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What are some good places to advertise my websites for free?

I've already submitted them to Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

Now, I am looking for some places I can create legitimate backlinks.

Does anyone have any ideas?

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Made this community wiki since there is no one right answer and this is essentially going to be a list. It probably is still too broad of a question but maybe this can provide some good resources. We'll see. –  John Conde Feb 5 '11 at 3:08
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closed as off-topic by John Conde Oct 4 '13 at 11:43

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The best way to get backlinks is to have quality content on your site that is not only worth reading, but worth searching for. For example, lets say I am helping a friend on a forum with a problem they are having with their iPhone or something. If I am searching for the problem and come across YOUR site and what you offer helps me out, I will put a link on the forum post to your site... telling my friend "Hey, here's where you can find the solution." These are the backlinks you want. You can create them yourself, if you want, but nothing is as good as producing content that is thought-provoking or helpful, because it earns its own backlinks.

My strongest content is my most well-written content. Google loves well-written content and so do readers... and readers WILL link out to good content.

One personal example is an article I'd written that was just a little complaint about how I thought "something" was unfair. Other people thought "something" was unfair and made searches on it. They came across my post and thought it was interesting and linked to it on FaceBook, twitter, on their blogs. They made comments on blogs linking to my post and on forums, too. My article became very popular and later the Wall Street Journal did an article on the thing I thought was unfair, interviewed me, and mentioned me in their article. It did me really well. Just because it was what people thought was thought-provoking.

So write great content and you will be surprised what comes your way. If you put all your effort in your content and none in backlinks, I think you can do really well. That doesn't completely rule out SEO, though. Make sure your site is search engine friendly, too. Then, you're good to go.

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Couldn't agree more. Content_is_King. One of my sites comes first in Google for its chosen search phrase and that is above the company that actually produces said car. This is purely down to content that is linked from websites and forums as people post looking for "something" and others post links to my site which contains that "something". I have never asked for a backlink or submitted to a search engine/list etc. –  Digital Essence Apr 6 '11 at 12:09
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The easiest way, though time consuming is search for website directories. They are usually free to add your website. This will create legit backlinks.

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In the overwhelming vast majority off cases those would be very low value links. –  John Conde Feb 5 '11 at 3:09
    
True, but for free, what other options do you have unless you know some high ranking sites that would just be willing to link to you? –  kel Feb 5 '11 at 5:22
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Out great content worth linking to on your website. That's how to get the quality links. I consider it a better use of time in general. –  John Conde Feb 6 '11 at 3:12
    
Website directories would be very low value links as Conde said. Also, if a site that Google deems as "bad" is linking to you, it can take your site down with it. Here's is a bit on that subject: buybacklinksrightnow.com/2010/09/can-bad-backlinks-hurt-you –  Melanie Mar 7 '11 at 11:03
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Social Media Sites and Web 2.0 sites are good for getting backlinks to your site. Set up a profile and meet people with interests similar to your niche. This can be a really good way to advertise your site - and its free. For the web 2.0 sites, you will need to provide some content to make the site into a real site and not just a shell of a blog. Posterous is a service that can help with this.

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