The art of SEO link building is finally getting interesting

Search engines have emerged as a new consumer, communication and marketing channel. Google, Yahoo and MSN serve 213 million searches every day.

In fact, 9 out of 10 internet surfers use a search engine to start their internet journey. Therefore, if your website is not visible in the search engines, you are missing out on significant amounts of traffic.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search Engine Optimization or SEO as it is commonly known is an online marketing strategy that involves designing, writing and coding your entire website with the intention of allowing search engines to index your website easily and efficiently. The only goal is to rank higher for keywords that are relevant to your business. Optimizing a website and building link equity are crucial to gaining visibility on the organic or natural (left side) of a search engine results page (SERP).

Two parts of SEO: onpage optimization and offpage optimization

SEO is done in two phases mainly known as onpage and offpage. On Page includes the website itself and fundamentally develops around the design, build and copy of the actual website. Off-page refers to building link equity for your website through what is known as link building. The latter essentially involves promoting your website to third-party providers. Both of these activities are necessary to improve a site’s position in search engine natural listings for relevant searches.

Two types of link building: passive and active

Passive link

Traditional link building to establish third-party exposure and build link equity has focused on passive links. We define passive linking as the creation of links that remain passively connected to your site, waiting for a spider to index them. This includes paid link directories and reciprocal linking. However, with a new website, one should always start by laying a foundation of links within general and industry-specific directories. The next step would be to develop a base of submitted articles using white papers or PR stories. However, the next step in your link building strategy just got a lot more interesting because there are so many valuable new ways to build links, such as: B. active link building.

Active link

Active link building is creating links that can lead to the creation of new links through active human interaction. Commenting on a relevant industry blog with a link back to a relevant white paper on your site would be an innovative way to drive search engine spiders as well as people (consumers or experienced influencers) to your site. Many forums allow links back to your site within conversations. Keeping the conversation going on multiple forums and blogs with a good page rank is a great way to practice active link building. An industry has also sprung up around the creation of Facebook and MySpace profiles. Keeping you updated with relevant, rich content and valuable links back to your site is another powerful form of active linking.

Passive link building

o Free / paid directory submission

o Submission of articles and news

o Distribution of press releases

o Reciprocal linking

o Video and Image Submissions

Active link building

o Forum threads

o Blog Comments

o Corporate blogging

o Profiles on social networks

o Linkbaiting

Link building is getting more and more creative with the advent of universal search

Google has been experimenting with the look of its results page and the types of results it provides for a particular search. The next version of Google will look a bit like the latest version of Look at it. Typing “Fraggle Rock” will not only list relevant websites, but also pictures of the kids tv show characters as well as other interesting narrower searches and other related kids tv shows.

Google calls it universal search. Searching for Madonna in the not too distant future will bring you listings of Madonna websites, Madonna photos, links to buy Madonna tracks, the latest news articles about Madonna, and You Tube videos of Madonna – all on the same Google SERP. Because of this, link building has become more interesting in the last 18 months.

Google weights the value of new forms of links because they index not only websites, but all available content, videos, music, images, news, etc. that they need to fill their new SERPs for universal search.

Submitting rich videos to video directories with the right file description can have a huge effect on your link building results. You can also place images on photo sharing sites that are named in relation to your meta and contain links to your website. Fresh news also ranks high as Google prepares for universal search. And of course, topical blogs, forums, and Web 2.0 sites are at the top of Google’s list of content providers for their new SERPs – so active links from these sites are very valuable in the reinvigorated world of link building.

For examples of active and passive link building, see the following case study of a successful ongoing campaign developed and managed by Tug’s team of SEO experts.

Search engine optimization case study:


o Celebrity blog Mr was launched in November 2007 into the competitive online gossip arena.

o Mr was powered by Darryn Lyon’s celebrity photo agency Big Pictures and had the largest photo database in the UK but no traffic

o The website was not visible on any page of the major search engines

o Mr. needed a cost-effective way to drive a high volume of attention traffic to ultimately monetize the new property


o From the start, Tug developed a PPC campaign focused on generating cheap traffic from Google’s content network.

o Additionally, the page has been optimized for the keywords: Celebrity News, Celebrity Gossip, Celebrity Videos and Celebrity Photos – the most searched keywords in the industry

o Tug worked with the development team to optimize the website content and coding and improve the content management system to manage the optimization of the daily posts.

o In January, Tug started link building. The first 2 months were spent laying a foundation for links in general and celebrity directories.

o In the months that followed, Tug backed this up with PR and celebrity articles, fresh news posts in newsfeeds, links to other celebrity blogs and discussions on relevant forums. Exclusive videos have also been posted to video directories to entice people to come to the site to see more.

o Due to active linking, these links were disseminated by interested parties, resulting in increased visibility and even more quality links.


o After 5 months, Mr. had a top 5 position on page 1 of Google, Yahoo and MSN for all targeted keywords

o Over 60% of website traffic comes from Tug’s search activity

o Direct traffic is steadily growing month by month, showing that users who found the site through search are now coming of their own accord

o Using only PPC and SEO to build traffic in less than 9 months, Mr. Paparazzi now has over 6 million page views per month! It is now possible to sell advertising and monetize the website.

This white paper was created by Tug. Tug is a search engine marketing agency based in Shoreditch, London.