How to Find New Link Building Opportunities (& Vet Sites)


  • Link builders pursue a variety of strategies to acquire links, but cold outreach is the main source. 
  • Link builders should look at the “three main pillars” when vetting sites. 
  • Common strategies include competitor analysis, linkless brand mentions, Facebook blogger groups, Twitter, and manual searches. 
  • In this guide, we’ll walk you through each of these strategies. 

With social media paving the way for “slidin’ in the DMs,” many love seekers have been shooting their shot and praying for a response from the love of their life. Sometimes they may get a response; other times, they just get left on read. 

Sliding into the DMs and link building outreach actually have a lot of similarities. As link builders, we may pursue a variety of strategies to acquire links, but cold outreach is the main source by far. And, we too, get left on read A LOT of the time. However, with a solid strategy, effective tactics, and a systematic approach to prospecting and outreach, we can sharpen our efforts to ensure we are getting through to the right people.

Link Building Guidelines (How to find the perfect match)

But first, before we begin any sort of shot shootin,’ we need to know what we are looking for, right? We need that perfect match! So, here at Redefine, all of our DM slidin’ is preceded by some high-quality link building guidelines. Whatever your SEO goal might be, you should be sure to craft your guidelines around those. 

However, what we look for falls within these three main pillars:

  1. History: The site must have an excellent traffic and keyword history. Ultimately, we want to see peaks and valleys and some positive growth over the years.
  2. Editorial Guidelines: If we are reaching out to a site for a guest post opportunity, we may want to ensure they have strong editorial guidelines in place. We want to be sure this site isn’t just accepting anyone and everyone’s guest posts.
  3. Balance: Finally, balance… balance is key. In terms of link building, we would like the site to have a good balance of traffic coming from multiple sources. A single source of traffic may allude to malicious practices in the eyes of search engines. 

The Strategies:

Backlink Gap Analysis (Who are your competitors talking to that you aren’t)

Missing out on quality matches? Well, think like any of your competitors or enemies might think. Where are they getting these awesome matches from? How are they getting them? Any business-minded individual knows that looking into what competitors are doing is an effective way to gain a competitive edge. 

A typical backlink gap analysis would look something like this:

All it is is a look into where your competitors are receiving links from that you aren’t. This presents new link building opportunities for your site. In essence, sites that are linking to your competitors are going to (more than likely) be willing to link back to you. 

Linkless Brand Mentions (Who’s thinking about you but not making the first move)

No one likes a person who admires from afar. The same thing applies to link building; no link builders like a site that talks about you but doesn’t link back. News publications may include your name within an article they are writing but either forget or neglect to link to you initially. Opportunities like this are called linkless brand mentions, and they are great ways to reclaim links that should belong to you. 

We can find these opportunities by doing a simple search of our brand name within Google search or tracking brand mentions with tools like BuzzSumo. Even SEMrush has a cool brand monitoring tool that will tell you if someone is talking about your brand without a link. So, get out there, get your ear to the ground and find out who likes talking about you. 

Facebook Blogger Groups (Get out there and mingle with others looking for the same love)

Ah yes, blogger networking groups! These are like the dating apps of the link building space. Basically, what it is is an online group of active bloggers who are looking to connect with influencers in a specific niche to connect with. Most of these are invite-only and are difficult to find so just get out there and connect with other like-minded bloggers, those who are interested in promoting your content and their own content. 

Twitter Search (Scour Twitter for new opportunities like guest posts, slide in those DM’s)

Twitter search: it’s basically your link building wingman (or wingwoman). With Twitter search, you finally get a chance to slide in the real DMs. So, how do you use it? Well, just like you would use Google search. Use Twitter’s search function to search commonly used journalist hashtags (“#journorequest”) or test your own search functions! 

The number of search functions is endless, so you should have great success with finding at least one link building opportunity with this method.

Manual Google Search (Get your hands dirty and search for link love in the SERPs!)

Finally, one way to find some quality link love is in the SERPs themselves. Get your hands dirty, make a few searches, and manually check each site one by one. Yes, this may be a bit more time consuming and difficult to do, but once you find that one perfect match, getting a link will be all the more rewarding. 

To make it a bit easier on yourself, use search operators similar to how you would on Twitter. My favorite, and the one I feel is most useful, is the quotation search operator. It may be the most simplistic search operator, but man does it make sourcing link building opportunities easier. The quotation search operator will search Google’s index for whatever word you specify. For example, “link building” will bring you back any page on our site that has the phrase link building in it. Similarly, you can also use the ‘allintext’ operator which will look for the words you specify in the body of text. 


So, before you go sliding into any DMs for link building opportunities make sure you have a good understanding of each of these tactics. It’ll make your link building campaign a whole lot easier. Or, if you want to pass the link building over to the pros, slide in Redefine’s DMs today!

Author avatar
Jason Martinez
Jason is a Cal Poly Pomona Alum, extreme fan of marketing, and social media advocate. As a Brand Marketing Manager at Redefine Marketing Group, he is responsible for the development and execution of strategy for reputation management, link building, and social media marketing for both the agency and its clients.
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