Anyone who pays attention to SEO techniques knows that getting high quality, “do follow,” and diverse backlinks is the key to search engine optimization. The challenge, of course, is where to find places to get powerful backlinks. Most people build their link building strategies around blog and forum postings. This makes sense and is certainly part of our plans as well. However, it stands to reason that Google also knows that most marketers who are using SEO tactics to rank their sites are doing this, and it makes sense that they will be looking for a much more diverse backlink pattern to award the highest rankings to. With that in mind, I’m going to share the top 5 non-forum/blog backlink sources that we teach in Commission Blueprint 2.0. 1. Squidoo Lists Squidoo.com is a great place to get links back to your site. Type the following into a Google search: “add+to+this+list”+site:squidoo.com You will be presented with a huge list of Squidoo lenses where you can add your site, with custom anchor text. Many of these have very high PageRank as well! For extra credit, append +”keyword phrase” onto the end of this query, and you can target your links for relevance. For example, if you were trying to rank a fitness site you could type: “add+to+this+list”+”fitness”+site:squidoo.com 2. Web 2.0 Profiles Many Web 2.0 sites that allow you to create profiles and interact with others provide high PageRank, “do follow” links to the website listed in your profile. Some examples include linkedin, flickr, twibs, and zoominfo.. When creating profiles on these sites (which you could do for every niche you’re in) you’re able to list your website, which becomes a high quality backlink to your site. 3. Article Marketing for Links Most marketers are familiar with writing articles to get traffic, but we write most of our articles for backlinks. If you’ve put a link to your site within the article (and let’s certainly hope you’re doing that!), every article that gets posted becomes a backlink (or even 2 or 3). The more articles that get posted, the more links you can build. To get started, you simply have to write the article and submit it to a few article directories. I recommend: Ezinearticles,goarticles, and articledashboard. There is absolutely no problem or penalty with submitting the same article to all three places (submit to Ezinearticles first, though, as they are the strictest with regard to unique content), and if you are accepted by all three and have 2 links in each article, your article will result in 6 high quality backlinks! 4. Relevant Lists and Resource Directories There are many websites that function as a resource for people interested in a particular topic. For example, one site may maintain a list of top weight loss sites to visit. A backlink from pages like these can provide high quality, highly relevant backlinks. The relevance of backlinks is being talked about much more by Google lately, and it is assumed that relevance will play a larger role in site ranking in the near future. The trick is to find these sites quickly and efficiently. We’ve found the following Google search queries to work very well: “Keyword phrase” + “add url” “Keyword phrase” + “add site” “Keyword phrase” + “add website” For example, if you’re looking to build backlinks to a fitness-related site, you can search for: “fitness” + “add url” Google will return a huge list of sites that will allow you to add your web site, creating a backlink to your site. One thing to watch out for is that many of the sites you’ll come across will ask for a reciprocal link (i.e., we’ll link to you if you link to us). These should be avoided. It’s worth the effort to sift through these sites to find ones where you can add your link without having to place a reciprocal link on your site, because these links are less valuable for SEO purposes. Make sure to keep a list or database of all of these great link building sites/resources that you find, so you don’t have to search for them again the next time! 5. Easy EDU Links I’ve saved my favorite and most unique tip for last. It’s commonly accepted knowledge that .EDU and .GOV backlinks are valued very highly when Google decides on your search rank position. Some people also know the “trick” to finding blogs and forums on .EDU domains, where they can leave useful comments that link back to their sites. If you don’t, here’s a great Google query to find .EDU blogs: site:.edu inurl:blog “post a comment” -”you must be logged in” We’re after something more valuable, though. How about a whole page on an .EDU domain where you can put an article or a whole blog post, as opposed to just a comment? All you need is a willing college student! At many schools, college students are given web space they can use for anything they like. Of course, this web space is hosted on the .EDU domain. All we need to do is to get this college student to allow us to post our material if they like it. But how do you go about finding these students? If you really think about it, you can’t possibly be many degrees of separation away from knowing someone who’s in college right now. Think about your circle of friends and family, and branch out from there. For example, even though I’m “older” (I have teenage children… sigh), I still have 3 cousins that are attending college right now. If I expand my reach further, friends of my parents have children in college. I’m also getting to the age where my friends are starting to have kids in college. In short, I can’t throw a rock into my personal network without hitting a college student! All you have to do is approach these students in your network and ask for their help, or give them something in exchange, for the privilege of putting some content on their site. It’s as simple as that. I hope these tips help you improve your search engine rankings and make you a more successful Internet Marketer!