How Link Reclamation Can Help Recover Your Google Rankings

I have extensively covered how to produce 10x content and linkbait content. Both content creation tactics allow you to supply value to your target audience, which could potentially lead to lots of backlinks in the process. However, since you can’t control how people attribute your content in theirs, there’s a possibility that they’ll mention your […]

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I have extensively covered how to produce 10x content and linkbait content. Both content creation tactics allow you to supply value to your target audience, which could potentially lead to lots of backlinks in the process.

However, since you can’t control how people attribute your content in theirs, there’s a possibility that they’ll mention your article but not properly link to it. While a mention should be fine in most cases, it won’t cut it especially if you want to build a backlink profile that surpasses those of your competitors’.

This process is what link reclamation is all about.

What is link reclamation?

In the cutthroat world of digital marketing, you need to aggressively assert yourself to your publishers. That includes getting them to correctly link to your content by any means necessary (but within reason, of course).

No matter how link-worthy your content is, there are people who don’t link back to your content that they used as a resource material in their post. Therefore, if you truly want to squeeze the most out of your marketing strategy, then you must be willing to go the extra mile and get the links you deserve from producing high-quality content!

Link reclamation allows you to do exactly this – turn mentions into backlinks to your content.

What you need to pull off link reclamation

Compared to other link building tactics, not all brands can implement link reclamation in their strategy. Consider the factors below that play a crucial role in making link reclamation work.

Brand mentions

If your brand wields authority in your niche, then you might find its name mentioned on numerous sites and publications. Regardless of the context of your brand’s mention, you need them to consider linking back to your site so their readers can learn more information about you.

Reclaiming links from brand mentions is perfect for small businesses who are starting out with building their backlink profile. Bigger and more established sites (Microsoft, Coca-Cola, to name a few) can opt for more advanced techniques. Nonetheless, this tactic can help round out their overall link building strategy.

Coined term

Skyscraper technique” is a phrase coined by Backlinko’s Brian Dean in his process of strategically creating content that draws lots of backlinks. In fact, he has become synonymous with the term that he coined. When someone mentions this term, people immediately think of Brian Dean.

skyscraper technique

If you have a term that you came up with and has become a staple in your industry, then people may be using it freely without linking back to your content that mentions it in the first place. It’s time for you to cash in on these mentions and convert them into backlinks!


Designing beautiful and valuable infographics is a great way to passively acquire links. Compared to written content, the information found in infographics are much easier to process, thus making them more shareable and linkable. This reason is why you need to integrate infographic creation in your content strategy.

An example of an awesome infographic that has been constantly gaining backlinks is Search Engine Land’s The Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors.


It has been drawing lots of links starting August of 2013 and hasn’t stopped ever since. It doesn’t hurt that the infographic is updated regularly to keep up with the changes in Google’s algorithm. Below is a screenshot of the links it has acquired for the past seven days using Ahrefs.

ahrefs SEL seo table

Drawing as much amount of backlinks from your infographics should be enough to help your site to rank for specific keywords in your industry. However, since not all will be observing due diligence when it comes to linking back to your infographic, you need to keep a lookout on sites that mention your content without linking.

Case studies

Statistics found in case studies are arguably the best way to support any argument you’re making with your content. They help make your case valid because they provide cold, hard data that mirror what you are trying to say.

To pay back to the brand or site owner who published the statistics, it is an unspoken rule that you link back to the source.

While not strictly a case study, Hubspot’s The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics makes it easier for publishers to find relevant statistics in different digital marketing interests by compiling the best ones from different case studies including theirs.

As far as backlinks are concerned,  the page generates 330 backlinks a day on average.

hubspot ahrefs

As many links as this page produce, there’s probably a chance that it gets mentions on other sites without any backlinks. Therefore, you need to keep an eye on mentions to your case study so you can capitalize on getting a link from them.

Tools you need for link reclamation

Now that we’ve established the things that you need to be mindful of when reclaiming links, you must know the tools you need to use to unearth these mentions that you can turn into backlinks to your site pages. Using Google or the native search functions of social media sites is a good place to start. However, doing these regularly will suck the life out of you – you simply won’t have the time to manually search online.

What the featured tools below will do is help automate the process of finding mentions of your brand, coined terms, and content with a few clicks of a button. This way, you can receive updates straight to your inbox whenever a brand or keyword mention is found while you focus on growing your brand.

Below are tools that you should use to help you with your link reclamation tactic.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free tool to help you get started with finding any mention of your keyword phrases related to your brand.

Google Alerts

All you need to do is enter keywords that you want to track online. What the tool will do is send you emails for updates of new keyword mentions on different sites.  You can visit the site and see whether you can get the site to correctly attribute to your content by linking to it.

