For web site owners that have established their site with reasonable search engine rankings, getting to know and communicate with the power players in your niche can help your search engine optimization efforts and perhaps give your site that little extra lift in the rankings.
The power players you need to associate with are not going to be your competitors. The power players you are looking for are those with sites that complement yours, or perhaps your site complements theirs. Get to know them. If they have a blog, leave appropriate comments. Link to them appropriately – and yes links leaving your site to authority sites can help your SEO.
If any of these sites use social media, then join in their conversations – intelligently. This is one time where the old saying, ‘if you don’t have anything positive to say then say nothing’ comes into play. You need to appear intelligent with something to offer. Over time, they will start to relate to you as an equal. When that happens, you have two options; sit back and wait for links to your pages to happen (and they will); or request links – both will help your search engine optimization efforts over time.
The ultimate aim is to be considered a major player yourself. To become important in that particular niche or industry. As you become more important, you will be seen as a website with authority and smaller or new web owners will start to link to you. Why? They are going to be in the same situation you are in now – looking to grow beyond being an established middle of the road web site to an important site with authority.