Link opportunities are abundant if you know where to look. Sometimes there is value in linking outside the box as your site is only as strong as its weakest link.
Each link has value, for example a PR0 link from a page already present in the Google backlink algorithm using the link:command has far greater value than a PR6 link from a page that has weak internal linking or is not crawled frequently.
The point is, you have to know where to look for trustworthy, authority or contextual links that provide tactful advertising or serve to ethically build quality links back to your content (such as a Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, etc.) Even links from a from a semi-related page with an authority position is priceless to add trust to your link profile.
Value is qualitative such as (1) some links create traffic (2) other links create authority for the page the link is pointed at. Dismissing the value of context is not advised, however to each their own definition of ethics. Search engine favor one way links from contextually related sources. It doesn’t mean that someone who gets a link from an unrelated industry will not receive optimal value from it.
Are you a link opportunist?
For example, have you leveraged the power of web 2.0 aggregated news feeds? Getting a link from the right source such as a syndicated feed that spills over into multiple feeds as a result of folksonomy is a plus. As a result, you could appear in Google News , Yahoo Pipes, Technorati, Bloglines or any number of aggregated feeds and send your stats through the roof with traffic.
If you content reaches the right editor, you could land a link from CNN, the New York Times, or the USA Today with the right angle. Quality versus quantity is the key, whereas it is a process of building authority versus just building links to reference your site.
Instant online celebrities are born in this fashion, which is why tagging your content properly (with informative, educational, or compelling tags) allows you to cherry pick who and how your story will stem across the web.
One link from the right source is all it takes to put a site over the edge and unleash a ranking juggernaut in the search engine result pages. Finding content that is related, but not directly competitive is the key as well as looking for authority hubs for each type of site.
Just like a financial investment, it is better not to put all of your eggs in one basket. By diversifying your portfolio, you limit risk from over dependency on one tactic which could undermine your link profile. Changes in the algorithm are nothing new, so the less you depend on any one method the better in case that method falls out of favor with search engines.
What is the link threshold for a keyword and why should it matter?
Two answers to this thought; (1) from the level of using your own site to create visibility, which in turn created traffic, which in turn creates conversion or (2) using other sites to accomplish the same thing in tandem with your own sites promotion.
Obviously the latter proposition stands a greater chance of enhanced syndication and increased revenue and conversion potential. For some keywords hundreds of links are required to reflect the most relevant result, for other keywords only a few.
It depends on the purpose of your content (to make an immediate impact, to build the continuity of your sites theme, to appear later for years as a relevant result in the search engines as a long tail search, etc).
If a keyword is competitive (over 1 million actual pages competing for the phrase) then using your site could take time to build up the relevance and rank competitively (months based on your sites authority in that industry). Otherwise, one post from an authority site (or even a press release) can scale to the top 10 within hours vs. days using other methods with such a link threshold.
By augmenting search engine visibility with web 2.0 sites allows you to test the waters and gauge anticipated traffic prior to engaging a more thorough and comprehensive SEO campaign. Each industry has a threshold, to gain entry into the top 10, you will need a combination of multiple holistic factors (such as topical relevance from structured and related content on your pages).
Aside from on page factors, off-page factors such as how others link to you also play a pivotal role in relevance (or if your site is picked up for syndication vs. a competitor for a blended search showcase). Many in fact use PRweb for this facet of SEO alone, it has the authority and the reach to drive national traffic to your pages.
If you are an SEO link opportunist, then you know that a timely article on a hot topic, socially bookmarked from the right source (or linked to from the right authority site) can produce just as much traffic and notable conversion as a bonafide SEO campaign which may have taken weeks of planning and months to mature to accomplish the same reach.
Another area that bears promise is Video Production for SEO. Video, if hosted on a web 2.0 property or your site has the ability to stand unchallenged in most instances as a viable candidate for blended search.
This is why identifying your target consumer is so crucial, link opportunists create harmonious content (knowing that others are looking for it). The marriage of relevance to a quandary is all it takes to occupy a top 10 position. The key however is, knowing how to group your content as a whole, to ensure it reaches the mark with the least amount of effort based on affinity, relevance and momentum.
If you are fresh out of ideas, go to GoogleBlogSearch and set up an alert on using your main keywords, then every time something manages to build momentum on the topic, you will be on the inside track to investigate the possibility of jumping on the band wagon and building a few links in the process.