Revealed: The Top 3 Link Building Methods In 2013

Mark McknightHi I’m Mark McKnight. I got started in online business back in 2008 with a company called SiteBuildIt!

Over the last few years I built three authority sites that got slapped by Google. Those sites were earning me a solid part time income one day and the next a couple of dollars.

Google had wiped out my business overnight. I don’t blame Google. The changes they made were a wake-up call for everyone who earns money online from natural search traffic.

The problem was that the websites and their owners that got slapped by Google were gaming the search engines, mine included.

As webmasters and affiliate marketers, we were building pages around keywords that people were searching for and once we got them to our content page we tried to get them to buy something through an affiliate link or click on an Adsense ad.

The quality of our content wasn’t great. We only had one thing in mind and that was to get the click from the visitor on one of our monetization models.

Well, times have changed and I’ve learned from my mistakes. I’m slowly starting to build my business again and this time everything I do is quality first! I also don’t rely on Google as much either these days.

I couldn’t rebuild my old sites after the Penguin attack, so I left them to gather cyber dust and bring in a few dollars every so often from Yahoo and Bing. What I have done is start new fresh websites, this time based around quality content that is worthy of its position in the search engines.

I have also worked out what Google and other search engines are looking for in terms of SEO and link building post Penguin and Panda. I currently have most of my new niche sites sitting on the first page of Google for their main keyword phrase and they are only a few months old.

This is bringing me small but frequent sales until I choose the most profitable of these niche sites to grow into larger authority sites for bigger earnings.

It’s no secret how this is done and I’m going to share my top three link building methods with you below.

Good luck with your link building!


My Top 3 Link Building Methods In 2013

The methods I’m going to share with you are particularly useful for new sites just starting out. You don’t need a seasoned domain or exact match domain or any other specific type of keyword based domain for this to work.

The main principles behind these link building methods are keeping it real and being natural. All we are doing with these link building methods is generating some momentum for our new sites and encouraging the search engines and other visitors to stop by and view our content.

Once people find your website, your high quality content will eventually take over and you will gain links naturally from other sites and that is how it should be and how Google wants it to be.

Link Building Method No:1 – Blog Commenting

In the first few weeks of a new site’s existence we want to show the search engines that we are trustworthy. There is no better way to do this than blog commenting. It is the whitest of white hat link building methods.

Blog commenting alone has moved my site: to the No:2 position within 10 days. Granted it is not a very competitive keyword phrase but my site has been spidered, indexed and Google now trusts it. A great start for any site in my opinion.

The reason why blog commenting is so good for new sites is because you can get a variety of ‘Follow’ and ‘Nofollow’ links from a diverse range of quality domains. The links are also neutral or branded meaning that we are not trying to manipulate the search engines with a keyword phrase in any way.

In my case, most of my blog comment links will have an anchor text of: Mark McKnight because that’s my name. You don’t want to try anything fancy like putting a keyword phrase instead of your name because that isn’t natural and Google knows it. Your new site might never get off the ground if you try a tactic like that.

Remember: Keep it real and natural looking.

For the average niche you shouldn’t need any more than about 50 blog comment links from different domains in your first 4 weeks. This alone should get you close to the first page of Google, if not on it.

You can use a website called: to analyse your backlinks. It’s free and updates quite quickly after the link has been authorized by the blog you’ve commented on.

Link Building Method No:2 – Directory Submission

This method is not free but it will give you some very good results, especially if you are already on the first page of Google and just need a small boost to get from position 9, for example, to position 4.

Again the links are neutral with this link building method. For example:,,

So far we have not built a single keyword based anchor text link and we could already be ranking on the first page of Google for our main site keyword. That’s how SEO has changed in 2013. You are rewarded for being natural and patient in your link building campaign.

The best place to get a paid directory link is Directory Maximizer. You can get 10% off your Premium Paid Directory Submission with the coupon code “af-10-off”. You should expect to pay between $10 and $20 per paid directory submission.

After your site has been around for about 4 weeks and you have a good variety of blog comment links built up, you can add a few directory links to diversify your link structure and boost your rankings.

