Forget Guest Posts: 3 Link Building Strategies That Actually Work In 2024

9 min read
4 Jan 2024
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Guest posting has long been a go-to tactic for many SEO experts and digital marketers to rank highly in Google searches. However, as search algorithms and best practices continue to evolve, over-reliance on guest posting can be risky and limiting.

In this post, I will explain why guest posting alone is insufficient and introduce three game-changing link-building strategies that can significantly impact your search visibility and website authority in 2024.

TL;DR: Guest posting used to be a solid link building tactic. It became less effective due to changes in Google’s algorithm priorities, guest post saturation leading to content fatigue, increased selectivity from site owners, and limited audience reach.

Instead, there are five essential types of link building: content-driven, unconventional, relationship-based, social media promotion, and data.

Therefore, three game-changing link building strategies are proposed for 2024: build deep relationships in relevant online communities to earn high-quality links; create linkable content like research reports and ultimate guides that force sites to link back to you; and use unique tactics like broken link building to continue to gain valuable backlinks.

Why Guest Posting is No Longer Enough

Guest posting used to be a solid link-building tactic. By writing content for other authority sites in your industry, you can secure valuable backlinks and increase awareness for your brand.

However, there are several reasons why guest posting is less effective:

Evolving algorithm priorities

One of the main reasons why guest posts become less valuable is because of changes in Google’s algorithm. Google says it has several core priorities, including:

  • EEAT (Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) of the website
  • Uniqueness of content
  • Value and relevance to users
  • Natural link patterns

This had a significant impact as guest posts became more popular over time, and their uniqueness and value decreased.

In addition, along with the strong development of Gemini, It’s now increasingly easy for Google to identify low-quality, abusive sites or rely too heavily on guest posts.

Links from guest posts are showing that they no longer have a significant impact on rankings. For guest posts to make any notable impact, we must now appear on reputable, trustworthy sites and contain unique, in-depth insights. However, meeting this requirement has become challenging.

Guest post saturation

Another reason is guest post saturation. As more and more brands and agencies incorporate guest posting into their digital marketing and content strategies, it’s leading to a few issues emerging:

  • Content Fatigue: With so many guest contributors vying for spots, readers feel guest post fatigue. They get tired of seeing self-promotional guest posts rather than content explicitly created for that site and community. This fatigue has led to higher bounce rates.
  • Increased selectivity: Website owners are overwhelmed by countless guest post invitations in their inboxes. They have adopted policies that are more selective about the guest content they will accept to serve their audience better.
  • Need for exceptional content: With the number of contributors combined with higher exclusive acceptance rates, brands now require unique, high-quality content to get published. Meeting this standard has become challenging and competitive.

Essentially, guest posting has become a victim of its success and popularity. In response, site owners raised their standards while readers lost interest – significantly reducing the site’s marketing potential.

Limited reach

The last and most important reason is that the audience and link reach of guest posts could be improved. One of the initial calls was to connect with new audiences through sites with established readerships. However, the benefits here have proven to be negligible.

Unless a guest post somehow manages to go viral organically, its audience is mainly limited to that site’s followers. Links are also limited to that one site and only some of the community.

Few backlinks are not enough.

The final reason is that just a few backlinks are not enough. According to Backlinko research, content that achieves top positions on SERPs (search engine results page) has many links from different domains.

You can see that getting to the top position on SERPs requires hundreds of referring domains. Even the 10th ranking has an average of nearly 50 referring domains.

Types of Link Building 2024

So, if guest posting is no longer enough, the link-building landscape is changing. Here are the types of link-building that will likely be essential in 2024:

  • Content-driven Link Building: Create high-quality, informative, and valuable content to naturally attract links from other websites instead of focusing on quantity.
  • Relationship-based Link Building: Relationships give you credibility, quality, and sustainability for links
  • Unconventional Link Building: Uniqueness and creativity are what Google focuses on the most, this is clearly shown with the appearance of Google Perspective.
  • Social Media Promotion: Social media, too, are becoming more critical. This will be an effective way for you to increase your visibility and get links naturally.
  • Data-driven Link Building: Use data analytics to build links, track competitors’ strategies, and measure campaign effectiveness.

Game-Changing Link-Building Strategies for 2024

To adapt and take advantage of these changes, you must have new, more specific, and better link-building strategies.

Here are three unique yet proven strategies that can significantly enhance your site’s authority and search visibility:

Build deep relationships

Genuine relationships often lead to high-quality links and referrals. By becoming an active member of the industry community, you can build relationships and credibility naturally.

Identify Relevant Communities

Start by searching for active forums, Facebook groups, Subreddits, LinkedIn groups, and other platforms related to your industry. When evaluating which community to join, consider the general member participation and discussion level.

