How I built 10,000 links in 3 weeks

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  • July 4, 2007

Launching a new website is the hardest task a webmaster has to face. Weeks of sleepless nights culminate in a launch day which might only see a handful of new visitors and a feeling that you’ve wasted your time.

Of course the key is to have several other people beta testing your new site and offering opinions throughout the design process but that still often leaves the promotion of the site down to one person – you.

10,000 links

The first rule of launching a new website is to know your target market. I’ve been involved in internet marketing for a few years now and have become well known on some of the forums and blogs as well as having a few industry contacts who are happy to offer some help on occasion. Unless you can list the top 50 sites in your new niche pretty much off by heart then you are really going to struggle to be able to connect with your target audience.

Thanks to SEO agencies and digital agencies for the help on this.

Of course if you are launching a new website for a bricks and mortar business you might be able to leverage existing relationships with customers, partners, suppliers and even the press to build links and traffic but I didn’t have that luxury.

Phase 1: Cool Content

Building a website is so easy these days that you really need to have remarkable content and linkbait if you are to succeed. On BlogStorm I wanted to have a lot of content to back up the tracker so I sat down and wrote some in depth posts on subjects like Google Analytics. In addition I started keeping a note of my ideas for future blog posts so that if ever the inspiration dried up I would have a list of ideas ready to write some posts.

As it turned out the Google Analytics tutorial was widely read and linked from a lot of popular sites and it really helped kick start the BlogStorm blog.

Phase 2: Emailing Bloggers

Once BlogStorm was ready for action and had been seeded with a few popular blogs I sat down and sent out a few emails to bloggers who I thought might be interested. For the first few hours after the emails were sent I didn’t get any replies and started to wonder if my emails were not working. The tracker tool is clearly a cool service but was it cool enough for somebody to actually sit down and write about it on their blog?

Luckily the emails worked and the site was featured on the likes of TechCrunch and ProBlogger in the first couple of days and received lots of other positive press. There is nothing better than having your new site featured on somebody elses blog and I really appreciate those who took the time to write about the site and link to it.

This works in any niche, I’ve launched websites selling party supplies and even gas fires using this technique.

Phase 3: Social Networking

Hopefully your website design included social networking buttons on the relevant pages. It also helps if you were a user of various social networks prior to launching your site so you know how to use them to your advantage. In the case of BlogStorm the only thing I did initially was to give the site a thumbs up on StumbleUpon and vote for the story on Digg after somebody else submitted it. The best thing about having really cool content is that it promotes itself. Sometimes you can go away for a few days and gain thousands of links without even trying.

Phase 4: Using Forums

After the site was already gaining traction I continued to create some good blog posts and started to use the Digital Point forums to drive some traffic. People on webmaster forums are in general the least spam tolerant and most web savvy group you will find so forum marketing has to be approached with care.

In the case of BlogStorm I created a couple of threads stating that I had a cool script/guide that I wanted to give away for free and received around 500 replies and private messages asking for the details.

It should be noted that using forums only works if you can deliver on your promises. If the products I was giving away were low quality or didn’t help people then my reputation would suffer. As it stands I think that most people were impressed and certainly a good number have become readers of the blog.

If you want to check my 10,000 links you can do so at Yahoo. The figure is 10,000 at the moment but it might change at any time. The actual figure doesn’t matter so much as the fact it is quite a lot for just a few weeks.

This post was about the number 3

I had already drafted this post when I saw that Daily Blog Tips were holding a contest for bloggers who posted about the number 3 so this will count as my entry.Big Grin

Any questions?

Patrick Altoft

About Patrick Altoft

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events.

  • Ty

    Really impressed with your amazing results. I’m curious of how many of these links are from unique domains? 10,000 links from different domains is one thing; a majority from a few forum sig links is another.

    I’m surely not doubting you or hating–I’m just curious.

    All the best,

  • Patrick Altoft

    I haven’t paid for any links or exchanged any. There is a link in my signature at DP but thats nofollow as I hate sitewide links.

    Some of the links will be from the same sites but they are all natural.

  • JerkyBeef

    This is a great article, you have appreciate bloggers that aren’t afraid to share their successes and how they achieved them… good post…

  • Kent Schnepp

    WOW! Impressive results to say the least! I do have one question. What percentage of links do you think were generated through social media?

  • Patrick Altoft

    Kent, none of the links are paid or from directories or anything so I guess most are via social media.

  • Gideon

    Fantastic result. I’m intrigued by the link/time side of it. Was there a definite point where you thought OK I’ve got to a critical mass?

  • John

    I personally would like more details and numbers. Primarily step by step details because the general summary you wrote is pretty much the minimum when launching a new product or service.

