post

17 Untapped Backlink Sources (Updated)

http://backlinko.com/17-untapped-backlink-sources/’

How’d you like to see my secret stash of untapped authority backlinks that I personally use to rank for competitive keywords?

Well consider yourself very lucky…

…because today I’m going to pull back the curtain and share some of my absolute BEST sources with you.

Warning: you are NOT going to find anything about guest posting (blah) or blog comments (yawn) here.

I’m bringing the noise.

Bonus: Download a free checklist that will show you how to quickly leverage these strategies. Includes 2 bonus strategies not found in this post.

1. Give Testimonials

Companies big and small LOVE to show off their customer testimonials.

If you’re using a product or service that you love (or at least like), consider sending them a testimonial.

When you do, make sure to tell them that they can put it on their homepage or a testimonial page.

To show that you’re a real person they’ll often put a link to your site for you…without you even having to ask.

Make no mistake, you can get some baller backlinks from testimonials (here’s one on a DA89 website):

testimonial link exampleAnd here’s another example of a testimonial page from a DA86 site:

testimonial backlink exampleWhen I see an authority site with testimonial links I sometimes buy their product just to give a testimonial and get a link.

(That’s how powerful this is)

2. Find Golden Link Opportunities From “Best Of” Blog Posts

Click “Play” to see how it works:

1:09
Wistia video thumbnail - Find Golden Link Opportunities From “Best Of” Blog Posts

3. Blogger Reviews

If you have a software product, information product, consulting service or ANYTHING of value that you sell, you can easily turn that into handfuls of high-quality backlinks.

How?

By offering it to bloggers for free.

Here’s how:

1. Find bloggers in your niche that might be interested in what you have to offer. If you sell an information product that teaches people how to make their own soaps, you’d Google things like “soap making”, “make soap at home” etc.

google search2. Your results will be a mixed bag of mommy bloggers, hippie bloggers, and sites like ehow.

Filter out any major authority sites or news sites. You’ll be left with a solid list bloggers that might be interested in your offer, like this one:
mommy blogger

3. Reach out to them with this email script:

You want to be VERY careful about the language you use for this strategy.Note how I don’t ask for a link or review…which would violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

I just send them the product and let them decide if it’s worth a mention on their blog.

4. Link Roundups

Hit “Play” to see how you can use link roundups to build quality backlinks:

0:53
Wistia video thumbnail - Link Roundups

5. Link Reclamation

Link reclamation is simple:

First, you find mentions of your company and products that don’t link back to you.

Here’s an example:

unlinked mentionThen you email the person with a friendly reminder to add your link.

Very simple…but very, very powerful.

See how the author of that article mentioned backlinko.com….but didn’t link to it?

That’s where link reclamation comes into play.

Instead of saying “oh shucks, I wish they linked to me”, you proactively reach out and ask them to link.

You see, when people mention you in an article, they (usually) like you.

(That’s true even if they didn’t add a backlink to your site)

A simple friendly reminder email is usually enough for them to log into WordPress and add your link.

Here’s the step-by-step process:

1. Find Unlinked Mentions

Use a tool like BuzzSumo and Mention.net to find mentions of your brand.

When you do, you’ll get a heads up whenever someone writes about you online:backlinko mentions2. See whether or not the person that mentioned you linked back to your site.

If they linked to your site, you’re set.

If not, move onto step #3…

3. Reach out and get your link

Finally, send them this script:

I can tell you from experience that these are some of the easiest — and most powerful — links you’ll ever get.

6. Create (And Promote) a Scholarship

Everyone knows that .edu links are the bomb.

But aren’t legit .edu links impossible for Average Joe SEO?

Fortunately not.

If you create something that universities want to link to, you’re golden.

And that’s where scholarships come in.

In fact, Chris Dreyer recently used scholarships to build 90 .edu links (!) to his client’s website:

edu linksNow that you see how well this works, let’s dive into the step-by-step process:

Step #1: Create a Scholarship Page

Your first step is to create a page on your site that describes the scholarship, tells people how they can apply etc.

Here’s an example from Chris’s campaign:

scholarship page exampleStep #2: Find University Pages that Link to Scholarships

Fortunately this is a breeze using this search string in Google:

inurl:.edu “scholarships”

google search string#3: Let the Universities Know About Your Scholarship

When you find a scholarship page on a .edu site that seems like a good fit, send them this email:

7. HARO

HARO (short for Help a Reporter Out) is one of best ways to get killer backlinks from authority news sites.

