Yesterday I sat in on an excellent Marketing Profs webinar titled "Advanced Tactics in SEO: Part Art, Part Science."  While the discussion focused on advanced topics, Stephan Spencer of Netconcepts and Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz briefly touched upon basic link building.

One of the tactics that they emphasized was collecting links from organizations that involve the site owners.  The great thing about such links is that since the target organizations are already acquainted with the site, they're much more likely to honor a link request than other site owners.

For instance, a major company likely belongs to at least one trade association that represents its industry to governments and promotes intra-industry corporation.  There are many reasons why a link from the trade organization will serve a site well.

First, the trade association's site is also geared towards the same keywords that the company's site is also targeting.  The link will help the search engines equate the sites to similar keywords.

Second, there's a decent chance that the trade association's site has decent PageRank in Google and similar weight with the other search engines and can pass some of this on through a link.  A lot of the association site's authority is tied to the content on the association's site and the type of links pointing to it.  These links are likely from many other sites with authority in that specific industry, and many come from trusted sources like academic sites that cover the industry.

Third, a link on the trade association site will help direct highly targeted traffic to the company's site, even without the search engine's involvement.  Since there is a great possibility that someone visiting a trade association's site is interested in the industry, they are more likely to do more than merely visit a company's site.  These web surfers are more likely to perform whatever task — purchase an item or service, for instance — a company wishes.  Therefore, although search engines are an important source of traffic, links for organizations like trade associations can also provide high quality traffic to a site.

Beyond trade associations, sites can search for links from sites for related conferences, events, trade shows, publications, campaigns, advocacy groups, and academic organizations that a site supports.  If anyone has more examples of organizations to request links from, please leave them in the comments section of this post.