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  • Link Building – a Helpful Guide to Prospecting and Analysis

    Creative Link Building, Link Prospecting or even Link Scouting – call it what you will, the premise is the same:  you are looking for opportunities to build links.

    Over the years there have been many different ways that people have been doing this; one of my personal favourites is using Majestic SEO and Open Site Explorer. However useful this is, I still find it time consuming and painful, until thankfully along came Linkdex which came and helped ease the pain.

    5::365 - Revisiting

    However helpful these tools have been in aiding my link building efforts, it is important as part of any SEO link strategy to think outside the box and establish links where your competitors are not present.

    Like many others I am sure, I find quality link prospecting to be a slow process, and knowing where to begin is the hardest and most frustrating.  Hopefully, though, after reading this you’ll be able to analyse quicker and build better quality links.

    What You Will Need Beforehand…

    Before finding these links, you will need the following extensions installed to your Google Chrome Browser:

    • SEOmoz
    • Scraper

    Step 1 | Change Your Google Search Settings

    The first step is to change your Google Search settings, you will want to show 100 results per page rather than the standard results of 10.  This can be changed in the search settings as shown below:

    Changing Your Search Settings

    Step 2 | Knowing Your Operator Queries

    I discussed in a previous blog post of mine last month how to understand Google operator queries, and how they can help you better in the art of SEO.  The truth is that knowing these queries will help to aid you quicker in filtering and analysing useful link prospects.

    Let’s take an example. With it being the start of London Fashion Week today, let’s say I was on the lookout for guest blogging opportunities to share the world of how great Holly Fulton’s and Dion Lees’ Show Spaces were. I would be thinking about different search query strings that would accept guest blogging opportunities, such as:

    • “write for us” OR “guest post” “fashion”
    • inurl:blog “write for me” OR “Guest Writer” “fashion”

    Step 3 | Start Looking for Links

    Once you have the extensions, configured your Google search settings and have narrowed down your search results with better defined operator queries, you can start link prospecting.

    After displaying your search results, highlight the title tag from the listing and scrape the results using Scraper as shown below:

    Scraping Results

    Once you have scraped the results, you should export them into a Google Docs file for analysis and research.  What you have now is a highly relevant set of sites to look at when building links.

    Step 4 | Analysis and Research

    The next step is for you to analyse and take note of the root domains using SEOmoz toolbar.   Once you have, I would recommend filtering them to make the largest at the top and start prospecting.

    SEOmoz Bar for Analysis of Prospective Links

    Step 5 | Engagement and Action

    Finally, after having filtered the prospective links, it’s all up to you to go about and building the links!  Good luck!


    9 Responses to “Link Building – a Helpful Guide to Prospecting and Analysis”

    1. CliffyT says:

      I have the SEOMoz extension installed, but where do you get the Scraper extension?

    2. New Website Launched by SEO Magna – Times Union says:

      [...] Company Announces an Increase in the Search for Keyword, "Link …Albany Times UnionLink Building – a Helpful Guide to Prospecting and AnalysisSEOptimise (blog)all 7 news [...]

    3. SearchCap: The Day In Search, February 17, 2012 | tecBird says:

      [...] Link Building – a Helpful Guide to Prospecting and Analysis, SEOptimise [...]

    4. Tim M. says:

      Hey Cliffy you´ll find the Scraper for Chrome right here in Google´s Webstore =)


    5. [...] Pak Hou Cheung posts a detailed guide to link prospecting and analysis at SEOptimise. [...]

    6. Daniel says:

      I also like the SEOQuake plugin – it allows you to scrape up to 100 links into an CSV file.

    7. Robert says:

      Thanks for the information. Link-building, if not done correctly, can lower a websites search ranking.

    8. Hi,

      @daniel Yes, you are right SEOQuake is a good tool and putting it into a CSV file then is very helpful way for analysis.

      @Robert, that is rightly so. Having the wrong type of links pointing towards your site can harm your SERPs.

      Thank you for your comments
      Pak Hou

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