Safe, White-Hat Places To Get “Pillow” Links From For Diversifying Your Link Profile

Hey Guys!

seobrainSo right now, we have a major problem.

I’ve diagnosed it. It’s our brain.

You see, for the past year we’ve been learning that we need to de-optimize our link ratios.  You don’t want too many links pointing to your site that say “best red widgets” when red widgets is what you are selling.

Google has taught us this lesson thoroughly.  They don’t care how the links got there.  It could have been someone performing negative SEO. It could have been a legitimate white-hat link from someone you don’t know. It could be a blackhat link that you built.

If you have too many links coming into your site with exact match anchor text, you are sunk.

Now, I’m not a big fan of nitpicking anchor-text ratios.  I really think that for the most part you should focus on getting your on-page SEO correct and then go out there and promote your site like any other mom and pop shop would. As your site increases in authority, it will automatically rank for the correct terms.  (This especially works when promoting a local business)

Recently I Was Wooed To The Dark Side

I spent $500 for Becker’s latest course (now it’s $1,000, I think).  For someone like myself, it’s been worth every penny.

But in there, he mentions using some established services to outsource your “pillow” links to. Do it right, and you have 100 low-power but clean links pointing to your site for $25.

join the dark side

That’s the idea, anyhow.

Unfortunately, the services mentioned in the course no longer work.  Whether it is April’s Payday loan update or simply the fact that the companies were unable to keep up with the hundreds of orders that Becker’s students sent in.

They’ve been responsible for sinking a number of new sites, mine included.

Not one to be dissuaded, I’ve been testing other services.

After all, I need to come up with a way to outsource more of my work if I am ever to scale it.

This Is Why I Test. And Test. And Test.

Sure, I’m out a few hundred coins.  But I didn’t sink any sites there were already making me money.

So, in my book, it saved me money.

And maybe you, too.

I don’t know how the Googs does it, but they  really don’t like automated backlinks.  Even when you are trying to do high-quality links, they have a habit of picking up on them.  Sure, Matt Woodward gets away with it.  Hat’s off to him, he’s a better blackhat than I’ll ever be.

I do think that Google looks for links coming from bad neighborhoods (<– read for a big ‘ah-hah’ moment).

It makes sense. I mean, If I had built a search engine, I’d discredit bad link neighborhoods and types of links that are categorically spammy (like pingbacks).

Going Back To What Works

For the past year, my philosophy for link-building has been simple: keep it natural.

And it’s a simple motto with simple application that has served me well.

So, in that line of thinking, you have to ask yourself,

“what are natural activities a blog would take part in to boost it’s brand in the social realms?”

I have 4 places that come to mind.

I’m open to hearing more.

Blog Comments

I think blog comments are a powerful way to engage in any niche.  In fact, that is about all that ever comes in to this site. I go out and chat with other like-minded internet marketers — and love doing it.

So blog commenting is  an extremely natural way to build participation with your site.

Of course, you are going to use your name. Several variations of your name. Sometimes I’m “Q”. Sometimes I’m “Quinn”. Sometimes I’m “QH AKA The LostCyclist”. Just whatever mood hits me.

In the same way, when promoting a new site, whether for a client or for an affiliate program, you should use the site owner’s name (or Pseudonym, if applicable.).  Go out and build relationships.  Comment on the same blog once a month.

Right now I either have my VA go do it for me for a lot of the sites.

Or I have her get me a list of blogs in my niche and I go out and do it myself.

Quinn at Cubicle Free has his VA write the comment she wants to leave, and then he checks it before she posts.

So whatever works for you.

You are building a following of Google-proof traffic just as much as you are building a network of anchor text diversity.

I really like to end up with 50 comments out there in the first couple months. I go out and refresh as the mood hits.

And if you ask about Do-Follow vs. No-Follow I’m gonna ban your IP address from my site. 

Ok, I kid. 

But use your noggin’. If I want it to look natural, what would I do?

Forum Links

Someone asked me what I thought of buying forum links.



But I am a fan of using forums to help others and build relationships.  I think Charles Floate is a perfect example of this (watch the video, you bum).

That kid is tenacious.

I do none of this. I don’t have the time and I become a complete <insert bad word here> in the face of  forum stupidity (whatever it is I deem to be stupid at that moment).


It’s something I’m working on… by staying out of forums. (Except the Pond. The pond is quiet but cool. )

Website Directories and Citations

Ok, I use these judiciously.

Very judiciously.

It’s a well-known fact that these links are easily bought. But it also makes sense that a blogger would want it’s blog in relevant directories, no?

So I go to Directory Maximizer and spend a few bucks for 20 cheap directory listings. I also add about 5-20 different site descriptions and titles to help diversify any anchor text. And I ask them to trickle it out.

It’s like $40 bucks. It hasn’t hurt any site I used it on. But I don’t know that it helps.

I also have played with And paid for directory listings with them.

Now that is a pretty clean, high-power directory. And every site I have that makes money is in there.

Do the links help? I dunno. But I maintain my listings with them because it is a solid directory, imo.  (That said, when you type “” in Google, they are nowhere on the first page. So the Googs must be hating on them somewhat.)

