101 Ways to Build Link Popularity

Aug 16th

By Aaron Wall and Andy Hagans.

Link Building... Time-intensive. Frustrating. Sometimes confusing. Yet Unavoidable. Because ultimately, it's still the trump card for higher rankings.

Many of us have been hoping that it would go away. In Brett Tabke's 5/18 Robots.txt entry, he echoed a sentiment that many, many webmasters hold on to as a hope:

What happens to all those Wavers that think [i]Getting Links = SEO[/i] when that majority of the Google algo is devalued in various ways? Wavers built their fortunes on "links=seo". When that goes away, the Wavers have zero to hold on to.

The pertinent questions:

  1. Will link building still be very important for rankings in the medium term?
  2. When will link popularity be devalued in favor of other algo elements (that are less tedious, from a webmaster's point of view)?

The answers:

  1. Sorry, but link building is still going to be the SEO trump card for the foreseeable future.
  2. I wouldn't hold your breath for search engine algorithms to place less importance on link popularity until the Semantic Web arrives, or maybe when HTTP gets replaced by a new protocol. Because links are still the basic connector, the basic relationship, on the Web. And for the forseeable future they're going to be the easiest way for a computer program to judge the importance and trustworthiness of a Web page.

What will happen to the way search algorithms score links is already happening. The Google algo has become much more elegant and advanced, devaluing staggering amount of links that shouldn't count, and placing more emphasis on trusted links. And the trust and juice given by those links is then verified by elements like user data, domain age, and other relatively hard-to-spoof factors.

But please, don't fool yourself. Links that should count are still the key to rankings (in Google, at least — and MSN and Yahoo! are only a few short years behind). In that spirit, Aaron and I have created our 101 Ways to Build (and Not Build) Links. (Yeah, it just so happened that there were exactly 101!)

Oh, and mad props to our inspiration, 131 Legitimate Link Building Strategies, one of the original authority documents on link building. It was just getting a bit rusty, that's all ("Host your own Web Ring"?). Anyway, enjoy the update.

71 Good Ways to Build Links

Love for Lists

1. Build a "101 list". These get Dugg all the time, and often become "authority documents". People can't resist linking to these (hint, hint).

2. Create 10 easy tips to help you [insert topic here] articles. Again, these are exceptionally easy to link to.

3. Create extensive resource lists for a specific topic (see Mr Ploppy for inspiration).

4. Create a list of the top 10 myths for a specific category.

5. Create a list of gurus/experts. If you impress the people listed well enough, or find a way to make your project look somewhat official, the gurus may end up linking to your site or saying thanks. (Sometimes flattery is the easiest way to strike up a good relationship with an "authority".)

Hire Help

This list is of course quite long, because there are many ways to build links & link building can be a tiresome, expensive & arduous task. If you have plenty of cash but are scarce on time outsourcing all or part of your link building campaigns can prove to be a quite profitable business strategy.

6. Hire a publicist. Good old fashioned 'PR' (not PageRank) can still work wonders. Paul Graham wrote a great article titled The Submarine which highlights how PR firms get media exposure. Be warned that many PR firms can be quite hit or miss with their promotions & even some of the "successes" may not stick around long. If permanent links are your main goal, make sure that is clearly articulated to the PR firm in advance, as some PR firms sponsor temporary payola content that disappears about a month after your check clears. ;)

7. Hire a consultant. Yes, you can outsource link building. Just make sure to go with someone good. If you want low-risk high-quality links Jim Boykin's Internet Marketing Ninjas is probably the only good SEO firm doing it at scale. Their link building packages start as low as $5,000 a month. If you can't afford to fully outsource your link building, you may want to hire Debra Mastler to train your in house staff.

Developing Authority & Being Easy to Link At

8. Make your content easy to understand so many people can understand and spread your message. (It's an accessibility thing.)

9. Put some effort in to minimize grammatical or spelling errors, especially if you need authoritative people like librarians to link to your site.

10. Have an easily accessible privacy policy and about section so your site seems more trustworthy. Including a picture of yourself may also help build your authority.

PPC as a Link Building Tool

11. Buy relevant traffic with a pay per click campaign. Relevant traffic will get your site more visitors and brand exposure. When people come to your site, regardless of the channel in which they found it, there is a possibility that they will link to you.

News & Syndication

12. Syndicate an article at EzineArticles, GoArticles, iSnare, etc. The great thing about good article sites is that their article pages actually rank highly and send highly qualified traffic.

13. Submit an article to industry news site. Have an SEO site? Write an article and submit to WebProNews. Have a site about BLANK? Submit to BLANKinformationalsite.com.

14. Syndicate a press release. Take the time to make it GOOD (compelling, newsworthy). Email it to some handpicked journalists and bloggers. Personalize the email message. For good measure, submit it to PRWeb, PRLeap, etc.

15. Track who picks up your articles or press releases. Offer them exclusive news or content.

16. Trade articles with other webmasters.

17. Email a few friends when you have important relevant news asking them for their feedback and/or if they would mind referencing it if they find your information useful.

18. Write about, and link to, companies with "in the news" pages. They link back to stories and blog posts which cover their developments. This is obviously easiest if you have a news section or blog. Do a Google search for [your industry + "in the news"].

19. Perform surveys and studies that make people feel important. If you can make other people feel important they will help do your marketing for you for free. Salary.com did a study on how underpaid mothers were, and they got many high quality links.

Directories, Meme Trackers & Social Bookmarking

20. This tip is an oldie but goodie: submit your site to DMOZ and other directories that allow free submissions.

21. Submit your site to paid directories. Another oldie. Just remember that quality matters.

22. Create your own topical directory about your field of interest. Obviously link to your own site, deeplinking to important content where possible. Of course, if you make it into a truly useful resource, it will attract links on its own.

23. Tag related sites on sites like Del.icio.us. If people find the sites you tag to be interesting, emotionally engaging, or timely they may follow the trail back to your site.

24. If you create something that is of great quality make sure you ask a few friends to tag it for you. If your site gets on the front page of Digg or on the Del.icio.us popular list, hundreds more bloggers will see your site, and potentially link to it.

25. Look at meme trackers to see what ideas are spreading. If you write about popular spreading ideas with plenty of original content (and link to some of the original resources), your site may get listed as a source on the meme tracker site.