Here’s how HARO works:

1. Sign Up To HARO as a source here.

2. You’ll get three emails per day from reporters looking for sources, like this one:

HARO-Example3. Respond with your credentials and some helpful tips.

Easy right? You give a reporter a tailored response and they’ll hook you up with a link.

Don’t sleep on HARO.

Backlinko reader Sameep Shah got a link to his web design business from Inc.com (DA92) using HARO:

HARO for Link Building

8. .Edu Resource Backlinks

We already established that backlinks from .edu domains pack some serious ranking punch.

Besides scholarships (#6 on this list), there’s another strategy you can use to get .edu sites linking to you:

Resource pages.

Here’s how it works…

Most universities have resource pages where they link to websites that are helpful to students and faculty. Here’s an example:

edu resource pageLet’s say you had a website web design. You could get a link from the example above by emailing them and showing them your helpful web design-related resource.

Use these search strings to find them:

site:.edu “your keyword”

site:.edu “your keyword” + “resources”

site:.edu: “your keyword” + inurl:links

site:.edu: “your keyword” + “other sites”

Only 5-10% of them will actually post your link. But keep in mind that a handful of these links can make a HUGE difference in the SERPs.

9. Submit Your Site to Website Feedback Sites

There are a TON of sites that are designed to help you get feedback on your site’s layout or conversion potential.

And almost all of them allow a link back to your site.

Here’s an example:

Concept Feedback LinkAs you can see, there’s a nice dofollow link on the page.

All you need to do is submit your site with a little description of how you want to improve it.

10. The Moving Man Method

Hit “play” to see how this powerful strategy works:

11. Submit Your Site to Blog Aggregators

Blog aggregators are sites that list quality blogs in different industries. Here’s an example (Alltop):

alltop screenshotYou can get a dofollow link on most blog aggregators for free in three easy steps:

  • Submit your site
  • Add a special HTML code to your site to confirm that you’re the owner
  • Wait for someone from the aggregator to stop by and take a look at your site

When they approve it you’ll have your own page on the aggregator with a dofollow link to your site. Easy peasy.

12. Find Guest Posting Gigs on Twitter

If there really is a hell, I’m convinced that Satan makes tortured souls guest post for all of eternity.

It can take hours just to find a handful of sites that don’t have a strict laundry list of guest blogger guidelines.

But there’s an easier way. You can tap into the underutilized power of Twitter search to find sites that are posting guest posts on the reg.

Here’s an example:

twitter searchYou KNOW that the sites that have tweeted their guest posts in the last week must be posting on a regular basis (no annoying dead ends!).

Here are some search strings to use in Twitter search:

“your niche” + guest post

“your niche” + guest author

“your niche” + write for us

“your niche” + guest article

13. Scoop It

Scoop It is one of my absolute favorite places to build buzz and (nofollow) backlinks with a few minutes of work.

Scoop It is a site where people aggregate their favorite content around the web into a magazine format.

Here’s an example of a Scoop it page:

scoop it pageLots of people’s personal Scoop It pages have hundreds of followers. Which means that your content will get in front of hundreds of people. More eyeballs=more links.

To get people to post your stuff all you need to do is use Scoop It’s built in suggestion feature.

Just search for a high PR Scoop It page and hit “suggest”. You’ll see something like this:

scoop it suggest featureJust send the person a quick message and let them know about your content.

In my experience about 50% accept within a day –meaning dozens of authority backlinks in about 15 minutes of “work”.

14. Broken Link Building

This strategy is similar to the Moving Man Method I outlined above.

The difference is that with broken link building, you’re only looking for pages that are 404ing.

Moved businesses and companies that changed names won’t show up with this approach.

That being said, it’s definitely worth the time and effort because of the killer inbound links you can get from this strategy.

What we’re doing is finding resource pages in our niche. So if we were in the fitness niche you’d search in Google using these search strings:

“fitness”  + “resource page”

“fitness” + “resources”

“fitness” + “recommended sites”

“fitness” + “links”

And find pages like this:

example of a resource pageNow you COULD email them and just ask for a link. But I’ve found that begging doesn’t work very well.

Instead, give the site owner a hand by letting him know about any broken links that you happen to find.

You can easily find the broken links on any page. Just use the nifty Chrome Extension Check My Links.

This program quickly finds any broken links the page happens to have. It also highlights them in red to make them easy to find:

Broken Link Checker

15. Infographics

Almost everyone in SEO knows about infographics, but I’m absolutely flabbergasted at how few take advantage of this incredibly easy link building strategy.

