• Tue. Jun 14th, 2022

4 Link Building Research Tips For 10x Your Links

Link building isn’t as easy as posting, waiting, and swimming in links.

If that was the case, we would all have DR90 sites ranking for extremely difficult keywords.

You have to be proactive. Unless you’re Forbes, which you’re not, links don’t just happen with every new content.

The only problem is where to start. How to reach these normally inaccessible backlinks.

The answer? Research on building links.

Here are four research tips and reports you can explore right now to get your links up to 10X.

1. Use the link intersection report to spot Prime Link opportunities

One of the most obvious ways to find new linkage opportunities is to look at the competition.

But just digging into their backlink profile isn’t always helpful.

You will often see a mix of random and one-off links that they got by chance.

Pure luck.

Their content was in the right place at the right time for the right reporter.

The real link building gains come from seeing which websites link to multiple competitors or multiple sites in your niche.


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These prospects are also ready to link to you. They are already linked to several sites like yours.

And if your content is better (which it probably is), you can quickly leverage that information to build a target list for serving.

By launching Ahrefs, open the Link Intersect tool:

This research tool / report will show you which domains are related to all of your target sites and not yours.


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Start by entering your competitor or niche-related sites in the colored bar section:

4 Link Building Research Tips For 10x Your Links

Next, enter your own domain in the “but is not related to” section:

4 Link Building Research Tips For 10x Your Links

Generate the report to view the link opportunities. Here’s what your compiled report will show you:

4 Link Building Research Tips For 10x Your Links

At the top, you are reminded of your two target sites compared to yours, and a total of the domains that refer to the two competitors and not to you.

This is an active list of referring domains that are systematically linking to the people in your space.

This is why this report is so important. These are not one-off links.

They are consistent with websites like yours.

Sort by your target metrics such as DR, Ahrefs Rank, or niche relevance, and export the list.

From there, find the right contacts and build a relationship or feature your content for a link.

2. Retrieve links from SERP competitors

Links are essential for ranking ahead of the competition in your keyword SERPs.

While this is not the only factor, it is nonetheless a huge factor.

If you take identical domain ratings, identical content, and just change the factor of more and better links, which page do you think will rank higher?

If you don’t know where to start with link building research, this report and research method is a great place to start.

To get started, go to Google and search for one of your top target keywords that you are already ranking for on the second or first page.


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Compile a list of all the content URLs in your given SERP that rank below you.

Why below?

  • Because you have to start small. If Forbes ranks above you, emailing people who sign in to Forbes and asking them to sign in to you probably won’t work right now.
  • Anyone ranked below you likely has lower content which means you can use that as leverage to get their backlinks

Then head over to Ahrefs and one by one start plugging in each url from your list into the site explorer:

4 Link Building Research Tips For 10x Your Links

Set a minimum DR of 20 to 25 to remove unwanted links and export the list.

From there, do some research to find each author’s emails and send them a quick note explaining how your content ranks higher, how more comprehensive and informative it is, and more.


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Finally, sit back and watch the links unfold. Once you start moving up the SERPs, rinse and repeat.

3. Set up topic, keyword, backlink and mention alerts

New content is uploaded every minute, on millions of different topics.

There are almost endless possibilities for creating favorable, high-impact links to new content.

The only problem?

Reach those writers, bloggers and journalists before 20 more send them the same old email.

The solution?

Thematic and keyword alerts.

This is one of my favorite link building research strategies.

I use Ahrefs alerts.

4 Link Building Research Tips For 10x Your Links

… but there are also free options, such as Google alerts:

4 Link Building Research Tips For 10x Your Links

Ahrefs Alerts or Google Alerts basically ping you via email when blog posts or web pages are uploaded and mention a specific topic that you enter.


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For example, you can use it for multiple purposes:

Unlinked brand mentions

Usually present only in established brands, your brand may be mentioned in unrelated articles.

This is an easy opportunity to send a quick email and ask them to kindly include your website link. The conversion rates are extremely high on this point.

Taking control of the subject

Taking control of the topic is one of my favorite bonding tactics.

By using Ahrefs or Google Alerts, you can be the first to seize the opportunity before your competition finds it.

Steal your competitors’ brand mentions

Just like you, your competition generates quality journalist and website mentions.

Enter their brand name in Alerts and see where you can contact them to ask them to include your brand as well.

With Ahrefs, you can also enter their domain and receive backlink alerts.

4. Scan your lost links for easy redemption

Unfortunately, we all know the pain of losing a good backlink.


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Whether it’s because of deleting an entire post mentioning your website or a competitor sneaking up on it, link deletions hurt both your ego and your domain authority.

Beyond that, losing great links can hurt referral traffic, content ranking, etc.

The good news is that it is easier to recover those lost links than to acquire new ones.

Using the Lost Links on Ahrefs report, start by entering your root domain and go through the list:

4 Link Building Research Tips For 10x Your Links

From there, based on how many links you have lost, you can start sorting by metrics like DR, traffic, etc. to only focus on the high quality links.


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You’ll be able to see the exact page and anchor you were previously linked to, making it much easier to broadcast.

In your email delivery, you have several options:

  • Ask them to please reposition the link if your example or reference is still there.
  • Ask them why they removed your referral / link and how you can improve your content for them to add it back.

Lost ties are not hopeless.

In fact, they are quite the opposite.

Capitalize on them by using the lost link as a relational icebreaker for future collaboration.


Research on link building needs to be thorough.

As much as we want the links to occur “naturally”, it becomes more and more difficult.

As content expands, grows, and becomes more competitive, so does leading link acquisition.

If you don’t know where to start, use the four reports in this article to start your link quest.

More resources:


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Image credits

Screenshots taken by author, June 2020