I wouldn’t add any more than five in the first few months. You shouldn’t need to because if you are on the front page of Google already then your job is done. You don’t need to add anymore links. Let them grow naturally after that. Concentrate your efforts on creating more high quality content and monetization.

Link Building Method No:3 – Guest Posting

Guest posting is the crème de la crème of advanced link building. The back links that you get from guest posts are the highest quality links you can possibly get. They are contextual and you can choose the anchor text.

But with something this powerful you need to be responsible. You will probably only need one of these to give your main keyword a final boost.

Your site should already be ranking highly at the search engines, but if Google isn’t picking up on your main keyword for some reason you can use a guest post to get their attention with your keyword as the anchor text of your link.

The best way to find a blog to guest post on is to go through the list of blogs that you left comments on previously. After you’ve left a few comments over a couple of weeks and built up a relationship with the blogger, you could try contacting them and asking if you can make a guest post.

One thing to remember when guest posting is to make sure it’s your highest quality work. Once you get one guest post written and published you can use it as an example or reference when approaching other bloggers for a guest post.

This is the method that got my niche lawn mower website on the first page of Google for my main keyword.


You now know my top 3 link building methods for 2013. I had to make a choice after Google slapped my authority sites. I could have given up but I chose to educate myself in what works for SEO and link building in 2013 after the algorithm changes.

I now have a niche site related to lawn mowers which is currently sitting at position 5 in for the keyword ‘Husqvarna 7021P’. The site is called: and through this website I sell an average of one Husqvarna 7021P lawn mower each month from

I could probably sell a lot more if I monetized it better.

Now that my site has a good position in Google I plan to expand it out to become an authority site on Husqvarna lawn mowers. At the moment it has about 5 article pages and over the next few months will grow to 15-20 in preparation for the new mowing season starting next spring.

With my top 3 link building methods for 2013 and beyond it isn’t hard to put together your own niche affiliate website to earn an extra monthly income online.

If you would like to learn the full method of building niche affiliate websites for profit yourself then I recommend the training course by Andrew Hansen called Forever Affiliate. This is the exact method I followed to build my portfolio of niche websites, one of which I shared with you above.

Click Here For More Information About Forever Affiliate

  1. Great info here on how to start to rank your new website. I am currently putting these methods to work and will come back and post on their progress. Thanks for the great tips!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Will. Hope your new site starts gaining some momentum soon. You can build a better relationship through your comments by adding a Gravatar.

    People who read your comments like to be able to put a face to the name. It helps build the connection and maybe they will visit your site.

    Have you tried commenting on sites within your own niche? That should bring you some targeted traffic to your website and may produce some sales.

    Good luck,

  3. Great tips on how to rank a site after all the Google updates. I too lost a lot of my niche sites in the past after the updates.

    I have started out fresh, although I am not doing niche sites anymore. However, after reading about your lawn mower site, I may have to get one set up.

    Did you use these three methods to get your lawn mowing site ranked on the first page of Google? Thanks for the share.

  4. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for visiting.

    These are the exact methods I use to rank niche sites in 2013. The competition is low at the moment because lots of beginners are still being told to use the old methods that don’t work anymore.

    They try and fail and give up.

    The sites that used to hold the top spots have been knocked right out of the top 100 at Google allowing new sites to take their place quickly and easily.

    You can actually rank a new site with just blog comments, both follow and nofollow. I only have about 20 backlinks for my lawn mower website, because that’s all you need in 2013.

    As more people embrace the new methods, competition will increase, but for the mean time Google is wide open and waiting for new niche sites.

    Hope this helps,

  5. Hey Mark,

    Wow, you were with SiteBuildIt! I promoted that service for a long time because it was a good one. Sorry you got slapped as well, I’m not sure there are many people still online today that didn’t get slapped.

    I use to do the same things as well but my content wasn’t junk. I still got slapped but my posts still rank and I still make money from those sites so I’m not complaining although it’s nothing like it use to be.

