Free links, or things to do at your leisure to the site owner

This article will be useful to business owners who are engaged in promoting their site on their own, but in “passive mode”: in their spare time, they study the issue a little, try to delve into various aspects, try different methods and services. In other words, they do not set strict deadlines and do not spend budgets and cost items for SEO in accounting.

If you are a marketer, and you, as is often the case, have been instructed to promote the site at the same time (naturally, on your own, without a budget and on a voluntary basis), then I recommend that you go over the items in this article, it is possible that some of them will at least slightly brighten this the situation.

I offer a list of places where you can post links in your free time from your main job. I must say right away that you can’t expect any take-off in the search results (although, as a rare exception, this also happens), we are talking about the gradual development and accumulation of link mass with the simultaneous improvement of other factors and getting live visits.


This is not about the “white bases for Allsubmitter”, it probably makes no sense to use those directories at all: if the moderator is still alive and someday adds you, then most likely the site itself has long been in the blacklist and will not bring any benefit.

We will post large catalogs, such as Rosfirm or Pulscen. From the first they are distinguished by the fact that these are directories of companies, not sites.

Than useful

  1. Link weight to your site. It may be absent if the catalog has special rules for handling links or the conditions for affixing them. But if there is weight, then it is usually not bad: the catalogs that “survived” by 2019 are pretty trust network resources.
  2. Additional traffic. It will be few, but since it is free, why not attract it?
  3. Commercial factors. Mentioning in such directories of your contact information can positively affect the ranking.
  4. Brand mentions. Useful for branding tasks, and for positions.
  5. Places to search. Pages with your contact information take up additional places in the top, and you collect more traffic from navigation requests.
  6. Additional features and fields. Now the owners of many large sites understand that simply contact information is no longer as valuable as before. Therefore, they make it possible to add additional types of information to your card. So, on Pulscen, for example, you can upload your product offers. And you can get good and hot thematic traffic from the keys for which you are not in the top yet, through your page on such a site.
  7. Orders In the regions, these sites even bring real profit, so that such links, even without great benefit to SEO, can be beneficial in themselves.

How to accommodate

Depending on what the site allows. Use all opportunities, do not be lazy. I would recommend compiling a table file (if it is not already there) and entering there all the data about the company, which the management permits to post in open sources. This significantly simplifies further work. Each time you meet some new field on the site, add the corresponding row to the table.

Communities in social networks

I deliberately narrowed it down to the topic of communities, because SMM in a general sense is a labor-intensive process that is better to be trusted by professionals, or at least hire a staff member. Here we are talking about what does not take much time.

Search for thematic communities. The following types are suitable for you:

  • Professional. Your colleagues communicate here.
  • Consumer. Discuss your products and services here.
  • Adjacent. It discusses the problems and events for the solution of which your goods and services are suitable.

Than useful

  1. Mentions. If you are constantly involved in community life, your publications begin to link. Depending on how you conduct the activity, on whose behalf and in what form, you increase the recognition of a corporate or personal brand.
  2. Social Signals. It follows from the first paragraph: some of the references and links that collected “likes” and reposts will be taken into account by search engines when ranking.
  3. Traffic to the site. If you have the opportunity to respond with the materials of the site (and there is such an opportunity, if you found the community correctly), then you get additional traffic. If at the same time your message collects “reposts”, then its volumes increase.
  4. Behavioral factors. Since we are talking about communities with high involvement, with the right strategy, the involved users will further improve the site’s behavioral performance.

How to accommodate

There is no single recipe, but try not to “attract by the ears” just to accommodate yourself at all costs. Find natural motives and appeal to your audience in a natural way. Links should be given only if the answer is behind them.


It's all about the same as with social networks, with the caveat that there are not so many forums themselves, but active ones, and on your subject - usually you don’t need a second hand to recount them.

There are also a number of features that are worth considering:

  • Pre-moderation and special conditions. Unlike social networks, where you have access to publish materials, you can publish them immediately, forums often put certain mechanisms to regulate the activity of the community. Somewhere your answers and topics will be published only after moderation, somewhere you will even have to earn a certain rating first by answering other topics.
  • Increased criticality to links and references. Be prepared that your absolutely innocent publication with a logical and relevant answer to the question asked will be deleted for the link in the text. There is nothing you can do about it, you just need to get used to it. Learn the art of advertising.
  • Sensitivity to traditions and rules. Forums are very inert communities where the traditional way and ideas about what is permissible may seem to you dense or simply strange. Do not be surprised if you get a warning for something, try to delve into and read the rules.