That’s because many people assume that infographics are expensive and hard to make.

And they assume the infographic has to go viral for this technique to work.

Fortunately for us, both of these assumptions are DEAD WRONG.

Heck, you can get a halfway decent infographic made from someone on Odesk or Elance for less than $250. In my experience, the IDEA is 10x more important than the design itself.

Be creative, make something unique, and then hire a cheap designer to make it for you (you can also do it yourself using tools like Piktochart).

Once you have it ready, it’s time to get the word out.

1. Your first step is to submit it to infographic sharing sites, like these:

Visual.ly

DailyInfoGraphic.com

AmazingInfoGraphics.com

2. Then reach out to bloggers in your niche and offer them the infographic as a guest post. To sweeten the deal, tell them that you’ll write a unique description for their site.

I’ve literally gotten 100+ high PR backlinks from related sites from a single quality infographic and this 1-2 punch.

16. The Skyscraper Technique

Hit “play” to see how I used The Skyscraper Technique to boost my organic traffic by 110%:

17. Google+ Profile

Did you know that your Google+ profile allows contextual, dofollow links?

(Note, you have to be signed out of Google+ to see the link as dofollow. Weird but true).

Here’s an example:

Google Plus ProfileWith enough interaction within Google+ and direct linking to your profile, you can make that a pretty powerful link.

Now It’s Your Turn

Now it’s time to actually put these powerful strategies into practice.

To make the process easy for you, I made a checklist that outlines the EXACT steps you need to take for each technique in this post.

The checklist also includes 2 bonus strategies that I didn’t include in this post.

Download the free checklist now:

Download the 17 untapped backlink sources PDF

1814 Comments

  1. Tim Love

    Hey Brian, this is an absolutely fabulous post! It caused me to come out of lurking mode on the Warrior Forum and post a response there as well. Only my second post in 4 years, it was that kickass… I’ve signed to your newsletter on the strength of this. You have a new follower on Twitter as well! I mean what I said on the Warrior Forum… Since 2001 I’ve worked in an SEO commercially, freelance and now from the comfort of my own home – I have bought IM ebooks with less useful information in them than covered by any one of your 17. You might not please everyone in our industry giving some of those secrets away for free though! All power to you my friend, you deserve success and lots of it!

    1. Brian Dean

      Glad to hear I caused a stir, Tim. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do.

      Considering your IM background and knowledge
      (note for readers: Tim started a massively successful dating site in the UK) your words mean a lot.

      1. Gotta love number 2 SEO + Philanthropy = BIG WIN.
        Thanks for another awesome list, Brian.

        1. Brian Dean

          You’re welcome, Dave 🙂

          1. Manuel Di Luzio

            Brian, this is golden. Thank you very, very much.

    2. good stuff! couple of places I could suggest: manta.com, aboutus.org and answer some yahoo questions to get some links and traffic.

      1. Brian Dean

        Those are great sources, Ryan!

      2. Dude, that’s crazy you are sharing this stuff. Reading your list was sort of like a BS cleaner from all the linkbuilding techniques I have been reading on.

        In the spirit of passing it on. There a tool called Justdropped.com, it gets me a list of expired domains and then I use a service that auto checks PR for that huge list. In a couple of hours I can usually identify 4-5 domains with high PR that have expired.

        Then after that, I just rebuild the page with the URL structure that had links pointing to it.

        Obviously, diversify C block and all the other good stuff.

        1. Brian Dean

          Thanks Vince. I aim to please. Good tip about justdropped.com. Haven’t tried that one yet.

          1. Tony

            This is a how some PBNs are built. Additionally, I’ve used strategy before but is a bit grey hat for my tastes.

    3. I’ve nothing to express my feeling with your great contribution, Brian. Your method does enlight my way to do more great SEO to the portfolio of my niche site empire. As Tim said, you deserved to be hated from real IMers cuz of sharing such a great secret publicly 🙂

  2. Hey,
    I have question regarding the Fiverr backlink. Google has successfully banned many public networks, so how is paying $5 for a contextual link different from from using services like Build My Rank?

    Kind regards,
    Andrii

    P.S
    Awesome article! I already created an audio file and uploaded it on those 4 services.

    1. Brian Dean

      Good question Andrii.

      It’s the same in the sense that you’re paying for a contextual link…but the comparisons end there.

      Unlike Build My Rank, the blogs on Fiverr are usually individually-owned properties.

