Yes, that's right, it is possible to get free links which will help both your rankings and your traffic, but you will have to spend the time necessary to put yourself in a position to profit from these sources of free links.
Free links from forums
While there are some indications that signature links from forums may be devalued by Google, they may very often prove to be a valuable source of traffic if they are from forums where the posters are interested in your services. Even some forums which do not allow signatures to be posted will allow the spidering of your profile which will result in a link.
Frequent posters in forums that allow signature links can result in a surprising number of links over a period of time. There is a myth that only recent posts are maintained in the search engines index, but the fact is that such links can last for years. I still have links in search engines from forums that I have not posted in for over two years.
You can find links to some SEO forums, but there are thousands of forums on all sorts of topics. A search for your topic of interest with the word forum added will reveal a surprising number.
Free links from top search engine rankings
Most search engine results are not spiderable and are not indexed but you will find that there is a group of people who seem to feel that “scraping” the search engine rankings and publishing them on their web page is a way to get rankings, I really don't think this spammy practice is going to help them much but it can help you to gain links if you are ranking in the top ten on major search engines.
Free links from articles
If you set up a section of your site devoted to articles of interest related to the topic of your site and take the time necessary to ensure that they are great articles (they can be for instance written by experts in the field under discussion, just make sure to get permission to republish them) you will find that many people will provide a link to such articles for their readers convenience.
If you also write some articles and submit them to sites that publish articles you will also get some nice links that way.
Free links are not a fantasy, all they require is a bit of thought and planning. Start getting free links for your site today.
Understanding relevant links
You will often read learned discussion regarding the relevancy of anchor text links, with some saying that without relevant links you cannot rank well, and others saying in effect that a link is a link. We cannot say with a high degree of certainty that either side is correct but personally I tend to lean to the link is a link school.
Relevant links – Fact or Fiction?
Most discussions about relevant links make the assumption that a relevant link has to satisfy all or some of the following conditions:
- The anchor text in the link has to match the subject of the page the link points to.
- The subject of the page that contains the link should be on-topic with either the page it points to or the anchor text or both.
- Some even say that the links that point to the page which contains the link have to be relevant to the link and/or the page it points to.
Search engine's greatest objective is to provide relevant results to search terms, and given that as the primary objective, it appears to me that determining the relevancy of a link can be very difficult as only the person who placed the link really knows what the intent of placing the link was. Let's say that I happen to like a particular brand of pizza so much that I put up a bit of text on this site singing the praises of this pizza, This seems to me to be a very relevant link but it fails all the tests set forth above.
Let's look at another example, suppose I buy a nice new Jaguar auto (I should be so lucky) and because I got a great price for a great car I put up a link to the dealer who sold it to me. Is this not a relevant link? Now suppose that the distributor who provides this dealer with Jaguars puts up a link to the same site – is this a more relevant link just because it came from an automotive site? Or perhaps its a worse link because the distributor has a financial interest in the dealer selling more Jaguars?
I believe that these simple examples show that the determination of relevancy is not an easy thing to do with any degree of accuracy. The most common idea of relevancy is that the site the link comes from should be on the same general topic, but unless and until search engines have much more powerful algorithms and hardware than they do today, even this method is too inaccurate and time-consuming to be of practical value.
Using relevant links
It is also clear that if search engines were able to use the relevancy of the sites that links come from as a weighting factor in their algorithm it might help increase the relevancy of the rankings, or at the very least make it harder to game the algorithm. For this reason, if for no other it may be well to include as many links from relevant sites as is convenient, just in case future improvements in algorithms and search engine hardware make it possible to use, but I would not recommend spending too much time on this aspect of linking at this time.
There are many sites that offer space to publish your articles and in addition, may offer articles that you can add to your site.
Do a search by using the topic you are interested in combined with the word articles, for example, the Google search for SEO articles returns a possible 2.8 million pages that are related to that topic, with many of them having either space to publish articles or articles that you can republish on your site.
The easiest way to get relevant links may be to get links from SEO friendly directories, who allow you to place your listing on a page relevant to your site and link to you with the anchor text of your choice.
Another method is to go to those same directories and offer to exchange links with other sites in your category