Link Building Methods & Ideas Review

If you obtain NOFOLLOW backlinks, you will never suffer from algorithmic or manual penalties. Such links can bring valuable traffic and their value should not be underestimated.

The following is assuming backlinks are DOFOLLOW. We don't discuss black hat techniques.

Article trading- Trading links for goods or services is forbidden by Google's guidelines, it can trigger a Penguin algorithmic penalty and a manual review
Ask friends or customers for a link- If the link is off-topic, it won't help, and if you perform this too often, you may start suffering from a Penguin penalty, and eventually a manual action since such links are unnatural
Backlink Trading- These are considered as unnatural and may trigger Penguin algorithmic penalties or manual reviews
Blog carnivals- These typically generate links made for ranking, such links will be ignored and may trigger Penguin algorithmic penalties and manual reviews
Badges (setting links in)- See widgets
Comments (on blog and forums)- These links are considered as low value for ranking, since Google algorithms typically don't trust them, they are often not reviewed or vouched by webmasters
Contests & Giveaways- These provide low value backlinks, often off topic, they don't help much for ranking
Directory submission- If Google trusts the directory then this is recommended, if there is no editorial review, the link will not be trusted and won't help with ranking, if the directory is created for ranking purposes, you could suffer from a Penguin algorithmic penalty or a manual action
Domain buying- It does not work since when content is changed, the links usually become unrelated or broken
Egobaiting (getting the attention of some authority)- They may share your content on their visible website/blog, resulting in a valuable natural link
Email signatures- These links are considered as low value and don't help much (if at all) with ranking
Evergreen content- Writing evergreen content is akin to link baiting, it is a very good source of quality backlinks
Forum Posting- Dropping links in forums in considered unnatural, such links are often discarded by Google, however, they can be a good source of traffic when NOFOLLOWed
Guest Blogging- If performed moderately, it is very acceptable, but if content is create for ranking purposes only, it may trigger Penguin penalties and manual reviews
Interviews- Being interviewed is a great source of natural backlinks
Link baiting- This is the safest method to attract quality backlinks, if your content is really good and answers user queries, people will link to it and share it
Linking out and hoping to get a link back as a favor- This is a link created with the intention of manipulate rankings, the probability of getting a link back is very low, you could receive an unnatural outbound link manual action
Multimedia/Document Submission (PDFs, PowerPoints, etc.)- Links included in such documents are of little use, they barely help with rankings, but can drive traffic
News coverage- This attracts a crowd which will share your content sooner or later
Online Tools- Creating useful online free tools can be a great source of backlink, people also bookmark them, which results in recurrent traffic
Paid links- These trigger Penguin algorithmic penalties and manual actions, it is a blatant break of guidelines
+1 Buttons- Plus one and 'likes' are not taken into account by Google Algorithms as a ranking factor
Press Release- If abused, this can trigger a Penguin algorithmic penalty and/or a manual action, otherwise, such backlinks don't pass much PageRank
Profile links (from forums or others)- These are not considered as trustworthy as links created and editorially reviewed by an external party, thus they have a low influence on relevancy and trust, and therefore rankings
RSS Feeds (and hoping sites will scrap your content with a backlink)- Automatically generated backlinks are not trusted, websites aggregating content without adding value are at best considered as low value, thus any signals they could produce for ranking is discarded
Share Buttons- People sharing links to your site on their social account is an excellent source of natural backlinks
Sharing Content on Social Medias- The links you will create will be considered as low value, but people share these on their own pages and social profile, these will be considered as natural links
Surveys (running)- If these attract many participants, they can provide interesting insights that people may want to share
Templates (setting links in)- Since there is content review by those using the template, such links are considered as unnatural, you are very likely to get an algorithmic Penguin penalty and a manual action
Trackbacks- These are automatically generated backlinks and are against Google backlinks
Twitter Links- These are of little ranking value (if any at all)
User rating reviews- Typically, the link will be considered as natural but off topic, therefore, it will not pass a lot of PageRank
Widgets (setting links in)- If the webmaster is made aware there is a link in the widget, this is ok since it is considered as content review, otherwise, it can trigger a Penguin algorithmic penalty and a manual action when used on a large scale

When creating content with backlinks which is hosted on 3rd parties, do always set them to NOFOLLOW if it is for pure SEO purposes or if you have been paid or rewarded to include them in your content. This is true for all backlink building strategies.