The Link-Earning Stack Every SEO Should Strive For

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The author's views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

Being an SEO, you can’t go a day without hearing about links: “Links are crucial!” or “Prioritize links!” or “Links are the nourishing lifeblood of the almighty algorithm!”

But for those of us who’ve taken the next step to actually figure out how to earn said links, we realize it’s not that straightforward.

It’s hard to sum up all of that in the tweets and LinkedIn posts that get shared about link earning, because the truth is, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all link earning approach or vendor. You need a link earning “stack” that appropriately reflects the complexity of your marketing and content goals.

In an ideal world, here’s what that stack would look like. (Hat tip to Paul Zalewski, SVP of Marketing at Verblio[1], who gave me the idea for this breakdown!)

Passive link earning

Objective: Set up a foundation for link earning with lower effort over time

Content needed: A “linkable content” asset (this is key)

Promotion needed: Manual outreach and promotion to acquire the first one or two links, to help the page initially rank

Passive link earning is any content you can create that will naturally earn links over time without having to actively promote it on an ongoing basis. These pieces are designed to carry their weight in earning links without much active promotion (which is what separates it from the next category, post-specific link earning). They’re often not directly tied to your product or service, though if they are, that’s certainly a bonus.

When SEO teams can collaborate with content teams on creating “linkable content,” passive link earning

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