Jujitsu Link Building

I’m just back from SMX Advanced in Seattle, which was a great conference all about search marketing.  My personal interest was the organic search tract, which covers many methods we used to build ApartmentRatings.com.  And within organic search, the main attraction was link-building especially from a PR and social media perspective. 

I picked up a number of great ideas, and here’s an easy and quick one any entrepreneur can do right now: use Google date search to find your competitors’ newest links (especially on blogs and forums), then jump in and comment.  I call this jujitsu because you use your competitor’s successful marketing efforts against them. 

The key to this strategy is finding blog and forum discussion opportunities quickly and getting involved while the topics are hot.  When you comment, always include your signature with a link back to yourself.

Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Go to Google, click Advanced Search, then in the field called “this exact word or phrase” enter a competitor’s domain name with quotes (e.g. “lawyers.com”)
  2. In the field, “Search within a site or domain:” enter “lawyers.com”.
  3. Click on the line marked “Date, usage rights, numeric range, and more” and choose “past 24 hours.” 
  4. Now click the “Advanced Search” button to search. 
  5. As a final step: in the search box, change the search from

    “lawyers.com” site:lawyers.com to
    “lawyers.com” -site:lawyers.com

    That tells Google to exclude any pages from your competitor’s own site and only shows other sites that link to your competitor.   You might also search for pages with include the word “Comment,” which is a good marker for pages that invite user comments, like this:

    “lawyers.com” -site:lawyers.com comments

Now you’re set to find some opportunities to participate in timely, relevant discussions.  This technique may also yield some reporters and webmasters who you can contact to pitch your site.


  • jeremy

    @Chris – I think Google Alerts just brings you whatever it happens to find on a given day, whereas the Advanced Search is the only place you can search based on when the page actually changed.

    So Alerts will send you really old stuff that it happens across whereas Advanced Search will show you what’s changed recently. The key is that you seem to get a lot better response when you email someone to ask for a link on a page they just touched instead of contacting them regarding some ancient page they’ve forgotten about.

  • chris finne

    Just have Google email you the query results daily…


  • This is awesome. Just tried it for my new site and hit the jackpot. It will become a part of my daily routine. Thanks!

    Damon Cali
    Your Neighbor’s Place

  • Great tips!! Does it work for barely relevant topics like me linking from this one? You actually say the word ‘organic’ more than once. Can google intepret context yet?