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If you're writing a blog, or an educational resource for example, the chances are you are writing entirely original content, and provided your prose is well-written and insightful enough, natural links will, naturally, accumulate.
But what if you are a business; especially one in a destinctively non-niche market? By necessity, your pages are made up largely of technical information and 'sales talk'. Not generally the sort of content many would want to link to 'naturally', especially relavent pages, as they would generally be your competitors.
What is the answer to gaining genuine links as a business in a competative, yet mundane field? Is it a case of writing a blog, or educational resource alongside your main site, or am I missing something?
I'd have thought that the suggestions you make at the end are sound; do a less sales-y and more educational auxillary page of interest to a somewhat wider readership and interlink the two.
Then you are genuinely providing value to the Net which the SEs should seek out and rank well.
So in effect, I have the same problem as you.
The only way I deal with this is to write daily news articles about different language regions of the world. ie I have a Russian Daily News section on my Russian translation site.
As well as generating a few links, it also adds content to the site. Plus if people are interested in the news of today then they will probably come back tomorrow.
It's very much a long term thing. I don't expect a massive increase in links for quite some time but hopefully it will pull in some valuable traffic over the years to come.
I am thinking about where my site will be in 2-3 years rather than 2-3 months.
That's my way of handling this.
If you want more natural backlinks to fight your competition, it's your place to do this, but bear in mind that in contrary to paid links, it's up to your customers to give you natural backlinks. Make your customers happy, and they will be more likely to give you natural backlinks. People link to resources they use, so just become one of their best resources of products and services, and some of them will link to you naturally.
That means that through no fault of your own (It's just the way your business works), you don't have many customers. So that in theory puts you at a distinct disadvantage to those selling cheaper, inferior quality products, because (In theory) they sell more than you, even if their actual turnover is lower.
That would go against Google's rewarding quality 'policy', wouldn't it?
White papers on the technologies / techniques etc. OR Get your CEO to say something completely dumb that pisses of the entire blogging community.
I know one member here that makes it a point to annoy half the right wing conservative population by announcing a product several weeks before halloween. Gets tons of natural inbounds. :)
Ok - you can invest time if you don't have much money.
Here are 2 great ways to get a large number of inbound links -
1. Write articles. Describe how to make sure that the jewelry you are buying is genuine, what designs are popular now, which ones are evergreen, how to care for expensive jewelry, how and why to insure the jewelry and like. Now distribute these articles with a link to your site in the resource box.
2. Distribute press releases. Lots of them, say once a week. Write about new developments in your industry, new products launched by you, interview your CEO (stay away from Shri's tip), talk about who all are using your products (take permission if you are using specific names) and like. Thse are carried by the online press release portals as well as several other sites which use the RSS Feeds syndicated by these agencies.
With minimal investment, you will be surprised at the results. One of my clients crawled up from nowhere to top 10 within 3 months on a faily competitive term.