17 Untapped Backlink Sources (Updated)

17 Untapped Backlink Sources (Updated)
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 guest posting (blah) or blog comments (yawn) here.

I’m bringing the noise.

Bonus: Download a free checklist that will show you how to quickly leverage these strategies. Includes 2 bonus strategies not found in this post.

1. 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 (here’s one on a DA89 website):

testimonial link example

And here’s another example of a testimonial page from a DA86 site:

testimonial backlink example

When I see an authority site with testimonial links I sometimes buy their product just to give a testimonial and get a link.

(That’s how powerful this is)

2. Find Golden Link Opportunities From “Best Of” Blog Posts

Click “Play” to see how it works:

 

3. Blogger Reviews

If you have 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.

How?

By offering it to bloggers for free.

Here’s how:

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.

google search

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 might be interested in your offer, like this one:
mommy blogger

3. Reach out to them with this email script:

You want to be VERY careful about the language you use for this strategy.

Note how I don’t ask for a link or review…which would violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

I just send them the product and let them decide if it’s worth a mention on their blog.

4. Link Roundups

Hit “Play” to see how you can use link roundups to build quality backlinks:

 

5. Link Reclamation

Link reclamation is simple:

First, you find mentions of your company and products that don’t link back to you.

Here’s an example:

unlinked mention

Then you email the person with a friendly reminder to add your link.

Very simple…but very, very powerful.

See how the author of that article mentioned backlinko.com….but didn’t link to it?

That’s where link reclamation comes into play.

Instead of saying “oh shucks, I wish they linked to me”, you proactively reach out and ask them to link.

You see, when people mention you in an article, they (usually) like you.

(That’s true even if they didn’t add a backlink to your site)

A simple friendly reminder email is usually enough for them to log into WordPress and add your link.

Here’s the step-by-step process:

1. Find Unlinked Mentions

Use a tool like BuzzSumo and Mention.net to find mentions of your brand.

When you do, you’ll get a heads up whenever someone writes about you online:backlinko mentions 2. See whether or not the person that mentioned you linked back to your site.

If they linked to your site, you’re set.

If not, move onto step #3…

3. Reach out and get your link

Finally, send them this script:

I can tell you from experience that these are some of the easiest — and most powerful — links you’ll ever get.

6. Create (And Promote) a Scholarship

Everyone knows that .edu links are the bomb.

But aren’t legit .edu links impossible for Average Joe SEO?

Fortunately not.

If you create something that universities want to link to, you’re golden.

And that’s where scholarships come in.

In fact, Chris Dreyer recently used scholarships to build 90 .edu links (!) to his client’s website:

edu links

Now that you see how well this works, let’s dive into the step-by-step process:

Step #1: Create a Scholarship Page

Your first step is to create a page on your site that describes the scholarship, tells people how they can apply etc.

Here’s an example from Chris’s campaign:

scholarship page example

Step #2: Find University Pages that Link to Scholarships

Fortunately this is a breeze using this search string in Google:

inurl:.edu “scholarships”

google search string

#3: Let the Universities Know About Your Scholarship

When you find a scholarship page on a .edu site that seems like a good fit, send them this email:

7. HARO

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:

HARO-Example

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:

HARO for Link Building

8. .Edu Resource Backlinks

We already established that backlinks from .edu domains pack some serious ranking punch.

Besides scholarships (#6 on this list), there’s another strategy you can use to get .edu sites linking to you:

Resource pages.

Here’s how it works…

Most universities have resource pages where they link to websites that are helpful to students and faculty. Here’s an example:

edu resource page

Let’s say you had a website web design. You could get a link from the example above by emailing them and showing them your helpful web design-related 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.

9. 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.

And almost all of them allow a link back to your site.

Here’s an example:

Concept Feedback Link

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.

10. The Moving Man Method

Hit “play” to see how this powerful strategy works:

11. Submit Your Site to Blog Aggregators

Blog aggregators are sites that list quality blogs in different industries. Here’s an example (Alltop):

alltop screenshot

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
  • 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.

12. 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 an example:

twitter search

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

13. Scoop It

Scoop It is one of my absolute favorite places to build buzz and (nofollow) backlinks with a few minutes of work.

Scoop It is a site where people aggregate their favorite content around the web into a magazine format.

