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How to Get Backlinks: 7 Tactics That Don't Require New Content

Link building is not witchcraft. There is no such thing as a secret club where only a select few learn how to build links. Anyone can do it.

The basic process is as follows:

  1. Create something worthy of a link.
  2. Find people who may be interested in linking with you.
  3. Convince these people to do just that.

The problem with that? Step # 1 already requires a lot of time, experience, and knowledge of your industry.

But there is one thing to know:

Most of the companies, products and services are already worth to get links.

You don't have to spend countless hours creating an interactive-egg-laying-woolen sheep infographic to get backlinks. You can build links with the content you already have on your website and that helps the process considerably accelerate.

Do you want the proof? Here is a link to without creating any new content:

In this post you will learn seven Link building tactics that you can use without creating any new content.

1. Piggyback on competitor resource pages

This is what a resource page looks like:

Example of a “resource page”. Note that this once useful page no longer exists.

You will see that the page shows "Resources" and links to them.

Getting links from such sites is one of the oldest link building tactics. However, you can't get links there unless you have at least one great resource to offer, right? Right.

An important point here is that we're not necessarily talking about long blog posts or interactive infographics in this context, but rather about resources.

Your whole company is a resource.

To clarify what I mean by this, let's take a closer look at the resources page above.

You will find that there can be a variety of useful company pages such as print shops, illustrators, etc. This is because they all offer products or services that are useful to designers.

SEO professionals use the following process to track down such pages:

  1. Use Google's search operators to find niche-related resources (e.g.,)
  2. Save the contents (“scrape”) ..
  3. Try your luck with the wage-earners.

This approach works. However, there are two problems:

Problem # 1: “Scraping” Google is time consuming and requires a certain amount of skill. You have to use dozens or hundreds of search operators to merge results, which you then copy into Excel or Google Sheets. It can take hours.

Problem # 2:You almost always have a ton of irrelevant or junk pages, for example with links to internal resources like this one:

These are of no use. So what's the solution?

Piggyback on your competitors' links pages. In other words, find the links to the resource pages that your direct competitors have and replicate them.

Suppose we want links too build up. A competitor could be.

Paste this domain into Ahrefs Site Explorer. Then navigate to the Backlinks report and add a “dofollow” filter.

Site Explorer > enter the competing domain> backlinks> add “dofollow” filter

Don't know who your competitors are?

use this Competing domains Report in Site Explorer for an idea of ​​who your competitors might be.

Type "resources" into the search box and your result will look something like this:

Most of the results are resource pages that the competitor receives links from. So we can assume that they are relevant landing pages.

But don't stop there.

If you find a resource page that a competitor has a backlink from, check to see if there are any other backlinks to competitors on the page. If so, paste them into Site Explorer as well. Look for the corresponding resource pages for these as well.

Then contact the website operator and ask that your company is also listed there.

But don't just ask. Give them a compelling reason to include your side.

Here are some possible reasons:

  • Better than the competitor who is also listed on the page;
  • Local / family run business (many people are happy to support local businesses);
  • You specialize in a certain area (e.g. you specialize in poster printing while your competitor prints all sorts of things).
  • New or alternative option to a competing product or service.

Not sure how to get these people's email addresses or how to contact them? Read this and that.

Learn more about resource page link building in this video.

2. Links from companies you already work with

Take a look at this page:

This is from a vegetarian snack brand. All specialist dealers are listed and linked there. These “supplier” pages are more common. So if you have third party products in stock or sell, linking them would make a lot of sense.

But what if you don't carry or sell any other brand's products?

Easy. Look for similar pages from your "suppliers" and see if they in turn list their customers. Like this page here:

... or this page, which publishes the experiences of a customer ...

I'm not necessarily thinking of raw material suppliers here, but rather of companies that are associated with you, such as accountants, financial advisors, printers or graphic designers, etc.

So what's the process for getting links from these people?

So how do we come to get backlinks from these people?

To start you need two Lists:

  1. Brands You Sell (When Available)
  2. Your suppliers, i.e. the companies, services, products that you use.

This is what it would look like for a hypothetical café:

You then have to edit each of these lists independently.

Search for wholesalers individually in Google with the following search command: (or English)

When you find a relevant page, the result looks something like this:

You can also use the system for companies, services and products, but with other operators:

Here is an example of a relevant search result:

You can then contact the company and ask to be listed on these pages as well.

