netmeg - 12:50 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)
I put a lot of effort into social proof, making sure that my content is easily shareable, staying in communication with my users on FB and Twitter, trying to come across like a human instead of a bot. I try to create content that influential sites want to link to (like state and municipal .gov sites) and I link out like crazy, but only to reputable and influential sites (often if they see you linking to them, some will link back). Other than that, I pay no attention to linking, I don't use nofollow, and I don't do linkbuilding. (I don't have the patience for it and it turns out that's probably for the best)
I try to keep the site load zippy, and I have optimized mobile versions as well. I try not to overdo the ads.
And, to be fair, I also really try to pick niches where there aren't a lot of players, so that makes it easier for me to become the authority. I am not trying to challenge or prove myself, I'm trying to create a retirement plan.