4 Words Diversity, Relevance, Quality, Less
Google looks mostly at Diversity of your linking profile and how relevant those links are to your own. To be honest almost every link regardless of what people say in some way of another helps.
The risk of building your own links is that your linking profile becomes unnatural since many will create links on abusable systems and that means you don't have a Good linking profile. For example if you create 1,000 blog comments and then 20 on forums because they are harder then this means that your profile is at risk.
Forum Signatures, Blog Comments, Article Directories, and all the other things people are saying to avoid since Pengiun is simply untrue. These types of platforms can help your linking Diversity. Now its impossible to know exactly what % you should have on each but in small amounts its absolutely fantastic but the most important thing is to not go overboard. Matt Cutts has said on many times that these platforms can help and the best way is to give back to the community. Start using blog and forums that are in your niche, not only will you get more links that are relevant you may even get direct traffic back. Golden rule when creating links is try to give back to the community.
- Article Directories
- Web Directories
- PDF Directories
- Slide Directories
- Niche Directories
- Software Directories
- Citation Directories
- Question and Answer Sites
- Showcase Sites
- Blog Comments
- Forum Signatures
- Forum Profiles
- Forum Replies
- Link Exchange
- Paid News Releases
- Guest Blogging
- Web2 Sites
Etc Etc, the list goes on and on.
In this day and age Anchors are not that important after all many people still don't know how to use anchors on forums and stuff. Using 90% of a keyword 10% of your brand/website name is just bad SEO. You should aim for
35% Brand/Website Name
50% Text Links
10% Keywords Anchors
5% Just Text, Yes NO LINK! Not all site uses and its Good to have a mix
Also you need to think about dofollow and nofollow, Don't worry if they are nofollow or dofollow! they are both as good for Diveristy since 100 dofollows and 0 nofollows is a Footprint and unrealistic. I imagine the real figure is about 80% nofollow, and 20% follow or even less. Generally I don't bother, if the community is good just like Stack Exchange I use it and give back.
There is little point in making links on sites like pet forums if your site is about cars, so avoid putting links in useless places - Google doesn't like it and most webmasters of those sites don't like it. Going back to what I said in previously golden rule is to give back to the community so join sites that you can share your views, comments, and knowledge within your niche and give back while you receive.. If comments, threads and so forth are GOOD then people link to those and the inner pages of the site with your link increases and passes more juice to your more - this is less with more which I'll talk a bit about later.
If your site is about Pets then a site about Cats will pass some juice but a site about all pets will pass even more juice. etc etc.
Quality is everything if your putting your link somewhere that has hundreds of links outbound in comments and so forth you can bet all your money that Google knows that page is untrusted and in fact can lead up with you with a Slap. Google moniters these types of sites and it leaves a footprint of all the spammers. Again if your giving back to the community you ain't gonna be using a site that is spammed to hell or a rubbish site.
The best way of making your own site increase in rankings with Google slapping you is what I said in every section of this page.. Give back to the community in your niche. Once you have say 100 links or so then why not back link those links? After all if your creating quality content its only natural that the content on other peoples sites gets linked too. By doing so your keeping your link network cleaner while helping others plus! its way more natural! and your rankings will rocket.