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Don't Buy Links, Build Something Instead!

Sometimes the easier options of creative good quality backlinks is overlooked. Buying links or trying to email back and forth to only end up paying $500/mo. for one or two re-occuring links is way over rated. This kind of link building can run into the hundreds or thousands each month. In most cases, why bother?

For several months we've worked with a few clients to build their visibility and organic backlinks in other creative ways all while giving back to good open source communities. We've found several sweet spots with building and branding useful modules, plugins, and themes that we've contributed back to open source communities like Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, and others. The results have been a large number of good organic links and real useful solutions for many companies and webmasters looking for better quality sites and tools for their sites. In turn, this has helped out clients build their reputation and brand in open source communities and solidify their organic links from a lot of sources we've contacted or invited to links back to the contributed module's page or the client's website. We even toyed around with variations in the anchor texts on the contributed contributed themes every few weeks to get a little most variation and value for the client that relates to their module, theme, or plugins. This helps the effect of certain keywords relating the the module with good results so far.

Example of one recent client and the module we developed for them in one open source community for real estate sites:

  1. Built the module = 5 days
  2. Total cost of building module = $3900
  3. Total number of backlinks from all of the places we notified = 690 and growing
  4. Total ROI caused by more business and growth to the client's website = $76,000 and growing
  5. Ongoing value = The client will continue to gain links and clients through this one investment of $3900

This method of building themes, modules, and other contributions isn't designed for some industries unless you can be a bit creative ;-). But if there is a close fit between what's built and what's gained, then the value and ROI of these types of backlinks could easily outweigh paying for those higher priced links at hundreds or thousands of dollars cost each month, and in just days compared to weeks or months manual work.

Contact us or visit our SEO consulting section to find out more about building links through module, theme, and plugin development.

8 Comments

Anonymous's picture

Mutiny Design (not verified)

August 7th, 2007

Sounds really successfull. How difficult do you find it is to get your clients to go for that sort of solutions. I find as soon as you mention 'giving something away' you will loose them straight away.

There are a lot of people out there using these methods now. To really hit the spot I think you need to try and come up with something that no one else has done.

Like you say, a lot of companies are not in the right markets to give away icons, a WP theme etc. and you have to think shall i target the web geeks who have easy access to links or people in that industry who may not have access to sites to put links on.

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Anonymous's picture

Freeware Eugen (not verified)

August 8th, 2007

hmm, you can build themes and modules, but many webmasters do not have respect to your work. they delete those back links set nofollow atribut on those back links. or they change few pictures and spend your themes on their.

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Brian Gilley's picture

Brian Gilley

August 8th, 2007

You're right. Some will remove the attribute to the creator but you'd be amazed at how many do actually leave the link out of respect for the originator, especially modules, plugins, or themes created under any CC license attribute.

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Anonymous's picture

Brandon (not verified)

August 21st, 2007

link them back to websites for the clients? Sorry, I'm a little new to this and don't know what building themes and modules mean. I just basically assumed you meant building a bunch of blogs and have them link back to the client...I'm assuming they'll need to be hosted by multiple different hosts to have the search engines give you more credit, no?

I landed here after your latest comment on Mike Davidson's post 'SEO Position' on 'How to Snatch an Expiring Domain' You said you thought it was interesing people were still commenting on it 2 years after the original post. I think it's because he shows up #2 or #1 on a couple great search phrases...I just did a google on "expiring domains" and this post comes up. Good Keywords V2 tells me that "expiring domains" is searched at least 323/mo on Overture which I'm thinking if you add up Google, MSN and all the other int'l domains, it's probably at least 1000X's and Mike's #1.

Anyway, the funny thing is that I clicked on his link back to the post & got this message:

The requested page could not be found.

Page not found - /blog/archive/2005/03/how-to-snatch-an-expiring-domain.php

Then checking his main domain, I got a 403 forbidden message. Maybe Mike's working on his site or getting hacked or not paying his fees? ;) Probably not, but thought it was interesting...might affect his #1 ranking with "expiring domains".

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Anonymous's picture

Azzam (not verified)

June 4th, 2008

I built socioclick.com with one extension that cost me $12, then after 1000s of free downloads I developed the sociotag premium version and other extensions. Today the site has over 100,000 backlinks. So it can be done, I suggest you check the extensions.joomla.com area to see what are the popular or go over to wordpress and see whats popular there and duplicate this for Joomla as a new and unique extensions. But go over to rentacoder or getafreelancer and get them done on the cheap.

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Anonymous's picture

Anonymous (not verified)

March 19th, 2009

I agree , build something with open source tools, rather then paying for links, on then plus side there's also a learning curve!!!

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Anonymous's picture

Proper SEO Services (not verified)

April 14th, 2009

This sounds interesting and i do hope this strategy still works coz its been like over two years since this article was posted.

Am gonna try it though.

reply
Anonymous's picture

David (not verified)

September 15th, 2009

That is a little pricey for some of us beginners, but the ROI is impressive!

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