Organizing Your Link Lists for Effective Link Building

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Sending a (good) link request via email is one of the most powerful ways to build links. My good friend and experienced link builder Melanie Nathan has put together an awesome tutorial on manual link building that covers most important link request strategies followed by killer examples.

One of the aspects Melanie mentioned and I want to stress out and discuss further is that each site that can potentially link back to you should be treated differently. I have covered the ways to find your competitors’ most juicy backlinks and now it’s time that we see how to effectively organize those links to make the most of each find.

1. Organize your link lists by the site type, e.g.:

  • weblogs;
  • small niche websites;
  • authority (.gov, .edu and .org) resources;
  • non-profit organizations.

Each of these site types that can potentially become your promoter requires special treatment and if you have them sorted out in your Excel, you save time and turn your link requesting into strategic link building. Here is the example of how your link requesting tactics might differ depending on the site type:

  • weblogs => stress why your content might be relevant for the blogger’s site/ interesting for the blog audience; offer to write a guest post or ask to share his opinion on your recent article/ tool/ product; besides, bloggers are usually social, so you can check if you share some common social media networks and can make friends there;
  • small niche websites => offer to write an interesting article close to the site topic and host it at the site (thus the website gets fresh content and you get one tiny link);
  • authority (.gov, .edu and .org) resources => offer to add your site to their “Resources” page and stress how this can be useful for their readers;
  • non-profit organizations => offer a free help or service that will be useful for them.

2. Organize your link list by the potential backlink type, e.g.:

  • in-text link;
  • link in a sidebar;
  • link on the “Resources” page; etc.

Again, depending on your initial goal, your link request strategy will be different:

  • in-text link => this usually means you are most likely to provide the content for your promoter, so this will obviously take you long – it might be wise to make no more than one or two link offers a day, so that in case the webmaster agrees, you have time to write a good article for him.
  • link in a sidebar => this usually mean you will have to offer something “in exchange” to get the webmaster interested (your product or service, a link back, a discount, etc)
  • link on the “Resources” page => this won’t take you long; all you need is to get ready properly: prepare some highly relevant articles from your site and think why they should be interesting and useful to the site’s users.

Thus as you can see, organization and categorization will help you both save your time and run the link building campaign more effectively.

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project,
Ann Smarty
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  • This is so useful and the tutorial you recommended is great.

  • This is a very inefficient approach. While it’s good for people to have some guidelines to try out when asking for links, the time they invest in these procedures would be better spent elsewhere.

    Also, people need to keep in mind that most (if not all) link research techniques and tools rely on Yahoo!’s Site Explorer — which is absolutely useless for analyzing backlinks on Google.

    Yahoo! does not know which links Google indexes.

    Yahoo! does not know which links Google counts.

    Yahoo! does not even tell you which links it counts in its own index.

    Too much emphasis on links is hurting most SEOs today.

  • Amen Michael. Rank driven link seeking can cause people to make really poor target site choices that give them a false sense of success.

  • My web site has more than 20k of links… and it’s PR has not changed… but the incoming visits are increasing… we have lot’s os new links everyday, because people are adding some in-text references in their articles and blog posts…

  • @Eric Are you suggesting that link building campaigns are not worthwhile? Obviously an understanding of what links are important is crucial to these kind of efforts, but I’m not sure what exactly you are criticizing about this strategy. Could you clarify?


  • Link building campaigns are definately worthwhile, or else I’ve just wasted 14 years of my life. What I mean is that link building performed with the sole goal of improving search rank is not the best approach.

  • haha… I see. That is a debate I often get into; the importance of obtaining links for improving rankings versus driving traffic. Could you give a rough estimate of how much of a link building campaign should be for the purpose of improving search versus driving traffic? Love to hear any thoughts you have on the matter…

  • All link building should be done with the purpose of genuine leads as oppose to traffic of course.

    Many people spending a hundred hrs a month or whatever chasing links for rankings that they dont even know anything about how that traffic will convert is wasted time.

  • Thanks for your comments guys – especially Eric, Will Michael and Paz. I have been researching about link building because I heard it was beneficial, but I didn’t know why. I will now make sure I focus on great content and being able to convert traffic.