      Which means that if you order 10 Fiverr blog posts links from 10 different providers there’s absolutely no footprint whatsoever.

      Another thing I like about Fiverr posts it that you can get links from real sites…not blog network
      spam.

      1. Haha… I just find it a little ironic that you mention “get links from Real Sites… not blog network… spam”, when you mention earlier in your post to create your own blog network of… basically not Real Sites 🙂 I get what you mean, but it’s funny.

        1. Brian Dean

          Jason, I meant PUBLIC blog network spam. It’s actually possible to create a blog network of quality sites 🙂

          1. PUBLIC blog networks i can see causing some problems, but you can create a PBN (Private Blog Network) which i assume avoids googles spiders etc – Or at least they are meant to!

            I read something about this yesterday and you put some code in your .htaccess file to block software from scanning your website, so i assume a private blog network is a safe route to take when creating your own ‘fake’ sites.

            Is this correct?

          2. Brian Dean

            PBNs have their own set of problems, Andrew. They can help a little, but I wouldn’t try to rank a site with PBNs alone.

  3. Hello again 🙂
    Sorry to bother you, but i have one question regarding Sploder: how do you save the game as an .exe or a .pad? I couldn’t find anything in Google.

    1. Brian Dean

      You can change it locally on your PC. Just change the filename to .pad or .exe. You can also use this site, which is a bit easier: Padbuilder.com.

      1. I had the same problem. I created a game in Sploder, but couldn’t download it or extract it in any way. I tried Padbuilder, but it only created a text file. When it was downloaded to .xml it wasn’t the best looking thing.

        And I’ve tried some of the software sharing directories you have given us in the comments. No luck so far. I guess I’ll try the other methods. The Audio links are easy, but there is still no change.

        1. Brian Dean

          It does take some time to learn the ins and outs of PAD files. If you’re stuck you can use someone at Fiverr to create and submit the software for you.

  4. Hey,
    I just noticed that your “Blogorama” link isn’t correct. Not really a biggie, but still…
    Kind regards,
    Andrii

    1. Brian Dean

      Thanks for the heads up Andrii. Fixed : )

  5. correct me if im wrong, but scoop it is show as NoFollow…

    here’s a PR4 page: Scoop.it/t/complexity-sciences
    All links are NoFollow, right?

    1. Yes you’re right Lewis. They must have changed that recently. Considering that it doesn’t take long to build links and the traffic potential I’d still use Scoop.It. Besides, nofollow links still pass some juice.

      1. Lewis Parrott

        Ahh was too good to be true haha.
        I emailed you with something if you have time Brian.
        Lewis Parrott.

      2. Clayton

        no follow links pass nothing.

  6. John Carrol

    Hey Brian,

    Brian, big thanks, great article for sure. I have a question for you. Most of the domains you recommend to post links on have high PR, however the actual internal pages that will contain our links have a PR of 0-1. Doesn’t that devalue the links too much? Is it worth it to put so much effort for PR 0-1 links?

    1. Brian Dean

      That’s a good question, John.

      Although it’s ideal to get links from high PR pages, I’m a big believer in domain authority.

      In other words, a link on a PR1 page on an authoritative domain is a lot more valuable than a PR1 page sitting on a site without many links.

      That being said, you CAN increase the PR of the pages you drop links on using the strategy in my post:
      I’m KILLING It With This Completely New Kind of Backlink

      1. John Carrol

        Thanks, Just after asking the question I read the article you reference. It did address my question very well. Do you think a PR0 dofollow link on a big authoritative PR 6-7 domain is worth more than a PR2-3 do follow link on a niche PR 2-3 domain site. I am having trouble quantifying the value of authority and trust in a reasonable way. Can you suggest any ways to estimate the comparative value of a backlink based on specific metrics?
        I will read your Google trust article and try to come up with more specific questions as it seems relevant.

        1. Brian Dean

          To answer your question:

          Definitely not. A PR2-3 niche relevant link is worth more than a PR0 link on an authoritative site. The point I was making that was when comparing pages with similar PR, it’s also important to take note of the domain the page sits on.

          Unfortunately, there’s no “Big Metric” that takes into account domain authority, trust, link location, relevancy and the 100 other factors Google uses to evaluate a link. You gotta use your head : )

  7. mike

    hi whats the etiquette for infographics do the sites you guest post these on supply a source link after?
    do you stipulate you want linking back to or is it general practise the same as normal guest posting

    1. Brian Dean

      Good question. It’s an unwritten rule that you get a link from the site that posts the infographic. In other words, you usually don’t need to even ask.

