Why am I writing this?
Simply to share my experiences in SEO (link building) for the last 8 years.
Methods I've used
You name it, I've done it......article submission, directory submission, social bookmarking, blog posts, blog commenting, forum posts, forum signatures, private blog network posting, SENuke campaigns, XRumer campaigns, reciprocal linking, automated 3-way linking, manual 3-way linking, etc.
What I have learned
1. Google (who we're all struggling against) has learned how to discover and devalue almost all methods of link building.......they want us all to be buying Adwords.
2. The most effective link is a one-way link from a hard working, high page rank, spam free, website.......theme relevancy is a plus, but not absolutely necessary.
3. Investment of time and money on most of the other methods is a waste of resources.
Who is on top?
Most of the websites that rank the highest in search engine placement are there because of the following methods:
1. They are heavily into cloaking, or IP delivery. Google equates cloakers to criminals because they are almost powerless to stop it. However, most of us can not afford it because the cloaking experts charge many thousands of dollars per month to manage your cloaking efforts.....and most of us are not capable of doing our own cloaking.
2. Websites that can afford a link manager who dedicates all their time to buying links (risky if not done correctly) or getting one-way links from good websites. This also requires a lot of time and effort.
What is my conclusion?
Going forward, I only want one-way links from hard working, spam free, high page rank websites. To do this I will, no doubt, have to participate in 3-way link building where A links B, B links to C, and C links to A. It will have to be a manually administered system because the embedded scripts that are used by automated 3-way linking systems are too easily detected by Google. Done correctly, the manually administered 3-way linking system is virtually undetectable.