Here’s an example of a Scoop it page:

scoop it page

Lots of people’s personal Scoop It pages have hundreds of followers. Which means that your content will get in front of hundreds of people. More eyeballs=more links.

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:

scoop it suggest feature

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”.

14. Broken Link Building

This strategy is similar to the Moving Man Method I outlined above.

The difference is that with broken link building, you’re only looking for pages that are 404ing.

Moved businesses and companies that changed names won’t show up with this approach.

That being said, 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:

example of a resource page

Now you COULD email them and just ask for a link. But I’ve found that begging 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:

Broken Link Checker

15. Infographics

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:

Visual.ly

DailyInfoGraphic.com

AmazingInfoGraphics.com

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.

16. The Skyscraper Technique

Hit “play” to see how I used The Skyscraper Technique to boost my organic traffic by 110%:

17. Google+ Profile

Did you know that your Google+ profile allows contextual, dofollow links?

(Note, you have to be signed out of Google+ to see the link as dofollow. Weird but true).

Here’s an example:

Google Plus Profile

With enough interaction within Google+ and direct linking to your profile, you can make that a pretty powerful link.

Now It’s Your Turn

Now it’s time to actually put these powerful strategies into practice.

To make the process easy for you, I made a checklist that outlines the EXACT steps you need to take for each technique in this post.

The checklist also includes 2 bonus strategies that I didn’t include in this post.

Download the free checklist now:

Download the 17 untapped backlink sources PDF
  1. Hey Brian 🙂

    I picked up a 10 year old domain that was once a niche related directory. Not sure if it had pr before as the sites been offline for 1 year. Reason I bought it was do to it having 900 niche related backlinks since it was a reciprocal directory. Other good point is these backlinks are aged and stil on sites even with the reciprocal being down 5 years ago. Would you rebuild on this domain or 301 redirect with googles new relevance matters idea?

    thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Jon,

      That’s an awesome find! In my experience you lose some link juice with a 301.
      That’s why I’d build a new site on that domain in the same niche. That way you get 10-years of site age and tons of niche relevant aged links on day 1.

    2. Hey Jon,
      Would you let me know how you found that domain please. I’ve spent hours looking so far and haven’t come up with anything worth having that didn’t cost $thousands.

      Thanks,

      Paul.

  2. Hi Brian,
    A quick question on buying expired domains, I’m told that Google resets PR on any domain once it has expired even though you can’t see it until the next update. Is this in any way true? .. I must admit it seems too easy in my opinion, surely Google has a way of detecting this.

    1. Great question, Lewis.

      I’ve bought (and ranked) dozens of expired domains. And in my experience, the PR always sticks.

      I’ve also wondered why Google doesn’t crack down on this. And I think it’s because it’s VERY hard for them to do so. Think about it: a site with 50,000 links expires. Then it gets picked up and rebuilt. Those 50k links are still pointing to the domain. What do they do with them? Completely disregard all of them, count 50% of them…?

      It’s too much effort for something only a few people are doing. They have bigger fish (and Penguins) to fry…

      1. Do you really have to wait until the next update to see PR on expired sites? Is this the Panda and Penguin update? Also, if i use your (11. Find Expired Domains Using This Top Secret Method) is there any way to see the number of backlinks or referring domains? What tool do I use to check the quality of the backlinks?
        Thanks,
        John

        1. Yes, you have to wait until the next update (you can use Moz’s Page Authority or Domain Authority metrics in the meantime). Yes, you can use a service like ahrefs to check the number of backlinks and referring domains…the quality issue required an SEO pro to personally take a look.

          1. Hey Brian, How was your trip to Germany? And…I was looking at expireddomains.net/tools/pagerank-check/ , and it looks like they have a tool for checking PR on expired domains. Is this accurate? I’ve been finding gold nuggets using the step 11 method (edu links!) and this above mentioned tool is reporting -1 PR. Thanks.

          2. It’s going well, Mr. John. I’m actually living in Berlin now :-). That tool is as accurate as any PR checker out there (that data comes straight from Google). However, you need to keep in mind that expired domains will lose their PR if they get deindexed (which is pretty common). However, in my experience, when you relaunch the domain and it get indexed again the PR comes back.

  3. Hey Brian,

    Great info! One question regarding Technorati.com – how do you validate the code without it looking odd on your website/blog?

