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Quick Links Like Forum Posting Or Slow Links like Article Writing and Distribution?

Last week, we mentioned a divide between two different kinds of links in the SEO world. Since then, we’ve gotten several Emails from interested readers who wanted us to explore that difference in a little bit more detail. Here goes.

Quick Links
The first category of backlinks are the ‘quick links’ — links that take very little creativity, time, or even expertise to generate. These are links like the ones you get from forum posting, social bookmarking, RSS aggregation, directory submission, and blog commenting.

The goal of a quick link is to get a backlink pointing from a unique root domain that you’re not already linked to — all other elements of the backlink are secondary. It’s nice if you can control your anchor text, your link context, your LSI, and all of that — but it’s not necessary. The simple fact that there’s a new root domain on your list of “root domains that are linked to my page” is the goal.

You can get quick links from almost anywhere — even most SEO-ignorant stay-at-home moms can be trained in the art of quick link building in a matter of hours. The important attributes of a quick-linker are a long attention span, an immunity to boredom, and a resistance to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Slow Links
The second group are the ‘slow links’ — links that get built at the rate of two per hour instead of twenty per hour. These links take a spark of creativity, because they need content in order to be built. Article writing and distribution, press releases, Web 2.0 properties, guest blog posts, and marketing videos are all slow links.

The thing about slow links is that they’re like the Swiss army knives of SEO: they do everything, and they do it all pretty well. A well-written slow link will give you:

  • * A backlink — and usually one with decent authority and juice behind it.
  • * A landing page from which potential customers can find you.
  • * A public work that you can point to as evidence of your expertise and use as a tool to build your reputation.
  • * A piece of content that other people might backlink to voluntarily, widening your sales funnel even further.

In the end, the best SEO strategies probably involve a bit of both kinds of links. Focus too much on quick links and you’ll lose to someone with a better reputation. Focus too much on slow links and someone with a mountain of quick links will outrank you. A divided approach is the best answer for most companies.