It’s a fact of life – people give up. Constantly. Other SEOs have built links to valuable assets, and when they saw they weren’t ranking for their head terms, they gave up. Then, over time, these assets eventually became outdated. Why not take advantage?
Today we’ll be talking about reverse link building, an idea first brought to my attention by Wil Reynolds. In a nutshell, you’ll be finding outdated link bait that has worked for your competitors, recreating it with updated information, and snagging those links the old link bait already got. It’s so stupid and easy that it’s ridiculous more link builders aren’t doing it. I’ll go through a few different link building strategies and how you can apply this idea of reverse link building.
This is so simple and easy. Put together a list of the top 100 or so blogs in your niche, and check out all the different badges & awards featured on their blogroll and about pages. Click to see where the badge’s link is going, and if the information on that page is outdated, you’ve got yourself an in. Take the image of that badge, use it in Google’s reverse image search, and put together a list of all the different sites that feature that badge.
Then the rest is pretty self-explanatory. Recreate the content (make sure it’s even better than the content you’re recreating) and get in touch with the webmasters who feature the old badge. Let them know the badge is outdated, you updated the information, and that they should replace the old badge with your new one. Make sure you emphasize that you will be continuously updating the information so this problem won’t happen again. If you hustle, you won’t have a problem getting every single one of those blogs to switch badges. No one’s honestly going to say no. The only problem I see is if it’s an award from 2007 to a blog that hasn’t posted in 4 years, meaning the blog isn’t being maintained. Outside of that, you should have some huge success.
There are loads of successful infographics out there that are based off of yearly data. Eventually some of these infographics don’t get recreated with the new yearly data, and when this happens, this is your opportunity. Get a new infographic created with the new information. To play it safe, try and get it created using the same layout as one of the previously successful infographics. Once it’s created, reach out to all of the webmasters letting them know that they’re linking to outdated information and that they need to update their links to your new, fresh information.
This idea is a little different than the above 2. In this case, we’ll be looking at previously successful crowdsourced content. An example of crowdsourced content is something like 6 experts talk link building. This content is created by a group of contributors.
How we’ll be utilizing this strategy is by looking for old, successful crowdsourced content that was created on a yearly basis. For example, Rae Hoffman creates a yearly “link building with the experts” post, and if she were to not do one for 2012, I might swoop in and contact all of the experts she usually includes in this series. Once I let them know that my blog will be hosting this year’s edition, they’ll most likely agree seeing the success they’ve had in the past.
The only problem with this is if the latest yearly post isn’t from 2009 or older. For example, if Rae was a little late to getting around to doing her yearly post and noticed at the end of 2012 that I had already created a “link building with the experts – 2012 edition”, she’d probably get a little pissed. Make sure you find crowdsourced content from blogs that aren’t maintained anymore (i.e. haven’t posted in 12+ months).
Most of the link building out there is done for you, so take advantage. Start checking out sites ranking on the 5th pages and beyond for head terms, pull them up in OSE, and check their top pages. Chances are they have a few unique, outdated assets that you can recreate and steal the links from.
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