    Hey, that’s what we were taught to do and it worked, very very well. I’m just really picky about my content though and probably took more time then I should but I still got hit so Google is just mean. :-(

    Thanks for your tips of what’s working for you and I’m so thrilled you put blog commenting in there. I took an affiliate marketing course myself and they suggested it which is how I got started blog commenting in the first place. So glad I took that course and it really taught me a lot.

    Good luck to you and I have no doubt you’ll be doing very well soon.


  6. Hi Adrienne,

    I thought you had a SiteBuildIt! feel to your writing style. One of the best guides on writing for the internet I ever read was ‘Make Your Content Presell’ by Ken Evoy. I learned a lot about internet business from my early days at SBI.

    Google can be mean and it has taught me a valuable lesson on my online business journey and that is never rely on one source of traffic. I now build a relationship with my visitors through email and neither Google, Facebook or any other media can take that away.

    Thanks for your kind words Adrienne. I’m really starting to enjoy my new blog and am really pumped up and passionate about building new relationships across the internet and hopefully making a difference by sharing my knowledge.


  7. Hi Mark,

    Thanks very much for sharing these tips about how you’re so successfully building links to your sites. I’ve done lots of blog commenting, but haven’t tried the other two methods yet.

    On the subject of commenting, I think it’s a shame when bloggers only comment on other blogs purely for the sake of getting links back to their own sites. I’m sometimes plagued with poor quality comments from bloggers who are doing just that, and it’s very annoying. I think blog commenting should be seen as part of a wider strategy to build relationships with other bloggers and thereby grow your reputation and brand – and you only do that by leaving genuinely thoughtful comments that add value to a post.

    Many congratulations on the renewed success you’re having with your sites – you’ve shown great resilience and strength of character in coming back after taking such a hard hit :)

  8. Hi Susan,

    I totally agree with you about blog commenting. In fact, most blogs in other niches don’t seem to use CommentLuv…well the ones I’ve seen anyway in the gardening niche.

    So you only get a ‘nofollow’ link back. I think this deters spammers and also keeps your intentions for using blog commenting to reaching out and building relationships.

    As you have mentioned above, when you leave a comment on a blog post, it should be to reach out and connect with the blogger with the view to building a win-win relationship.

    Also you want to build your own brand within your niche and be seen as the ‘go to’ person for your topic.

    Once you have established your brand and built relationships with fellow bloggers within your niche, then you can move to the next stage and offer to provide useful guest posts to bloggers who like your brand and think you could add value to their readers.

    This is the only back linking you ever really need to do…and it’s natural and ‘keeping it real’. If this is done right, then the other parts of off-page SEO such as social shares and other inbound links happen naturally.

    Thanks for visiting and hope to hear from you again.

  9. Hey Mark, thanks for sharing all this info. I am doing most of the above and I have ranked for some phrases that I hoped for and some I had no idea I would rank for. Commenting and recently a few guest posts has been my slow strategy. But I aim to do a lot more in October when I get time. The directory thing I had never considered, but I suppose a few bucks here and there to rank is worth it.

  10. Hi Mark.

    You’re the first person I’ve come across who used SiteBuildIt! You’ve given some useful tips. I must admit that blog commenting is my favourite.

    It’s good to read other blogs because of the different insights and experiences people have.

    Take care

  11. These are without any doubt the best ways to build quality backlinks :)
    Blog commenting is the easiest way to build tons of high quality backlinks thanks to CommentLuv of course.

    I think without CommentLuv blogging could be harder to handle.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post! :)

    • Hi Brian,

      Thanks for visiting my blog. It’s great to meet new people and make new friends. I’m still on the fence over CommentLuv. I think I need a few more months of blogging to make my mind up about using it or not.

  12. Hi Mark,

    I just wanted to ask for an update how your lawnmower site is doing. Any new sales? I saw you didn’t add much articles recently, but for me it still ranks on #4 in Google (looking through a german browser)

    Enjoy your weekend!


  13. Lawn mower website is holding its rankings although not selling very much now as it is the end of the season. I will add more articles to it after Christmas and wait for sales to pick up again in March.

    With the position it has now, I could probably get other keyword phrased articles ranked quite quickly.

  14. Some tips for SEO. I’m going to use these for my live wedding bands website.

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