9 Ways We Build Links

Want to learn a little more about what transparency in SEO means? Take a look at the roster of links that we build.


September 14, 2016 •
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Want to learn a little more about what transparency in SEO means? Take a look at the roster of links that we build.

1. Link Round Ups

Link roundups are curated blog updates that link out to their favorite content during a given time period.
During your campaign, we find these opportunities and send them an email pitch, suggesting they link to a piece of your content in their next update.

Roundups are a tremendous way to land links in bunches if you’ve got something of value to share.

Success depends on the quality content you’re submitting, which is part of a larger discussion we have about quality content available on your website.

How do we find these link roundups?

We look for titles like:

  • “Top SEO Posts of the Week”
  • “Best of Internet Marketing: Monthly Blog Roundup”
  • “Top Couponing Tips of the Month”

Below is an example from UberFlip:

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Once we have identified a few hundred opportunities, we personally reach out and pitch the authors, “earning” you a link on a powerful website that receives traffic.


2. Resource Pages

A resource page links out to content deemed important for their audience.

While this may sound like a link roundup, there’s a few key differences.

  • A link roundup takes place on a regular basis and features content recently published.
  • A resource page is a one-time update (or page) that links out to evergreen content.

The biggest difference is the pitch:

  • A link roundup pitch takes place before the blogger creates the post, asking for a link in the upcoming post.
  • A resource pitch takes place after the content is published, asking for them to add your content to their page.

In our experience, resource pitches generally have a lower success rate, as we’re asking someone to update content (i.e. do work) whereas a roundup is providing them a link when they’re actively seeking it.

However, the long term payoff is greater because traffic is evergreen – your link will remain on the website forever, as opposed to a blog post which will drop off the home page of a site and lose power in the long term.

What does a “resource page” opportunity look like?

Below is an old example from Unbounce.com

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Some more examples:

  • An attorney might have a resource page featuring important forms, government documentation or insights not featured on their own site.
  • A digital agency might link out to tools they use, industry data or insights not featured on their own site.

How do we find “resource page” opportunities?

In the ultimate form of transparency, we’ll even show you exactly how we find resource pages:

We search on Google and other search engines using specific search operators.

 Then we run the site through an in-house formula to assess overall website traffic, making sure your links will receive traffic.

It’s incredibly important to find relevant opportunities, otherwise a pitch will be a complete waste of time.

The example below shows a resource page featuring “free online resources for learning SEO”.

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If we didn’t have a “free online resource for learning SEO”, then it would be a waste to approach this author.

After we’ve identified the opportunity, we look for a way to contact the author, preferably in email.

Resource page pitching generally has a low success rate because we’re asking someone to do something that’s kind of a pain (go back into content and add a link).

Therefore, we try to give them a good incentive to take action along with a strong value proposition:

  • We offer to share the piece on social, email, etc. to drive new visitors to their site (sometimes your social media account can be leveraged)
  • Or, we let them know that we have a better, updated piece of content

If applicable, we show the webmaster that there is a broken link on their page. In this instance, the link building opportunity becomes broken link building.


3. Broken Link Building

Web owners don’t want to send visitors to a page or external website that doesn’t exist because it’s bad for the user experience.

Broken link building is the process of finding relevant websites that are linking out to dead pages, notifying them and offering your link to replace the dead one.

Broken link building is extremely daunting; however, we have built up a systemized process that makes this endeavor less resource intensive.

However, if you were doing this process manually, you would need a tool to find dead links on a page. There are various browser plugins such as Check My Links.

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Once we’ve found a relevant broken link opportunity, we send an email pitch to the author letting them know exactly where to find their link, and a potential replacement.

For this reason, broken link building has a high success rate (probably 4-6 times greater than resource page outreach) because we are helping someone fix a problem that already exists.

Here’s an example of a pitch we might send on a broken link build:

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If you decided to do this pitching on your own, note that your link should be a reasonable replacement to the dead link you are pitching. Otherwise, you’ll have a pretty low success rate.

To ensure a high success rate, we generally structure broken link searches around content that you have on your site, or content that we will be developing on your site.


4. Sponsored Posts

Sponsored Posts are a “pay to play” form of link building that exists. Essentially, we find sites that will accept advertisers and pitch them on a native ad buy.

If that makes you uneasy, then so should:

  • Influencer Marketing (paying someone to promote your product)
  • PR (taking a reporter out to dinner and drinks isn’t free!)

Instead of showing interest in buying awful banner ads, we send a pitch asking to sponsor a post instead.

What does a “sponsored post” look like?

We negotiate with the publisher to create a native piece of content that fits in with the rest of the site.

Here’s an important note: we do not engage in and posts that call out “sponsored” or “paid.” These tags are HTML/CSS elements on the page that Google will eventually be able to automatically identify, and therefore decrease the value of those links.

Once the agreement has been reached, our content writer completes the content (or you write it, depending on the arrangement).

The end result is a high quality link.


5. Link Reclamation (Regaining Lost Links)

Over time, your website will lose links. While this is natural, we can track down links you’ve lost and ask webmasters to replace them.

What does a “link reclamation” opportunity look like?

Any website that previously linked to yours but for some reason, removed the link.

