You already know that the only way to move your site to the top of Google is to build high quality backlinks (and lots of them).
That much is clear.
But how do you find authoritative sites that might be interested in linking to you?
And how do you get them to actually add your link…without bribing them with a guest post, link exchange or cash?
Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to share with you in today’s blog post.
Because over the last few months I’ve been experimenting with a new link building strategy (“The Moving Man Method”)…
…and have some AMAZING results to share with you.
Let’s Start With a Case Study of The Moving Man Method in Action
Before I reveal the step-by-step plan that you can use to generate high quality backlinks to your site, I want to show you some real life results.
Using “The Moving Man Method” I recently scored links from…
A DA87 .edu site:
A PA81 resource page:
And several contextual links from relevant sites in the SEO and online marketing space, like this:
As this point you’re probably wondering, “How can I use this strategy to get more search engine traffic for my site?”
The Step-By-Step System for Landing High Quality Backlinks With The Moving Man Method
There are 3 simple steps to follow to take advantage of “The Moving Man Method”.
Step 1: Find sites or resources that have changed names, shut down, or moved.
Step 2: Find sites linking to the old page.
Step 3: Give them a heads up about their outdated link.
And you’re set.
Now it’s time to break down each step in detail.
Step #1: Find Outdated Resources
Your first step is to find sites in your industry that have:
- Changed names
- Moved to a new URL
- Stopped offering a service
- Stopped updating a resource
- Shut down
How about an example?
You probably heard that SEOMoz recently changed their name to Moz (and moved their site from SEOmoz.org to Moz.com):
After I heard the news, I realized that this was a PERFECT opportunity to reach out to the hundreds of sites still linking to the old, SEOMoz.org URLs.
“Wait, How Is This Different Than Broken Link Building?”
For one, the links aren’t actually broken.
For example, if you run a broken link checking program like Check My Links on an old SEOMoz.org link, it shows up as working:
Sure, that SEOMoz.org link IS technically working (it redirects to Moz.com)…
…but the link points to the old URL and the anchor text has the site’s old name. Which means it’s out of date.
I also executed this same strategy with Blue Glass, an SEO agency that shut their doors a few months back.
Even though their site doesn’t have any content (except a “for sale” page):
Check My Links doesn’t mark links to Blue Glass as broken (broken links are in red):
While the essence of the strategy might be similar to broken link building, this twist allows you to find HUNDREDS of link building opportunities that the tools miss.
How To Find Moving Man Opportunities
There are a two simple ways to find outdated resources that you can tap into:
1. Keep an eye out for sites in your industry that rebrand or change names.
As you probably know, SEOMoz wasn’t the first company in the history of business to rebrand…
…and they won’t be the last.
In fact, dozens of businesses change their name or move to a new domain every single day.
For example, I just did a quick search for “health rebrand” in PRWeb (most businesses announce their name change using a press release):
And found this press release:
Sure enough, the health center’s old URL has a nice dofollow link from Idaho.gov:
You can also use the same process at Google News.
For example, I just did a quick search for “rebrands as” in Google News:
And found dozens of businesses that recently rebranded with a new name or moved to a new URL.
Including sites in the insurance and finance space:
The tech and mobile industry:
And the marketing niche:
As you can see, this strategy works no matter what industry you happen to be in (even a “boring” one).
2. Use search strings to find site features that no longer exist.
Sometimes — for one reason or another — a business shuts down a feature on their site (like Google recently did with Google Reader).
And some of these features used to be REALLY popular back in their heyday…
…which means they accumulated a lot of backlinks from authority sites.
But instead of deleting the page that hosted the service…businesses tend to set up a “service no longer available” page like this:
Which means you can search for them
Here are some search strings that you can use:
- “service not available”
- “page no longer exists”
- “this website is no longer updated”
- “this page is no longer updated”
- “no longer available”
- “website closed”
- “service no longer available”
To show you how easy and powerful this technique is, I just did a 2-minute Google search for “this page no longer exists”:
And found this PA47 page from Michigan State University:
This page — and the other pages that used to be on this subdomain — have authority backlinks from:
- And a handful of authoritative .edu and .gov sites.
Again, when you use a broken link checker on links to that page, they show up as working…
…even though, as you saw, the resource is long gone.
How can you squeeze the most SEO value from these outdated resources?
Step #2: Find Sites Linking to the Old Resource
This step is important:
Now that you’ve found a site that recently re-branded or a site feature that’s no longer there, it’s time to find the links pointing to that page.
Just grab the URL of the outdated resource and put it into your backlink checking tool of choice (I’m using ahrefs in this example):
And export all of the backlinks pointing to that page or site to an Excel spreadsheet or Google Doc:
When you do, you’ll have a spreadsheet with fistfuls of link opportunities:
Once you have your link opportunities in hand, it’s time to be a Moving Man
Step #3: Reach Out and Get Your Links
Your last step is to reach out to all of the people that still link to the outdated resource.
You want to give them a quick heads up about their outdated link…and gently suggest that they add your link to their site.
I tested a few different outreach email scripts for my Moz/BlueGlass campaign. Here’s the one that worked best:
And because I added value to their site twice — once from the heads up about their outdated link and again by showing them my valuable resource — people were more than happy to add my link to their page:
That’s all there is to it
The Bottom Line
If you got some value from this post, leave a comment below.
I want to hear how YOU plan on using The Moving Man Method to add some juice to your SEO campaigns.
Are you going to find rebranded businesses in your space? Or look for closed website features?
Or maybe you’ve tried something similar before.
Either way, write a comment in the section below right now.