Scoring Big Links From Authority Sites
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Want to rank on Google? You're going to need a lot of links. Learn how to find and build links on some of the biggest websites in the world for almost no money at all.
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- Introduction - Why do I even need links?
- Where to get links
- Do Redirects Work?
- Googles Views On Links
- Finding Domains From Authority Sites
- Step 1: Identify your authority sites
- Step 2: What domains do they link to
- Step 3: Finding available domains
- Step 4: Spam Checking
- Step 5: Buying the domain and setting up 301’s
Note: Before diving in to this article please note some of the techniques used by the author are better learned about and studied rather than done. Depending on your view point, this may be outside the boundaries of Googles Web Master Guidelines and therefore lead to the possibility of your website being penalised by Google.
Introduction - Why do I even need links?
Links have always been a large part of why sites do well in Google searches. Ever since it’s launch, Google has analysed link data to not only crawl the web but rank sites it finds within it using it’s patented “Page Rank” algorithm which assigns a score from 1 to 10 for every page on the internet based on how many websites link to that page and who links to that page.
The higher your Page Rank (PR) score the more valuable a link from your website is, this led to a lot of early SEO’s quickly abusing the system by spamming content on high PR domains to build links to their own websites. Loopholes were found on 100’s of platforms that allowed users to build high PR links, including websites owned by Google such as YouTube and Blogger.
This has led to a game of cat and mouse between Google and SEO’s. SEO’s find a way abuse the current algorithm and then Google make a change. Repeat this process a few 1000 times and you’ve landed in 2019 where SEO is far more complex than it used to be, thanks wankers.
In the era of 2011 when I first started looking at this stuff ranking in Google could be done in under a month with a $50 link package for some decent high-volume terms. If you wanted to rank for local keywords it could be done with blog commenting and social shares and little else was required.
Now you need to be far more careful. Things such as relevancy matters. Where your link is in comparison to content (footer links vs in content links) is something you need to think about. Lots of the older link building methods such as blog comment or profile links don’t seem to carry the weight they used to. You must also keep in mind how many other links are on the same page you’re building links from as well as are spammers building links from these places… It requires actual thought and understanding to properly build links.
The days of ordering a “Dr House Vs Spider Man” SEO package and ranking are long gone. The only thing likely to happen with these services is you not only kill any rankings you have now but also kill any chance of ranking in the future.
Where to get links
Because of the way the Algorithm works the best places to get links depends on your niche. The easy answer is look where your competitors are getting their links from and try and replicate what they are doing.
However, this shit isn’t always possible. If you’re trying to rank for competitive terms like in the payday loan space with no budget for outright buying links then you’re going to have a tough time competing. If you’re competitor built a PBN or has friends who write content for Forbes you’re going to have to think outside the box and this is where I am going to show you how to score valuable high PR links for very little cost.
This is a method I came across viewing a shitty SEO marketplace thread elsewhere on the internet. For the cost of $99 per link, people were selling “redirects” from huge authority sites like Forbes, Huffington Post, the BBC and many more. Doing this is nothing new, it just requires a little thought and attention.
Do Redirects Work?
Will Trump build the wall? Of course.
Recently featured on detailed.com there was a very good story about how a clever Indian child built up an Amazon niche site to $28,000/month in affiliate income with a simple variation of this exact method.
Redirects work, they are normal in SEO. They tell search engines and browsers that the page they are trying to reach has permanently moved. This is very normal for several reasons:
- The website migrated platforms and URLs changed
- The website moved to HTTPS and the URLs need updating
- The website has restructured and moved content
- The website changed domain
301 redirects happen all the time. They are perfectly natural on the web and if you look at things from Googles perspective there isn’t much, they can do about them. They are needed, they are natural and monitoring them like they do with links is a bit harder to do because the content doesn’t exist anymore, they would likely have to go to an internal archive or previous cache they have stored.
Googles videos with Matt Cutts is great for 301 redirects and explains the mechanics behind them very well.
Keep in mind what I said about relevancy earlier though, if your website is selling pet toys but you get a redirect from a page with content about mobile phones it’s not going to carry as much weight as a redirect from something animal related, but we will come to this later.
Googles Views On Links
Google are strict on links and this is why this article was pre-faced with that little warning about this is something you should learn instead of do, *wink* *wink*.