  • Patrick Altoft

    I don’t really think we are at the critical mass stage yet. It will take at least 6 months.

  • Paul Evison

    Impressive stuff, but I wonder if you’ve actually been a bit too successful? Are you in any way concerned that getting 10k links so quickly is going to look un-natural to a search engine, regardless of the ethical way in which they were obtained?

    Having never obtained anywhere near this number of links so quickly, I honestly wouldn’t know the answer, but would be very interested to see what happens. Long-term i guess it will be fine, but I would be a bit concerned short-term. Any thoughts?

    Finally have you ever lived in Starbeck (Harrogate) and were we friends when we were younger? I think our mums were friends. Of course you could be a different Patrick Altoft, in which case I apologise and promise never to speak of it again!

  • Patrick Altoft

    Hi Paul, small world. I still live in Harrogate Big Grin
    I doubt that building links this fast will do any harm at all, it probably just means the site will rank faster. All the links are natural so I can’t see Google getting upset.

  • acute accent

    Ha, Google gets upset as default, for no reason…
    The good thing about this post is that you can also learn from successes, not only from failures!

  • A Tentative Personal Finance Blog

    I got here from John Chow. Nice marketing blitz.

  • Dan H

    By you do get around mr Evison lol
    Good Blog Paul A,interesting stuff
    How many Pauls in SEO r there?

    Harrogate/Ripon here


  • Izwan

    Oh My God I wish I could come out with a tracking tool like yours too. Sadly I don’t have the knowledge. Sad

    Good luck in your blogging career.

  • eastmail

    Brilliant method that you have there..thank you for sharing, bro.

  • Stephen Welton

    Way to go. Sounds like some good old hard work paid off in the long run for you. Advice noted…..

  • Alfa

    Great tips! I now just have to kick my butt to write more useful content and use the “email bloggers” method.

  • kuanhoong

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing.
    I yet to try out using forums.

  • Stu

    Fantastic results. It makes me wonder if Phase 2 isn’t the key to the quick snowball effect. The content being cool is what it’s all about, but without being picked-up by some big hitters right off the bat, 10,000 links takes much longer (or maybe not at all). Maybe?

  • NoName

    I made 848k links in one year Smile

  • Gray

    10,000 links in 3 weeks, very good results.

  • Gaje Master

    I like the way you put everything into perspective for us. You have some really cool ideas with blogging and getting your blog noticed.

  • ajay

    Really useful ideas. Thanks for sharingSmile

  • SEO Blog

    Hi Patrick, I just checked and Yahoo seems to show 1,104 backlinks now for BlogStorm. Looks like some major link update happened or something.

  • vijay

    Nice tips.
    Please can you share the wonderful mail draft you sent to your niche bloggers.
    As I always think to write to my niche bloggers but can’t find appropriate or convincing words.

  • John Pachecus

    Great data. thanks for share

  • Ben

    Great stuff! Just as I was searching on how to build links fast I found this. Thanks Smile

  • Sarah

    I’d be really interested to know what the breakdown for #1, #2 and #3 was – as the effort of networking versus creative content will have a different payback and some people are better at one versus the other.

    And for the record, dp doesn’t have nofollow on their signatures.

  • Scottsdle condos

    Wow, this is cool stuff. I’m a new webmaster and this helps for sure.

  • The Daniel Richard

    Awesome tips backed with your real experience in starting your blog. Would love to try out the Tracker script that you are offering. Smile

  • HDR

    That’s awesome, thanks for sharing.

  • WordPress Guru Advice

    That is really great. I started my blog not long ago. In less then 4 weeks I have nearly 250 links. However my links are not mostly coming from posts. Having seen your results I must revise my targets now.

    Did you emailed all sorts of blogger in your contacts or just the ones who were relative low profile?

  • forum

    I like it! Step one is definitely cool content.

  • Teen Help

    I am just one of them 😛

    Nice articles really and great ideas! Smile

  • Telemill

    I’m going to definitely use your technique and get back to you in 3 weeks and tell you what happens.

  • cyberst0rm

    I just checked Yahoo now. Seems you have (3,587) inlinks ??

  • Funny Comics

    Can I ask a serious question about this? I checked your page rank and it comes up in multiple sources as a “0”.

    This seems like a big problem to me. You are clearly doing some magic gaining links, but this doesn’t appear to be friendly to Google.

    Is my sleuthing off? Is this an issue with gaining a large number of links quickly? Regardless I appreciate you sharing your experiences so publically!

    I’d love to hear any thoughts you have.

  • Sabul

    wow, with 10k links..that’s more than enough for SEO i must say but can u give us the ‘linkbaiting’ stuff that made people link to u..what’s the stuff that made them link to u ? thanks and very impressive i must say

  • African safari

    10,000 links in 3 weeks? mis that considered natural link building by google?

