11 Guidelines for Getting Authoritative Links

This post will offer 11 guidelines for getting authoritative links. Authoritative links bring value to your web promotion strategy that far exceeds their value on the surface. There is plenty of evidence that search engines will place more value on out bound links from sites that they consider authoritative.

However, these links are much harder to get. I am talking about getting links from very high value sites, such as government sites, education sites, news sites, and other comparable sites. Note that authority does not come solely from having .gov or .edu in your domain, it comes with the nature of the sites linking to the site.

However, .gov and .edu sites tend to have more authoritative content, so more sites are likely to link to them, and this does eventually establish them as more authoritative. But, sites can be authoritative without having a .gov or .edu domain.

One great objective for many webmasters, is to make their sites authoritative. You can’t do that without getting other authoritative sites to link to you. Of course, you can’t get authoritative sites to link to you unless you have great content.

But this post is not about content, it’s about getting authoritative links to your site. Here are the 11 guidelines:

  1. Focus on links from authoritative sites that are relevant.
  2. Be prepared for the fact that success in a campaign to get a link from an authoritative site might take many months.
  3. Be prepared for your strategies to fail more often than they succeed. If you do a really good job, perhaps 1 in 4 of your campaigns will work.
  4. Be prepared to invest in building a relationship. Your first communications with the authoritative site may not include a request for a link.
  5. It’s a campaign. You need a strategy, and it may have multiple steps. Be prepared to invest in the strategy to make it work
  6. Know that they won’t link to you because they want to help you make money
  7. Know that they will link to your site because your content is valuable to their users (and because they actually care about their users).
  8. Meet their needs.
  9. Study their needs. Figure out what they need, and then figure out which of their needs you can meet. One way to do this is to review things written in the past by key contacts at the site. They may have expressed a need, such as “I wish I knew how to …”, “The web needs a resource that …”, etc.
  10. Be opportunistic. Your target site may identify a need that you can address. Jump on it as quickly as you can, and then fill the need completely.
  11. Invest more in your first 2 or 3 killer links than you will in the ones that follow it. Your first authoritative link will simplify obtaining the ones that will come later, as that endorsement makes all the difference in the world.

This set of guidelines is not meant to be comprehensive, but is intended to help you think about the investment you make when you pursue an authoritative link. The more you view it like a business development process, the better off you are. Sometimes the process can go quite quickly, and that’s great. And, sometimes it will be far more effort. But if you are in it for the long haul, the payoff you get in return for your effort is large.

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