Becoming Linkable: What Would They Link To?

When developing link building strategies it is very interesting to see what particular websites have already linked to in the past.It shows what their organization and editors are vulnerable to and which parts of the website are more likely to link out with a dofollow/regular link.

Where various tools report on the incoming links to a domain, very few sources allow you to get an easy list of outgoing links from a domain. Here are some alternatives to extract the desired data and ways to learn from the information.

Bing’s “linkfromdomain:somedomain.com”

Google has lost its queries to get a list of incoming links and never used a query for outgoing links. Still a great reason to use Bing is the “linkfromdomain:” search operator. It allows you to get a selection of outgoing links from a domain (only links without nofollow). It has, however, gotten less reliable over the years and using additional query parameters for filtering doesn’t always work. For instance “linkfromdomain:apple.com domain:com.ni” shows all pages with a dofollow link from Apple that are on a .com.ni (Nicaraguan) domain.

Another drawback is that it shows the pages which have been linked somewhere from within the domain. It doesn’t show the URLs of the pages with the link on it, so it’s still a needle in a haystack. So far the list shows you just the kinds of pages that once deserved a link to it (which is also valuable information). Thanks to Majestic, Moz, Ahrefs and others you can request the incoming links to that page in the hope to find the source Bing mentioned.

Searchmetrics’ “Outgoing links”

Searchmetrics.com is a paid tool many SEO experts use, but when I show the Outgoing Links functionality few have noticed it before. This tool allows you to get a list of outgoing links that you can filter by nofollow and other characteristics. The list shows source URL, target URL, title, anchor text and more. This makes it easy to find the link building chances you are looking for.

Desktop scraping tools

Another alternative is scraping a website yourself. By indexing the entire site you will find all external links. Most of the available tools are originally intended for creating sitemaps or hunting for dead links, but are often perfect for mapping all external links.

For MS Windows Xenu Linksleuth is a free dinosaur application that still has all required functionality. Mac OSX alternative Integrity/Scrutiny is even more comprehensive for the task. These are the ones I’ve used, but there must be additional alternatives. Please share the ones you know and love in the comments.

From outgoing links to link building ideas

Many sites put a nofollow on most of their external links. This makes the rare regular/dofollow links from those sites even more valuable. Use the discovery methods from this article to see if any of these links target a site similar to yours and figure out if you can get such a link too.

Looking at all outgoing links from the link partners you want to be associated with probably shows that your current website doesn’t exactly fit the profile. You’ll find that adding specific types of non-commercial activities will make you just as linkable as the links already placed. Ideally your site should act as some sort of chameleon that seems different to each group of potential link partners. Mimic already linked sites and improve on the factor that is most likely to convince the person responsible for placing it. The same strategy will probably work for a large group of additional link partners.

Try to determine which sites are the best addition to your link profile (the full collection of incoming links) and find a common vulnerability in their outgoing links. Can you make your website fit a similar profile?

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