Than useful

On this point, everything is the same as with social networks. You can also add that:

  1. Forum topics are often the only answer to infrequently asked questions and a solution to infrequently arising problems. You probably yourself found this confirmation. It’s great when, on a narrow topic, the only material that at least somehow helps the user is written by you. This is additional brand loyalty.
  2. Unlike social networks, where access to materials may be limited by its limits, the pages of forums are usually open for reading to all comers. Therefore, links to your materials can be put on other sites.

How to accommodate

The main goal is to get a loyal potential customer. Therefore, it is important what exactly you write and how. You must be competent in what you are expressing, users should understand that you can turn to you for expert opinion on this matter.

There are several accommodation options:

  • Answer / dialogue. Find a topic on which you have something to say, enter into a dialogue, communicate reasonably, give a link to the site.
  • Topic. Raise an interesting topic that attracts the community. The link can be given both in the topic itself and in the discussions. Just remember the perception features described above, and try to do everything as correctly as possible. If you raise a topic, then it should have novelty, or at least the potential for discussion.
  • Link from profile. You can not give links in publications, but leave it modestly in your profile. This greatly reduces the beneficial effect, but increases loyalty to you as a person. Keep in mind that only those who are really interested in your personality or who have the idea to order something from you will follow the links to your profile. With this strategy, you will have to constantly remind yourself in discussions, at least so that the potential audience has a link to the profile itself before their eyes.
  • Branded branch. This is a civilized way for commercial companies, but such an opportunity is not everywhere. The point is that some professional forums create their own branches for brands. There, companies publish their press releases and answer community questions from “Why do you have this particular format of work” to “Do you have such a model, but 41.5 sizes”.

Large entertainment / theme portals

There are not so many of them now, but it is from here that you can get a fairly large influx of visitors. Only you need to work very carefully and remember the main dangers of accommodation:

  • Since this is a very wide coverage, if successful, be prepared for the loads on the site.
  • If you do not agree, then be prepared to get a real tsunami of negativity, which will have to be worked out.
  • You are not the first one so cunning, therefore they will look at you in advance through the prism “Have you come to PR?” So you will need to write relevant and useful things, otherwise it will not work with the negative.

Than useful

  1. Behavioral. This is a great example of crowd links with all the consequences: a lot of users, a lot of information for search engines, you can get a good overclock for the site.
  2. Reference weight. Since these are sites with good quality indicators, you will get some link weight from them (unless, of course, they close the links).
  3. Mentions. Even if the links are closed from indexing, you still get references to the brand in a good contextual environment, especially if there is a discussion in the comments.
  4. Fast top. Pages with heated discussions on a topic are often pulled up by robots, especially if the site positions itself as news.
  5. Potential for viral spread. If you manage to “step on the sore spot” of the community, you can get many links in social networks and other large portals and news services with all the bonuses that follow from this. Just do not forget that the negative spreads even faster.
  6. Branding and feedback. You tell the community about yourself, it remembers you. And in response he tells you about you. And almost certainly not only pleasant things. Write down so you don’t forget anything, and change for the better.

How to accommodate

It all depends on the rules of the portal itself and the layout format:

  • Simple posting. If the portal works in the format of a live tape (for example, Pikabu), then we register and publish what we have in mind. We put the link in the profile and organically fit into the post. Or we don’t enter it, if you can’t organically enter it: it’s better to wait until they are asked in the comments than to be accused of self-PR.
  • Column. It happens that the resource works according to the rules of the magazine, it has a revision and certain rules of work. Offer yourself as a permanent author and talk legally and openly in the first person about what you consider important. In this case, you will probably be allowed to leave the link only in the profile and be asked to adhere to the editorial policy.
  • Comments Do not forget that you can prove yourself not only in the post, but also under it. And often there you can get a more loyal attitude towards yourself. If you have something to say on the topic - write, argue, link to materials and examples on your website. Just remember that usually comments also have a rating.


These are sites like Otzovik, where people post opinions about goods and services. I do not mean Yandex.Market and other marketplaces here, because for online stores this is one of the main channels for promoting goods, and this is a full-time and daily work, rather than posting links at your leisure.