Local & Business Links

26. Join the Better Business Bureau.

27. Get a link from your local chamber of commerce.

28. Submit your link to relevant city and state governmental resources. (Easier in some countries than in others.)

29. List your site at the local library's Web site.

30. See if your manufacturers or retailers or other business partners might be willing to link to your site.

31. Develop business relationships with non-competing businesses in the same field. Leverage these relationships online and off, by recommending each other via links and distributing each other's business cards.

32. Launch an affiliate program. Most of the links you pick up will not have SEO value, but the added exposure will almost always lead to additional "normal" links.

Easy Free Links

33. Depending on your category and offer, you will find Craigslist to be a cheap or free classified service.

34. It is pretty easy to ask or answer questions on Yahoo! Answers and provide links to relevant resources.

35. It is pretty easy to ask or answer questions on Google Groups and provide links to relevant resources.

36. If you run a fairly reputable company, create a page about it in the Wikipedia or in topic specific wikis. If it is hard to list your site directly, try to add links to other pages that link to your site.

37. It takes about 15 minutes to set up a topical Squidoo page, which you can use to look like an industry expert. Link to expert documents and popular useful tools in your fields, and also create a link back to your site.

38. Submit a story to Digg that links to an article on your site. You can also submit other content and have some of its link authority flow back to your profile page.

39. If you publish an RSS feed and your content is useful and regularly updated, some people will syndicate your RSS content (and some of those will provide links; unfortunately, some will not).

40. Most forums allow members to leave signature links or personal profile links. If you make quality contributions some people will follow these links and potentially read your site, link at your site, and/or buy your products.

Have a Big Heart for Reviews

41. Most brands are not well established online, so if your site has much authority, your review related content often ranks well.

42. Review relevant products on Amazon.com. We have seen this draw in direct customer enquiries and secondary links.

43. Create product lists on Amazon.com that review top products and also mention your background (LINK!).

44. Review related sites on Alexa to draw in related traffic streams.

45. Review products and services on shopping search engines like ePinions to help build your authority.

46. If you buy a product or service you really like and are good at leaving testimonials, many of those turn into links. Two testimonial writing tips — make them believable, and be specific where possible.

Blogs & the Blogosphere

47. Start a blog. Not just for the sake of having one. Post regularly and post great content. Good execution is what gets the links.

48. Link to other blogs from your blog. Outbound links are one of the cheapest forms of marketing available. Many bloggers also track who is linking to them or where their traffic comes from, so linking to them is an easy way to get noticed by some of them.

49. Comment on other blogs. Most of these comments will not provide much direct search engine value, but if your comments are useful, insightful, and relevant they can drive direct traffic. They also help make the other bloggers become aware of you, and they may start reading your blog and/or linking to it.

50. Technorati tag pages rank well in Yahoo! and MSN, and to a lesser extent in Google. Even if your blog is fairly new you can have your posts featured on the Technorati tag pages by tagging your posts with relevant tags.

51. If you create a blog make sure you list it in a few of the best blog directories.

Design as a Linking Element

52. Web 2.0-ify your site. People love to link to anything with AJAX. Even in the narrowest of niches, there is some kind of useful functionality you can build with AJAX.

53. Validate and 508 your site. This (indirect) method makes your site more trustworthy and linkable, especially from governmental sites or design-oriented communities. There are even a few authoritative directories of standards-compliant sites.

54. Order a beautiful CSS redesign. A nice design can get links from sites like CSS Vault.

Link Trading

55. Swap some links. What?! Did we really just recommend reciprocal link building? Yes, on a small scale, and with relevant partners that will send you traffic. Stay away from the link trading hubs and networks.

56. In case you didn't get the memo — when swapping links, try to get links from within the content of relevant content pages. Do not try to get links from pages that list hundreds of off topic link partners. Only seek link exchanges that you would consider pursuing even if search engines did not exist. Instead of thinking just about your topic when exchanging links, think about demographic audience sets.

Buying Sites, Renting Links & Advertisements

57. Rent some high quality links from a broker. Text Link Ads is the most reputable firm in this niche.

58. Rent some high quality links directly from Web sites. Sometimes the most powerful rented links come direct from sites not actively renting links.

59. Become a sponsor. All sorts of charities, contests, and conferences link to their sponsors. This can be a great way to gain visibility, links, and a warm feeling in your heart.

60. Sell items on eBay and offer to donate the profits to a charity. Many charities will link both to the eBay auction and to your site.

61. Many search algorithms seem biased toward older established sites. It may be faster to buy an old site with a strong link profile, and link it to your own site, than to try to start building authority links from scratch.

Use the Courts (Proceed with Caution)

62. Sue Google.

63. Get sued by a company people hate. When Aaron was sued by Traffic Power, he got hundreds or thousands of links, including links from sites like Wired and The Wall Street Journal.

Freebies & Giveaways

64. Hold a contest. Contests make great link bait. A few-hundred-dollar prize can result in thousands of dollars worth of editorial quality links. Enough said.

65. Build a tool collection. Original and useful tools (and collections of tools) get a lot of link love. What do you think ranking for mortgage calculator is worth?

66. Create and release open source site design templates for content management systems like Wordpress. Don't forget the "Designed by example.com" bit in the footer!

67. Offer free samples in exchange for feedback.

68. Release a Firefox extension. Make sure you have a download and/or support page on your site which people can link to.

Conferences & Social Interaction

69. It is easy to take pictures of important events and tell narratives about why they are important. Pictures of (drunk?) "celebrities" in your industry make great link bait.

70. Leverage new real world relationships into linking relationships. If you go to SEO related conferences, people like Tim Mayer, Matt Cutts, and Danny Sullivan are readily accessible. Similarly, in other industries, people who would normally seem inaccessible are exceptionally accessible at trade conferences. It is much easier to seem "real" in person. Once you create social relationships in person, it is easy to extend that onto the web.

71. Engaging, useful, and interesting interviews are an easy way to create original content. And they spread like wildfire.

30 Bad Ways to Build Links

Here are a few link buiding methods that may destroy your brand or get your site banned/penalized/filtered from major search engines, or both.

Directories

72. Submit your site to 200 cheesy paid directories (averaging $15 a pop) that send zero traffic and sell offtopic run-of-site links.

