It’s been an interesting few years for link building. After the first Google Penguin update in 2012, many SEOs found themselves lost and totally unsure how to do link building properly. Some gave up on it entirely while others went deep “underground,” refusing to talk about it for fear of attracting the wrath of Google.
And yet, link building is not only not dead — it’s alive and well and remains just as valuable as it has always been!
So as we head deeper into 2015, I thought I’d collect the top link building resources I’ve ever read. Some are old, some are new — but all of them are still as relevant and actionable today as they were when they were written.
The Basics and Primers for Beginners
The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building — Moz’s juggernaut guide was written by well-known link builder Paddy Moogan and is one of the best launching point for beginners I’ve come across.
Link Building Best Practices Guide — Tips, Tactics, and Techniques — This great guide discusses the importance of links, how to gain them, and key ways to stay out of trouble with Google.
White Hat Link Building: The Zen Master’s Guide — With contributions from the likes of Rand Fishkin, Kristi Hines, Ann Smarty, and Brian Dean, this introduction to white hat link building offers a complete picture of white hat link building in 2015 and beyond.
Link Building: The Definitive Guide — Brian Dean’s guide to link building offers a huge list of other incredible resources on everything from the fundamentals to outreach.
Link Building Strategy and Process
The 5-Step Link Building Strategy — This great piece from Raven Tools outlines a thorough, step-by-step process you can follow to start building links the right way.
Scalable Link Building Campaigns, Processes & Workflow — Scaling up is one of link building’s biggest challenges, and this huge post by PointBlankSEO’s Jon Cooper outlines how to make it happen without cutting corners or compromising quality.
The Art of Link Earning — This excellent post from DejanSEO clearly explains how link building strategies have changed and shows you exactly how you need to adapt to succeed.
Can I Still Build Links Manually? — Does manual link building still make sense post-Penguin? Tad Chef digs into this controversial issue with some smart insights you can learn from.
Link Building Tools and Reviews
55 Experts Reveal Their 3 Favorite Link Building Tools — If you want a comprehensive understanding of what’s out there and how the pros are using the different tools available, this makes for an excellent primer.
TechTage: Link Building Tools You Shouldn’t Miss This Year — TechTage rounds up and reviews tools you should know about, including Link Prospecting Query Builder, URL Profiler, and more.
Dirty Link Building Tools Every Link Builder Should Have — Well-known black hat Jacob King has a unique insight into what it takes to build links — both black and white hat — so while your techniques might not be the same as his, it’s worth reading into how he’s using what’s at his disposal.
Guide to Competitive Backlink Analysis — Justin Briggs shares how, with just a few tools, you can do a comprehensive analysis and find your competitors’ best backlinks.
How to Analyze a Link — Do you know how to tell whether or not a link is a good one? This guide dives right into relevance, link types, authority, location, and a “smell test” that equips you to go after the opportunities that will actually make a difference.
How to Find Non-Linking Brand Mentions — Link-building legend Wiep Knol details his process for finding places your brand has been mentioned but not linked to — a tactic that brings in loads of low-hanging fruit you can take advantage of!
Finding and Qualifying Link Opportunities Found in Competitive Research — Kristi Hines shares how to get insight into most of the organic online marketing strategies your competitors use to get visibility among their target audiences, allowing you to find the best online marketing strategies to get in front of your target audience.
Link Prospecting With Pivot Tables — John-Henry Scherck shares how he uses pivot tables to find amazing link opportunities. It’s a bit technical, but completely worth reading and implementing.
The Beginner’s Guide to Link Prospecting With Google Search — From the brilliant mind of Garrett French comes a deep dive into using Google Search to find qualified link prospects.
5 Tips to Protect Brand Reputation for Link Builders — One of the most overlooked parts of link building is protecting the brand you’re doing it for. These tips from Peter Attia will help you avoid embarrassing gaffes while building links.
Tactics and Roundups
Link Building Methods That Work in 2014 — This up-to-date guide to today’s most effective tactics from Matthew Barby will debunk myths and reveal the tactics you ought to be using.
Link Building Tactics — The Complete List — The definitive link-building tactics roundup on the Web, assembled by PointBlankSEO’s Jon Cooper.
The Most Creative Link Building Post Ever — With insights from over 50 of the industry’s smartest experts, this post shares some of the more outside-the-box ways you can go about getting links.
9 Easy Ways to Build Links — Link-building guru Jason Acidre gives you nine foolproof ways you can earn links without an enormous effort.
6 Quick Win Strategies to Kick Off Any Link Building Campaign — Emma Still walks through six clever ways to build links quickly for brand-new campaigns.
43 Experts Share Their Most Actionable Link Building Tip — Venchito Tampon has compiled a tremendous list of tips from experts all across the web. There’s definitely something here you can use!
Link Building by Imitation — Ross Hudgens of Siege Media shows you how to copy and iterate your way to the top.
How to Use Scrapebox for Link Building — Not Spamming — Chris Dyson shows you how to use a tool that was designed for black-hat purposes in a way that legitimately benefits your business.
The World of Link Opportunities Beyond Bloggers — This great post on Moz outlines how you can earn links without blogger outreach or guest posts.
