How to Get High Quality Backlinks (Without Guest Posting)

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Step 3: Give them a heads up about their outdated link.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Step #1: Find Outdated Resources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?

A while back SEOMoz changed their name to Moz (and moved their site from to


After I heard the news, I realized that this was a PERFECT opportunity to reach out to the hundreds of people still linking to the old 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 link, it shows up as working:

Links to SEOMoz.orgSure, that link IS technically working (because it redirects to

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 last year.

Even though their site doesn’t have any content (except a “for sale” page):


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 3 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 the press release portal, PRWeb (many 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

Backlink from 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
  • 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 but there are lots of SEO tools that you can use to do the same thing):

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
  1. Shekhar,
    Can I suggest using outsourcing for this if you don’t have time? The content that you are hoping to have linked to has to be top notch, so I don’t suggest outsourcing that… but the outreach can all be done via a virtual assistant. If you don’t have a va, get one. Or pay someone to use theirs!

    Brian, always awesome content and names for your strategies!! Keep it up!

    1. That’s a really good suggestion. I agree: everything but the content could be (easily and cheaply) outsourced.

      Glad you liked the post, Adam 🙂

      1. I’d use these search strings, Josh:

        “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”

        1. Hey Brian I really like this post and I m interested in using this form of backlinking but I’m having trouble finding any outdated pages within my niche. If you could help me out I would appreciate it. Thanks and have a good day!

  2. Interesting post Brian, and a reason why some of my expired domains are losing a few links 😉

    I always found broken link building to be quite laborious and tedious as compared to other methods – such as guest posting and infographics… which of course, if done correctly, bring a lot more value than just a link.

    I’ve seen you use all three – how would you rank them (1, 2, 3) and why?

    1. Tough question. If I had to rank them I’d also take into account the other benefits they can bring (namely, traffic and brand exposure).

      So I’d say: infographics, broken link building and guest posting in that order. But it’s a close race.

      I’d put guest posting higher (because you can get laser targeted traffic from it), but you have to do it right to make sure those links pass value over the long-term.

  3. As usual a great method. The only problem is that there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to try out all these tactics! I wish I had a team member to assign to each method you post lol.

    1. Thanks for reading, Julian. As Adam Roseland pointed out, this is a great strategy for outsourcing to a VA. You could have him search daily or weekly for the search strings I provided in Google News or PRWeb, find the links pointing to the old resource and then reach out. It will definitely take some time to show him the ropes, but if you’re strapped for time, it’s a way to tap into the strategy without having to find extra time in the day.

  4. Impressive indeed. Thanks for sharing this Brian. Sure, it may require time being spent finding and getting the link placed but these are exactly the types of links that the big G are looking for in a sites link profile.

    These links will be much loved by Google as they are links that the site owner; A) Didn’t mass produce and B) Didn’t create themselves. On top of that the site linking to your site is relevant AND trusted.

    Yep, these are the links that will make a difference to your sites ranking. For this reason they are worth spending the time doing or paying your outsourcer to do for you.

    Either way, this is a winner.

    1. Couldn’t have said it better, Michael. These are the exact types of links that work right now (and will always work). So like you, I see strategies like this well worth the investment.

        1. It definitely takes some work to find a relevant and outdated resource, Henry. But it’s something you can easily outsource 🙂

  5. I just love your tips Brian. Thank you for making it so easy to understand and I love the step by step. I work along as I read and just see for myself how easy it can be by following your SEO “recipes”. 😀

    1. Thanks! I work hard to make the strategies simple and easy to follow. As a passionate cook, I love the “recipe” analogy.

      Go cook up those delicious links, Crystal 🙂

  6. hey brian, It seems to me like in order to get those quality high authority links from these sites based on the moving man method, i’d need to have written some very very very good content then being able to share them with these sites…i like the approach, it forces to create amazing content, then networking to share them and getting links…nice job

    1. That’s very true. Great content can really bump up conversions with this strategy (or any link building technique that required email outreach). Good points, Rob!

  7. Great post Brian! Just a quick question, this method uses your ‘heads-up’ email technique. What sort of conversion or response can one expect to get? Keep up the excellent work! Looking forward to more gems from you 🙂

    1. Thanks Dee! I didn’t track conversions on this particular campaign, but I’d say it was around 10%. I’ll definitely keep track the next time I try this strategy and post it here.

    1. Thanks Takeshi! I actually discovered this by accident. I used to manually click on all working links on high PR pages to see if there were any outdated pages that the broken link checkers missed.

      And I thought to myself: “there has to be a way to scale this.” Tthen I realized that most big sites publicly announce that they’ve changed names.

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