Can't find any pages from the companies you work with? Look for references with (or in English). If you get a result on this, get in touch with the company and send your review.

Here's one that Tim sent to Canny. Canny is the customer feedback app we use and love:

There isn't just a link to it, but rather set up a separate page for us. Our reference is also very detailed, which brings me to another point:

You should never make up references. It's immoral and shady.

You should only provide a reference company if you really love what they do.

3. “Unlinked Mentions” to links

Sometimes it happens that your company is mentioned but not linked.

In fact, this happens more often than you think.

Here is an example:

And here is another one:

But this doesn't only happen to large companies like Ahrefs.

Below is an unlinked mention of a small coffee house in Toronto, Canada:

The blogger mentions Dineen Coffee without a link.

Disappointing? Definitely. Such unrelated mentions are one of the best ways to get links.

Simply because these people are already fans of your company. They know what you are doing and they like what you are doing. You have even been mentioned. So getting a link should be very easy.

All you have to do is contact the site owner or the editorial team and politely ask them to “make the mention clickable”.

The question is, how do you find unlinked mentions?

One possibility is the Google search, e.g. for:. That should bring up the most mentions of your brand by now.

You can manually browse the results and look for unlinked mentions.

View the source code for each page by pressing CMD + F - CTRL + F on Windows - and search If the search does not return any results, it is an unlinked mention.

The only problem here is that this process is very time consuming. So here's a faster way:

Content Explorer > look for your brand name

Think of Content Explorer as a mini search engine. It searches a database of over a billion web pages for mentions of a keyword or phrase; in this case your brand name.

Next, these pages are searched for unlinked mentions.

The process can be automated by exporting the entire report from the Content Explorer and using the custom search function in the Screaming Frog to check whether every page is linked to yours. You can find out how to do that in this video (or our full guide on unlinked mentions):

If we are already concentrating on efficiency and speed, you can use the “Highlight unlinked domains” function in the Content Explorer. This highlights websites that have never been linked to you.

Danger! It is searched at the domain level and not at the website level. That means not every side is highlighted that is not linked.

There are two reasons why this still works very well:

  1. It's fast. There's no need to export the report and then use third-party tools to collect the data.
  2. It prioritizes the best linking options. Links from new referring pages (i.e., websites that are not yet linked to you) are generally considered more valuable than additional links from pages that are already linked to you. And you can see that in the Content Explorer.

Then export the pages.

Export> Full export> Click the checkbox “Only highlighted unlinked domains”

Now you have an unlinked mentions file.

Find the operator's email address and ask for a link to their website.

Here is an outreach email that we have used very successfully in the past ...

... and here is an answer to this mail:

IMPORTANT.Do not copy outreach emails word for word. Adapt the text to the respective circumstances.

That brings me to an interesting point:

In addition to checking for unlinked mentions of your brand name, you should also look for unlinked mentions of:

  • Your branded products (e.g., iPhone, Apple Watch, iMac, etc.)
  • Company employees (e.g., Tim Cook, Jony Ive, etc.)
  • Other points that are related to your company (e.g., events that you are a sponsor or namesake, such as the WWDC)

Also learn:A Simple Guide to Turning (Unlinked) Brand Mentions into Links

4. Links in relevant top 10 lists (x in y - lists)

Here is one of the posts from Content Explorer by using the previous tactic:

Dineen Coffee is already mentioned in this post. But the following does not happen here:

Or this:

What do i do with it?

The best x in y - Lists exist for all types of businesses in all possible locations. Similar lists are guaranteed to exist in your niche or in your area.

So if you're not already listed, why not try and see if you get added?

That is why it makes sense:

  1. They already know they are interested in what your company is doing. A blog post was even written about it.
  2. They know that they either know nothing about your business or have forgotten about it while you wrote this article.

This is what makes it easy to ask for admission.

So go on google and search for something like:

That takes you straight to the “best x” articles you have left Not mention.

These are the results for:

Take a look at the relevant results and make sure that you are not already listed in them. Contact the appropriate people.

Use Ahrefs ’SEO Toolbar to export all Google search results to a CSV file with one click.

