Wednesday 10 April 2013

Some Google Prospecting Tips For SEO's

Link Building
Link prospecting - finding good quality websites that that might want to link to yours is one of the most basic tasks for today's link builder/SEO/inbound marketer (however you want to describe yourself) along with content creation and outreach, it's one of three of the main link builder's daily tasks, in the process of building links to your site.

There are number of tools out there for link prospecting: Citation Labs Link prospector is one, SEOmoz's Open Site Explorer is another. However, in my experience probably the best all round link prospecting tool out there is good old Google. As veteran link builder Eric Ward says, the only link building tools you need are "Google and your brain."

Google is a very powerful tool, but like all computers, it's only as intelligent as the person using it. In order to start prospecting, you need to first select your keywords, obviously, these are the words related to your site's niche; so if you link building for a removals company in London, then you want to include removals-related phrases, London-related phrases, plus any other phrases from related niches, that you think might work. So a query you might want to try first could be:

"list of removals companies"

Or perhaps

"list of London removals companies"

You could extend this query by including the "linurl:links" stem; this brings back queries that are related to your niche, but that also have the words "links" in their URL - very useful! So you might follow up a few searches like the ones above with something like:

"list or removals companies inurl:links" or perhaps "list of removals companies inurl:resources"

After these searches, you should have a few dozen prospects to outreach to. Another prospecting angle is to go down the route of looking for links on university or government sites. These sites get a Page Rank boost from Google, or at least tend to have good authority and inbound links profiles, meaning they make great link prospects. Try a few searches like this:

" removal companies" or perhaps " removals companies" which brings back US university pages. Try " removals companies" for UK university pages.

OK, so there are unlikely to be loads of prospects to found for removals firms on university sites, but you never know!

There are a number of stems that can be used to find more links pages:

  1. "useful links" or "useful resources" or "useful sites" or "useful websites"
  2. "recommended links" or "recommended resources" or "recommended sites" or "recommended websites"
  3. "suggested links" or "suggested resources" or "suggested sites" or "suggested websites"
  4. "more links" or "more resources" or "more sites" or "more websites"
  5. "favourite links" or "favourite resources" or "favourite sites" or "favourite websites"
  6. "related links" or "related resources" or "related sites" or "related websites"

All the phrases above can be combined with the "inurl:" stem for more options.

This is just the tip of the iceberg; there are literally hundreds of Google prospecting options out there, it just requires imagination. Of course, once you've found the prospects, you have to outreach to them - that is a whole other blog post!

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Did you find this article helpful? Do you have any link prospecting tips to share? Please let me know by leaving me your valued comments.

Related articles:
SEO Link Building Techniques That You Should Avoid

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Until my next post on Friday on using LinkedIn groups for marketing, enjoy the rest of the week!

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  1. So, as a first timer here I wanted to say that your site is completely superb! We’re interested in starting a volunteer community initiative in this niche. The tips on your blog were extremely helpful to us, as it gave us something to work on. Thanks.

    1. Hi James and thank you for visiting Derek's Home and Business Blog.

      I'm really happy that you found the article helpful and that you like my blog's content. If I can be of any assistance to you, just let me know.

  2. We need to be more careful in our link-building efforts, after the Penguin update. The website link with us should be related to our chosen keywords and services. Open Site Explorer and Google are by far, the best tools for link prospecting, but we should also alter our SEO strategies to get the best results, based on the updates released by Google. Thanks for sharing an interesting article on SEO.


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