Links and resources pages are one of the oldest uses for the web – and an excellent link opportunity. Adding to our last post on better guest posting, today’s post will focus on improving your techniques for getting links on links and resource pages.

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Why Get Links on Resource Pages?

Although deeply out of fashion, these links can be excellent for search engine optimization authority building.  They typically don’t send much traffic, but they have many benefits:

  • They Often Lead to More Links

Bloggers who make lists often draw from these pages in making new lists, meaning they’re “links that build links”. I’ve found that the appearance of a site in a list on Quora (or other Q&A sites) will often lead to more links on other sites down the road.  

  • They’re Often Linked to From the Top Level, Flowing Lots of PageRank

Many of these ‘Links’ or ‘Resources’ pages are in the top-level navigation of sites, and will stay ‘high’ in the site structure – as opposed to blog posts, which get buried over time.  While the value of traditional (as defined in the 1998 paper) PageRank is debatable, links from these pages flow a great deal of it.  

  • They Can Lead to Category Page and Other ‘Deep’ Links

You can often get links to category pages, individual resource pages, and other ‘deeper’ pages from links and resource pages, instead of just home page links.  If you are working with larger sites (especially ecommerce sites), links to these category level pages can be pivotal in ranking the lowest level pages – like product pages.  

  • Some of These Are Really Excellent Links

Some of these links are really excellent – like this page on the FuelEconomy.gov site.  Many of these pages are maintained by government or university organizations, and other high authority organizations.

  • They’re Easy to Find

 These pages tend to be easy to find through either co-citation analysis or prospecting queries, which are relatively easy and scalable.

How to Source Resource and Links Pages

Let’s take a look at two methods of finding these pages:

Co-Citation Analysis

Co-citation analysis is the fine art of analyzing links in common between competitor sites to find new link opportunities.

Basically the process looks like:

  1. Get the backlinks from several competitor sites, or simply sites in the same space from your favorite backlink database
  2. Use some Excel or SQL magic to merge these databases and find pages that link to multiple sites
  3. Go through the pages with common links, and look for good opportunities

The key here is to find actively maintained pages – often news articles and the like will link to multiple competitors, but you won’t be able to get a link added to the page.  This is also a good way to find resource pages.

If you’re not a spreadsheet junkie (and who could blame you), SEOmoz has a ‘Competitive Link Finder‘ tool that works well – especially with BuzzStream.

Prospecting Queries

Prospecting queries are a favorite tool of link builders everywhere.  They use the advanced operators in Google along with, in Garrett French’s words, Market Defining Keywords, to source opportunities by vertical and type.

Queries like: 

  • MDKW inurl:links
  • MDKW inurl:resources
  • “useful links” MDKW
  • “helpful links” MDKW
  • MDKW intitle:”other resources”

Are great at finding resource and links pages.

How to Pitch for Resource Page Links

Now that you’ve found an appropriate page, it’s time to track down the curator and pitch them on your content.

  •  Remember People Curate Pages, Not Info@

In your search for contact information, it will usually be easy to find an “info@” or “contact@” email address.  While these can work (and I have seen these get links on high authority sites, like the above-mentioned fueleconomy.gov), they’re suboptimal.

If you can, track down the person who’s responsible for maintaining the website and the resources on it.  At libraries and government sites, this is often a Web Librarian or Content Manager.  Use the staff directory (very common for public organizations) or LinkedIn to find the person in charge, and reach out to them directly.

  • Understand the Purpose of the Page

Every page has a purpose.  Sometimes the page exists to provide a comprehensive resource to library patrons.  In that case, you want to pitch based on the authority of your resource and expert commentary it provides. 

By contrast, if a page exists to provide readers useful tools, let the curator know how useful your tool is – how many people have used it, and the high quality of its results.  

Align your persuasive triggers to the purpose of the page, and you’ll have a strong pitch.

  • Follow Up

These curators get besieged daily with emails asking for links – and most of the emails (and the resources they’re pitching) are bad.  You may have to try back a few times to get the link – or even go ahead and give the curator a call.

Always check to make sure they haven’t added the link before you follow up – often these curators will add your link without telling you, and then you’ll find yourself with a very awkward conversation.  (Shameless plug – BuzzStream does this for you through its link monitoring system.)

And that’s how you can better get links on resource pages.  What tips and tricks do you use to get these great links?

(Opening Photo Courtesy Paul_Lowry under Creative Commons)

 

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mattgratt

Matt works on customer acquisition at BuzzStream. Before BuzzStream, he worked as an SEO Strategist at Portent and a Marketing Manager at AppCentral (acquired by Good Technology). You can follow Matt on Twitter or Google Plus.

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