11 Underrated Link Building Methods That Actually Work

A strong portfolio of backlinks is one of the SEO strategist’s most prized possessions in 2020. 

Incoming links from other highly respected sites not only make your pages look more authoritative and legit, but they also push URLs higher in organic search for more visibility.

Knowing all this, you’d think that link building would be higher on the priority list for SEO experts, especially in terms of trying out different methods and lesser-known approaches. It’s too easy to get stuck in the same old routine and miss out on new opportunities.

Let’s check out 11 of the more underrated linking building methods that actually work, and give you the chance to bulk up your backlink archive without a ton of stress or strain. 

1. Locate and Reclaim Old Links

Link reclamation is one of those things that sits on the to-do list but never gets crossed off completely. It seems so easy that marketers put it on the backburner and let more important tasks get in the way.

Before you know it, there could be dozens of broken or misled links across the web that aren’t giving you the backlink credit you deserve. Before 2021 rolls around, make a point to fix this and stay up on maintenance into the new year. 

2. Link Every Mention of Your Brand

As your brand gains SEO steam and builds authority across the web, it will be mentioned more often than you think. Whether it’s a niche blog or industry-leading publication, those are valuable backlinks you don’t want to miss, so track them down and make the links happen. 

The experts over at Webris recommend scanning the web for unlinked mentions using tools like Google Alerts and acting fast when a chance comes up. 

You only need to shoot a quick 2-minute email to the webmaster of the site, thanking them for the mention, and politely request a link to your site. Keep it simple and smooth, and it shouldn’t be a problem. 

3. Build Connections with Journalists

Don’t underestimate the power of good press in the world of digital marketing. The world’s biggest brands have a long list of connections in the media world that they can count on to write positive stories and influence the public with strong opinions and data points.

While you can reach out to individual journalists all day, there are much more efficient ways to get them on your side, like Help A Reporter Out. HARO is a longstanding platform that matches your brand with media sources who will put the good word out about your brand. 

This is not the most intuitive platform to navigate at first, but once you have your process figured out, there’s no excuse to be left out of product review roundups and other press opportunities on major media sites.

4. Network with Editors and Freelancers

Journalists are just a part of the equation in the internet publishing arena. Editors and other staff members make decisions about the content published day to day, and these can be lucrative connections for earning backlinks. 

Build up a stable of contacts who you can rely on to be brand ambassadors and make your name known across the web. With more influence in your niche, the easier it will be to rack up brand mentions and get beneficial backlinks to your product pages. 

5. Comment on Social Media and Forums

You’ve probably noticed by now that 99% of social media is filled with petty arguments and meaningless fluff, but if you can cut through the noise, your brand can build an impressive backlink portfolio on these major platforms while building a strong following.

Find your voice on social media as an authority in your field, and communicate with the masses in a way that inspires, educates, and informs. Look for chances to chime into conversations with other thought leaders and let your enlightened opinions be known loud and clear.

Stay in the loop on the latest developments and drop appropriate links to your site when relevant. If you offer real value to the public and remain professional, you’ll be rewarded with clicks, shares, and links galore.

6. Get Into Content Roundups with Competitors

Too many marketers want their brands to be protected from criticism and never matched up head to head with the competition. That’s a great way to get ignored in 2020, when customers are always doing side-by-side comparisons of products and services. 

Instead, jump into the fray and position yourself as a real competitor in your field, even if your brand doesn’t always get 100% positive feedback. 

It’s better to accept your vulnerabilities as a brand and earn the link, then improve on any shortcomings to come out on top the next time around.  

7. Include More Independent Research

Nothing is more compelling than cold, hard facts, and if your marketing department is sitting on interesting data, why not release it to the public in an interesting way in an article or graphic?

Originality is lacking in today’s world of digital marketing, so leverage your own knowledge and information to pique the interest of readers and publishers alike.

If you’re at a loss for data points, simply comb through your analytics to see what’s popular, then run a promotion or survey to get the opinions of your audience. With a decent sample size, you can learn something new ASAP, then use that info to earn links across the internet.

8. Team Up With Retailers and Suppliers

Believe it or not, you probably already sitting on a treasure chest of untapped backlinks, and with a bit of work, you can get some easy wins.

If you have a physical product or partner with other brands to provide a service, simply reach out to those companies and ask to be linked on a resources or references page that includes at least one link back to your site.

This will help your SEO standing, and you never know what curious clickers may find as they browse through their favorite retailer’s website.

9. Become Known In Business Directories and Local Pages

Are business directories a thing of the past? Not quite, according to SEM Rush, which states that many link building opportunities abound online in directory form.

Use a tool like Google Search Operators to see what’s out there, and don’t hesitate to throw out an application, even if the site isn’t a perfect match for your brand. Your site will be seen by someone, somewhere, and the algorithm will shift in your favor regardless.

10. Try New Audio, Video, and Image-Based Content

We’ve become accustomed to writing blog posts and how-to guides to get backlinks, but other forms of content need to fill out your calendar if you want to gain more links in 2020 and beyond.

Audio files like short podcasts and interviews are all the rage right now, and with a bit of production value, you can stand out from the crowd. Videos are also super popular, and images and infographics are also highly effective for earning links. 

11. Think Outside the Box With Guest Posting

Guest posting will always be a massive backlink generator, but don’t expect to get away with ancient tactics like link stuffing and other spam techniques. Search Engine Journal urges marketers to not try to game the system, and take quality content seriously.

It’s all about picking your spots with posts that actually matter to your audience and give them something to chew on. Be aggressive in your networking habits and reach out to publishers and bloggers in your industry to make these opportunities happen. 


Link building is a never-ending endeavor and the work is never done. Stay vigilant by following these steps and don’t shy away from new ways to build links across the web, even if it means taking some chances and embracing trial and error. 


Search Engine Journal

SEM Rush