Link building matters for poker websites because that’s how poker websites get found. (Not just by search engines, but also by users. The kind of links you’re building should be bringing you traffic, or you’re not doing it right.) “One way link building” is all the rage these days because so many poker webmasters are afraid of penalties for excessive reciprocal linking. So here’s a guide to one way link building for poker websites.

The best way to do one way link building for a poker website – have friends.

If you hang out at PAP’s forum much, you probably have developed a few friends with poker related websites who will link to you just for asking. But you probably also have family members with websites. They’ll link to your poker website if you ask them to. And you have friends with websites on various subjects. Some of them will link to your poker website if you ask them to.

And if you want to do a really good job of building one way links to your poker website by leveraging your friends’ and family’s websites, then offer them something of value in return. Write a page of content for them and do the onpage SEO so that the page will rank. Your friend’s website will get more traffic, and some of that traffic will click on your link.

Be creative. Do you have a friend who’s an artist who promotes his work online? Hire him to create a poker cartoon for you, and then ask that he post it on his samples of his work page along with a link to your wesite.

Does your wife have a quilting website? Get her to make you a poker themed quilt, have her take pictures of it, then ask her to include a link to your poker site.

Almost any niche is related to another niche, if you’re creative with the content you craft.

Directories – another great way to do one way link building for poker websites

Directories still work great as a one way link building tool, but there are good ways to use directories and bad ways to use directories. Hiring someone to submit your site to 1000 useless directories for $20 is a bad way to use directories. Submitting a title tag and a description tag that has a unique long tail phrase that will help the directory page actually rank in a search engine is a smart way to use directories for one way link building.

Directory listings should send traffic, not just help your search engine rankings. Think about what you can do to help a directory page where your link is prominently featured receive traffic. There are lots of ways to do this, from suggesting the directory in your content on your blog to linking to the directory with targeted anchor text from somewhere.

Article submissions as a one way link building tool for poker websites

Forget about those lame article submission services that are run by the same people who will submit your site to dozens of social media sites and hundreds of directories. Instead, create relationships with other webmasters where you provide them with unique content along with a byline which includes your link.

Become an expert at onpage SEO, and write articles that will rank and get traffic to these people’s websites. That will guarantee that your links get some clickthrough’s, and those webmasters will notice the extra traffic and be willing to let you write more articles for them in the future.

Create linkworthy content and use social media to get one way links

One strategy that we discussed with Andy Hagans on Poker Affiliate Radio the other night was using hooks to create linkworthy content. The specific strategy that Andy mentioned was lists of resources that are so useful that people will bookmark them. “101 Texas Holdem Resources” will be a lot more likely to generate one way links than “PokerStars Review”. And those are the kinds of articles that get attention in social media sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, and Delicious. And the links and traffic from those sites don’t matter much; the secondary links you get from the bloggers who visit those sites is what matters.

Having a long list of resources is only one possible linkbait hook. Humor is another popular way to create linkbait. Being controversial is another. Do a search in Google or Yahoo for “linkbait hooks” and you can find lots of ideas. Or go through the content that’s ranking well in Digg and Delicious and see what kind of content is ranking.

Linking Cooperatives as a one way link building tool for poker websites

Remember earlier when I said “be creative”? And remember earlier when I said “have friends”? Here’s a way to be creative with the friends you have in order to create your own one way link building source. Find 4 other webmasters who want links. Then set up a blog, a real blog, where you’re going to write real posts. Then each of you picks a day of the week that you post on the blog and builds links to the blog. In your posts, link naturally to your content. Bingo, you’ve created your own one way link building tool.

But this strategy only works if you create a real blog with real posts. The content there should be as good as the content on your best site, or better. One way links to your site from this “linking cooperative blog” only have value in relation to the blog’s value, so turn the blog into a genuinely terrific resource.

An offer

Here’s an offer to people who want one way links to their poker websites. If you’ve implemented either of the two strategies that we discussed in the last two episodes of Poker Affiliate Radio, contact me, and I’ll link to those sites from the blog here. Those two ideas were:

  • Create a local poker website focused on where you live.
  • Create a list of 100 resources that people are likely to bookmark.

And another related offer. Write a post for this blog. You can link to your site from the post.

And some people use press releases as a one way link building technique. That’s a subject I’ll tackle in another post.