      But if you find a site that’s posted it without a link you can always reach out and ask them for a link.

      1. Brian,
        Are you talking about Infographic code here?

        1. Brian Dean

          Avadhut, I’m talking about infographics in general, not necessarily the code (although that’s important).

          1. Brian,

            Building too many links too fast would be risky? If yes, what should be my target monthly?

          2. Brian Dean

            That’s true: you definitely want to take it slow. It’s actually impossible to give a specific number as there are so many variables involved.

          3. If natural then there is not a problem I would assume. For example a great article like this one could naturally achieve many links fast and naturally. However, if it was spammed then obviously you have some problems…Another example is natural disaster or event create many links rapidly in a few minutes or days…

          4. Brian Dean

            Exactly, Brian. It’s normal to get an super high influx of links. The most important thing (as you said) is for the links to be legit and natural.

  8. Brian,
    First off, thanks for the great content. Your link building techniques are second to none. Are you going to be offering any paid services in the near future for lazy asses like myself?
    Second, a question for you. What tool do you use that gives you the detailed link profiles of sites that you show screenshots for?
    Third, regarding domain auctions, I can’t seem to find info like age of domain and link profiles of said domains. Is that something that has to be done manually on an individual basis, or do some of these domain auction sites provide that information?
    Thanks again!
    Ed

    1. Brian Dean

      Hey Ed,

      Thanks for your support!

      I actually have a link building course in the works. In addition to mind-blowing SEO content I’m also including an outsourcing guide. That way lazy peeps can just send the instructions to their VA.

      To your questions:

      They’re from ahrefs.com…my link explorer tool of choice.

      Use expireddomains.net. It’s an awesome free tool that shows all the important metrics on one screen.

      Hope that helps,
      Brian

      1. Brian,
        Appreciate the rapid comment on a Sunday. Waiting for your course with bated breath (I had to Google that term to make sure I was spelling it correctly).
        Regards,
        Lazy Ass

      2. +1 for an outsourcing guide using proven methods from Brian Dean.
        I am not lazy and a big believer in doing all SEO and promotional work in-house/myself, but there are only so many hours in the day and I need to work on product and customer development as well. I need to be able to match the efforts of bigger companies in my space.

        OpenSiteExplorer.org from Moz is great for checking URL profiles (and your competitors backlinks).

        1. Brian Dean

          Thanks Lilia. I’m also a hand-on type of person. But considering how much time this type of quality link building takes, it makes sense to outsource some of the process so you can focus on your core business. I agree: reverse engineering your competitor’s links is an awesome way to find top-notch link building opportunities.

      3. I can’t wait for your course!! Thanks for all the great free content you post 🙂

    2. I would like to get in on any course you offer as well. Thanks…

      Paul

  9. Brian,
    When searching for expired domains, which is more important? The PageRank, the age or the number of links it has? I’m going through ExpiredDomains.net and see many available with high PR but no links and only 1 year old. Or vice versa, low PR but high number of links and older.
    Thanks,
    Ed

    1. Brian Dean

      I’d say the number of links (especially the number of referring domains) is most important…followed by domain age and PR.

      If you dig enough you can usually find domains that have all 3.

      1. Mr.Hieu

        Hi Brian
        Follow your answer, the most important to look the Expired Domain are :
        Number of backlinks form different domains => Domain Age => PR

        Is it right?

        Thank you very much !
        Hieu

        1. Brian Dean

          Yes, exactly. With one important caveat: it’s important that they have a 100% squeaky clean, white hat link profile. If they have that — and some age and PR — go for it.

          1. Dalen

            Hi Brian, when buying expired domains, I dont want to overpay. Do you have a rough estimate as to how much is too much? Thank you!

            Dalen

          2. Brian Dean

            It’s hard/impossible to give a specific figure because there are so many variables involved (PR, age, link profile) etc., Dalen.

  10. Emrah

    Brian,

    Thanks for this great post. I really enjoyed reading and learnt a lot. when are you going to have your link building course?

    Thanks,

    Emrah

    1. Brian Dean

      Hey Emrah,
      My pleasure.
      I’m putting the finishing touches on the course this week. Aiming for a mid-February launch.

      1. Calvin

        Hey Brian
        Dates aren’t attached to these comments so I’m just wondering if this is an old comment i.e. if the course was already released

        1. Brian Dean

          Hi Calvin, STW registration opens up periodically throughout the year. Make sure you hop on the email newsletter to get a heads up about the next enrollment opening.

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