Ghost Town Link Building

When the search engines follow links to your website, do they find a ghost town from a movie set? You know what those are like, right?

A movie set ghost town is all facade. There are windows with sills, nicely painted or stained wood fronts, doors, front steps or at least a threshold. But if you actually open the door, it is empty inside. When you pass through the doorway, you find nothing . Not furniture. No interior wall, nor even side or back walls. No people. Only support beams to hold up the facade.

A lot of websites are like that. You look at their link profile, and – Wow! – does it ever look impressive. Hundreds of links from dozens of domains, maybe even thousands of links from hundreds of domains.

But wait, something looks out of place. Something doesn’t look natural. Something looks like… a facade. All the links point to the home page. All the links point to the website’s facade. Just like the cameras that always show us carefully just the fronts of the buildings, the links all show us carefully just the front page of the website. Like there is nothing else on the site worth linking to.

Like a movie set ghost town.



Deep Linking Makes It Real

When you build links to a variety of pages, you are showing the search engines that your site has depth. That it has substance. That it is real, not just a facade. And if you want the search engines to take your web address seriously, it helps to show that there is really something there.

Some tips on deep linking

Make sure you have content on your website. Content is not a home page or a sales page. Content is useful information. For instance…

How-to articles
Case studies
Interesting photos
Top 10 lists

But how does this content lead to inbound deep links to your website?

  • Let bloggers know about your content. Some will find it interesting and link to it.
  • Share on places like Twitter, MySpace, FaceBook, Pinterest, Digg, Tumblr, etc. (learn how to use these sites, build a network, and follow the official rules AND the unwritten guidelines)
  • Write articles about the same topic for other websites, and link back.
  • Create related videos for video sharing sites like Youtube, and link back to the original content.
  • Write related guest posts on other blogs, linking back to the original content.
  • Let the media (local, trade, etc.) know about the content, in case it will interest them.
  • Prepare news releases related to the content and distribute to press release websites.
  • Comment on related blogs, using the content pages as the “website URL” field.


  1. Great examples, David & don’ forget about your archives, linking is a great way to breath new life into older content.

  2. Deep linking is definitely the name of the game. Next to back linking, it’s one of the key SEO strategies. Great post!!

  3. Because for most small “mom & pop shop” clients have their home page as their only landing page,
    it is so easy to fall into the trap of as you put it “ghost town” linking with those clients.

  4. Some great tips here!


  5. Your last tip about commenting on related blogs.. well thats what I’m doing.
    In this period my agency is focusing expecially on case studies. We are preparing something like “open groups” to involve visitors to read informations about our top ranking websites.

  6. Answering questions on the internet is a good way to lead to inbound deep links to your website too.

  7. Excellent analogy! And I think I have been guilty of doing that too, so thanks for the tip.

    I also like the Twitter technique. I have a list of fat-burning foods on a weight-loss website that people might be interested in checking out and I could tweet that to get traffic.