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5. Find out who links to top ranked pages for your keywords. Many of their links will not be topic specific, but many WILL be. Try to get links from related ones. A page is related when it has your keywords in its title, text etc.
6. Form a link exchange ring with some of your competitors. That's a brutally effective strategy. Basically, you link to your competitors from your main optimized page (usually home page) and they link to you from their most optimized page! Such rings can dominate top positions and will be very difficult to outrank (it is difficult to get that amount of topic specific links). The caveat here is that link exchange is on main page and is not buried somewhere deep.
One more very important tip.
Increase relevancy of page that links to you by using your keywords in anchor text and description of your site! Yes, having keywords in links pointing to your page increase your rankings not only by associating keywords with your page but also by increasing relevancy of page that gives you link! That's reason SEOs think anchor text is most important factor. It is NOT. You can get a monstrous ranking boost from a link that does not use your keywords in anchor text provided that page has high PageRank and is optimized for your keywords (an example would be a DMOZ listing).
What about getting unrelated links?
Let's say you buy a high PR unrelated link. The page that links to you does not have your keywords in title and text. The only factor that makes link relevant to your keywords is anchor text to your site and your description. You'll still get some benefit but that's nothing compared to a link from an optimized for your keywords page.
Your site can't get into Google's top 1000 results?
If your site lacks Topic Specific Links, it may get filtered out from results even if it has a good amount of PageRank (from non-related or affiliated sites). You need some threshold amount of Topic Specific Link Popularity to get into top 1000 pages for very competitive keywords.
Two Final Points
1. Only one link per site can give you a Topic Specific ranking boost. Look for a link from most optimized for your keywords page.
2. If you find a page that ranks well for your keywords, go for link EVEN if that page has a lot of links on it.
To recap: more optimized a page is for your keywords (measured by PageRank and keywords found on-page and off-page) more Topic Specific Link Popularity Boost you will get from a link.
Topic Specific Link Popularity is and will be key for top rankings. Anchor text plays a major role but it is not THE factor. PageRank is still very important especially PageRank of pages that link to you.
Hristo Hristov, owner of the Search Engine Optimization Guide