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June 29, 2008

How To Build Backlinks via Google Alerts

Building backlinks is an essential, yet tedious
job for most webmasters. Here are a few tools
and tips to make that job just a little bit easier…

I am a member of many online forums. Most of these
forums have to do with online marketing and site
promotion. Recently, I came across a post on Ken
Evoy’s SBI forum that truly caught my attention.

It basically described how to use Google Alerts
to build your backlinks. Now for those not familiar
with Google Alerts a little explanation is probably

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free program run by Google
that allows you to keep track of any topic on
the web. You select your “keywords” or “urls”
and Google will alert you via email whenever
links/content containing your selected topics
appear anywhere on the web.

It is an excellent way to keep informed about
your own domain or name. It is also perfect for
keeping up-to-date on the latest information in
your market niche or niches. It’s also a great
way to find out what other people are saying
about you or your site.

For example: if you have a site on “antique cars”
then you would create a Google Alert for those
keywords. Google will alert you by email whenever
a new link/content related to those keywords
appears on the web.

This is a great way to stay informed in your niche,
but it is also a valuable source of potential
linking partners. Many of those links are blogs
that will allow comments with a link back to your

Google Alerts will probably send you 10-20 links
each day, depending on the popularity of your
chosen keywords. Just go to these blogs/links
and see if you can leave a comment with some
valuable additional information on what’s been

Don’t Spam

Please Note: Don’t spam; there are intelligent
people behind most of these blogs, and they will
recognize keyword spam when they see it. Your
main goal should be getting targeted traffic back
to your site and any link PR should be secondary.
Always put the reader or viewer first, especially
if it’s on someone else’s site. Don’t talk about
your site or your marketing – just join the conversation
and add your comments/opinions/suggestions…

Enhance their site and they will reward you with
traffic and a link. But you still have to keep
your own interests in the equation! You have to
make sure you get your targeted keywords in the
anchor text.

Keyword Market

First, if you’ve done your homework, your main
keywords should already be in your domain name
or url. Another way is to add your “keywords” +
“guide” to your sig or signature. Such as:
Name, Your Antique Cars Guide. If you’re an
expert in your particular niche, many webmasters
will kindly welcome your comments and links.

Since your main goal is the traffic, many
webmasters don’t worry if there is a “no follow”
attribute attached to the link. But if you are
concerned about this – one way is to look at
the source code to see if it has the “no follow”
tag. I usually copy the whole source code of
the page to my text editor and then do a simple
“no follow” search.

No Follow

There is also a great little free comment tool
called “Comment Kahuna” co-created by Jason
Potash which will search blogs and tell you if
they have the “no-follow” attribute or not, it
will also give you the PageRank of each blog post.
If you’re going to use blogs as a source of
your backlinks, I suggest you try Comment
Kahuna – it will make the task much easier
and it’s free.

Actually, while the “no-follow” issue may be
a concern for some webmasters, the savvy ones
will realize these are links/sites Google is
actively indexing and spidering, otherwise you
wouldn’t get the alert in the first place. You
must get your links into this whole mix of related,
relevant sites to help raise your own rankings.
Also remember the other search engines may not
even consider the “no-follow” tag.


Likewise, creating trackbacks are another way
of linking relevant content. Keep in mind, a
trackback is simply an acknowledgement via a
ping signal that is sent from Site A (originator)
to Site B (receptor). Then the receptor often
places a link back to Site A showing its worthiness.

Again, I am mainly concerned with the quality
of the blog or link, rather than the linking
structure. I want the targeted traffic, and it
doesn’t really matter whether the link has
“no follow” because interested visitors only
see a link they can click for other helpful

Other Linking Options

Since we are on the topic of link building,
another useful way to build backlinks is to
use Google Search or Google Blog search. Now
if you’re looking for niche-related blogs just
type in:

“(Keywords)” “powered by (blog scripts)”

For example, if you’re looking for some
“antique cars” related links on WordPress
blog, you would search for:

“antique cars” “powered by wordpress”

And Google would give you a whole list of sites
on antique cars.

Now if you want to find the links that will
allow comments, just repeat the Google search

“antique cars” “powered by wordpress” “leave a comment”
-“no comments”

Remember the “-” means posts that have no
comments will not be displayed.

If you’re concerned with PageRank, Number of Backlinks,
Alexa Ranking… of particular posts you can download
and install the SEOQuake plugin. This handy SEO plugin
can be attached to your browser and will give you helpful
SEO information on the link or links you’re viewing.

Please Note: If you’re using SEOQuake in FireFox you have
the option in Preferences to tick a Line-through “nofollow”
and “noindex” links. Really handy tool to find those “nofollow”

Used in conjunction with Google, it can sort thru all
these blog posts and give you the ones with the highest
PR? Highest traffic? Highest number of backlinks? The
more knowledge you have, the easier and more effective
your link building will become.

Just remember, finding quality backlinks is probably
the most tedious job for most webmasters. It takes
time and it takes patience. By using Google Alerts
you can have relevant keyword related links emailed
to you each day. Use this information to help build
your backlinks in relevant related niches. Do this
consistently over a period of time and your site will
get noticed and ranked higher.