Rainy-Day SEO: Link-Building

Link-building: still a thing in SEO!

Maybe it’s not as influential a factor as it was a decade ago, when black-hat SEOs were still making lots of money with shady link-building practices, but it’s still important in showing E-E-A-T, which is the underpinning of Google’s SEO philosophy in 2024.

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Even better, you can work on building links anytime, even when you’re waiting for feedback or for some kind of roadblock to clear for you to tackle a bigger project. The nature of SEO you can do anytime is what we call “Rainy-Day SEO,” and link building is one of my favorite initiatives when other projects are stalled.

We break down link building into three categories:

  • Passive link earning
  • Targeted link earning
  • Niche link earning

Each is a bit different – but each is something you can do with one SEO hand tied behind your back.


Passive link earning

Passive link earning is, essentially, building or optimizing content that can serve as a reference over a long duration. This type of content is often statistics-based or definition-based (e.g. “What is {keyword}?”) posts that frequently prove useful as citations in other content.

Other types of content that earn links passively over time are tools or other interactive resources (folks love sharing them if they’re useful) and “best” or “top” reports, especially annual reports, which people also love to reference and share.

Essentially, passive link earning depends on creating content that can, on its own merits and without outreach, build third-party advocacy.


Targeted link earning

The flip side of passive link earning is targeted link earning. To help elevate a particular post in the SERPs, SEOs can perform highly tailored outreach in which you pitch sites to link back to your post. No matter how comfortable or uncomfortable you are with the idea of outreach, your success here will depend on the acuity of your content and how relevant it is to the audiences of the parties you’re pitching.


Niche link earning

Just about every niche has objective media that covers it. You can earn more relevant authority in your specific niche with original reporting and/or newsworthy content by pitching journalists or setting up syndication relationships. Because those parties are often cited by folks in your niche as resources, you’ll earn plenty of E-E-A-T (along with links) by association.



Whether it’s research, outreach, or relationship-building, the tenets of link-building are all things you can practice without waiting for anyone to green-light the idea. Add this to your Rainy Day SEO toolkit to make sure you’re building a holistic SEO strategy to engage your audience.

Check out the next Rainy-Day SEO initiative on video optimization here!


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