Forum Spam

73. List 100 Web sites in your signature file.

74. Exclusively post only when you can add links to your sites in the post area.

75. Post nothing but "me too" posts to build your post count. Use in combination with a link-rich signature file.

76. Ask questions about who provides the best [WIDGET], where [WIDGET] is an item that you sell. From the same IP address create another forum account and answer your own question raving about how great your own site is.

77. As a new member to various forums, ask the same question at 20 different forums on the same day.

78. Post on forum threads that are years outdated exclusively to link to your semi-related website.

79. Sign up for profiles on forums you never intend on commenting on.

Blog Spam

80. Instead of signing blog comments with your real name, sign them with spammy keywords.

81. Start marketing your own site hard on your first blog comment. Add no value to the comment section. Mention nothing other than you recently posted on the same subject at _____ and everyone should read it. Carpet bomb dozens of blogs with this message.

82. Say nothing unique or relevant to the post at hand. Make them assume an automated bot hit their comments.

83. Better yet, use automated bots to hit their comments. List at least 30 links in each post. Try to see if you can hit any servers hard enough to make them crash.

84. Send pings to everyone talking about a subject. In your aggregation post, state nothing of interest. Only state that other people are talking about the topic.

85. Don't even link to any of the sites you are pinging. Send them pings from posts that do not even reference them.

Garbage Link Exchanges

86. Send out link exchange requests mentioning PageRank.

87. Send link exchange emails which look like an automated bot sent them (little or no customization, no personal names, etc.).

88. Send link exchange requests to Matt Cutts, Tim Mayer, Tim Converse, Google, and Yahoo!.

89. Get links from nearly-hidden sections of websites listing hundreds or thousands of off topic sites.

Spam People in Person

90. Go to webmaster conferences and rave about how rich you are, and how your affiliates make millions doing nothing.

91. Instead of asking people what their name is, ask what their URL is. As soon as you get their URL ask if they have linked to your site yet and if not, why not.

Be Persistant

92. Send a webmaster an alert to every post you make on your website.

93. Send a webmaster an email every single day asking for them to link to your website.

94. Send references to your site to the same webmaster from dozens of different email accounts (you sly dog).

95. If the above do not work to get you a free link, offer them $1 for their time. Increase your offer by a dollar each day until they give in.

Getting Links by Being a Jerk

96. Emulate the RIAA. When in doubt, file a lawsuit against a 12-year-old girl. (Failing that, obtain bad press by any means necessary.)

97. Steal content published by well known names. Strip out any attribution. Aggregate many popular channels and just wait for them to start talking about you.

98. Send thousands of fake referrals at every top ranking Web site, guaranteeing larger boobs, a 14-inch penis (is that length or girth?), or millions of dollars in free, unclaimed money.

99. Wear your URL on your t-shirt. Walk or drive your car while talking on a cell phone or reading a book. When you run into other people say "excuse you, jerk".

100. Spill coffee on people or find creative ways to insult people to coax them into linking at your site.

101. Sue other webmasters for deep linking to your site. Well, this is more "hilariously dumb" than it is a "bad linking practice".

Calls to Action

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Published: August 16, 2006

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Comments

August 17, 2006 - 4:13pm

haha ,very good,thanks !

August 17, 2006 - 6:04pm

I'll be printing this out today and reading the whole thing while at work.

Thanks for the infomation.

August 17, 2006 - 6:04pm

I'll be printing this out today and reading the whole thing while at work.

Thanks for the infomation.

August 17, 2006 - 6:07pm

Aaron, one huge linking strategy you failed to mention is product recall press releases - they get picked up in all of the right places, without question. It is a little tricky to do and save face at the same time, but if you manufacture or carry recalled items you can use this to your advantage.

August 17, 2006 - 8:00pm

Unless you are very adept at spin control and have product to burn, I wouldn't recommend using recall notices to attract links. They're short term media links that most 'regular' companies don't want to add since the link could be seen as an association. Twist the tactic a bit and write a white paper on the cause and effect of the recall and send it to user groups and industry associations. Look for wide base absorption potential, not short term media links.

August 17, 2006 - 8:03pm

I have been working in the SEO field for some time and these are some very good linking tips. If anyone wants to do well online they should follow this list to the word. Good job!

August 17, 2006 - 10:32pm

Thanks for a great list of specific things I can take action on right now! Know my only difficult decison is where to start. I guess I'll start at #1 and make my way down.

August 18, 2006 - 1:58am

Visit my blog at www.chr....

J/k. Great article and some good tips including the one's you should not do.

August 18, 2006 - 4:43am

Thanks for the props fellas. I have a hundred more ideas to add if you want them. And don't make fun of web rings. They were the original social media.

Eric

Gus Farrah
August 18, 2006 - 7:18am

Excellent article guys. Some love for you: I bookmarked the article, already bought the book and digg it.

August 18, 2006 - 1:45pm

Pretty good list -- thanks! I think the tips you provide are a good reminder that the objective is to create visibility and generate traffic /sales. Very often the focus is purely on "link building" that it is easy to miss the broader big picture of why it is being done in the first place. If only we could remind ourselves constantly that link building and SEO are only the means to an end and not the end in itself....

Gus Farrah
August 18, 2006 - 4:22pm

By the way Aaron, do you know your marketing tool
for fireworks is not working for yahoo, I can't retrieve the information when I click any of these links like .edu, .gov links, etc.

August 18, 2006 - 5:20pm

Aaron, it was nice meeting you at SES in the Google University room. Thanks for another great post.

August 18, 2006 - 6:04pm

Last I checked this was bookmarked over 700 times in del-icio.us with 80 straight blog links in techorati. This post was easily worth the few hundred (at least) links you guys get from writing it. Great stuff!

jan
August 18, 2006 - 6:18pm

great list, i like 91 best.

August 18, 2006 - 6:29pm

Great work Aaron and Andy - perfect sample of a link bait as we now call it these days... or let me put it another way: "authority document" - most up-to-date, extensively covering the topic

congratulations!

Christoph

August 18, 2006 - 11:52pm

WOW. Impressive!

August 19, 2006 - 3:21am

Good list. I took your advice and signed up with many of the links, including technorati!

armas
August 28, 2006 - 2:13pm

reaaly good stuff. You're on the right way Aaron!

August 19, 2006 - 9:04am

These great tips will hopefully help me improve the Ridester.com Alexa rank of 400,000! Granted, the site has only been up for a couple weeks.

