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Brian Dean

Nine Must-Have Tools for Hardcore Link Builders

Brian Dean

If you're an inbound marketer who's all about "link earning," then this article isn't for you. If you think that "content marketing is the new SEO," then this article isn't for you, either. But if you're an "in-the-trenches" 75-emails-a-day link builder, then you'll love what I'm going to share with you today: nine killer tools that will make link building efforts easier and more effective. Let's get right to them, shall we?

Tool #1: ScrapeBox


ScrapeBox has a bad name in the white hat SEO community because of its widespread use as a blog comment spamming tool. If you've ever seen a blog comment in your Wordpress spam folder that says: "Dear webmaster, I love your webblog. Keep up the fastidious work," then you know the dark side of ScrapeBox. Despite that, ScrapeBox has a feature that makes white hat link building significantly easier: harvesting Google search results. Instead of going through the SERPs one site at a time, ScrapeBox allows you to scrape the top 100, 200, or even 1000 results into a single Excel spreadsheet. You can also link prospect within ScrapeBox by checking your prospect's DA, PageRank and other important metrics before reaching out.

Tool #2: Outdated Content Finder

Outdated Content Finder

Finding outdated content and giving it a new paint job is one of my favorite link building strategies. However, finding sites with out of date content used to be a huge pain. The Outdated Content Finder makes the process significantly easier. This tool allows you to search Google for content that was published within a certain date range. For fast-changing topics like SEO or social media, you can usually find fist-fulls of articles that have a piece of outdated info or two. When you swoop in with a list of easy-to-make updates, you'll (usually) be rewarded with a link.

Tool #3: BuzzStream

If you're an agency with a ton of clients, then BuzzStream can help you keep tabs on your link building outreach by using their intuitive dashboard. What I really like about BuzzStream, though, is their Link Buzzmarker tool. This tool automatically searches for contact information on the site you're currently on. It then allows you to save that data into your BuzzStream account without having to leave the site that you're targeting.

Tool #4: The Broken Link Finder

Broken Link Finder

This fantastic tool by Garret French scales up the broken link building process. The Broken Link Finder automatically finds pages with hundreds (or even sometimes thousands) of broken links pointing at them. This tool allows you to easily export all of the links pointing to these 404 pages so you can reach out to them and get your links. If you're new to broken link building, you can learn more about building backlinks from this technique from this guide and this post.

Tool #5: Check My Links

Check My Links

Check My Links is a Chrome extension that makes broken link building considerably easier. It has two features that other browser-based link checking tools don't have: 1. It's lightning fast. It can check a page with 100 links in under 20 seconds. 2. You can check multiple pages at once. Multitasking, FTW!

Tool #6: Mozbar


Let's face it: PageRank isn't what it used to be. Considering that Google hasn't put out a toolbar PR update since February, it's fair to say that PR isn't the best authority metric to use when link prospecting. In other words, the PR you see in your browser is VERY out of date. Enter the Mozbar. Because it shows you Domain Authority and Page Authority on the fly, you can quickly assess whether the site is worth getting a link from.

Tool #7: Boomerang for Gmail

Boomerang for Gmail

One thing I've noticed about email outreach link building is that the time of day that you email makes a significant difference in your response rate. In general, when you send emails at night or early in the morning, they tend to get ignored. Why? Because when that person checks their email, yours is one of a thousand messages that they need to tend to. In my experience, sending outreach emails in the early afternoon work best. Unfortunately, you may not be available at that time. That's where Boomerang comes into play: it allows you to schedule and track your emails with ease. So you can send all of your outreach emails at midnight and have your targets receive them at 1pm the next day.

Tool #8: Amazon TURK

Amazon TURK

So you've run a ScrapeBox harvest and have 1259 potential targets. Great. How do you contact them all? Sure, you can go one-by-one through the results. Or you could hire the collective brain of Amazon Mechanical TURK. That site allows you to upload projects that can be done by (literally) thousands of people at a time. It's a lifesaver for when you need to find the names and contact information of a huge list quickly. And did I mention that the average hourly rate you'll pay is about $5-7? That's probably less than you pay your interns.

Tool #9: Ontolo


One of the most time consuming tasks in the world of link building is finding targets. But you can make outreach significantly easier and more streamlined with Ontolo. It's basically ScrapeBox with some added bells and whistles (including easy search strings) to speed up the process. It also has a tool to automatically extract contact information from the sites in your results.

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