Nuances to consider:

  • Protection against fake reviews. Some resources require proof of purchase or identity.
  • Premoderation. Often your reviews will be published only after verification.

Than useful

  1. Reference weight. Large review sites can be attributed to the trust resources of the network, although you should not count on heavy weight.
  2. Traffic As practice shows, from reviews you can get very stable, although usually not very large traffic. However, it all depends on the promotion of the brand, the numbers are impressive.
  3. Behavioral. Since the traffic is involved and warmed up, you get an improvement in behavioral indicators, a decrease in the percentage of failures.
  4. Rating systems. It is not known for certain how much the number of “stars” that put your site in its position affects. We will consider this simply a pleasant bonus in the issuance, when your page with reviews takes place in the top.
  5. Commercial factors: approximately as with company directories.

How to accommodate

It all depends on the limitations and format of the site. There are several possibilities:

  • Company card. If you are given a company registration, be sure to do this: get a link from the profile.
  • Goods and services. There are more detailed profiles where you can add product items and collect feedback on them.
  • Product reviews. Sometimes users leave impressions not about a specific seller, but about a specific product. In this case, in the reviews you can leave a link to this product on your website. Only, of course, not on my own behalf.
  • Feedback on request. Some sites allow the user to ask a question about a company, if it is not yet on the list. And other users write their reviews on this request. Here you can act both as an asker and as an answerer. Also not on my own behalf.
  • Responses to reviews. On behalf of the company about which a review is left, you can respond to positive and negative in its address. And in these answers refer to the pages of the site. Naturally, the indication of the link should be motivated and logical.

Question answer

These are sites like “ Answers”, on which users ask questions on all possible topics and receive answers from other users. Services of this type are convenient here:

  • A constant influx of questions on the topic. You can visit the site once a week and for more or less popular topics during this time, 1-2 questions will appear at least. So, you can post answers with a link on a regular basis and absolutely reasonably.
  • Extremely simple publishing rules. To post a response, no special “merit” is required for the account, usually there is no pre-moderation. Write a question or answer, and it immediately appears.
  • Ideal optimization of site pages for specific issues. Most people formulate the plus or minus questions the same way, so when someone searches the search engine “What is a zero resistance filter?”, He immediately gets a link to a page where this question is asked in exactly the same wording. And in the responses it gets your link to the desired section on your site.

Than useful

  1. Reference weight. Similar to previous sites.
  2. Traffic These are also crowd links, a large number of users come to them.
  3. Behavioral. If you correctly answered the asked question on the page, then all these users whom you attracted increase the site’s behavioral indicators.
  4. Mentions. They are always useful for promotion in general, and for branding.

How to accommodate

There are two levels, you need to work on both:

  • Answers We are looking for already asked questions on our topic, we are answering them with a link to your site.
  • Questions. Even despite the popularity of these sites, there are always questions that have not yet been asked, or have been asked for a long time and few. They can be found in tooltips, Wordstat, or simply based on the logic of your site. It is necessary to formulate a question, ask it and give an answer with a link. Naturally, from different and not their accounts.

What's next

Having tried the above channels in a “relaxed”, episodic mode, you can roughly understand how they work, what to expect from them and what is required to conquer them.

And here the main thing is to realize a very simple, though not very inspiring thing: serious work in these areas requires financial investment. It doesn’t matter if you want to receive traffic from forums and otzoviks, or to increase brand awareness through communities in social networks - if it comes to systemic work, it takes time.

And then you will need to decide whose time you will pay: yours or the contractor. And do you have it in principle. I know many examples when directors and employees are successfully engaged in promoting their own business without attracting third-party companies. But even more I know of cases when it ends with a zero result and an appeal to the agency.

That is why I always recommend trying my hand: it does not take too much time. You will understand the main things:

  • Do you like to do it yourself;
  • Do you manage to do everything that you planned;
  • What percentage of potential actions do you plan, because you obviously will not have time.

And finally, the most important thing without which it’s not worth it all to start: metrics. You will never be able to understand and calculate the effectiveness of the above if you do not set up analytics systems and begin to mark up links. At a minimum, put Google Analytics and Yandex.Metrica. Useful in any case. You can add call tracking and track calls. You can configure end-to-end analytics. The deeper you analyze the data, the better you understand what works and what doesn't.

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