How to Get High Quality Backlinks (Without Guest Posting)

How to Get Quality Backlinks with The Moving Man Method 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 want to link 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.

Bonus: Download a free checklist that will show you how to use The Moving Man Method to get high quality links to your site.

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:

High Domain Authority Link

A PA81 resource page:

Resource Page Link

And several contextual links from relevant sites in the SEO and online marketing space, like this:

editorial backlink

And this:

Link To My Site

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”.

Watch this no-fluff video to see what they are:

As you saw in the video, the 3-step process is…

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Step 3: Give them a heads up about their outdated link.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Step #1: Find Outdated Resources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 changed their name to Moz (and moved their site from SEOmoz.org to Moz.com):

seomoz_to_moz

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:

Links to SEOMoz.orgSure, that SEOMoz.org link IS technically working (it redirects to Moz.com)…

…but the link points to the old URL. Also, 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):

blueglass

Check My Links and other broken link checkers don’t mark links pointing to Blue Glass as broken (broken links are in red):

Broken Link Check

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 strategies 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, Moz 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):

prweb search

And found this press release:

Rebrand Press Release

Sure enough, that health center’s old URL has a nice dofollow link from Idaho.gov:

Backlink from a.gov Site

You can also use the same process at Google News.

For example, I just did a quick search for “rebrands as” in Google News:

google news search

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:

Metlife Google Result

The tech and mobile industry:

Tech Niche Result

And the marketing niche:

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:

Service No Longer Available

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”:

search for page no longer exists

And found this PA47 page from Michigan State University:

Retired Website

This page — and the other pages that used to be on this subdomain — have authority backlinks from:

  • Wikipedia
  • About.com
  • EPA.gov
  • 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…

Kind of Broken Link

…even though, as you saw, the resource is long gone.

How can you squeeze the most SEO value from these outdated resources?

Keep reading.

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):

ahrefs search

And export all of the backlinks pointing to that page or site to an Excel spreadsheet or Google Doc:

ahrefs link export

When you do, you’ll have a spreadsheet with fistfuls of link opportunities:

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:

Outreach Email Script

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:

Email Response

That’s all there is to it :-)

The Bottom Line

There’s no doubt about it: The Moving Man Method is one of THE best ways to build quality backlinks on the planet.

Ready to get started?

Then download the FREE step-by-step checklist that I made just for this post.

The checklist will walk you through the entire process, step-by-step.

Moving Man Method Download

 

742 Comments

Loz James

Hey Brian
Killer strategy – this takes broken link building to a new (and easier to execute) level. I’m going to have to start an encyclopedia of all your techniques. This is great creative linkbuilding.
Cheers!
Loz

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks for your kind words, Loz! You’re so right: in many ways this is easier and more scalable than broken link building. I’ve definitely had a lot of success with it lately. Give me a heads up if you decide to give it a go :-)

Reply
Mikk

Yummie, will implement this ASAP on my new niche site. Probably it will convert well also.

By the way, where do you come up with such names “The Moving Man Method”, it’s catchy, but lol 😀

Cheers

Reply
Brian Dean

Nice Mikk! Keep me posted on how the strategy works out for your niche site. The names usually come to me suddenly when I’m walking around the streets of Berlin :-)

Reply
Robert A.

Very interesting and useful. But you can get backlinks from forums also. My site is built in Joomla so I went and searched for Joomla forums, mostly I found nacional forums from countries like are Germany, Italy, Spain, France…and those forums are very active. I checked if I can saw as unregistered user other peoples profiles and signatures, and mostly I can, so i add my homepage and signature with three links on those forums. And you do not need to write on forums to get backlinks.:)

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks for your comment, Robert.

I’m actually not a huge fan of forum backlinks. Forums are great for driving targeted traffic, but in my opinion, I don’t think Google places a lot of weight on forum backlinks :-(

Reply
Jordan

I’ve had much success using this technique, I think the reason why many just pass this technique by is because they simply cannot be ‘bothered’. To be completely honest, those who didn’t already have an idea of this, just don’t have the brain power(intelligence) or drive to complete real SEO. Fact!

