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 article directories (blah) or blog comments (yawn) here.
I’m bringing the noise.
1. Submit to Audio Sharing Sites
SEOs never use audio sharing sites…which is CRAZY because they’re ridiculously easy to get backlinks from.
And make no mistake: these audio sharing sites are PageRank powerhouses that can move your site in the SERPs.
All you need to do is create a piece of audio (preferably music) and upload it to these sites, which give you a nice dofollow link in exchange:
Here’s an example (live dofollow link):
Even if you have as much music talent as MC Hammer you can still take advantage of this technique.
Just hit ‘record’ on your laptop mic and belt out Radiohead covers or beat-box like you do in your car.
These files aren’t usually screened by people so you don’t have to worry about winning a Grammy.
Just record something, upload it, and grab your authority links.
2. Buy Expired Domains at GoDaddy Auctions, SnapNames or NameJet.
This technique is so powerful and seldom-used I was a little bit reluctant to put it on this list.
If you’re buying a new domain every time you launch a site you’re leaving a lot of link juice in the table and making your life a lot harder than it has to be.
Before I launch a site, I ALWAYS head over to GoDaddy auctions to see if I can grab an aged domain.
While you definitely want to get a domain that fits your site’s niche, it’s not absolutely necessary.
As long as it has authority and trust you’ll fly by your competitors that are building backlinks 100% by hand.
3. Donate to Charity
If the warm fuzzy feeling you get from donating isn’t enough, maybe a backlink will cajole your altruistic side.
There are A TON of dead broke PR6+ site owners that will gladly hand over a link in exchange for a few bucks. And these sites tend to have ridiculous link profiles.
Take a look at this PR7 site that I got a link from last week:
How much would you pay for a link on a site like this?
How about $12. This site requires a measly 10 Euro donation for a link on their contributors page (which is a PR5).
I love you man, but I can’t out the sites that I donate to (I don’t want them to get spammed).
You can find some on your own by using these nifty search strings:
“donate to us”
4. Build a Blog Network
A high quality blog network is one of the best SEO investments you can make: you’re in the driver’s seat and can funnel massive amounts of link juice wherever the heck you want. You’re literally creating backlinks at will.
Contrary to popular belief, building a blog network isn’t that hard.
You just need to get good at buying expired domains. Oh, and you’ll need some cash .
Obviously, you should do everything you can to reduce your network’s footprint, including:
- Private whois information
- Different hosting plans (NOT different IPs…completely different hosting from different companies)
- Different themes and designs
- Different permalink structures
- Different content management systems (Drupal, WordPress, Joomla etc.)
This way you won’t have to worry about waking up one morning and seeing your entire blog network de-indexed.
5. 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 (this one here is on a PR6 page):
When I see an authority site with testimonial links I sometimes buy their product just to give a testimonial and get a link.
6. Fiverr Blog Backlinks
It’s very fashionable to hate on Fiverr because 99% of their SEO gigs are absolute garbage.
But the 1% that’s left is solid gold bullion.
The key is knowing how to find the 1%.
When I want to get backlinks at Fiverr I’m hunting for ONE specific type of gig: a webmaster who is selling a contextual link on his site.
No link wheels. No link pyramid. No link hexagons. No crap.
And if you look hard enough there are site owners on Fiverr that have absolutely no clue how much a link on their site is worth.
Here’s the link profile from a site I got a link from the other day (PR4):
Not bad, eh?
For this level of quality you’ll usually have to provide the content yourself (no biggie).
And while this may seem like traditional guest posting, it’s a VERY different ballgame because:
- You don’t have to follow any fascist “guest posting guidelines”
- You can write content optimized around your keyword
- You can drop links wherever and however you like
- You usually get your guest post posted within a day or so
Luckily, finding these gigs is a cinch.
Just type these into Fiverr’s search field:
“I will post your content”
“guest post on my”
“I will post your article”
7. Directory Domination
I chuckle every time people claim that directories are dead.
In May 2012 Google deindexed a few hundred free directories. If directory links didn’t work then why would they deindex them?
Hint: they wouldn’t.
This matches my personal experience: links from the right directories can still do wonders for your site.
And because web directories are seen as “old-fashioned” in the SEO world, you can usually get high PR links from aged domains for next to nothing.
Here are some directories to consider submitting to:
Yahoo! Directory (expensive but worth it)
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:
3. 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:
9. .Edu Resource Backlinks
Everyone knows that .edu links are the bomb.
But aren’t legit .edu links are impossible for Average Joe SEO?
If you have a legit looking site that’s not monetized to death you can usually get a 1-2 .edu links just by asking around.
