The best link builders are really good at finding and developing relevant content and resources for their clients. They develop and promote content to attract links, and they “search” the Internet for potential link candidates.
They scour the web for category specific: blogs, forums, thought leaders, groups, web pages, and other web resources for potential link candidates.
Once potential candidates are discovered, they are evaluated and ranked for relevance, and gettableness (get-able-ness = how likely to get a link). Many candidate discovery techniques are performed with an actionable plan in mind for getting a link from the specific prospect type. I’ll cover discovering candidates and acquiring links in a bit.
The best link builders and link building agencies act most-often as if search engines like Google don’t exist. When these marvelous link builders are not busy finding great resources and content to get links from, they are building their own killer content and resources to attract them.
The best of the best, act as if Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s web spam department was standing right over their shoulder when deciding if a link is actually an asset. This is the essence of white hat link building.
Discovering Link Candidates
Link building pro’s utilize the millions of blogs, magazines, groups, and clubs that exist on the web. Whatever your topic, there is almost certainly an organization, crowd, gang, crew, league, gathering, contest, pool, posse, society, specialty directory, or Pinterest board where you can join the conversation in a meaningful way.
The way we like to find these groups, pages etc… is with Google search.
*Example: If you want to find blogs that mention kitten mittens try this search: inurl:blog intitle:”kitten mittens”. This search basically says to find url’s with the word blog, and that have kitten mittens in the title of the page. Results
You can find any page or file indexed by Google, Some of the most used advanced parameters are:
- intitle: This one tells the search engine to find pages about what ever word follows the colon(:). * EXAMPLE intitle:keyword or intitle:”multiple keywords”
- inurl: This one tells the search engine to return web-pages and documents with your keyword in the url.
- site: is used to search a url. *EXAMPLE site:informlocal.com. or the site: operator can be used to find a specific TLD (.org, .com, .edu).
- – or minus is used to exclude. *EXAMPLE -cake tells the search engines note to return any results with the word cake, the minus operator, or – is a very powerful one for zeroing in on just what your looking for.
- ~ or tilde, known as the synonym generator, tells search engines to also return synonyms of your keyword when placed directly in front. *EXAMPLE ~cake
If you would like a list of Google’s advanced search parameters, I recommend you head over to SEOMOZ, and read their paper on advanced search queries.
Discovering Link Candidates WITH An Actionable Plan
Guest Posting Plan
One of the easiest ways to get a link from a relevant webpages is by guest posting on blogs. There are millions of blogs out there that need content, but how do you find them? try this one: inurl:blog intitle:~keyword + “guest post” | “guest author”.
The above search is very powerful, it says to look for web addresses with the word blog in the url/address, with your keyword or synonyms of your keyword in the title, along with the words guest post or guest author. One thing to keep in mind when using the tilde (~) operator, it’s best to use single words.
Once you have found some prospects to submit a guest post, the best link builders are looking for a phone number, and calling the prospect. Yup, you will find that your success rate will improve by some 20% will a phone call. If you contact them via email, do not just send them some canned request. Have an article topic in mind, but always ask if they have any ideas about a piece you can write.
Getting Listed As A Resource – Plan
Doing guest posts can be hard work, how about just finding pages that list resources like your website. Now that you are learning to search the web for specific pages, I will let you figure out how to find pages or web addresses with the word resources or resource that match your category or keyword.
Some other link building words you may want to include along with your keywords when doing searches: directory, list, lists, links, submit site, submit url, submit a site, add url, reviews, library, association, resources, resource, Blogger, WordPress, tumblr, and add site.
Beyond Link Building
I used this search to find recently sold homes in specific towns, and that had a swimming pool, for a local pool service company that wanted address for their advertising post card: site:zillow.com “recently sold”, pool, n.reading, ma. This query searched zillow.com for homes that recently sold with a swimming pool in the town of Reading. I was able to provide them 150 local addresses for their direct mail piece, all in the local area of their service route.
Many SEO agencies have several content writers on staff, while others contract out this work. Expert link builders know that if a link is easy to get, it is probably not worth having, and reverse engineering your competitions links is a great way to always be playing catch up. Links that are really tough gets are the most rewarding.
I would like to hear some feedback and learn what you are doing to build natural white hat links. Lets ride the hash-tag #bestlinkbuilders to share comments and new posts about link building techniques, tips and advice.