Bottom line is, directory listings could probably hurt you. Use them judiciously.


There. I said “judiciously” 3 times. You get my point.

Press Releases

So the jury is still in session on this one.

They’re all hung out in an 8-4 vote and ordering in extra food and beer (what jury orders in beer?) to their little closed session room. I think its going to be awhile before they make up their mind.


But a lot of people are singing the praises of press releases. And some of my competition has used them a lot.

I did learn that PRweb press releases don’t get picked up very well, but I did receive an email from a news person wanting to interview me. We’ll see if anything ever comes of that. Spending $100 for 8 no-power links kinda sucks, and there was no rankings changes after the releases came out.

But I’m still testing and optimistic that I may find a better service. The key thing is that these releases all come from what appear to be high-quality neighborhoods . So I think they might be a great way to get some press… and diversify that link profile against people who scrape your article and then send you an exact match anchor text back to your site (thanks, twerp).


Citations are only used for ranking local businesses and companies.

I like

Buy 10 of them every couple of weeks until you are in Google Places. Or buy 40 right off the bat.

At $1.50 per entry, they are a little pricier than some of the fiverr and warrior forum gigs out there, but they seem to take the time to watch out for duplicate entries, and the overall product seems better.

I bought 40 cheap citations and 10 Synup citations and sent them to separate sites.  The Synup citations were more complete and more of them stuck.

That’s my list, folks! Sexy, huh?

Your Turn! Let’s here where you like to promote your sites and get pillow links! Are you A socialadr fan? A Sape fan?

PostScript: you will notice Web 2.0s are not on my list. They seem spammy to me. Can you believe that? Not saying they won’t work. I just am not currently using them as a place to promote my sites on.


Also, I wrote this at nearly 1am after having 4.5 hours of sleep last night. Typos will be typos.

10 Responses to “Safe, White-Hat Places To Get “Pillow” Links From For Diversifying Your Link Profile”

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  1. Quinn says:

    Hi Quinton! Thanks for the shout out and I really love the focus of your article too. I think its great to take a step back and realize that we are after all just keeping a machine happy. Building relationships has a multiplier effect too right? I mean you just proved my point by mentioning me in this post… Thanks for the post. The other Q

    • lostcyclist says:

      Quinn, I’m so glad you commented. I forgot to link to your site.

      This is what I get for blogging instead of sleeping.

      And yeah, I think it is hard for bloggers to reach out and connect with each other. But doing so has such incredible rewards. I’m finally getting brave enough to start being the “reacher” to others.

      Thankful to live in an age when there is so many of us doing the same thing.

  2. Larry says:

    Hello, I bumped into your site looking for something else about linking and I must say I like your thoughts since they’re not ‘with the herd’ which at the moment is all private blog networks, or at least what I’m seeing in blogs I read.

    I’m still trying to figure out link building and am I getting it right that you’re able to rank with just comments, directories and citations?

    Also do you use expired domains?

    I really love this post and the previous one, penguin recovery. Hope to see more of these types of posts.

    • lostcyclist says:

      Hey Larry!

      I do use either PBNs or guest posting. I know that technically Google hates on those tactics, but until they change their algorithm, you have to use some of that.

      Using Long Tail Pro, I normally go after Keywords with a score of 32 or less.

      So, with the link building above and 2-3 guest post or private blog links and 6 months time, the sites will start ranking for those terms I get out of LTP.

      However, the difference between the method above and some of the spammier methods I have tried (and that many others do not) is that my sites are extremely stable, and enjoy a trickle of traffic from other related sites in addition to the flood of Google traffic.

      I am convinced that you could build a mostly white-hat blog. Spencer Haws, Pat Flynn, Matthew Woodward, Charles Floate, and Fraisier Cain are all examples of sites who created exemplary content and then connected with others in their field to build not only strong rankings, but a passionate following.

      However, you can shave some significant time off of your rankings by using a smattering of judicial links from private blogs, and so I do.

      But I like to think of myself as one of the whitest hats out there ;)

  3. Thanks for the feature man! :) <3

    • lostcyclist says:

      Absolutely, dude! Keep chasing it. Really impressed with some of the coups you’ve had recently!

  4. Love this article, finally gave me some guide to start building link, but can i ask which method did u use to find blog ?. I think it is quite exhausting when going aimless in google.

  5. Larry says:

    Thanks for the reply Quinton.

    Your mentioning the private blog network got me looking at some posts about it yesterday. I noticed in one of the comments in an earlier post you recommended looking at the $1/month webhosts at webhostingtalk.

    How do you choose and do you have any to recommend? Plus, maybe what to expect?

    I tried looking into a few that were listed there, but when I look for reviews about them almost always end up with nightmare stories or people warning you not to get that particular host.

    • Quinton says:

      I’ve gotten my share of run-around from cheap hosts. Any more, I’ve started buying the $3+ hosting.

      Then, I can run 3 blogs or more on them, and I get better hosting without raising my average cost. I know that is not the most cost-effective method, but we’re talking about $12 vs $36 for the year.

      Compared to what you make, it’s pittance

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