It seems well established today that trying to rank in a very competitive market without backlinks is next to impossible. That is, even if the website is of quality and useful.
Of course, applying to free, safe and SEO friendly directories will provide some backlinks, but these may not be of the highest quality. They may not even be enough to rank high enough to get the kind exposure that would have the site take off.
I have been reading here and there that abandonned URLs can help, since they often have some backlinks left with relevant anchor text.
Has anybody tried this technique to boost a website's visibility in a very competitive market? Would you recommend it? Any tips or tricks?
Used domains with decent backlink profiles generally don't come cheap, and since a sudden increase in (redirected) backlinks from various domains is something that could get your site flagged for manual review, and it's quite easy to uncover your strategy, I doubt it'll be worth the expense.