August 29, 2006 - 1:10am

As a new blogger I am so glad I found this today. Thanks for all the work! I signed up for Yahoo! Answers in the middle of reading this. Although, this might be too much good info because I can't see me implementing all of it. But I promise to stay away from all the "don'ts" Thanks again!

August 29, 2006 - 3:30am

Amazing! I was just writing an article on link building last night. Then this morning, I decided to do web hopping and found your page which is way a lot better than the article I wrote. :D This is great!

August 29, 2006 - 3:30am

Dude!

I have been looking for this for a while. I get those requests for links from sites that allways have 0 PR and no history. I have it on my list of things to do to build links now unfortunatly I have to much to do!

I was looking at link share as a diversifier from Google Adsense. Now I need to look at buying some links from them. Awsome Article!
Fred
EcoSea Dive Cambodia

August 19, 2006 - 5:22pm

Great tips, I'm looking forward to the new Blogger update so that I can start building technorati tag links.

Mike Seiler
August 20, 2006 - 8:10am

Good stuff--but there's no way I'll ever stop doing #91. ;)

August 20, 2006 - 10:46am

Can i say you missed 1, should be 102.

102. Ask the person you just exchanged links with if he has a friend who is willing to exchange.

Otherwise, Good Effort

August 30, 2006 - 5:13am

I signed up for 'text link ads' tonight, and then read about them in this post.

Quite a few wonderful items, thanks for taking the time to share.

August 20, 2006 - 6:51pm

Nice meeting you at SES!

Great post with lost of great content!

August 20, 2006 - 10:53pm

Great Article...already a hit at DP!

August 30, 2006 - 8:03pm

Thanks for posting this list! I am just starting to learn SEO and this list helped me get a lot of ideas to improve my websites at work! Thanks again!

August 30, 2006 - 9:08pm

I have read each and every bit of it.. and feel like all the information about LP is covered here. Thanks for taking your time to post such informative articles. Good one !

August 21, 2006 - 12:48pm

Wow, now that's what I call a comprehensive list with loads of good information and relevant links. Thanks guys for putting that together and updating it, much appreciated!

Chris

August 21, 2006 - 2:47pm

Great article. You have done yeoman service to the Blogosphere. May your tribe increase!

August 22, 2006 - 3:58am

Oh great Tips,I will work with this tips,A great Thanks for the people who are behind these tips

August 22, 2006 - 5:47am

Ok--I can't resist:

7. Put some effort in to minimize grammatical or spelling errors, especially if you need authoritative people like librarians to link to your site.

....

Be Persistant

92. Send a web....

I'm not a librarian, but I did smile at this slip of the keyboard:) Looks like since those two sections are 85 numbers apart nobody noticed so I shouldn't suggest hiring an editorial consultant (hint, hint)

August 16, 2006 - 2:46am

Great article guys! Some fantastic tips in there.

I especially like the "excuse you, jerk" linkbait (really good one for SEO/SEM conferences).

95 is a great one to try out.

August 16, 2006 - 3:19am

OK, that's it. I'm closing down my blog. Nothing left to talk about.

Excrutiatingly great list guys. I hated myself for it, but simply could not help reading the whole thing. :)

August 16, 2006 - 3:48am

Perfect timing on this article. I'm in the process of training a new link manager, and now I'm able to just have him go read this. Well done!

August 16, 2006 - 4:44am

OK... 4 dollars. But that's my final offer ;)

August 16, 2006 - 5:49am

As a new purchaser of your book, I must say that it's truly great to know that I can count on this blog for great SEO advice.

I really appreciate the fact that you're fully against black hat SEO. The 30 Bad Ways to Build Links section reminded me of a mortgage company I used to work for in RI; the owner insisted on using many of these techniques.

I think the main issue isn't convincing most web designers to avoid bad SEO techniques, rather, it's convincing company owners/managers/bosses who could care less.

Nonetheless, great tips!

August 16, 2006 - 6:25am

This is a good list, it actually had a few ideas I had not heard of before which really suprised me, but I have never seen a list longer than about 20 ways to build incoming links either though. Good job.

August 16, 2006 - 7:22am

I also agree on the great timing of this article. And just as I was bookmarking it, I realized that I read the whole thing. My attention span is getting better.

So, soon to be the brand new owner of the SEO Book. Thanks for the great advice sir.

August 16, 2006 - 7:26am

Blogged about it, linked to it, and for good measure threw in a Digg as well. Thanks for the effort.

August 16, 2006 - 7:40am

There's some great tips there, just blogged about it too!

August 16, 2006 - 8:00am

nicely done, but too 101-ish

August 16, 2006 - 9:17am

Very very usefull info. I think this is a 'TOP1 Article into Build Link Popularity in 2006'. Keep going!

August 16, 2006 - 9:22am

Nice piece of text I must say. Is it oke for me to make a translation in Dutch with a obvious link to this article?

August 16, 2006 - 9:52am

that will help me ! thank you

August 16, 2006 - 10:16am

It was hard to collect 101 wasn't it :)

August 22, 2006 - 6:45pm

Great post - so useful ! You did not mention about online link exchanges websites like linkmarket.net, which seem no good to me ?

Elaine
August 16, 2006 - 10:23am

Great stuff - now I'll be spending the next week learning about del.ic.ious!! , digg and how to make a good blog - whew!!

August 16, 2006 - 10:38am

What about submitting to free directories:

72. Submit your site to 200 cheesy paid directories (averaging $15 a pop) that send zero traffic and sell offtopic run-of-site links.

Yeah sure they may be bad, but is it a big deal to submit to a few hundred free directories? I know the benefit isn't great, but for new sites from new webmasters?

August 16, 2006 - 11:37am

Fantastic article, well written and extremely useful, thanks!

nayalbugs
August 16, 2006 - 12:10pm

immaculate stuff on linking startegies !
;-)

Sarah
August 16, 2006 - 12:31pm

Awesome - thanks!

August 16, 2006 - 12:48pm

One of the best articles I've read in this subject. Thank you !

August 16, 2006 - 1:40pm

Wow guys !! this is one of the most interesting article i ever read !

Very helpful ! soooo much thanks' for you guys .

Keep it up .

August 16, 2006 - 2:08pm

A pretty good synthesis of link building strategy, goes directly in my favs ;)

August 16, 2006 - 2:13pm

Thanks for putting this together. I will make sure to reference it when training new link developers. Thanks!

