Yes, I know it sounds too good to be true and maybe it is?   Maybe the search engines are already aware of this and are changing their algorithms to discount these links, but from what I’ve seen – the links generated from this method do work.

So how does it work?

Well the key catalyst to all this was a post by ViperChill on SEOMoz who recommended using, a website auction site, as a starting point for link building.   If you’ve not seen or used Flippa before – it’s a bit like eBay, but for websites. Each website up for sale has traffic statistics along with it’s current page rank value.   The trick here is to look for recently registered sites with high PR values.   To get a high PR in such a short time – the site must have obtained many backlinks “OR” has a few highly rated (i.e. High PR) backlinks.

In effect – what flippa now become to SEOs, is an index of websites who’ve had their PR manipulated by experienced link builders!

The next step is to use tools such as (SEOMoz) or (Yahoo!) to reverse engineer the link building. Using such tools, you can track down the high PR sites which are linking to the site which is up for auction.

And from what I’ve seen – these high PR links are easy to obtain – usually coming from follow comments in blog posts.  What I found surprising is how easy it is to obtain such links – and how obvious it must be to the blog owner that they’re being used? Maybe they don’t understand the importance of links, maybe they don’t care, or maybe they don’t know how to block it?

Now the next key step is to look at the other spam comments on the blog post.  Chances are there will be posts from several spammers.  Now look at the sites they’re linking to, and bingo – you now have a list of more sites which have had their PR manipulated.  So starting off from the one site from Flippa, you’ll now have a list of several “seed” sites which you can now use to follow the trail left behind by the link builders.

This list of “seed” sites quickly becomes a long list of high PR, followed, link opportunities. I’ve seen plenty of .edu and .gov sites in this list!

Now back to the ethics of link building…

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t condone comment spamming in blogs!   If you use the above to spam the web and manipulate the search engines, then you deserve the wrath of Google when it detects this and drops you from the index!

One thing I’m trying to highlight here is how easy it must be for black hatters to control PR?   This must be really frustrating to Google, and I’d love to hear what they’re doing to combat it?

From a white hat perspective though you can use the above method for legitimate purposes.   Eventually, you will come across sites related to your subject field, where you’ll have a valid comment to add.   It’ll take more effort, but in the long term, the links will count for more and last longer.