As a free tool, Google Alerts only delivers limited results. There will be times that you won’t receive anything from the tool for a long time even though there have been mentions of your brand online from other sites.


If you want a better and more effective Google Alerts, then Buzzsumo is the tool for you.

I’ve detailed how this tool helps you develop killer content and launch a blogger outreach strategy, making Buzzsumo an indispensable tool for content creation and link building. For link reclamation, you need to use its Content Alert feature.

buzzsumo powerful monitoring

By creating Keyword and Brand Alerts, you can receive emails about the latest, highly targeted mentions of your keywords.

As you can also see from the screenshot above, you can conduct competitor analysis by tracking down the sites that link to your competitors so you can try to acquire a link from the same site.


The tools above track mentions of your keywords from websites only. If you want to also cover social media mentions (along with other web properties), then a tool like Mention will help you cover ground in your link reclamation strategy.


The Real-Time Monitoring feature lets you see mentions of your target keywords so you can join in the conversation and help manage your reputation. Brands use this feature to improve relations with leads and existing customers so they can resolve issues and problems users have with the brand.

While you won’t be able to build links using social media, you can leverage mentions on Twitter, Facebook, and others to generate traffic and potential links back to your site. Track a keyword phrase related to your content (case study, infographic, etc.) so you can receive alerts for new mentions on social media.

By tastefully hijacking social media conversions with links to your site pages, you can increase views to them and possibly attract more backlinks in the process!


TinEye is a reverse image search tool. Normally, people use Google to search for images related to their search query. With TinEye, you upload the file image and the tool will show results of site pages that feature the image.


Using TinEye is a great way to keep tab of your infographics and see which sites are using your infographic without linking back to its source page on your site.


Compared to other link building tools, Ahrefs has the most vast collection of backlinks made available to premium users. You can see which site pages links to a particular page, as well as research for organic keywords that a page is ranking for. Giving the detail of information you can get from the tool, you can execute not only a comprehensive link building strategy using Ahrefs, but also an effective competitive analysis campaign as well to one-up your competition.

For the purpose of link reclamation, Ahrefs lets you view the backlinks you have lost over time.

ahrefs lost backlinks

While we have dedicated much of the article about reclaiming links from brand mentions, Ahrefs lets you recover old links that were removed all of a sudden.

From the data found using this feature, you can determine the sites that “unlinked” to your page and find out why this happened. Most of the time, you will be required to reach out to the site owner in an attempt to get them to link back to your site. However, there are cases where the problems occur within your site, i.e. you changed the URL of the page, etc.

Ways to do link reclamation

Once you have used the tools above to track link reclamation opportunity, it’s time to actually turn those mentions into links.

Email outreach

A simple email asking site or blog owners to link back to your site after mentioning your study, infographic, or brand name in their content can be enough. Here’s a short email template that you can use to encourage them to link back to your site:

Subject: Thanks for mentioning [brand name]!


Hi! I’m [name], [position] at [brand name].

I would like to take this time to thank you for mentioning our brand in your article, “[title of article].” As a small business, we are really grateful that someone like you was kind enough to even mention our business. The fact that we did get mentioned means that we’re doing something right – accidental or otherwise!

Kidding aside, I would appreciate it even more if you could link back to our site using our brand name as anchor text so your readers can click on the link and learn more about our business. Here’s the link that you can use: [URL of site].

In exchange, I will be more than happy to share your article to our social network so your article gets more views.

Let me know if you’ve link to our site so we can share it on our network. Cheers!

The idea of the template is to kindly ask the site owners to place a link to your site in their article. Take the request at face value will only fall on deaf ears, which is why I included the last part to sweeten the deal. By sharing the content to your social media after they’ve linked to your site, you give them an incentive to actually make the changes.

Incentivizing your request this way will only work if you have hundreds and thousands of followers in your social media. Otherwise, feel free to tweak the email as you see fit so you can maximize your conversions.

Social media messaging

Reclaiming links through social media is tricky because there is no direct way that you can actually generate backlinks from sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others.

However, you can’t ignore brand mentions either. These opportunities can help you increase your traffic by spreading the word of mouth about your business. Therefore, you need to take action on them, even if they don’t present actual benefits to your link reclamation strategy.

Unless you’re a big brand, don’t expect people to mention your brand name. Instead, find leverage with your linkable assets and keep track of them by monitoring their target keywords, page titles, or anything phrase related to them. Doing so will help you unearth potential mentions on social media that you can ride on to place a link to your site or spread the good word about your business.

Wrapping it up

From the tools and methods discussed above, link reclamation allows you to build on your brand name and connects the dots between mentions and link building. Even if your business is just starting out and is not getting the mentions you want, you can use content assets that provide immense value to your audience instead.

By tracking mentions of your target keywords and phrases to be used as link building opportunities to your site, you can get the most from your link building strategy and increase your rankings in no time!