Link Building for Big-Name Brands — Teresa Lopez has experience building links for industry giants and offers plenty of insight on the topic.
How to Get Links on Resource Pages — Matt Gratt from Buzzstream illuminates the process of getting your site linked from credible resource pages.
Competitions and Sponsorships
Using Competitions for Increased Traffic, Links, and Brand Awareness — Gaz Copeland is a master of using competitions to build links and offers up his best tips on how you can do the same.
Running Giveaway Competitions for Links and SEO — Rob Ousbey shows you how to use giveaways, contests, and competitions to secure high-quality links for your website.
106 Sponsorship-Based Link Building Queries — Every query you need to know to find sponsorship-based linking opportunities.
Local Link Building
The 2014 Local Link Building Guide — Ahrefs rounds up all the goods for local link building in 2014 and beyond.
35 Local Link Opportunities You Missed — SEER Interactive’s Adam Melson reveals 35 awesome opportunities to nab some local links.
Culture Building: 8 Local Link Building Tactics Beyond Business Listings — This post from Scott Dodge will give you eight great ideas you can start using immediately to get more local links.
The Complete Guide to Link Building With Local Events — Kane Jamison outlines the complete process for transforming offline events into online opportunities.
Broken Link Building
The Advanced Guide to Broken Link Building — Neil Patel and Brian Dean join forces in this epic guide to broken link building with plenty of takeaways for anyone building links.
The Broken Link Building Bible — Russ Fee’s comprehensive post on broken link building is absolutely everything you could ever want to know on the subject.
Image Link Building
Image Link Building — The Way We Do It — Stacey Cavanagh’s insights on the process behind building links with images will have you excited to try it all out for yourself.
Link Building for E-commerce
Creative Link Building for Ecommerce Sites — Stephanie Chang breaks down some innovative ways to earn links for your e-commerce business.
Link Building for Ecommerce Sites — Though it’s from 2012, this slideshare from BuiltVisible’s Richard Baxter is completely relevant for today, with 15 strategies you can learn from.
50 Actionable Ways to Build Links to Your Ecommerce Store — A great big list of tactics with plenty of detail on how to properly execute.
Content-Based Link Building, Outreach, and Promotion
Content-Based Outreach for Link Building — Justin Briggs teaches you how to conduct effective outreach with link building in mind.
The Marketer’s Ultimate Guide to Link Bait — This wonderful guide from HubSpot pulls the curtain back on link bait, showing you how to create content that will earn links naturally.
How to Get Your Content Linked to From Top-Tier Websites — Matthew Barby knows what it takes to earn high-quality links from elite sites — and thankfully, he’s sharing what he knows.
How to Get Blogger Reviews — Using real outreach examples, Peter Attia shows you how to get bloggers writing about you — and earn links in the process.
Alternative Outreach Methods — Linkarati’s Andrew Dennis gets creative and shares some other ways to get in contact with your link prospects.
How to Create a Winning Content Promotion Plan — Buzzstream’s Stephanie Beadell put together an immensely helpful guide to promoting your content, an integral part of earning links.
How I Increased My Search Traffic by 110% in 14 Days — This piece from Brian Dean at Backlink covers his “Skyscraper Method” toward content marketing for link builders and shows a real-world case study on how it can drastically improve your results.
How to Promote Your Content Across Owned, Earned, and Paid Media — Matt Gratt walks through the three different channels of content promotion, each of which are essential to use to promote and earn links back to your content.
17 Advanced Methods for Promoting Your New Piece of Content — Aaron Agius covers in depth 17 different ways to promote the content you’ve created, from working with influencers to emailing your sources.
25 Creative Content Promotion Strategies — Venchito Tampon has plenty of great ideas for promoting your content to earn more backlinks, from basics you might already know to clever tricks you may not have thought of.
18 Traffic Spiking Content Promotion Tips — James Perrin of Koozai digs into smart promotion techniques across paid, owned, and earned channels that will have you racking up links in no time.
The Dark Side
*Please note that while we don’t advocate for these tactics, the reality is that it’s very useful to know how others are finding success and what’s working for them. Take these pieces as learning, and approach with caution!
How to Steal Your Competitor’s Backlinks, Rankings & Traffic — Robbie Richards shows you how you can yank the rankings rug right out from under your competitor’s feet.
Why I’ll Keep Growing My Private Link Network After Google’s Crackdown — A deeply insightful post from Glen Alsop, one of the most innovative black hat SEOs on the Web.
The Future of Link Building
Entity Mentions Are Good: Brand Mentions Are Not the New Link Building — Bill Slawski has made a career of interpreting Google’s patents and has some important ideas about where link building is going.
Brand Sentiment — The Future of SEO? — Will brand sentiment eventually replace or complement links? Barry Adams covers this topic in detail, and the answer may surprise you.
Just For Fun
The Link Building Process in GIF Form — If you need a laugh, this quick piece by Chris Dyson of TripleSEO will tickle your funny bone and maybe hit a little bit too close to home.
There’s Always Room for More on This List
Are we missing anything? If you feel like there are more resources we should feature on this list, please leave them in the comments section and we will consider adding them to the next revision of this list. Interested in learning about our link building services ?