One of the questions that often pops up when I teach small businesses about link building is where to go to find sites to request links from. While most businesses understand the idea of going to directories and search engines and finding sites that way, many don't yet understand the power of using blog search engines to seek out blogs to target with your link building campaign.
Blog search engines are a great way to find sites that you might want to try to gain links from. One of the blog search engines that I use most often for link building campaigns is Technorati. The advantage of using a blog search engine like Technorati is that it allows you to search for blogs that are talking about topics related to your web site. You can also use Technorati's search tools to learn more about individual blogs in terms of how popular they are, how many incoming links they get and how often they are updated.
To search for relevant blogs on technorati you'll want to:
If there are a lot of results you can choose to narrow them down to include the most popular and respected blogs by selecting "with a lot of authority" from the drop-down box. A new search will rerun automatically.
You can then scan these results looking for sites that might be relevant and have reasonable incoming link counts.
When you find a blog that looks promising, you can use Technorati tools to dig a little deeper so that you can decide whether or not this is a blog that you want to add to your link building list.
The great thing about Technorati is that once you've found some blogs related to your site's content, you can really dig down to get some solid data about the quality of the blog.
By running a search for a specific URL and selecting "in blog directory from the drop down box you can get a specialized set of search data that gives you information about that specific blog.
You can find out things like:
The Recent inbound links: this will let you find out what other sites are linking to this blog and how long ago those links were placed. Obviously a blog that has frequent incoming links is going to get more traffic and have more credibility.
You can find the blog's Recent outbound links: this will let you know what other sites the author has linked to (and when those links were placed.) This can give you a good idea of how willing the blogger is to link out as well as letting you know what kind of content they are willing to link to.
You can get an estimate of a blog's Traffic history: This chart will give you an idea of the level of traffic that this blog has received over the last six months.
You can find out how many posts the blogger makes on an average day, which can be a good way to determine how active the blogger is and how quickly you might be able to get coverage of your story.
You can also get General site information: This area makes note of the URL of the blog, the overall rank of the blog in the Technorati index, when the last time the blog was updated, and how many other blogs link in to it and so on.
Use this information to decide which blogs you feel are worth contacting the same way that you would use information about a publication to put together a media list to target. Also remember that as you visit each blog, you may find links to other blogs in their posts, in a blog roll, and so on, and you might want to go back and research those blogs on Technorati as well.
Once you've built a list of blogs you'd like to target, spend a little time reading them to find out if they do product reviews, if they link out to resources and so on.
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Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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