Most universities have resource pages where they link to websites that are helpful to students and faculty. Here’s an example:
Let’s say you had a website web design. You could get a link from the example above (Cookman.edu) by emailing them and showing them your helpful 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.
10. 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. Important for our purposes, all of them allow a dofollow link back to your site.
Here’s an example from a site called ConceptFeedback.com:
As 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.
Here are some Website Feedback Sites that you can use:
11. Find Expired Domains Using This Top Secret Method
If there’s one skill SEOers need to start learning it’s the art of grabbing expired domains.
Buying a domain from 10-years ago is like going back in time, hiring someone to promote a site…and then paying him $100 for his decade of toil.
In addition to the auction sites I’ve listed above, there’s another way to find these little gems. Fair warning: this technique does take A LOT more time and effort than simply bidding on an auction.
What you’re doing is finding pages that a) have a long list of links to other sites and b) haven’t been updated in a while.
If you can find a link to a domain that’s not registered anymore you can pick it up at GoDaddy or wherever for $10. And the best part: no auctions!
And while it may not show any PageRank when you buy it, the PR WILL come back as soon as you host it and toss some content on it (assuming the links are still pointing to it).
The key here is finding those pages that have lots of links on them. There’s no simple way of finding them, you just need to be creative.
Let me give you an example just to get you started:
Notice that I set the date from June 1st 2007-August 1st 2009.
This limits the results to pages that haven’t been updated in a while.
Once you find a page that seems to be old and has a ton of outbound links, here’s what you do:
1. Run a free Chrome extension called Domain Hunter Plus.
2. The program will show you the broken links on the page AND if any the domains are available for registration:
This is a lot of work at first, but it takes much less time once you get the hang of it.
It’s also a MUCH cheaper way to build a blog network than splurging on domain names at GoDaddy Auctions.
12. Submit Your Site to Blog Aggregators
How would you like a backlink from this site (PR8):
Yowza those are some crazy links.
That’s Technorati.com, one of the top blog aggregators on the planet (blog aggregators are just sites that assemble blog content from around the web).
You 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
- technorati codes look something like this FKTCEMWQYJVT
- 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.
In addition to Technorati (a must) here are some other blog aggregators to submit to:
13. 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 what I mean:
You 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
14. Scoop It
Scoop It is one of my absolute favorite ways of building backlinks with a few minutes of work.
Scoop It is basically a site where people aggregate their favorite content around the web into a magazine format.
Here’s an example of a Scoop it page:
Lots of people’s personal Scoop It pages are PR3 or higher.
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:
Just 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”.
15. Broken Link Building
This one seems a little strange — and takes a bit of legwork – but 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:
Or like this page (any page with a lot of outbound links is a good target):
Now you COULD email them and just ask for a link. But I’ve found that the begging approach 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:
Hi (site owner name),
I was just browsing around your resources page today, and among the lists of great resources, were some broken links.
Here’s a few of them:
Oh, and I have a website, mysite.com, that also regularly posts quality content related to whatever. If you think so too, feel free to post a link to it on your resources page.
Either way I hope this helps and keep up the good work!
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:
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.
17. Software Submissions
Submitting to software directories is an old school SEO tactic that works like gangbusters. Why?
Because most software submission sites have INSANE backlink profiles, like this (PR8):
The site’s link profile you’re looking at is CNET.com. There are several other authority software sites you can submit to.
And the best part? You don’t need to create an open source operating system to get your software (and link) on these software directories.
You can do it yourself, but it’s a really time consuming process. I recommend hiring someone on Fiverr to get the job done on the cheap.
2 Bonus Sources of Backlinks
#1: Google Plus: Did you know that your Google+ profile allows contextual, dofollow links?
Here’s an example:
With enough interaction within Google+ and direct linking to your profile, you can make that a pretty powerful link.
For example, Mark Cuban’s Google Plus Profile page is PR4!
#2: Blogger Reviews: If you have a 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.
By offering it to bloggers for free in exchange for a linked mention or full-on review.
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.
2. 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 will probably be interested in your offer, like this one:
3. Reach out to them with this email script:
Hey (site owner name),
I was searching for some homepage soap recipes today when I came across (site name).
Actually, I just launched a guide that teaches people how to make luxury soaps at home. I usually charge $X, but I’d be more than happy to send it over to you on the house. All I’d ask is that you’d consider mentioning it on your blog or writing a review.
Let me know how that sounds.
Now It’s Your Turn
It’s fair to say that I didn’t hold back in this post…and neither should you.
I want you to post ONE cool backlink source that few people in SEO are using.
Pretend like this is 6th grade show and tell and you REALLY want to impress Suzie that sits in the back.
In other words, bring it!
Author: Brian Dean