How to Use the New Google Search Operators for Finding Links

Posted on Oct 25, 2011 in link building blog

Google has recently changed how the search operators work, by removing the “+” search operator. What replaces it is the quotation marks search operator and I’ m going to show you how to use this to find link building projects, primarily focusing on backlink searches. The twist here is that I’m going to show you how to go beyond reviewing the backlinks of competitors by creatively reviewing the backlinks of more general sites, potentially increasing the amount of link projects you can find exponentially.

The question is often asked,

 How do you find relevant sites to get links from?

It’s a legitimate question.  To answer it we first need to restate the question. The link building process is not about getting links from a site. That approach is a short walk to the link building wall. What we need is a technique that will sustain a virtually unlimited amount of link opportunities, a path with no wall at the other end. To extend the path we need to conceptualize the process as a series of projects. Hence the title, “How to Find Relevant Sites for Link Projects,” which is different from “How to find sites to get a link from.” Finding sites for link projects is a collaborative process, a business project with some give and some take. The latter, finding sites to get a link from, is one sided, all take and little if any give- like picking a pocket.

Approaching the link building process from the direction of  collaboration and building alliances will yield more opportunities. In my last post about advanced link building techniques I touched on the link building technique called backlink trolling. In it I suggested going beyond backlink trolling the competition and suggested reviewing the backlinks of large general sites that are outside of your niche. For instance, you can backlink search defunct websites to find sites that are still linking to them.

Backlink Mining for the Broken Link Campaign
The best example of the kind of site to backlink troll for a broken link campaign is GeoCities. GeoCities is a gold mine for the Broken Link Campaign. The broken link campaign is an example of a collaborative project. Don’t approach them with your hand sliding into their pocket. Don’t approach them with the mindset that you are trying to get something, it will show in your email. The approach should be as webmaster to webmaster. Don’t be afraid to make a friend or ally. That’s not a cynical attempt of ingratiating oneself for a link, that’s the wrong approach. Creating allies is not only a good business practice, it’s also a good way to manage your personal life. Which circles back to approaching the link building process as one of collaboration.

Here is how to do a Defunct Site Backlink Search (replace example.com with the domain name of the defunct site, like GeoCities.com) :

link:example.com keyword

Backlink research does not have to be limited to competitors. The previous example is a Defunct Site Backlink Campaign. The next backlink mining is for general sites with diverse backlinks. The word mining couldn’t be more appropriate for this technique. A troll is when you drag a net through the ocean and pick up a grab bag of different kinds of fish species. Mining is digging in a specific area known to produce a specific product, like coal or silver. In this case we are mining a website that has a diversity of inbound links, some of which pertain to a specific niche. You can take just about any site that has a lot of links and is general in topic and backlink search it using the segmenting technique. Here is an example of how to backlink search Digg in Google:

link:http://digg.com “keyword resources”

link:http://digg.com “keyword links”

The above is just the beginning. There are more ways to slice and dice those results. Backlink trolling competitors is boring and limited. Step up to backlink mining general sites using the creative linking strategy called Search Segmentation that I posted about. You’ll have a virtually unlimited amount of link projects using these techniques, no matter what niche you are in.

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