Link mining & link mining services

You can go mining for your highest-quality links and there are several ways to do this. My favourite way is a method that works with WordPress sites and blog networks. If your main site is based on WordPress, it will receive “pingbacks” whenever other blogs link to it.

These pingbacks show up like blog comments, but they only reference and link back to the blog post where the link is coming from. When you submit your article to a blog network like ArticleRanks, you’ll start seeing pingbacks coming in and through these pingbacks you can find the actual sites where your articles were published.

This is a good way of finding many sources that are linking to you and with the next steps, you can find the best sites among those sources. Download and install the free WordPress Plugin called Pingback Power (you have to sign up to get it, but it’s free and totally worth it).

Once installed, you can “harvest” all of the URLs from your pingbacks and then delete them. I recommend deleting the pingbacks and not publishing them, because if you publish them, it turns the one-way link you were getting into a reciprocal link (they link to me, I link to them), which has less value.

Extract your pingbacks into a text-file (once you have 30+ of them in your comments section) and then copy-paste them into this bulk PageRank checker. This will automatically check the Google PageRank of the root domains for those URLs. PageRank gives us a rough estimate about how much trust and authority the linking site has and as you’ll see, most sites in blog networks have very low PageRank. Any article that’s sitting on a site with a PR higher than 1 is a prime candidate for building out into a link hub.

Another method for finding pages that are linking to you is to use a unique and unusual author name that you add to every article you submit and set up a Google Alert for that name. For example, let’s try the pen name “Jerome Quazington”. A quick Google search with the name in quotes tells me that indeed, no one is using such a name online:

The next step is to go to Google Alerts and set up an alert for this name, also with the name in quotes:

You can either get results as an RSS feed and follow them in an RSS reader, or you can have them mailed to you daily or weekly. You can now find the linking pages and analyse them with the bulk PageRank checker to find the gems among them.

The downside of this method is that all of the linking pages have that quirky name in common and that will eventually give away the fact that they are all written by you. Whether or not this will ever reduce the link-value that you get I don’t know, but it’s a chance I would not want to take. So, if you are going to mine your linking pages like this, I recommend you set up several unique names and alerts.

If at all possible, use the pingback method described before as it is both easier and quicker and it doesn’t carry this same risk.

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