Finding Link Opportunities and Evaluating Them
In a previous article I looked at ways to build links by using SEO footprints to find great places to engage with your audience and find link placement opportunities. I also mentioned that you could combine this with Link Detox in the 'Link Opportunity Audit' mode to be absolutely sure that your link sources are going to have a low DTOXRISK™. This article will describe the process in more detail, so that you can use this as a blueprint for your own business. Find out how to:
- Create a large list of link opportunities
- Edit each CSV file with Excel, so that there is just one column in the correct format for Link Detox custom backlink files
- Perform a Link Opportunity Audit using Link Detox in the ‘Link Opportunity Audit’ mode
- Use the Filter Slice showing Simulated=Yes and DTOXRISK=Low
- Look at the results for excellent link building opportunities
Table of contents
- Creating a list of potential link opportunities
- The Link Opportunity Audit mode of Link Detox
- The Link Opportunity Audit Results
If you have a list of places where it may be possible to get a link you will be able to check all these link potentials with a Link Opportunity Audit. If you can wait a few hours for the results you can easily look at 10,000 or more link sources at the same time. Here are a couple of ideas to get a huge amount of link sources:
If you have used tools like CBLT, MLT, LJT and the SERP research tool you can export all the reports as a CSV file.
There are lots of different techniques you can use for finding great places to get your links. My current favorite is the SERP research tool. If, purely for example, I wanted to find discussions on the internet about the current keywords I am ranking for on Google.co.uk, I could set the SERP up like this:
The 20 keywords I have used here are the keyphrases that have converted into a lead in the last 90 days. You can easily find these keywords from Google Analytics or any other analytical software you may use. If you are not tracking which keywords make you money, you are leaving money on the table! You can get as creative as you like in the keyword field, please read How to find the best link building opportunities to get some more ideas.
I'm including this here because of the popularity of my article about creating a powerful PBN. Since I wrote the article I have been in contact with Marco Schmidt, in Berlin, who is the creator of ExpiredDomains.net. I showed Marco my PBN article and I asked him if we could raise the export limit for his excellent and completely free service to find expired domains. The limit was 2000, but now you can download 30,000 URLs as a text file. Marco's update was especially for LinkResearchTools users - WOW! Please show your thanks with a comment and a share below 🙂
Here is an example of a typical set of results from ExpiredDomains.net:
This is looking at the GoDaddy Expired Domains, this section normally contains about 350,000 domains which have expired and are now available at GoDaddy Auction. To cut out a lot of the useless and overpriced domains I normally set three filters in the filter section:
I set the minimum number of backlinks to 50. You could set this lower if you are looking for domains in a specific niche. I set the maximum number of backlinks to 500. This is because I normally find that domains with thousands of backlinks are very spammed and are worthless. I also set the maximum price at $100, as I can normally find some real gems for less than $20.
This particular search found 3,218 domains. You can use ExpiredDomains.net to produce as many lists as you like from the Marketplace Domains or Deleted Domains.
The CSV files from LinkResearchTools and the text files from ExpiredDomains.net will not be in the correct format for importing into Link Detox. To get the correct format you need one column containing all the URLs and Domains, where the first entry is just 'URL'. You can see an example of the correct format here:
Note the CSV format and the first entry being 'URL'. If you have produced multiple CSV files that is fine, you do not have to consolidate them. Now we are ready to perform the Link Opportunity Audit.
Until February 2015 this mode was called the 'What If' mode. The Link Opportunity Audit mode creates a ficticious situation where you have links from the domains and URLs that are in a file/files that you upload. Link Detox then calculates their DTOXRISK™ taking into account your existing links.The results give you an excellent idea of whether you should try and establish these links or not. The most important metric Link Detox gives is what the DTOXRISK™ is if that link existed. The results also give you an informed idea of how much effort is worth putting in, for each opportunity. Links with a high Power*Trust and a low DTOXRISK™ are always going to be worth going after.
Assuming that you have your potential backlink files in the correct format, running Link Detox is easy. The setup is the same as any normal Link Detox; enter your URL, decide if you want to look at the www and non www versions or not, decide how you want to evaluate No Follow links and upload your current disavow file. The difference for the Link Opportunity Audit mode is that you need to select the mode and upload your CSV backlink files. You can upload multiple backlink files if you wish:
In my list here I uploaded a backlink list with 11,791 domains and URLs. For Link Detox to process this many URLs, plus the existing links, takes some time. If you want to speed up the process you could take your list and load it into the JUICE Tool and select the 'Good Links' filter slice from the results. If I need results quickly I will do this, but for now I am prospecting for gold, which may take a while. I'm happy to wait.
To see the link opportunities, there is a Filter Slice called 'Show link opportunities only'. This is a good starting place:
In our case this shows 11,727 pages, so we should filter this further by selecting the low DTOXRISK opportunities only. In the example I have also sorted the Power*Trust Dom column to show the strongest opportunities first. This leaves 504 opportunities to look through:
As you might expect some of the strongest pages are Wikipedia,Dmoz, Twitter and Facebook. If there is a possibility of getting a link on Wikipedia or Dmoz you should, of course, go for it. Twitter and Facebook are obvious places where you should be interacting for most niches. Some less obvious sites that came up as low DTOXRISK included Answers.com, Photobucket.com, Issuu.com and Flickr.com.
If we look further on in the results we can spot some easy opportunities. The example site I am looking at building links to is in a camping/outdoors/campervan/caravan niche, for a Nationwide UK based business. Here are some examples of different kinds of opportunities that I found:
Very neat, a company based in Pau in south west France have a fleet of five VW Campervans that they advertise on Tripadvisor. Any kind of link you can get on Tripadvisor has to be worth something. Tripadvisor.com has a monsterous LRT Power*Trust™ = 72.´
This is a site that discusses pet friendly vacations in the UK, they even have a section on motorhomes. Getting a link here should be very easy. The site has an LRT Power*Trust™ = 6.
Whitby Online is a site about Whitby in the north east of England. The site includes a forum where somebody is already talking about campervans. Interacting with this forum would be a great idea. The site has an LRT Power*Trust™ = 16.
Montellug.it is an Italian wiki site that has this post about buying a motorhome on it. The site is about free software, in particular GNU/Linux. This article doesn't belong here, so maybe the wiki isn't moderated very well. A more on topic article in Italian would be worthwhile. The site has an LRT Power*Trust™ = 12.
Openui.org is one of the domains from ExpiredDomains.net. It would need to be repurposed as it is way off topic. This is an unspammed 15 year old domain name with an LRT Power*Trust™ = 4. For those who still care about Google Page Rank, this is a PR3 domain. The auction has 5 days left to run, but has no bids so far. I would not be surprised if this gets picked up for the minimum bid of $12. If this is one of the ways that you acquire links, this would be a sound investment.
Here we have looked at only 5 possibilities of getting links from powerful link sources with lowDTOXRISK. In our current Filter Slice there are 499 more places to look at. If we were to include the medium DTOXRISK, we would be looking at 10,302 link opportunities!
The Link Audit Opportunity mode of Link Detox is an awesome process which can help you find low risk, high quality links. By uploading a large list of potential backlinks you can easily find hidden gems amongst all the junk. Using the Link Audit Opportunity mode means that you can work more efficiently when link building. Your time will no longer be wasted going after worthless or harmful links. Enjoy your link building renaissance.