Ideally, focus on people with:

  • High number of members
  • Communicate regularly and in-depth
  • Moderators and influencers respond

Tools like RedditList and Facebook Group Search make the process easier by letting you filter groups based on size, activity, and keywords.

Prioritize communities where you can provide real value, not just drop links. Think of industry-specific forums where people ask for advice or groups that share knowledge.

Become a Valued Member

More than just joining groups and dropping links is required. You should actively contribute insights, advice, data, or resources relevant to current conversations.

When appropriate, answer specific questions thoughtfully while citing any helpful sources. Share detailed examples from your own experience to build credibility.

Ask thoughtful follow-up questions during discussions to show you are listening and encourage more dialogue.

By consistently providing value, you position yourself as an expert that members will eventually turn to and trust. You convert from an unknown spammer to a trusted peer they want to support.

Nurture sincere connections

While interacting with groups, build authentic relationships with influencers, group owners/moderators, and other active members over time.

These connections come from valuable interactions, not from mass outreach emails. Comment on their posts with complete information. Share their content if it provides value. Message them occasionally with relevant details or news.

The goal is to establish genuine relationships through quality, repeated conversations within the community rather than one-off conversations.

Over time, these genuine connections will naturally lead to link opportunities as you become part of their inner circle. They may request a collaboration or voluntarily mention your company to their audience.

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Create linkable assets

Craft content specifically designed to attract links rather than purely to inform your audience. These “link magnets” get shared widely if compelling enough, earning high-quality backlinks.

Identify shareable content ideas.

Start by analyzing your industry to discover which formats are most linked to or shared naturally, such as:

  • Research reports with original data/surveys
  • Ultimate guides/handbooks with extensive tips
  • Interactive tools, quizzes, or assessments
  • Case studies and interviews with recognizable brands
  • Comprehensive industry trend reports, future forecasts
  • Lists and roundups aggregating helpful resources

Tools like BuzzSumo help discover the most viral content styles by specific topic or competitor.

When brainstorming ideas, ask yourself:

  • What valuable information do we uniquely hold that will help our audience?
  • What ambitious content can we create that will blow our position away?
  • What questions or problems can we give definitive answers to?

It’s best to strive to create remarkable content that websites feel compelled to share with their audiences – and link to your content as the source.

Promote Your Assets Strategically

More than just creating great content is required. It would help if you found a way to promote your content to the audiences you will most likely connect with. Reach out to industry influencers and websites and present them with the correct versions of content to share with their followers.

Besides, you also have to combine email marketing and your social channels.

Track And Analyze Data

Use Google Analytics and link-tracking software to track content link acquisition.

Pay attention to what specific content performs best and why. Research the types of websites linking out. This helps you further optimize future content’s creativity, reach, and amplification process.

Leverage trusted tactics

Continue to explore creative, unique tactics beyond just creating content and guest posting. Some external strategies that can gain attention include:

HARO and Expert Roundups

Respond to reporter queries through Help a Reporter Out (HARO) with valuable data or insights. Reporters often link back to sources in published articles.

Similarly, share your expertise when bloggers, journalists, or sites in your industry request contributions from experts, such as quotes or tips for roundup articles.

Broken Link Building

Find broken links on pages relevant to your industry with the potential to earn a link. Contact the site owner, recommend your applicable content to replace their broken link, and provide other value through your outreach to increase the success rate.

Mention no brand

Build brand visibility by getting mentioned without blatant self-promotion

Subtly reference your website when appropriate. But focus on the prestige and authority gained through external validation, which can still result in powerful links.

AI SEO tools and automation in link building

To truly optimize, you must consider and use many AI SEO tools to automate processes in your SEO strategy, particularly your link-building strategy.

These tools help you identify and find potential link opportunities, analyze your competitor’s backlink, and automate. Using these tools can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your link-building efforts. This lets you focus more on strategic planning and content creation than manual outreach and research.

You must strike the right balance between using tools and manual effort in your link-building strategy.


As you prepare for the ever-changing search landscape in 2024, leave outdated guest posting tactics behind. Instead, focus on link-building strategies that are unique and prestigious.

It may bring us difficulties and challenges, but if looked at from a positive perspective, it is also an opportunity for us to change and improve our game.

Get a free proposal and strategy recommendation at Contactora if you need help optimizing your link-building strategy this 2024.

Written By
I've worked in digital marketing for 10+ years and founded 3 agencies. I am the CEO of Lakewood media Limited and our digital marketing agency I also head, a support and maintenance company and, our premium design and development agency.I currently spend my time developing strategies for digital marketing, covering everything from SEO, PPC, lead generation, email marketing, analytics and conversion optimisation. My role is to ensure our agencies are at the forefront of the industry so we can provide the best solutions and remain agile.I also manage the daily operations at our parent company, where I enjoy the business side of running a group of agencies.
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