How to win by NOT doing link-building?

You’ve heard it too often that link-building is the bedrock for SEO. When I use the word “link-building”, I mean the traditional form in which you go looking for websites that might be willing to link to you and then cold-calling them to ask for a link. This is general idea anyway and there are many other variations.

But frankly, traditional link-building is fast becoming an outdated mantra.

The reason is because in light of Google’s frequent search engine updates and fight against spam, the return on investment (ROI) on this activity is dwindling down. So, where should you concentrate your effort on instead?


Or this is more commonly known as public relations (PR) or media relations. To cut to the chase, I will show you a very good tool to do that—Help A Reporter Out (HARO). Basically, this is a way for you to reach out to journalists in media outlets who are looking for expert sources.

For this to work, you will need to get ready by:

  1. Proving your expertise by building a large corpus of quality work on your website. If you reach out to journalists and if they find too few worthwhile content on your website, they will most likely rule you out as a source.
  2. Subscribe to HARO and look for opportunities to brown-nose journalists.
  3. Refer an existing article on your website to that journalist or write out a specially-tailored one for that. Lo and behold, here is a very helpful expert whom the journalist is looking for at the right time at the right place!
  4. Once you get cited in the media, brag about it on your blog, websites, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and so on. Make sure they all link to the citation so that your visitors can verify that your boast is true.

Authority-building is that builds up your trust and authority (see Can you be an authority without titles and formal qualifications?). Once you have that, it is easier to sell.

About the author

I am a Technology Consultant, whose passion is to help small businesses reach their full potential through mastery of digital technologies, strategies and marketing.