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How do you find sites which might link to you?

Here’s a really good idea which I got from an excellent article called the Broken Link Building Guide on SEOmoz. It’s a really good way of finding some good websites which could link to you, and simultaneously encouraging the website owner to go ahead and do just that.

I’m assuming you’ve got something on your website worth linking to. Your chances of getting links from other sites are reduced hugely if your site has nothing but your own commercial puff, as we’ve discussed before. However, if you’re offering something useful to the world, such as glossaries, calculators, directories or any of the sorts of things which web users in general like (even a good blog), then there’s every reason why people might want to highlight what you’ve got. And don’t forget, every external link helps your website in the search engines.

Firstly, let’s find those websites. What you need are sites offering lists of online resources to do with your area of interest. So, for example, let’s say your market is industrial automation. What you do is to go to Google and find sites which have “automation” in the title and “resources” in the page URL, like this:

Of course, there are many other search terms you could use, and places where you could search for them other than in the title and URL in that order. But It’s a start.

Now, I hope this exercise might have unearthed a few interesting pages which ought to be linking to you. Don’t worry if they look fairly unexciting when you visit them: the fact that Google has returned them as the top results in your search means that they’re ranked quite highly. Play around with variations on the search above (try using the word “directory” instead of “resources”, for example), and start making a few lists of potential sites. Tomorrow I’ll discuss how we might encourage the website owners to link to you.

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