Alex
August 16, 2006 - 2:40pm

Some pretty good ideas, thanks

But is it a spello because although there are 101 ideas it says at the top (just before #1) '71 Good Ideas...."

Or am I missing something subtle?

DoBump
August 16, 2006 - 3:18pm

Alex,
There are 71 good ways AND 30 BAD ways to build links. :)

Been reading Aaron's site for over a year and while his posts are usually great, this is the most informative by far.

August 16, 2006 - 3:36pm

Excellent article you 2! Keep'em coming.

August 16, 2006 - 3:40pm

Amazing list. Great advice. I'm going to create a top 100 list on how tips on making a top 100 list :D

skore
August 16, 2006 - 3:56pm

Excellent list guys - really well thought out.

avi
August 16, 2006 - 4:17pm

yet another praise for well done work. kudos andy and aaron.

August 16, 2006 - 4:18pm

Great Wednesday morning read!!! But, yeah, I'm curious about free directories as well. :)

August 16, 2006 - 4:51pm

Where's the printer friendly version, guys?

Wyn Snow
August 23, 2006 - 7:21am

Especially love the 30 bad ways. So sad that some people are still using them!!

August 16, 2006 - 5:17pm

Me Too!!!

Sorry, I couldn't resist a brief moment of blog spam, but in all reality this is a great list.

Also, it looks like the comments are being repeated or something strange is happening. It's ironic that inadvertantly people are spamming this post that condemns blog spam.

August 16, 2006 - 5:20pm

Really good read! now someone should write articles on every 101 ways listed here ;)

August 16, 2006 - 5:31pm

A very very excellent and informative article there.I tink i should start working on link building in a new way now :)
Amit

August 23, 2006 - 9:04am

I've made it to the end. Thanks for putting it together. Lots of things I didn't know. BOOKMARKED!

August 16, 2006 - 5:54pm

Good stuff as alway, guys. Link bait is important and the message you send in your article, press release, or other web content needs to be "linkable" and "link worthy".

Getting links to your site is very like building good old fashioned publicity.

August 16, 2006 - 6:23pm

I'll just add to the list. A great article. and reading between the lines, I'll blog it.

August 16, 2006 - 7:07pm

Factoid: Andy, I am impressed. Truly this a very exhaustive list of linking strategies. Your Google rank proves your the best.

JT McNaught
www.eBiz-IQ.com

August 16, 2006 - 7:59pm

what's the deal with all the repeated comments?

awesome list as usual aaron/adam :-)

informative & complete! will be printed out and re-read again, and again, and again...

-nick

August 16, 2006 - 9:05pm

this information is great to me!!
thank you guys for your awesome posts
As Nick says, i´ll re-read it again, and again ...

August 16, 2006 - 9:34pm

The thought on mass submission to directories is that Google sets crawl priorities based on naturalness and trustworthiness of your link profile.

It is quite unnatural to get hundreds or thousands of low trust links without gaining some high quality ones. A year or two back more links equaled more and deeper crawling in most engines. Google clearly curbed that line of thinking with the BigDaddy update.

August 16, 2006 - 10:35pm

What is inbound link all about?
What to do if my site not submitted in dmoz?

Blake
August 16, 2006 - 10:45pm

Sigh ... great.

It's sad that there are people out there not reading this blog.

August 16, 2006 - 11:02pm

Very good stuff guys! I printed it and read it twice, had my wife, kid, and the dog read it. Even posted on a love link as its something a lot of webmasters need to read.

August 16, 2006 - 11:10pm

I loved the fresh outlook - most SEO guides are about 6 years out of date. Brilliant article.

Medved
August 16, 2006 - 11:15pm

Preved vsem russian guestbook spammers. Kagdila?

August 16, 2006 - 11:35pm

I wrote a beginner's blogger Top Ten based on some experimentation I've done. I would love for your honest feedback: http://www.douglaskarr.com/2006/08/13/optimize-your-blog/

Doug

August 16, 2006 - 11:42pm

Thanks for the great tips. I can't wait to start putting some of them to use, especially the tips on using reviews to attract links. People are starving for experts to filter out some of the noise on the web, so if you can convince them you know about a particular subject, they will listen and tell others, as well.

August 16, 2006 - 11:42pm

Thanks for the great tips. I can't wait to start putting some of them to use, especially the tips on using reviews to attract links. People are starving for experts to filter out some of the noise on the web, so if you can convince them you know about a particular subject, they will listen and tell others, as well.

August 16, 2006 - 11:47pm

had my wife, kid, and the dog read it

I had my dog read it too, but I don't think he "got it". He still talks about reciprocal linking and pagerank like it's 2004.

August 17, 2006 - 12:52am

In the middle of a huge SEO project. Your article was very helpful.

August 17, 2006 - 1:46am

Aaron! You're going to drive me out of business man! I'm supposed to charge for this type of information :) Great stuff.

August 17, 2006 - 1:46am

Aaron! You're going to drive me out of business man! I'm supposed to charge for this type of information :) Great stuff.

REW Tyler
August 17, 2006 - 2:32am

"86. Send out link exchange requests mentioning PageRank."

Hahaha people do that to me all the time :p It normally comes out though "I think my page is too good for your's" .
Tyler

August 17, 2006 - 3:07am

Yahoo! Answers currently uses the nofollow tag in all posted links :(

August 17, 2006 - 3:28am

Great Article!

August 17, 2006 - 3:33am

I have to say I'm just starting to dip my toes into the SEO waters and this article/list has blown me away. I have so much to learn and not enough time to do it in.

I figure by the time I get all this stuff down, there will be a new list for 2008.

Great work!

Greg Dark
August 17, 2006 - 4:20am

sounds great...great tips!!!! anyone want an seo package in Australia, check out www.imagemagic.com.au

August 17, 2006 - 4:24am

Yes, everyone around the business here has read the book, and we loved it! come to us if you need seo help ;)

August 17, 2006 - 4:37am

in my experience ranking for mortgage calculator isn't all that valuable, compared to say state + refinance + mortgage or home loans, converts way better than the calculator terms.

BrianUSA
August 17, 2006 - 5:38am

1-71 Were great ideas. Thank you!

Besides maybe 97 and 98 which items between 72-101 would "get your site banned/penalized/filtered from major search"?