This also downloads Ahrefs SEO metrics (e.g. domain ratings, URL ratings, traffic) at domain and URL level. That makes it easy to sort and prioritize the prospects. I usually sort by UR or the page level traffic metric from high to low. You can also look at Domain Rating (DR).

Here is an excellent option I found for Dineen Coffee in ~ 30 seconds:

You can see that this page lists 23 coffee shops, none of which are Dineen Coffee.

In addition, the Ahrefs ’SEO Toolbar reports that this page is in a DR56 domain and that the URL has at least organic traffic. Perfect.

Here's the real icing on the cake: the list was recently updated. That's at the bottom of the page. And it even tells us who is responsible for updating it.

Bingo! Now we can reach them.

Another trick is to look for websites that competing companies have reviewed.

You can use this search operator for this:

Or you can copy the competitor's domain and paste it into Ahrefs ’Site Explorer. in the Backlinks You can then search for reviews in the report.

The thought here is, once they've reviewed a similar company, they may be interested in your business too. Or at least to test your products or services.

5. Look for sites that have multiple competitors listed, but not you

Check out this post:

This is all about the cheapest 2018 email marketing services.

Now I know from experience that MailChimp is a fairly inexpensive email marketing service. However, MailChimp is not mentioned in this post. MoonMail or MailerLite are also absent from this post - two free email marketing tools.

If you come across websites that mention multiple competitors (but not you), it can make sense to introduce them to your brand. This way, you can even convince them to add your business to this page.

How do you find relevant pages?

First, make a list of the 3-5 biggest competitors.

This is what it could look like for an email marketing service:

  1. ActiveCampaign
  2. ConvertKit
  3. Drip
  4. Aweber

Now enter the following in Google:

You should see something like this:

There are tons of sites that mention ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit, however Not MailChimp.

You will then need to export the search results to CSV. You can do this using the Ahrefs ’SEO Toolbar.

This way the results will be downloaded along with Ahrefs SEO metrics like organic traffic, UR etc. You can then easily sort and filter on these metrics to prioritize the best link opportunities.

However, the downside to using Google is that you can only export a hundred results at a time.

Another alternative is to use the Ahrefs Content Explorer instead. Just search for:

You should see something like this:

Here, 90 websites mention ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit, but Not MailChimp.

You can sort and filter the results in the Content Explorer without exporting them.

Whichever tool you use, the last thing you need to do is sift through the results. Try to understand why you mentioned your competitor, but not you. This is usually due to the following reasons:

  1. They don't know your company or your brand.
  2. You prefer your competitors' products or services.
  3. They list companies that do what you do (but don't mention your business).
  4. They relate to something your competitor has done (e.g. news, linkbait, etc.)

Since this guide is focused on building backlinks quickly, be sure to look for articles where your business can be added quickly and easily, such as: B. According to relevant lists ...

... and guides:

You can then contact a similar email:

"Hey [NAME],

Josh here from Ahrefs.

Is there a reason you mention both [Competitor 1] and [Competitor 2] in your [insert topic here] but not [your company]?

Only from curiosity.:) Whatever the reason, I'm even happy that you didn't list us because now I have the opportunity to tell you about our fantastic product / brand / company that I think you will love be because it [why is it good?].

Is there any chance that you could add us to this post?

Best wishes,

Josh ”

Do not copy this e-mail word for word. It's too easy. Always add your own special note to your outgoing e-mails.

6. Get forum links (yes, really)

This is what a forum link looks like:

These are easy to come by. You register for a forum, find relevant topics and leave a valuable comment on the topic. It is similar with Q&A sites like Quora.

The problem? These are almost always “nofollow” links that fail the PageRank.

Let me introduce a quick trick:

Site Explorer > enter a competing domain> backlinks> filter for “dofollow” links> filter for links from “message boards”

This will show you all of your competitors' “dofollow” links from forums.

Register in the same forums. Find a relevant thread. Leave a valuable comment.

Two important things to keep in mind:

  1. Such links are rare and far apart:Most forums "nofollow" all of their links by default. Your competitors may not have many of these links for you to replicate.
  2. Such links are often spammy: Be very careful with it. Do not replicate each one without careful review. If the forum or thread looks spammy (which is a common occurrence), forget about it.