  • Ciara Writer

    Geez, it’s so damn tough building traffic. I’m doing a 30 day trial to build traffic from all of 7 visitors to at least 50 per day. Most people talk in the 100’s but hey, I’ve gotta start somewhere. So, thanks, I will be using some of your tips. (I’ll link back to you as a thanks.)

  • geld lenen

    Okay you had a LOT at the start, so the growth decreased. Any clue now how Google handled that?

  • Daily Common Sense

    10k in three weeks is quite impressing but it seems a lot to be really different domains…

  • Dexter |

    Nice that you have shared your old post for us new visitors to see.. This gives me another idea to promote my old contents..

  • Ashwin Kandoi

    I think we should buy some old content

  • Hyms

    Great this is a good info. I just created the web which can get this much link. Hopefully by member.

  • Jacob Hester

    It’s all about awesome content. You have an awesome tool that everyone wants to talk about. The rest took care of itself.

    Here from Chow by the way.

  • muztagh

    As somebody pointed out here getting large number of links in short time may rise red flag by search engines like google, but I believe some good contents obviously will get huge number of links in short time. My question is “will search engines still disgrace those naturally gained links?”

  • Nu geld

    Nice post. It all seems pretty obvious but it’s all so true!

  • Martin Hyde

    Great article, and really useful. Good luck with getting more links :-)

  • Website design company

    Great stuff, thanks a lot for sharing your ideas. This ideas will help a lot for newcomers in the market.

  • Schiphol amsterdam

    Congrats, great article!

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  • Lenen met bkr

    Great article, im gonna do my best to use your tips to promote my websites!

  • James Anthony

    great idea man you rock and you have done a great job… i m also working in my blog for last 10 months but i did’nt get more links only 47 link :(

  • Teen Forums

    Thanks for the read. I have bookmarked this and I will retweet it too. I like the forums ideas the most :)

  • bono

    Nice post. Thanks for sharing this article.


  • Parkeren Schiphol

    Building so many links in such a short period, isn’t that considered unnatural link building by google. Thanks for the great post!

  • Crystal Admiral

    Really impressive, just wondering what happens if you can’t keep up this number of links in the future? Google might think this is suspicious, right? Love the post anyways!

  • james

    well this is a great method, i would try this out to build sooo many links.

  • john srtatham

    wow thats an excellent result, will try for my self soon. thanks!

  • Bezienswaardigheden Londen

    We all know how difficult it is to build traffic. This is a really impressive result. Please share more if you can.

  • Ilse Turquoiseside

    What a great article. Let’s hope more is coming? Sharing insights on link building is always interesting, even more when the blogger isn’t afraid to share how they achieved their success!

  • Londen bezienswaardigheden

    As a new webmaster I can learn a lot from this, and it helps for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  • Trein naar Londen

    Would it be possible to share any findings on how this can be seen as unnatural? I mean 10,000 links in a week, is not really natural, so it could be perceived as illegal, and therefore you could be banned for a while.

  • Schiphol aankomsttijden

    Agree with trein, this will be very suspicious behavior. Even when making a very good article that has big news value, 10,000 links is far from realistic. Would be good to see the impact of the site.

  • Ed Hardy Belts

    Thanks for the message

  • Smart Parking Schiphol

    Thanks for sharing. Hope it will work, but would like to see some results.

  • Lang parkeren Schiphol

    Wauw what a amazing result! Please share more :-)

  • AndyD

    great result but I still want more info. You have a great rank (25085) but Google is still giving you a Page Rank of only 1 according to SEOquake.

  • Hotel Scheveningen

    Great result man.

  • Taxi Schiphol

    Indeed a perfect score, a lot of knowledge gained.

  • lowcostwebdesign

    Wow! a great article, but like some others I would be interested to know how you managed to avoid the wrath of Google when building so many back links so quickly. Or is it just a myth that they will drop or sandbox a site for obtaining many links that fast?

  • Leningen

    Well done, 10000 in 3 weeks, unbelievable!

  • Parkeren Schiphol

    Thats really a great result. 10k in 3 weeks (of 50k in 11 weeks), really impressive!

  • Slaapkamer Ideeen

    I’m wondering how important are social networks for linkbuilding? But its indeed a great result!

  • Goedkoper parkeren schiphol

    Nice one. I big hit for your linkbait. Most of the time the big hits won’t be shared.

  • parkeren schiphol

    From how many unique IP’s are the backlinks coming from? And did you do anything to index the backlinks?

  • vakantiehuis

    Lost of interesting questions here but the OP has gone quiet. YooHoo!

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