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3 Automatic Link Building Methods That You Probably Aren't Using


Most SEO-minded webmasters are constantly looking for new ways to acquire backlinks. You can never have too many, right?

What if I told you that there are ways to automate this task? What if you could build links in your sleep?

woman sleeping at laptop

What if you could build links in your sleep?

No, I’m not gonna try to sell you some shady software. Believe it or not, if you have half-decent content that’s worth reading, you might be able to put your readers to work for you.

Copy, Paste, Promote

I was reading an article on the New York Post the other day, and wanted to share it with a friend. Rather than sending the URL of the article to my friend, I copied several paragraphs to my clipboard and sent them to him via IM.

AIM conversation with Tynt's "Read more" link appended.

An AIM conversation with Tynt’s ‘Read more’ link appended.

After sending the IM, I saw that there was an additional sentence at the end that I hadn’t noticed before. I definitely hadn’t seen that sentence in the news article itself. It said “Read more”, and provided a backlink to the article. I knew that I hadn’t copied this sentence from the article, so I took a closer look.

It turns out that the NY Post was using a service called Tynt. Tynt monitors what is being copied on your site, and adds a link back to the content being copied when a user pastes it somewhere. It actually sends the content to Tynt’s servers, where the “Read more” sentence is added, and then sends it back to your clipboard with that additional sentence.

What this boils down to is that if your content is quote-worthy, it could potentially earn backlinks. If someone copies it and pastes it on a forum, you just earned a link. Sounds pretty effortless to me.

Tynt comes in free and professional (paid) versions.

Turn Hotlinkers Into Link Builders

If you have quality images on your site, there’s a strong chance that people are hotlinking them. In a perfect world, you’d get a backlink every time someone hotlinked an image that resided on your server, but unfortunately that is not the case.

Luckily, we have Link My Photos. Install the javascript on your site, and whenever someone right-clicks on an image, they’ll be presented with a dialog box containing a code snippet (both HTML and BBCode) that they can use to embed the image on their site, blog, forum, etc. The embedded image will be linked back to your site.

If someone is right-clicking on the image, there’s a good chance that they’re doing it to grab the URL and hotlink it anyway, so it’s not as if you’re significantly reducing the functionality of your site by implementing this script.

There’s also a WordPress plugin that was created from the Link My Photos script. It’s called Hotlink 2 Link, and it allows you to implement Link My Photos in your blog posts (or on pages, or both). It will provide the reader with code to embed the image, with a link back to the post/page that the image appeared in.

This script kinda reminds me of the “no right-click” scripts that paranoid webmasters used to implement on their sites back in the day to “protect” their precious HTML. To be fair though, it does serve a bit more of a purpose.

Okay, so there’s 2 potential methods of putting your readers “to work” for you. But readers aren’t the only people visiting your site…

Put RSS Scrapers To Work For You

What about the RSS scrapers? Michael Gray said it best: “When you run wordpress or any other blog for that matter, chances are your blog is getting scraped, and re-used without your permission.”

If your content is being scraped anyway, you’d might as well get some links out of it, right?

Yoast created a handy WordPress plugin that will allow you to do just that. The RSS Footer plugin will allow you to add content to the bottom of each post in your RSS feed. Install the plugin and put some links down there, and when the scrapers come along and repost your content, they’ll repost your links as well.

Use the RSS Footer plugin to append backlinks to posts in your RSS feed

Use the RSS Footer plugin to append backlinks to posts in your RSS feed

If you’re trying to list for some specific terms, this is a nice easy way to supplement whatever efforts you already have in place. Use the plugin to include backlinks to your domain with 2 or 3 of the terms you’re trying to list for, and feel good about the fact that those content scrapers are actually benefiting you in some way.

To clear things up… The links added to your blog posts by the RSS Footer plugin won’t actually appear on your blog. Those links will only appear in your RSS feed.

Michael Gray mentioned that you may want to switch up these keywords every few months. If your site gets a lot of traffic, you may have lots of scrapers visiting as well, and you don’t want to generate a suspicious amount of links for any particular keyword. Changing the keywords up every once in a while will keep things looking natural.

So there you have it. Three new ways to automate your link building efforts. What are you waiting for? Put this stuff to use today!

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