"What search engines are forcing us to do—especially post-Google Panda—is to win quality links," writes Ken McGaffin in an article at MarketingProfs. "And quality links are hard to get."

Hard—but not impossible.

McGaffin suggests you begin your quest for stellar links by assembling a list of potential link partners and setting a minimum standard: You might want to target those with a Google PageRank of 4 or higher, for example. Streamline your pitching efforts by segmenting the strongest prospects into groups with similar characteristics. Then determine if they're dynamic or static opportunities.

"A dynamic prospect needs constant feeding," McGaffin explains. "Blogs, for example, have a voracious appetite for news, opinions, product launches, online tools, research reports, whitepapers, and samples." If you build an ongoing relationship with influential bloggers and journalists, you can produce excellent momentum for your links campaign.

One McGaffin client saw its online reputation rise as outlets like the BBC, CNN, and The New York Times picked up on a news story. "Those are all quality editorial links that lead to what I call the cascade effect: When your site is written about and linked to by a major publisher, many bloggers follow suit without even being asked," McGaffin notes.

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