Googles webmaster guidelines state:
Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.
This can be read anyway you like, and it would seem like they include all links of any kind ever if you are only building the link to rank (which is the case most of the time). There are risks involved in this type of SEO.
However, you play the game however you like and if you get away with it then great. If you get caught you get penalised for it, it’s as simple as that. Google are undoubtedly ranking sites they know who are manipulating page rank with methods like this and most of the time they do nothing about it.
All of SEO is manipulating the algorithm… But if you’re going to run a search engine that generates 40,000 searches per second people will take advantage of anything they can.
Now we know what redirects are and the risks involved. Let’s go look for some!
Finding Domains From Authority Sites
Before we begin we are going to need some tools.
- A ahrefs.com account, you can get a trial for $7
- A way to check domain availability in bulk, I am going to use Scrapebox but you can use the namebright bulk domain tool that will let you check 5000 at a time.
The rest is all simple.
Step 1: Identify your authority sites
Throughout the tutorial I am going to be using forbes.com as my authority site, but ideally you want to look inside your niche. You want to find the leading websites in your niche, these are often your competitors.
These sites are going to likely be relevant to your content and the links they have built are going to be relevant to the niche you’re in. You’re going to be positioning yourself in the middle of a little eco-system based around your website which is exactly what you want.
You should already know who your competitors are but using ahrefs you might find some new one you’re not aware of.
Enter your websites URL in the main bar at the top and click on the “competing domains” tool.
Go through the list manually, start to build out a list of domains that you think would be good to get links from. You can then manually check these domains in ahrefs. you want to make sure that they get traffic so you know they are not penalised andthe general topic they cover is relevant to your niche.
If you’re running short of domains you can pick more “general” websites like forbes.com, running through the Majestic Million can give you some ideas of high authority sites that may have relevant content.
Step 2: What domains do they link to
The next step is finding a list of domains that your target websites from the previous step link to. Fortunately, ahrefs again has done this for us.
This will give you a complete list of the domains that forbes link to from within their articles. This saves you scraping your own, which could be done if you’re handy with Python’s BeautifulSoup.
Download the complete report from ahrefs (or as many as your account level will let you) and repeat for all the websites in your list.
You’re going to have a huge list hopefully, the more you get the better as it will give you more choices and options later.
Step 3: Finding available domains
If we’re going to be able to redirect the links on these websites to our website we are going to need to find available domains to buy.
To do this we have 3 options:
- We can manually do this with 5000 domains at a time on namebrights bulk checker
- You can uses Scrapebox’s domain checker (which I will be doing)
- You can code something, there are a few who is libraries available for Python and PHP which will do the job also.
Any of these will do it, but because I have Scrapebox and it’s just available to me I’m doing to use it.
Open your downloaded link report(s) from ahrefs. Some of these can be quite large so can take some time. Copy the “Linked Domains” column.
(Yes you can do this in Google sheets)
Now open Scrapebox (or your alternative solution), head to the right hand manu and click “Import URL List” > “Paste/Replace from clipboard”.
It should look like this.
Now head to “Grab/Check” > “Check Unregistered Domains” and press start in the new window. Let it run.
Scrapebox works by running 2 checks. First it will ping the DNS, if nothing comes back it then goes into a second queue where they check the who is database for the domain. It’s a good method to keep in mind if you ever need to program something similar yourself.
When this is done click on “Export” > “Export Available Domains”. Save the text file to a convenient location.
You can join all your files together and run them all in 1 hit but this can get messy and hard to organise. I find it’s best it’s done 1 domain at a time.
Pro Tip: Save your linking domain exports, just because a domain is not available today doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future. Repeat this regularly and you should find more and more domains.
Step 4: Spam Checking
Now we have a list of available domains we can work through it and find some good domains. Just to show you how many we found from the export of 229,000 domains on Forbes.com we have just over 1000 domains which scrapebox marked as available.
The more you filter through the domains and the more time you spend checking them, the less likely you are to raise any flags with Google.
You can just buy all these domains and 301 them to your website, that would work… but you’re making it very easy to be caught by Google or your competitors who may report you.
You want to find links from your target (in this case forbes) that are as relevant and natural as possible.
