search queries

search queries

Link Prospecting

1w ago
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In this lecture we are going to discuss “Link Prospecting”. Link prospecting is the act of finding websites which might be willing to link to your own website. There are two stages to link prospecting: the collection of target sites and quality checking the those sites. Gathering Sites Gathering link prospects can be incredibly time-consuming and tedious. Beginning link builders may just be employing basic search queries, which will only make the task even more tedious. 1. Advanced Search Queries A very basic search query would be something along the lines of dog food. That search will pull up a lot of products pages, most of which have nothing to do with content or guest posting. This not only provides a slew of relevant sites, but sites that will likely accept guest posts as well. The use of quotation marks tells Google you are looking for those exact words on that page. This is called an exact match phrase search. “Inurl” and “intitle” searches are also good tricks. 2. Competitor Backlink Reports Emulating your competitor is a common practice in link building. This might seem counterintuitive to some, but think about it: if your competitor is beating you, that probably means your competitor has a few key links you don’t have. There are several different tools you can use: • SEMrush • Open Site Explorer from Moz • Ahrefs • SEO Spyglass • Raven Tools • Majestic Site Explorer 3. Social Media SEOs have come to know these various platforms as highly valuable sources for link prospecting. If that webmaster does not have social media accounts, their influence should be called into question. Not surprisingly, Google has been pushing its own social media platform, Google+. Google+ has their own version of Twitter lists called communities. 4. Relationships Through natural link building efforts, good relationships will inevitably be built. When you’re in communication with a webmaster you’ve built a relationship with don’t be afraid to ask if he or she knows a couple of quality relevant sites or communities to join. 5. Blogrolls Most blogs will have a list of other blogs; ones that particular blog owner reads and recommends. Ordinarily, this list will be found in a sidebar. This list of sites is known as a blogroll. Typically the blogroll will only feature links that are within the niche that blogger lives in. If it doesn’t, chances are you should nix that blog. 6. Reverse Image Search The best thing to do is use Google’s reverse image search. Just navigate Google images and click on the camera icon in the search bar. At that point, you can either paste the URL of your image or simply upload the image you want to look for. This will show you every site that’s used that particular image. Reach out to these sites and ask them to include a link back to your site if they haven’t already. Analyzing Sites Analyzing websites for quality and relevance is fundamental to link prospecting. We judge relevancy first because we believe in quality over quantity. Every link must meet a minimum threshold of relevance in order to be worth pursuing. But there are other metrics to gauge before pursuing a prospective link that might not be so obvious. 7. Traffic Traffic is tricky to measure. SEMrush reports the traffic attained via search engines. Without analytics access, that’s the best sample you’re going to have. What qualifies as good traffic? It varies on the niche, so you have to do comparative analyses. Look for more than hard numbers, look for consistency. If a site has seen an unusually high increase or decrease of traffic in a short timeframe, consider that a red flag. 8. Freshly Updated Google doesn’t tend to smile on sites that don’t regularly update. Not only is the link not likely to add much value, but chances are if the site hasn’t been updating recently, the webmaster isn’t regularly checking his or her inbox. It’s a waste of time. 9. Link Spam Analyzing where a website is linking should come w...