Real Guide to Getting Links and Traffic from Trending Topics

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Taking advantage of trending topics is a tremendous opportunity to net more links and more traffic for your site while using a relatively small amount of resources. The beauty of promoting trending content is that you can ride the wave to additional free links beyond your initial promotional push. Who can argue with letting the masses do some of the work for you?

So, what’s involved?

Watching Your Space

Below this post, I’ve listed lots of trending tools I use to keep on top of things – fresh from my own bookmarks. Do your homework, watch the ebb and flow of news, and look for a story or issue that’s suddenly spiking and is generally topically relevant to your space. If you’re in the business-to-business (b2b) space, you’ll have to be a little forgiving here and think more in terms of topic instead of specific industry.

Choosing the Topic

Be a critical thinker when choosing your topic to build links with this trending method. You want to spot matter that’s already trending or that’s just starting to build a buzz. Keep your eyes peeled for subjects that people will be blogging about and have opinions on. Often times, there’s some trial and error involved, but the principle is simple: what is generating talk? If you’re a bean counter, you can create all kinds of metrics to gauge the ‘trendability’ of potential topics. Monitor tweet numbers, look for spikes in Google trends, see if traditional media is picking up on it, or you can use a combination of many factors.

Writing the Copy That People Will Link To

For this method, use only high quality content – seriously don’t skimp here. Low quality content on even the most wildly viral topic will not get links. I have one guiding tip for people looking to create with super trending content: what would a comprehensive guide to your chosen issue look like? Some traditional copywriting models you can refer to is a timeline of the issue, background to how the issue started, and creating an issue profile outlining different perspectives on the topic at hand. These are just suggestions; the key is to create the best possible piece of content to fit the issue that people will link to.

Adding an SEO Layer to Your Content

People will link to this type of content in one of two ways: they’ll either link with the page title of the content or with your domain name. Leverage this by sneaking in a couple of words you’re targeting in the title of the content. As a hypothetical example, say you’re in the real estate industry and you’re looking at house fires as a prospect for trending content development. Include the word “real estate” in the <title> tag, try to sneak the word “estate” somewhere in the article title, and also sneak the words “real estate” somewhere in the body of your article.

Promote, Promote, Promote

There are many ways to promote high quality content on the web. Do everything you can to reach out to people discussing your trending topic, and try to get a link on their existing content. This is seemingly the hard part of reaping the benefits of trending links, but you don’t need to do too much. You just need to get a couple of good links, enough so that your page is found by Google and starts to rank. If the page is actually good, once it gets the initial rankings it’ll start to pick up links on its own, without prolonged effort by you.

Rinse and Repeat

Some of your efforts may be more successful than others, but you should yield at least a couple of good high quality links from the lion’s share of your attempts. A bonus to this method is that it’s completely within Google’s webmaster guidelines.

Sharing My Trending Tool Stash

There are so many great trending tools out there that I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you.

  • Google Trends
    Google Trends only shows numbers across the years, but it’s a decent visual tool. I wouldn’t call it the root of all trending truth in the world, but it’s good as a secondary tool. I recommend using Google Trends when you want to examine spikes in popularity.
  • SEOMoz Popular Pages
    This has a super huge list of popular keywords, it’s downloadable and good place to get inspired. It’s also just plain fun to explore for popular keywords.
  • News Timeline
    This is the cooooolest thing ever! This is great if you’re doing social media engagement and content writing for link development. News Timeline is a must have tool in your arsenal if you’re looking for news related items. It organizes information into a nice, neat, beautiful calendar, and it’s even searchable, showing you the whole week of the issue you’re researching. You can sort by the day, year, month or decade…..soooo cool! Please, PLEASE go to the url and type something in! How I use it: I type in some of my favorite keywords and go to town. I want to tell you exactly how to build links with this, but you gotta buy me a drink first πŸ˜‰
  • Google Insights
    I like this tool better than Google Trends because it shows you the top rising searches for whatever keyword you input, which Trends doesn’t. You can also see rising searches per keyword, and you can filter your results by region and timeline. Even though Google Insights won’t give you numbers, you can compare timelines to see if there’s that sudden increase in traffic.
  • Google Hot Trends
    How convenient – Hot Trends even has an igoogle gadget when you click on a hot search, which is kind of cool. This is too rarified for my tastes, but it’s fun to click around on. You can find a couple of trending content idea jewels using Hot Trends.
  • Trendistic
    Trendistic is one of those awesome Twitter trending tools. Pop in a keyword and Trendistic shows you trending data for 24 hours, 7 days, or 30 days.
  • Blog Pulse Trend Search
    With this tool, you can compare multiple phrases and specify date ranges of 2 months, 3 months, and 6 months. You can also drill down into the graphed data and see numbers, which is novel as far as trending tools are concerned, believe it or not.
  • wikipedia trends
    This tool shows you what is trending on wikipedia. Great for trusted content ideas.
  • Trendsmap
    Really cool Twitter cloud of what people are talking about most.
  • Ebay Pulse
    I included this just for fun. This tool shows you what’s the most popular stuff on ebay.