August 17, 2006 - 5:55am

Great list. Especially the whole thing about link exchanges and PR. I get way too many emails for one of my niche websites and how they'd like me to link to their site only from my PR 5 page and not from the inner pages of my niche directory (the inner page is much more relevant to their site..)

I wish everyone would read this article.

August 17, 2006 - 6:05am

AH and AW, great article.

All of these comments make good sense, the challenge is (ok, dont laugh) they take time. (alright, go ahead and laugh). Seriously, I can see peforming many of the top 71 for one web site. If that number is more like 100 or 1000 websites, then it becomes very difficult.

Primarily as Affiliate marketers, one of the toughest challenges my comapny faces is which tactics succesfully scale with relative accuracy to make them valuable for testing and then implementation.

Currently we are working with PPC as phase 1 Development, and SEO for Phase 2 Development where it makes sense.

August 17, 2006 - 6:40am

My blog is relatively new and I will take your suggestions to heart. Thanks!

August 17, 2006 - 7:24am

Interested to see you differentiate between low quality paid directories and free directories.

Does this mean that all free links are good links?

August 17, 2006 - 8:10am

Wow, such great advice here. I am doing some of the things that are listed but you guys gave me tons of new ideas to implement in my sites.

Thank you

August 17, 2006 - 9:12am

This is realy good artical but what about link exchage software company says or website like linkmarket and Gotops .

August 17, 2006 - 9:27am

>># Sorry, but link building is still going to be the SEO trump card for the foreseeable future.

I have a feeling that search engines will be tracking user behaviour more and more in future. This may happen with the aid of google toolbar, google analytics and other google technologies besides social bookmarking sites such as del.icio.us

August 17, 2006 - 9:44am

I'll take your informations to heart.
Thanks!

August 17, 2006 - 10:45am

A invaluable and yet amusing guide!! Great stuff, I am sure many will take heed of these top tips.

Cheers guys.

August 17, 2006 - 11:36am

Larry Page will finally have his way with Natural Links

August 17, 2006 - 12:39pm

>Does this mean that all free links are good links?

Of course not.

>what about link exchange software company

Many of those business models have been rendered useless if you want to rank well in Google. Some older sites may still be carried by reciprocal links, etc... but it is no way to bring a new site to the top...especially if you are stuck in some cheesy link exchange network.

>I have a feeling that search engines will be tracking user behaviour more and more in future.

I do too, but don't forget the search business model and how little of the overall ad and media market that search engines have direct control over. If I can buy exposure on other networks and get top rankings as a bonus do I still need to buy the related PPC ads? Look at how biased Google's search results are toward .edu, .gov, and informational type resources. Trust usage data too much and that puts a heavy commercial element directly into the search results.

August 17, 2006 - 1:03pm

really good article keep it coming ehe :D :D

August 17, 2006 - 2:11pm

Love it! I think I have already book marked it now I need to decide where to put a link to it.

August 17, 2006 - 2:11pm

For once, a good primer. Stuff like this can only come from old hands like Aaron and Andy. A perfect capping would be what you feel are the Top 10 ways. Here is my take in order of priority: 9, 10, 21, 19, 36, 32, 49, 54, 40 and 57. Lend your mind Aaron, we are waiting..

July 28, 2008 - 5:53pm

link building with blogs is right way of getting higher page rank. i`m very new to seo and i just post more than 200 links of my blog SUPER HACKER ZONE of page rank 4-5 blogs and now my page rank is 2 in 15 days. can any one tell me that links with blogs stay permanent, if not then page rank is also not permanent ?

September 27, 2008 - 2:46am

I first wanted to start out by saying thanks for taking the time to post such a great article. I am fairly new to getting links to my newly created sites, and to SEO in general, so I need as much QUALITY information that I can get!

If anyone doubts your talent, just have them look at first your Google PR, and how high you rank in Google for the keyword (get links to your site - 79 Million +) THIRD out of 79 plus million, and flanked by Microsoft! Truly Amazing, definatly bookmarking this site! Keep the great content coming!

-Glen

September 22, 2007 - 4:04pm

with all heart I must say that this is an amazing post with so much to learn from. I am ardent fan of SEO book and have even got a copy of this book, keep up the good work that you are doing.

September 27, 2007 - 12:17pm

Great and interestingly presented SEO tips...Should have come across much before..sorry!!

September 27, 2007 - 8:24pm

I enjoyed reading your 71 Good Ways to Build Links. The internet is a fast growing information highway and it is very important to stay up-to-date on the different techniques and tricks to increase website ranking and quality score. I actually just published a blog of SEO/SEM trips and tips for webpage ranking. check it out if you are interested or have any suggestions...

October 11, 2007 - 9:49am

I will try all of this and I will let you know what is happend...

Steve

Nothin But NASC...
October 14, 2007 - 9:34am

Hey guys - great stuff. My question is: When you have a directory link to you, and their homepage has a rank of 6, but the page where you are listed has a rank of 3, which number is Google using for their algorithm? Hopefully that question made sense...

Bryan

October 15, 2007 - 10:26am

Hi Bryan
The global authority score helps increase the likelihood that search engines will crawl deeply through the directory.

The page level score (along with how many other links are on that page) determine what portion of the link equity that is funneled to your site.

In addition to PageRank you can also look at cache date to help understand the quality of a link. See my post called Cache date is the new PageRank.

Kenny Lam
October 15, 2007 - 9:41am

Thanks so much for the tips. I didn't know I was wrong until I saw the 30 bad ways to build links.

Kenny.

October 16, 2007 - 1:29pm

That's really an interesting and helpful article..

People will definetly get some new ways for link building...

Great..

Amit Verma

November 10, 2007 - 3:24pm

Well, Andy, I must admit, I think you covered just about every possible scenario worth pursuing on this one. Great post. Every topic crisp and relevant, truly great ideas. Thanks.

November 19, 2007 - 9:05am

creative link building...I purchased a PDF conversion application this evening to insert links to my home page on several PDF downloads I offer as a resource to site visitors looking for DMV forms, etc on sandiegodwi.com ...thinking at least if the forms get swiped and show up on a competitor's website they'll at least link to me...? I'm vacillating over the sleaze factor - a good rule of thumb? if it feels sleazy, it probably is...right?

