Other Notes: Authority links are an absolute must for
improving your trust score these days. This is a MUST for a new site,
and should be where you start your efforts, and always be dedicating
SOME time. Suck it up, and take the time it takes to get some quality,
trusted links. The existence of trusted authority links will make or
break your site. Find the 800 lb. gorillas in your field, and **find a
way to get on a dozen or so of them. Failing that, hunt their backlinks, and find a way to get on some of those pages.  Use some creative queries with the combination tool.  Give the tattler a shot.

Anyway, once I have a few authority links (even getting 3 is quite an accomplishment), I wait a week or two, make sure the site gets indexed deeply, and then move into other types of link building tactics — article syndication, social networking gaming, quality reciprocals, etc. Even if a few (or more than a few) low quality links make it into the link profile, it’s not going to kill anything, since I gave the site a spine first.

8 comments - add your's now

Caydel (08/21/06 at 10:40 pm)

Interesting post.

I have heard that reciprocal links are largely devalued. Does it matter if the trusted links we get in stage 2 are reciprocal links? Or will a few reciprocal links gain my site some TrustRank?

Thanks for the great post!

Mike (08/23/06 at 2:35 pm)

Great post, thanks!

ok (10/06/06 at 8:51 am)

Great article. Thanks

Yuri (11/17/06 at 2:52 am)

I wonder, if you have encountered cases, when you have got some trusted links and an aggressive link building (article syndication, directory submission, reciprocal linking) campaign has hurt your site. Care to share? :)

Text Message Blog (01/01/07 at 12:28 am)

When somebody asks me to trade for a recipricol link to my company site, I offer them a trade from a blog. That way, there is increased value for both of us.

Andrew (01/01/07 at 7:42 am)

Good thanks for the post- helpful

L-N (03/02/07 at 11:39 pm)

I have a new site that is not a business site, so can you suggest other good directories? It is the one linked. Thank you.

Karl (03/20/07 at 9:56 am)

The method I use to build trust at first and get indexed fast is free.

This still works. Post on yahoo answers, myspace, craiglist, yahoo google and msn groups and digg. That I found enough to get site indexed within days.


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