Additional Resources

Do You Blog On Trending Topics? Do it Right to Get Noticed and Ranked, By Ann Smarty
Ann explains the importance of blogging on trending topics to maintain readers and attract new ones and provides great tips for content creating for trending topics.

How a 3 Month Old Website Received 958,373 Visits from Google, By Glenn Allsopp
Glenn shares his success with taking advantage of trending traffic.

SEO and Trending Topics: How You Can Use Trending Topics to Get More Visitors, By Bjorn Uhss
Bjorn shares a cool Slide Share with great suggestions for identifying good trending topics.


Bonnie Stefanic
Bonnie Stefanick | Internet Marketing Β  Bonnie Stefanick, Senior SEO Analyst and Web Devleopment Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, formerly We Build Pages. Internet Marketing... Read Full Bio
Bonnie Stefanic
Bonnie Stefanic

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  • Al Sefati

    nice post but I wish it was really that easy. I read a lot of good posts that are “promoted promoted and promoted” but I never link to them.

    Link building is about “who you know” first who you know first before what you write. If you have a good connection and network of websites and bloggers you know, if you are part of an “inner circle” as they say it, then
    your content will get a link as long as it has a decent quality.

    • Bonnie Stefanic

      Hey Al – It is never ‘that easy’. It is something that definitely has a learning curve but it is definitely doable. The key thing is to get out there and try something. Creating great content that adds something to a trending conversation is no small task. Not every attempt with be successful but for those that are successful yield high returns, in terms of not just link equity but also branding. Regarding your point about “who you know”, I think that there is a slightly more complex dynamic there. Every website owner starts at ‘0’ and builds their brand up (links, citations, social, etc). I think that authentic engagement with the community in your space facilitates that and eventually, yes, you build a network of people that are happy to share your great content. The key is to start building relationships and not just links. That may mean social and it may mean engagement via genuine conversation to the existing dialogues in your space. Say, to your example, the person you’re trying to share your trending content to for links and visibility is an authoritative blogger. Why not leave them a high quality comment, on their relevant post you’re trying to get a link from, that’s intelligent and adds to their dialogue and *then* reach out to share your content. That way you’re showing that you are genuinely interested in what they’re writing about and that you’re sharing more good content with them that may benefit them and add value to their post. Sure, it’s link development but more importantly, it is relationship building toward building a network of people who are happy to promote your content in search and social in the future.

  • Louis

    I usually include search terms on my blog to narrow the topics out there. They’re so many! And some of them will disappear before the article is finished.

  • Nick Stamoulis

    I’m glad you mentioned the importance of promotion. Too many site owners still operate under the “If you build it, they will come” model. The truth is that if you aren’t working to get your content seen, read and shared it will never be as successful as it could be.

    • Bonnie Stefanic

      Hey Nick – Absolutely, promotion is super important! Beyond even just that, methodology used to promote content is also important. If you’re building links for trending topics, the target market are online sources that cover news on that topic your wrote about. It is key that when reaching out to these sources to promote your content as an additional resource for them, that your messaging to them is tailored to them and not just some canned stuff Link building is a process an especially regarding link building for trending topics , it is clutch to give at least *some* attention to detail from concept and content, to promotion. Skimping on any of these aspects only hurts and never helps.

  • ZippyCart

    Good tips here, I especially agree with the value of good copy. If I click on a link and it leads me to a terribly written article then I’ll just stop reading after a few lines, but a good article will keep me coming back for more.

  • adumpaul

    Nice totorial.Its really help to create traffic.

  • BinarySemantics

    Great tips bonnie! I really prefer to follow above trending tools stash for content sharing and promotion. This will help me for gaining good content links, ideas and gain good amount of traffic too. Thanks.

  • one cool seo

    All these are really awesome tools for SEO .

    Thanks for Great tips

  • BuzzQuotient

    Trending topics are really important to drive good traffic. Building good content around trending topic is an added advantage as it helps to generate interest among user and helps in getting link and traffic to website. Trending topics are most sought by the user. So building good links around trending topic helps improve PR and backlinks as well.

  • Georgiy

    Great article!
    It would be great if anyone could provide specific case studies on how they use hot topics.

    • Bonnie Stefanic

      Good thought Georgiy, I’ll keep it in mind for a future post πŸ™‚

  • Roddy Jones

    I like the article, but is there a way to take advantage of trending topics if your promoting an e-commerce store (vs. a blog or information based website)? If you are selling shoes, or sofas, etc…how do you take advantage?

  • Patricia

    Great article, it really gives some insight about how building a website is not the only thing you have to do nowadays, but you have to keep it updated and promote as much as possible.

  • Drewry

    I absolutely love this post about search engine optimization and getting quality links, as it gives me a lot to think about, in my content strategizing efforts. I’m always looking for new and honest ways to effectively promote my site content to the masses online, while building meaningful relationships with others πŸ™‚

  • Mohit Kukreja

    Totally agree. Promotion is the only key to get more traffic and when you have tools like social media platforms to spread word of mouth and virals then why wait for search engines to index your content and send traffic only for the specific search terms.