Link-fortifying is an important and sometimes overlooked part of SEO. The idea behind link-fortifying is to find places on the web where you’ve been mentioned but not actually linked to. Being mentioned on another site is a good way to build exposure and credibility, no link means your mention is invisible to search engines.

For Example: Blue Fountain Media has been working to promote the United States Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters program, a new initiative talked about by a lot of numismatists (that’s coin collectors to those of you not studying for your SATs). Many of those collectors, however, didn’t even know the program had an official site. Hundreds of potential link opportunities weren’t being realized.

Enter link-fortifying: Blue Fountain Media set up a Google Alert to monitor the net for any mention of the America the Beautiful Quarters program. BFM also scoured the web for previous mentions of the America the Beautiful Quarters program. Lastly, a link analysis was performed of competing coin collecting sites, to see who is mentioning the program but might not be aware that there’s an official government site they could helpfully be linking to.

Once you know whom you’re targeting, it’s easy to email them and politely request that they add a link to what they’ve written. The important thing is that the email should show the site the value of adding your link: remember, people have to take the time out of their day to change their site, and they should be getting some benefit out of doing so. Focusing on the exclusive, compelling information your site offers to interested readers is a good way of demonstrating the importance of updating the mere mention with a useful link.

And voila! With a single email, you’ve turned an otherwise Google-invisible mention into an SEO-helpful link.