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re 100% right: techniques like this can get pretty time and resource intensive. But they’re definitely doable if you’re willing to put in the work. Like you, I like it when SEO gets harder because it raises the barrier to entry. Great points all around, Jordan!

Reply
Lilia

The technique itself seems to kinda fall into category of manually emailing and asking for a link back (aka knock on doors or leg work), but the way of building the contact list is unique. This strategy might or might not work for niche topic sites where you can find at the most 5 sites to email (not my case, just wanted to point out for others). I would say this should probably be reserved for when more simple tasks (e.g. email sites that link to your competitors) are complete to maximize productivity and outcome.

Brian, would you say for outsourcing a task like this or similar the email should come from an email on your domain to make the request look less farmed-out compare to say [email protected] that a random freelancer might have?

p.s. Need to fix “nameMoz” to “name to Moz” in the post

Reply
Brian Dean

Good points all around, Lilia. This is definitely an email outreach focused approach (in my experience those are the strategies that work best). I tend to use my email just for the sake of transparency. I think it’s a bit shady to pretend that you’re just some random person.

Thanks for the heads up about the typo. Fixed :-)

Reply
Kazura

Looks like some niches are better than others, but I really like Lilia’s comment about emailing sites that have links to your competitors. This is really awesome, especially if you can offer them great content that benefits them and their users. So glad I saw it!

Reply
Brian Dean

Absolutely, Kazura. Fortunately, there are still some opportunities in every niche (although as you said, some have more opportunities than others). Lilia was right on with her comment: competitor’s links are one of the best places to find link building opportunities.

Kheng

Brian, your always so creative. Your one of the main guys I follow when it comes to white hat methods. You’re always giving actionable advice. Thanks mate!
Oh…l can see your naming most of your strategies too!! nice! I heard that strategy from Derek Halpern..

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Kheng! I appreciate that. Yes, naming your strategies is a great way to establish your brand and make your advice more memorable. Derek is a master at that (his Drafting Technique was brilliant!).

Reply
Gustav

Hey Brian,
It’s always a pleasure to read your great posts filled with tips – really! I will implement all the tricks asap to my sites, and hope for the best 😉

Greertings – Gustav

Reply
Brian Dean

Really glad to hear that, Gustav! Keep me posted on how this strategy works with your sites :-)

Reply
Gustav

Thanks, I will keep you posted :)
I have actually a really quick question for you, Brian. When you’re writing for example: “A PA81 resource page:” What does “PA81” stands for? Or “DA87” for that matter 😉
I know you probably already have explained this, but I have unfortunately missed it..

I’m hoping for an answer,
Greetings Gustav

Reply
Brian Dean

No problem. PA stands for “Page Authority” and DA stands for “Domain Authority”. They’re two metrics developed by Moz as alternatives to PageRank.

Reply
boni satani

Awesome (y) Head’s up for that man! Darn creative technique

Reply
Brian Dean

Glad you enjoyed the post, Boni. Shoot me an email if you ever have any questions.

Reply
Wolston Lobo

WOW! Just when I thought all the smart strategies have been covered you come up with another one. I have not seen this one anywhere else on the net and it is surely worth a try. There are so many brands that change their name and go through re-branding. I’m sure this idea will catch steam but for early adopters… This is pure gold.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Wolston! It’s so true that brands change names and re-brand (literally) very single day. Considering that, I think this approach will be around for the long haul and (hopefully) won’t get burned out like so many other link building strategies.

Reply
Richard Marriott

Nice stuff Brian! Like the name “Moving Man Method”. I’m definitely gonna be giving this a go for the new niche authority site I’m building. Btw, what was your link:email ratio like for this method?

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Richard :-). This is a great strategy for a new site.

I didn’t track the conversion rate for this campaign. But I’d say it averaged around 10% or so.

Reply
Vukasin

Very nice Brian. Those are some powerful ways to instantly help people better rank their sites with some additional backlinks on higher PR sites.
Thank you for this.
I will try this method and I will keep you notified if I see some results.

Reply
Brian Dean

Glad to hear you got value from the post, Vukasin. This is definitely a great way to get links from high PR, niche relevant sites.

Reply

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