    Thanks.

    Sanj.

    1. Good question Sanj. I just add it to the bottom of my homepage. It looks weird for a few days but you can remove it after they approve your site.

      1. Hi Brian,
        Can we do the same with Blogarama? They also mentioned that if we give them 10 clicks, the blog approval would be faster, else it may take 90 days.
        Please confirm.

        1. Yes, Blogarama is another blog aggregator although I haven’t tried the 10 clicks thing. Might be worth it if you rather not wait 90-days.

      2. When I add my blogs to Technorati, I usually add the code to my latest post and set the font to a light gray or white so it doesn’t look so strange.

        BTW, Brian… this is an awesome post. You, Sir, have just been added to my favorites list!

  4. Awesome share. The audio sharing sites are brand new to me so much thanks for that. I’ve got a bunch of Yt videos of my niece singing but I need to extract the audio maybe using AoA audio extractor, then I’ll have a bunch of files for posting. Seems to be much easier than PAD submissions.
    You’ve got a new follower, Mr. Dean.

    1. Thanks Kenny. You’re right: PAD submissions are insanely time consuming without submission software. And I find that audio sharing sites aren’t nearly as spammed…making them more powerful. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Wow! This is so much cooler info than “build 5000 web 2.0 properties” and “blog comment” and “spin your article 50 times and submit it” linking! Thanks for sharing! You are a ninja!
    David

  6. Brian,
    I’m so glad I found your website. This is great information. I know it’s not listed on here, but what do you think about article submitting tools like UAW? Does it still work? Again, thanks for great info.

    1. Hey James,

      Thanks for your support.

      To be honest, I’m not a big fan of UAW or any other mass link building tool. Sure, it may still
      give some tier 1 links a boost. But I think your time is better spent
      building top-notch links directly to your money site. 🙂

      1. But what about the links from the audio submission sites? They don’t sound top-notch to me, but rather like something similar to the old social bookmarking technique (which I wouldn’t use as tier 1 links anymore).

        Do you recommend linking from audio submission sites as tier 1 links – or should we rather use them as tier 2 links?

        1. M, that’s a decision only you can make. In small doses there’s nothing wrong with audio sites as tier 1…assuming you already have a diverse link profile.

  7. Hey – I love this article. One thing I’ve done with a little bit of success is interview “experts” in whatever niche. In my case this is a mattress site and I sent questions to small business owners with the information I was looking for. Some were happy to help and I would send them a link to the article once it was live. I didn’t ask for a link, but in some cases they would feature the link on their own website.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jake. GREAT idea. It’s like egobait but you’re getting them to supply the content. Love it. Thanks for sharing this technique with us!

  8. This is a great article, I thoroughly enjoyed it and thanks for sharing. I followed your link through your post on LinkAssistant just to let you know.
    Definitely will be using some of the ideas shared in your post.
    thanks again.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Carl. I hope the link building strategies work well for you. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

  9. I see a lot of expired domains(still indexed by google) with PA-50+, DA-50+, over 10k backlinks. Most of the backlinks are blog comments but there is still a lot of link diversity on some domains. Price is usually from $5 to $11 + 1 year renewal $9 for a domain like this. So, about $15-$20.
    From what I see, most of them are abandoned because of low keyword diversity – Penguin.
    Let’s say I buy one domain, I put 1-2 unique articles fro my niche and place a strong backlink on the homepage for my money site.
    Is this “strategy” any good ? What is the value of a “strong domain” after is expired ?

    1. That’s a really good question, Justin. In general, I’d stay away from dropped domains that had a lot of SEO work done to them. Ideally, you want links from sites with stellar link profiles…and Penguin affected sites definitely don’t fall under that category. When I buy expired domains I try to buy domains that belonged to non-profits, bands, and defunct companies that didn’t do SEO.

      They’re usually more expensive, but the link you’ll get from a domain like that is much more powerful than a Penguin-hit site with 10k blog comment backlinks. The value of a strong domain depends on the PR, PA/DA, .edu/.gov links, domain age and the niche the old site was in. For a really solid domain expect to pay $200+ at GoDaddy Auctions. But you can sometimes find hidden gems using services like RegisterCompass.com or ExpiredDomains.net.

      Hope that helps.

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