There no escaping link diversity and link building consistency when it comes to serious white hat SEO. That alone is worth its weight in gold if kept in mind at all times.
Black hat SEO, in my view, can work to a certain extent but there's no question that it should be avoided if you rely on a smal number of websites that you wish to be able to keep for a long time and be proud of. It is something that I know first hand, having tried many things and made just about every mistake conceivable.
The good news is there are sites that welcome your anchor text links and your stories or content. The only real trick is to adjust your strategy to the web trends, where everything goes faster and faster. These last 2 years, forum profile backlinking has become more difficult, because some of the good and cheap backlink providers caused such a flood of sign-ups to high page rank sites that webmasters took drastic measures to reduce backlinking opportunities on their platforms. Here I'm talking about platforms that are not primarily designed to receive backlinks and advertisement.
The use of social media became more tricky because the Facebook effect doomed a good number of competitors, the positive side of this phenomenom being the growing interlinking possibilities made available among the surving competitors, between one another, as well as between themselves and facebook. Another aspect of the phenomenal growth of facebook is the fact that more and more websites offer visitors (sometimes exclusively) to sign-up to through their facebook account. Despite the danger of the big-brother type of system being build, the increased networking capabilities induced by this trend create even more opportunities to make your social bookmarking efforts worthwhile.
Last but not least, there is now is a huge boom in web 2.0 blogging platforms, oftentimes coupled with social media and bookmarking services. It is very efficient to create quality content on as many of them as possible. Not only will this give you opportunities to set up backlinks to your main sites, but it should be considered a way to spread the content of your main business pages altogether, the goal being not just to set up backlinks but to increase the means by which people will end up finding quality content making them want to know more about whatever content/services/opportunities/products you want to advertise.
This specific aspect of backlinking has to be apprehended seriously as Google seems to be increasingly careful to not let spammy content spoil the web. Long term SEO through backlinking now requires extra carefulness in terms of what the pages containing your backlinks bring to the table as far as novelty and value to the internet community. This is the one area where strategy is absolutely necessary. Don't just sign up to blogging platforms and throw in duplicate content with backlinks at the end. Consider every platform like a valuable resource for promoting your business opportunities indirectly. The very least you can do is use the only good content spinner that I know of, TheBestSpinner, which I use rarely myself, but which is very good. Using web 2.0 with original content does require organizing, planning, writing, creativity, and cross-linking between all the platforms. Consider these like secondary sites of yours that need to be promoted to a certain extent, which can be done by interlinking them. Just create a list with all backlinks and post it on a dedicated page. As you can see, I practise what I teach, since the current page is a demonstration of this very idea.
This brings back to life a more classic type of backlinking that used to be popular a few years ago, which consists in exchanging links with other like minded webmasters. It never really died, but it became underrated because of the amount of work and time involved compared to more modern forms of backlinking. But given the recent changes in Google, it's a good idea to go back to the basics. Yes, the Google guys seem to be winning thar war (surprise!). Not that black hat is not going to work at all anymore, but the knowledge, risk, and work involved should suffice to convince all beginners and even most intermediate internet marketers to only concentrate their efforts on what will produce long lasting effects and guaranteed results. Only through leveraging the power of organized and wealthy structures can a business keep up with the constant google algorithm changes and stay ahead of the game with many websites to promote through under the radar SEO. Is it even worth it for these guys?
One lesser known area of backlinking for SEO is making sure all of your links are picked up by google. The way I make sure they are is by bookmarking all pages containing my backlinks (mainly profiles and public bookmarking pages) on my browser (I use Firefox). Once it's done, go to the "organize bookmarks" section of your browser, enter the file containing your links, copy them and paste them in a post like this one that is going to be published on several platforms. I use Posterous, which works amazingly well and is very user friendly. The result is as follows: all my links are going to be picked up by google because my posterous blog is fairly well established already, as are most the sites I can publish the same post on through posterous. Of course, I only do this once or twice a year, as I don't wan't my web 2.0 sites to be considered spammy by big G. On average, I post once a day, so one such post a year is really not a big deal.
I of course welcome any comments and suggestions.
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