Checked the presell sites that "sell" a page for linking,etc...good idea, it seemed...alot like a wiki, squidoo, etc...job posting / resume boards / portfolio repositories could be another source of clean, legitimate linking, as well as contributing graphics/photos and templates , which provide multiple opportunities to insert links while displayed for download, etc. Thanks Aaron!

December 5, 2007 - 9:11pm

Aaron,

Thanks for this great post. Bought and read the ebook a few months ago. Only saw this post as a link from some other site though while looking for a professional link building outfit.

I'm in the top 30 for all my big keywords.

I want top 3.

I'm resigned to the fact that they only way to do this seems to be doing alot more link building than i personally have or stomach for.

I read the post to andy's page...looks like he doesn't take on new clients? Is debra the only outfit out there that does this anymore?

I'm not selling viagra here...it seems like it wouldn't take a lot to put me over the top.

Assuming Aaron doesn't have time, anyone else wanna respond to the email in my alias and pitch your firm's services?

Thanks,
corporateRaiter

December 20, 2007 - 3:59pm

Hi Aaron & Randy,

Not to quote you on anything but...

Oh, and mad props to our inspiration, 131 Legitimate Link Building Strategies, one of the original authority documents on link building. It was just getting a bit rusty, that's all ("Host your own Web Ring"?). Anyway, enjoy the update. It's guaranteed to be accurate until January 1, 2007. ;-) "

How about an update?

Is Your SEO Strategy Up to Date?

_________________
John Jones III

- 10 minutes of SEO, SEM & Internet Marketing

December 28, 2007 - 11:21am

This is really useful..stuff...I add it on my site's Seo stuff page.....I mean your organisation and presentation of content deserve appreciation.

January 3, 2008 - 4:55pm

Hey Aaron,

I got your book from my wife from Christmas and I am loving all the tools that you reference, especially the keyword research tool.

Anyway, I find link building the hardest part when developing website. I don't enjoy going to directory after directory plugging in the same info site after site. Very boring and time consuming.

I just wanted to plug my site since this post is very related to my site, and it might help some people out there who need help with link building.

The article directory I own, Informative Post, pays for the articles authors submit. Also it is syndicated on Google News, so you can reach a broader audience, not just the regular Google searchers.

You may want to reference this Aaron, since as you know, writing articles is a good way to get backlinks, why not make some money while your doing it huh?

January 3, 2008 - 8:24pm

Cool on you for getting in Google News.

January 3, 2008 - 9:08pm

I would like to get added to Yahoo News, but I heard it is a little more difficult to get that done.

January 21, 2008 - 4:49am

You guys never cease to impress. Thanks!

January 28, 2008 - 5:03pm

Great info Aaron!

One thing that I've heard about syndicating/submitting articles to article directories is that there's a possibility that the article site could rank higher for your content than your own site (where the content is also published). Any advice regarding this?

January 28, 2008 - 6:32pm

Publish different content to the article sites than what you publish on your site.

February 11, 2008 - 4:32pm

We refer our real estate clients to this article frequently, and are such fans that we started up a series on our real estate marketing blog showing how these techniques can be applied to our niche. Of course we reference this document with a link in each part of the series.

Thanks so much for providing these tips free of charge, and we've found your book (which we happily paid for) to be extremely valuable so far.. we're reading it as a department and finding opportunities to improve our processes in each chapter. Here's our site if you care to check it out: http://realestatemarketingblog.org

Thanks again!
John Clinebell
Real Estate Marketing Blog

ralphwalters
March 5, 2008 - 6:01pm

I recommend it to all the webmasters that visit my Gambling Affiliates Tips and Tools site but I never bought a copy myself as a mate of mine lent it to me as a favour. Promise I will do now though - this article reminded me how good it was :)

March 13, 2008 - 4:26am

WOW,

this'll keep me busy for years.

I've been subscribing to your rss feed for months, but somehow I missed this great list.

Mucho Thanks

http://www.breakthroughecommerce.com

desmondhaynes
April 11, 2008 - 10:55am

#98 for sure!

thanks for the post. Will keep coming back to this.
-Des

April 14, 2008 - 11:05pm

This article helped my websites a ton!
I now list a lot higher in rankings!
Thanks,
Luke, MIBearings LLC

May 16, 2008 - 12:31am

I began using these methods for my new site messiphone.com, is magic because I am already indexes on google in 24 hours, thank you very much for this list

May 23, 2008 - 5:02am

I find this information very useful. Great work! We being a TOP SEO Company here in the Pakistan Asia, study this article on the regular basis :-). And we reccomend this to any body is looking for good web experience.

Luqman

May 27, 2008 - 7:06am

This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here. Keep it up!

June 3, 2008 - 5:10pm

"This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here. Keep it up!"

Totally agree with you!

June 4, 2008 - 7:48pm

Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together!

June 4, 2008 - 9:32pm

very good listing. Everything is true. Thanx.

July 4, 2008 - 12:03pm

When you have a company name and domain that uses 2 or more words, is it better to use a Username that fuses everything together or has a space between each word for Search Engine Marketing purposes??


For example, my Username on this blog is DesignInsomnia.com which links to my site. Would I get more link popularity or improved search engine ranking if I used "Design Insomnia.com"?


I noticed in the autoresponder when registering for an account on SEOBook.com that Aaron puts a space (SEO Book.com). Didn't know if that's a SEM strategy or just helps people read his domain better.


Thoughts?

July 4, 2008 - 2:13pm

I like most my anchor text being split apart, but made most of my forum usernames run together because I thought that was more memorable.

July 10, 2008 - 7:52am

Thanks a lot for a bunch of good tips. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future.

Keep up the good work!

websitedesigner
July 13, 2008 - 8:45am

Aaron, thanks for the great post! I gave you some link love on a blog post of mine with a similar topic titled 5 Bad Link Building Sources. Let me know what you think.
- Sean

July 13, 2008 - 8:59am

Hi Sean
many quality links are bought...directly or indirectly.

websitedesigner
July 13, 2008 - 9:21am

Thanks Aaron, I see what your saying and makes sense. I guess what I was referring to in my blog was specifically buying links from a site which is exchanged directly for cash.

August 5, 2008 - 12:39pm

Extremely long but very useful and informative article.How i wish i can do all of that in a short period of time. But for sure doing those will produce results. I will try to spread your words through my blog and link it back to you.Thanks a lot for those tips.