Still, toss enough competitors into Site Explorer, and you should end up with at least a handful of easily replicable links that you can create today. But what about once you've exhausted these options?

I'm afraid it's all about nofollowing again.

Contrary to popular belief, such links are not bad. If you want backlinks fast, don't neglect them.

But here's the thing:

It takes roughly the same amount of time to leave a thoughtful comment on each relevant thread. So why not set priorities that generate a lot of traffic?

This is not only useful for business (more attention = more business), but also from a link building perspective, because what catches your eye more often often leads to more connections.

Think of it this way:

If a website has no visitors per month: Nobody can link to you. Nobody knows your site exists.

If a website has 1,000 visitors per month: Possibly 10 of these people have websites and link to you.

If a website receives 100,000 visitors per month: Even if only 0.1% of those people link to you, that's 100 new backlinks per month.

By posting in relevant forum threads with decent traffic introduces your company to other users who may have the opportunity to link to you. For example, this applies to blogs that use “nofollow” for their links.

How do you find relevant forum threads with traffic?

Use this Google search operator to find relevant Quora threads ...

... then download the results with the Ahrefs ’SEO toolbar or the Scraper Chrome extension.

NOTE. Here is the XPath syntax when using scraper:

If you've used the Ahrefs ’SEO Toolbar to compile results, the resulting CSV file will contain estimated metrics on organic traffic for each page. Sort this column in descending order according to the most frequently visited pages.

That's working. However, it is not particularly efficient, especially if the forum you are interested in is large. There will be thousands of search results and it will be impossible to cover them all.

So here's another method:

Include a relevant forum (e.g. Quora) in Ahrefs ’Site Explorer. Go to Top Pages- Report. Find a keyword for your niche.

You will then see all relevant pages sorted by their estimated monthly organic search from (low to high). Search this. Engage in relevant threads. Include your link (if relevant - don't force it!).

If you do, you are guaranteed to get some quick backlinks.

You can also use this process to find good blog commenting opportunities.

Just enter a relevant blog in Site Explorer and go to the Top Pages Report on. Look for relevant, high-traffic pages.

If they allow comments, join the conversation.

7. Steal links from less-earned content (and businesses)

Have you heard of the “skyscraper” technique?

This includes this technique:

  1. Find relevant content with tons of backlinks;
  2. Create something better;
  3. Ask those who link to the now inferior content to link to you instead.

Makes sense. However, there is a big problem here:

Creating industry-leading 10X content takes a long time.

That makes it pretty useless when you have less time and resources than your competitors.

But what if you could cut out steps 1 + 2 and start with step 3? That would make things easier.

Here is the easy way to do that:

Use what you already have instead of creating something completely new.

In other words, take your best asset - be it a great product, epic content, some research, etc. - and promote it by piggybacking other similar or inferior items.

Here's an example:

This protective iPhone X case contains links from 75 referring domains. However, when CNET tested the durability of 12 such cases, this case was one of the first to fail.

On the other hand, the Unicorn Beetle Pro iPhone X ’case from Supcase went very well. It was one of the few cases where all four rounds of testing were passed. This case was among the cheapest of the groups, priced at $ 19.95.

Translation: This product is better (and cheaper) than the one that has garnered a lot of links.

If you were the creator of this product, you could reach out to anyone who links to the "inferior" product and explain to them that they want to recommend (and link) your product instead.

It could look like this:

"Hey [NAME],

Josh here from Supcase.

I just came across your device case buyer's manual and saw that you recommended the Rhinoshield Crashguard.

Did you know that when you tested 12 iPhone X cases, CNET was one of the first to fail?

I'm not sure if you've tried our Unicorn Beetle Pro case in person, but this was one of the few to survive CNET's rigorous tests. Not only that - it's actually ~ $ 5 cheaper than the Rhinoshield Crashguard - one of the cases you currently recommend.

I just thought I'd give you this information in case you want to exchange the recommendation.

Best wishes,


Makes sense, doesn't it?

This requires a little research. You need to find out what makes your product or service better than a competition. Nobody will exchange a link without a compelling reason.

You can do the same for other content like blog posts, guides, etc.

Say you're a graphic design company. You may have a color theory guide on your website, like this one:

Is this a "10X" guide? Not really. But it's still pretty decent - long, detailed, and well-written.

Here is another blog post on the same topic: