Google’s changing methodology has seen inbound links decrease in importance as a marketing tool. But they still matter, and social media can help you get them.

The days of buying links are long gone and it’ll take a little more effort and skill to earn social links.

Here are four strategies to give a try.

  1. Interact early and often
  2. When the links you’d like are from big, important sources you need to get in early where you’ll be seen.

    You also need to bring something new to the conversation, saying ‘I love your post’ isn’t enough. Add a link to some other relevant content (if it’s your own, even better), or ask a question. Use this strategy to get noticed and then jump in and offer to help out with some useful content of your own, you’ll certainly get gratitude and links that way.

  3. Use tools to find the right people
  4. You’ll need to do some research, so make use of the tools that are available. Google, of course, using the colon feature to limit your searches to specific sites, but also Followerwonk for Twitter, Fresh Web Explorer (subscribers only) is good for blogs, and so on.

    This will help you find people who are already in your area of interest and who will be good targets for links. The web, particularly the social web, can feel huge and random at times – that’s one of its attractions – but there is order out there if you search for it.

  5. Tell people when you talk about them
  6. This may seem obvious, but don’t-ask-never-got as they say. So, if you review someone’s product in your blog let them know.

    Keep it honest and if you produce content that might have a wider use in your industry then don’t be shy of suggesting it to other people, you may get a link and a reference.

    For some fresh examples, look at’s article on small businesses who make social content work for them. Especially on a small budget, smart social content can be a very effective way of getting the all-important backlinks.

  7. How it works
  8. Your Google ranking can improve from social interactions alone. Shares, clicks, adds, they’re all part of the equation these days. A large, active social following will get your content noticed and can lead to good, old fashioned republishing links from high quality site, which is what we’re all after.