August 12, 2008 - 1:54am

As a new blogger this post was especially informative to me. I think I have been using some of the "bad" ways, and have implemented some of your suggestions. Thanks!

August 13, 2008 - 4:10am

Great tips man! Thanks a lot!

August 17, 2008 - 4:42pm

I'm new to learning SEO, so this was a great starting point for me. Thanks. What was especially helpful were the list of article submission sites (I'd never heard of squidoo for instance) and tips on links from the local chamber of commerce. Never even knew my local library had a website I could get a link from - am looking forward to checking that out!

August 21, 2008 - 5:04am

Wow Impressive!

Your blog is very informative. However, it is pretty hard task but your
post and experienced serve and teach me how to handle and make it more
simple and manageable.

Thanks for the tips… Best regards.

October 4, 2008 - 4:21pm

Aaron,
Thanks for the humorous but useful post. It is great to find a techy with a good sense of humor. Keep up the good work with sharing knowledge. It always comes back 100 fold.

October 4, 2008 - 5:31pm

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=Your+Link+will+be+listed+&btnG=Se...

Google Web Results 1 - 10 of about 257,000,000 for Your Link will be listed. (0.22 seconds)

Wow thats some cool link love with a 5th on page hug from Google...

All my best to you and your key words
Phillip Skinner

October 6, 2008 - 12:50pm

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=Your+Link+will+be+listed&btnG=Sea...

Hey did you tweak this page ... now SEOBOOK is No 1 ...
Cool or what ...

Cheers all
Phillip Skinner
PS: spacial deal on with his link below I'm going through all these tips on this page so if you want to help me succeed in my quest click this link to pick a word or words and you will receive lots of link love from this site
http://www.homeworkingadvertising.com

October 20, 2008 - 2:56pm

This is extremely helpful info!!! Especially since you guys are offering it for free!!

October 24, 2008 - 8:28pm

Valuable info...

I was reading this post in my office. The section "30 Bad Ways to Build Links" was very funny, especially "Getting Links by Being a Jerk" :)

Best
Tom

October 24, 2008 - 11:08pm

The funniest SEO article I read so far. Thanks guys, you are great. And since you gave me the tip yourself, here's my 10 cents of blog spam:

http://www.zelbel.com

Will subscribe to your RSS now.

Cheers

October 30, 2008 - 4:32pm

Aaron and Andy, I made translation of this article on Russian.

Last 30 advices are most useful!

November 1, 2008 - 6:54am

This article is very helpful! It puts together everything about building links and getting traffic. It has helped us integrate into our website builder and that's sure to benefit our users.

November 11, 2008 - 4:11am

I think this article is really helpful esp for someone like myself. I read the whole article plus i printed it for reference for later on. I am no where near to be an SEO this isn't my field but i got burned so many times plus i cant afford to hire and SEO firm to help with my site i figured i learn all the inside's and do it myself it will surely take me long time to achieve my goal but still i have no one to blame but myself but i am pretty sure i will make it through i just wish there was someone who can check my work more often and give me feedback so i can improve and maybe fix it. Thank you for such a great article and if possible for you guys please visit my site and give me feedback i would really appreciate medicalsupplycorner.com and diabeticcorner.com
Thank you
Aslam

January 15, 2009 - 9:19am

I looked at your site and ... boy you need some work on it. Although I am not really an SEO but there is a lot of basics neglected!

November 23, 2008 - 2:37am

Thanks for the great suggestions.
Glenn Dallaire

November 27, 2008 - 4:17am

Excellent entry! I'm been looking for topics as interesting as this. Looking forward to your next post.

December 17, 2008 - 7:28pm

It's always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I'm sure you had fun writing this article.

December 26, 2008 - 5:22am

My favorite is forums siganature. But you need to post and post to make your signature explosed to visitors.

December 26, 2008 - 10:42am

This is going to be a a great resource when I come to market my band's album online! theyears.co.uk

December 27, 2008 - 1:06am

Great article!!!

December 29, 2008 - 11:02am

Let me just share another link building strategy. Convert your blog posts into podcasts.

You can use free online software to automatically convert your blog posts into podcasts without having to do any extra work. By turning your blog posts into podcasts, you open up a ton of new link building opportunities.

One of my favorite tools, Odiogo.com, will instantly give your blog a voice. Odiogo will automatically convert your RSS feeds, text articles and blog posts to iPod-ready audio files. Once you’ve installed their free service, you can then submit your new podcast to all of the podcast directories, generating tons of new backlinks to your site.

January 4, 2009 - 9:38pm

Very good article, a time consuming concept that indeed is a complete bore. However it has to be done and I seriously need to get some link building done on my website.

January 9, 2009 - 5:44pm

Took me time to read all the comments, but I enjoyed the article

January 11, 2009 - 2:59pm

Some serious link building work to get on with here, but very valuable. I've registered and put my profile on SEO BOOK as i intend to use this site often for my new business mortgage-2.co.uk. This is a one man business website where I hope to get leads in order to get some kind of wage in this collapsed industry in Scotland.

January 17, 2009 - 10:16am

Wow!

Great info on link building.. It will guide many in building good links on the Web

January 17, 2009 - 10:02pm

More than 2 years later and lots of these techniques still make sense. Of course directories, paid links and some article marketing have not held up their value, but for the most part getting links today takes the same effort it took 2 or 3 years ago.

One thing I have notices over the years is that SEOs really are starting to specialize. There are a few who can do it all, but I think there are even personality differences to consider. We wrote about that very issue on our blog. Maybe your readers would be interested:

http://www.verticalmeasures.com/link-building/an-seo-is-not-a-link-builder/

January 20, 2009 - 9:37pm

very helpful article! Makes total sense. Linking will remain important but not sure about how the "new" wave of searching and indexing will change in the near future. After all, linking is the best way for a bot to find related pages.

February 5, 2009 - 7:52am

Great post. So at calculators4mortgages.com we not only built a widget, we built 11 mortgage calculators that you can embed at your own site. We're continually improving the site and also trying to create more visibility for it so thanks for the great post and for sharing your knowledge!

February 11, 2009 - 5:14pm

I prefer forums siganature.

February 18, 2009 - 4:10pm

Due to the wide exposure of this posts people have been leaving spammy link laden comments for well over a year now. I sorta got sick of having to delete them everyday, so I am closing comments on this thread for now, in order to reclaim an hour of my life every week. :)

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