A story about the latest advancements in soccer boots with a link redirected to your soccer blog would be perfect. A story about the latest Samsung phone redirected to your soccer blog would look very suspicious.
There are also things to consider apart from relevancy, we need to make sure the link comes from an indexed part of the Forbes website. These big publications often have community areas which are not indexed by Google. This would make the link pointless.
So the first part of what I do when looking for domains like this is import 200 domains at a time into the ahrefs batch analysis tool.
Sort the DR column and look at what you have.
In my example I have not removed any domains from the Scrapebox availability report. I’ve left everything in but if you wanted to remove some domains based on TLD (such as co.jp) you can. This is usually a good idea. Domains with .gov or .edu are not possible to register so it’s a good idea to remove these too.
The domains with IP’s usually are false positives from the Scrapebox who is look up. You can ignore them or manually check their availability.
Now from the top to the bottom we are going to repeat the following process.
Pick a domain – If you see something that looks relevant to your niche and has a suitable TLD click the little arrow next to the domain.
From this handy little window we have access to everything we need. Right click on “View on Archive.org” and open the link in a new tab. This will save you flicking back and forward.
We want to see a clean history for the website. Seeing a punch of spam topics (like porn, pills, weight loss/shitty affiliate sites) is not good. The domain has likely been burned and it’s not safe to use, you’re likely going to be 301’ing a penalty right to your site.
Another thing you’re likely to see is Asian writing, this again means the domain is a no go.
When you find a domain that passes this check with no history of spam on any of the Archive.org caches, move to the next part.
Next check the backlink profile graphs of the domain, we want something that looks natural with slow growth over time, we want to avoid domains that had link packages thrown at them. But keep in mind it’s possible the website got 1 link from a high-profile site and was syndicated on many others or went viral and picked up links. Use your brain.
Something like this is good.
Something like this should make you raise your eyebrows.
Next up we are going to check the referring domains. The thing we want to check for here is spam domains. These are obviously best avoided, have a flick through the referring domains tab and check out some of the sites. If nothing looks shockingly bad do the same for backlinks.
Here we want to avoid 301’s, which sound strange, but we don’t want to chain together 301’s from other sites. This is a signal to Google that something is fishy (see the Matt Cutts video above) and it also means you’re depending on a third-party site to stay live for your page rank to continue to flow. That’s pointless.
We also want to check the links are good links, sidebar/footer/blog comment links are all kind of shit, in content links are much more powerful so we want to try to stick to these.
Now we need to check the content from our target site (Forbes) is indexed in Google. Open the link to the content page from the target site and in the URL bar, at the front use the “inurl:” operator.
If you see this then the piece of content on the target site is not indexed in Google, therefore your link won’t be indexed either.
Finally, we want to check relevancy. With the target site content loaded read it. Is it relevant to the website you want to rank? Does the content contain the keywords you want to rank for?
Once all this is done and you have some domains you want to register, it’s time to buy them.
Step 5: Buying the domain and setting up 301’s
If you’re buying multiple domains, you should get them from different registrars. We are going to be using the registrars to forward the domain from. Buying them all from one company will mean they all have the same IP and nameservers which may flag a manual review from Google.
I won’t tell you how to buy a domain, but for the example I have picked up a domain in Namecheap, other registrars will have similar layouts and features. Just consult their support docs and check they allow this before you buy.
We now need to find the URL that the target domain linked to for the redirect, just load this up in ahrefs.
Within Namecheaps domain management page you can see a redirect area, it’s very simple to use. We are simply going to add the subdomain we want to redirect (just a domain in this case), and then the URL you want to redirect to on the right.
(Apologies for hiding URL’s, but you don’t need to see them)
You’re all done. Do this in scale you’re going to have some pretty sweet rankings, apparently.
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Some other content you may like:
thanks but this requires work. ill just order another Dragonball Z 42 Phase Dick Cheese Cleaning link package
Small follow on post:
For those working in small niches or targetting sites that ahrefs has not crawled (very common for non-English domains) then there is this trick with Screaming Frog.
Both of these guides work well together, it's worth reading both. Screaming Frog is also free to a point, which is nice.
"THAT DOG IS GETTING RAPED" - Terry A. Davis
One of my recent favorite strategies is HARO. You can very easily get high authority backlinks via this strategy.
Here are some blogs from industry leaders.
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