How to Prospect for Links

Posted on Sep 20, 2011 in link building blog

I am going to show you a method (one out of the many that I use) to find solid prospects for a link project. The word prospect is used in the verb sense, which is defined as to search or explore (a region), as for gold. This is where link building usually hits a wall. I’m going to share a system that works great for finding new linking projects, appropriate for a link beg campaign (definition: The Link Beg is any campaign for free links obtained directly from a web publisher), paid links campaign or article marketing. If you feel like you have hit a wall then the following may reveal new streams in which to pan for link building gold.

Building links to highly niche web pages can be tough. It’s easier to build links to the home page because that’s a general topic but you can still go general and build links to the specific. And that’s where this method of link prospecting shines, even when the page topic is very narrow.  The first step is to think about what the general overall topic is. Don’t think of what the site is. Yes it might be an industry resource, an independent journal, a download site- that’s what the site is. But that is not what it’s about. Detach the “is” from your definition of general topic. I’m after the broadest topic.

Let’s use as an example a site about Asian Movie Reviews. Instead of thinking of it as a site about Asian Movies, going more general you can think of it as a site about Asian Culture. So go to Yahoo and type the words, Asian Culture DMOZ. It doesn’t have to be DMOZ. It can be Yahoo Directory, BOTW, wherever information is categorized. It can even be Wikipedia (mine the external links at the bottom of the page). 

Moving forward, here is a site listed in  the Asian Culture category of DMOZ:

East Asia and Southeast Asia: An Annotated Directory of Internet Resources

Using the drop down nav at the top of the page of that site I end up on this page about Chinese Cinema:

and find this site

Chinese Cinema Links
Compiled by Yomi Braester of the University of Washington 

That’s a page that you can then send a link beg email to for a free link. There are many more categories to mine and sites to discover at the Annotated Directory site that was listed in the high level DMOZ page. The link project was located three clicks away from the top level category at DMOZ:


To recap, instead of searching DMOZ (or BOTW, etc.) for the more specific category, start at the absolute broadest level then find the relevant link projects three clicks away.  As a bonus, keep an eye out for broken links and when appropriate give the broken links gambit a try.

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