This could happen for a number of reasons:

  • They changed the URL on their site.
  • Their website is down or migrated.
  • They flat out removed your link.

It’s important for us to understand why your link is no longer live before reaching out.

To do this, we use a variety of tools, but we prefer Ahrefs:

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We can enter any domain and navigate to the lost links. We’ll manually inspect all of those links and determine whether there are good opportunities to reach out.

Simply enter your domain and navigate to “lost” links. Inspect and determine if it’s a good opportunity to reach out.


6. Claiming Unlinked Mentions

Often times, SEO is not the only marketing channel you’ll be using to engage with and acquire customers from. If you’re present on social or have invested in PR, your company will be mentioned on the internet.

Most of the time, no one links to your website!

It’s nothing personal, most of the time they probably didn’t have your URL.

We monitor these “branded” mentions and send an email pitch asking for link attribution.

How do we find these unlinked mentions?

There are three main tools we use in order to find these links:

  1. IFTTT – The team at Seer Interactive wrote a great guide on IFTTT recipes, below is a screenshot to track mentions.

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  1. Google Alerts – Google Alerts is a simple tool that allows us to set email alerts when certain your brand is mentioned.
  1. Mention – Mention is a powerful tool that allows you to easily monitor the web presence of multiple websites, people, businesses, products, etc.

Unlike the other options, Mention is a paid tool that we use. We’ll reach out in a very similar manner to the link reclamation method (this is why we often ask for an @yourcompany email address):

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7. The Adjacent Method

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Who was paying attention in school?!

As seen in the picture above, the green blocks are adjacent to the center block.

Here, the vertical blocks represent location

The horizontal blocks represent industry

Let’s say that you are a law office that specializes in construction issues located on Long Island.

In the adjacent method, we target websites that are:

  • About law
  • Located on Long Island (ideally)

It’s really, really hard to just email random legal websites and get any traction…Unless we approach them the right way.

First, we’ll find a list of sites that are topically relevant, but NOT in direct competition with you. On behalf of our construction specialist, we would approach immigration attorneys, criminal defense lawyers, or DUI attorneys.

We then pitch them on writing for their site, or potentially doing a post exchange on your website’s blog.

It’s important that we specifically reach out to either businesses or areas that do not compete with us.

Ideal exchanges in this area would be other non-competing lawyers on Long Island, then lawyers in other parts of the country.

As with many of our strategies, the key is finding thousands of these opportunities, which is what our staff is explicitly trained to do.


8. Local Blogger Outreach

There are hundreds, if not thousands of bloggers in a few mile radius from where you are right now.

The eighth type of link we build is via local blogger outreach.

The majority of local bloggers will cover things like travel, fashion, tech and other highly viral niches. These seemingly unimportant sites are rated very highly according to Google’s algorithm when you are looking to rank on a local level.

Finding them and finding a connection with your brand is the key to this method:

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Let’s say your business is an IT consulting firm based in Nassau.

We could target local tech blogs because of the high correlation with technology and IT services.

For example, let’s go back to the “Miami immigration attorney” website. We targeted local travel bloggers because of the high level crosswalk between immigration and travel.

Depending on the project budget, we can send 1 of 2 pitches:

  • Pitching a piece of content on your site for them to cover (lower success rate).
  • Flat out offer them money to write a post (higher success rate).

Most local bloggers are not making any money, they are blogging for a passion. If you can produce some valuable insight relevant to their topic, such as a post about the status of high speed internet in Nassau, you wind up with a relevant topic that is directly tied to your firm’s location.


9. Guest Posting

Guest posting on highly authoritative websites with fresh traffic is a cornerstone method of securing links for your site.

In addition to the physical link + traffic benefit, you often times control the anchor text of the link itself (the underlined text of a link), which is a crucial element to SEO.

The catch is that you need to create great content that web owners will actively want shared and displayed on their site.

A guest post looks identical to a regular post on a blog or website, it just is written by someone who is not a staff writer:

What does a “guest post” look like?
Sometimes the hosting website will call out guest authors, but for the most part, a guest post doesn’t look any different than a standard blog update.

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Within blog posts, you are able to link to the content of your choice, such as your site.

Of course, guest posting has evolved a tremendous amount in the past few years; therefore, we use a particular system consisting of about 200 search terms in order to find 1,000 or so guest blogging opportunities for your campaign.

Since we’ve built a track record, we can pitch anyone we want. We look for big, authoritative websites with an active traffic record.

A final bonus of guest blogging is that it does not require your brand to actively own content. Here, we simply create valuable content for another website, and procure a link back to your site.


Admittedly, this is not the comprehensive list of links that we build. There are many “foundational” links that we build, as well as a few that we‘ll only disclose during your campaign.

The key is to remember that the thought process always remains the same:

  • The links should be authoritative (authoritative to your location, or your industry)
  • Links should be topical (related to your location or your industry)
  • Above all else, links should be on websites that have significant levels of active users and traffic, which will trickle down through your links and back to your websites

The SearchTides system has been created specifically to gathering these opportunities, yielding copious website links that will increase the power of your website, allow you to outrank your competition, and set your business up for a successful future.