• Posted on: 2 May 2007
  • By: Brian Gilley

If you're managing link building for a client or your own website, here's a quick primer on link building strategies to find only quality sites related to your niche. To start, let's say the website you're building link prospects for focuses on "Mexico travel." In this case some of your initial Google search commands to build link prospects or related advertising enquiries on those sites would include:

Search Command Allinurl:
  • "allinurl:mexico travel" (typed this in Google without the quotes to find sites with "mexico" and "travel" within the URL).
  • "allinurl:mexico tourism" (don't forget other very important related keyword and other search variations that can prove valuable to your link building campaign)
Search Command Allintitle:
  • "allintitle:mexico travel" (close to the same as above but searching for keywords found within the title tags of the page. Be sure to also use variations of keywords along with "Mexico as mentioned above, i.e. tourism, vacations, etc)
  • "allintitle:drupal travel" (a bit more loosely related but could provide a few useful resources to list for link prospecting)
*A Bit more Fancy with Allinurl:

If you're looking to receive links back through commenting on other sites with the ability for visitors to leave comments without using "rel=nofollow" then you can get a little more creative. WordPress by default includes the rel=nofollow tag, so don't waste your time there. However, there are a bunch of content management systems that do not include the rel=nofollow such as Drupal. So, using the same basic keywords or related phrases, let's locate some places we can potentially get comment links:

  • "allinurl:q=node travel" (this search command looks for Drupal's standard non search engine friendly URL format condition with the keyword "travel" also in the URL)
  • "allinurl:q=node .edu" (if you're looking for some .edu comment links from universities and schools using Drupal, this search command can be useful) ;)
  • "allinurl:drupal travel" (loosely related search command but could provide useful depending on industry niche)

If you want to use comment linking, which can be useful if managed properly, there are a bunch of other content management systems that do not utilize the rel=nofollow tag on outgoing links left by visitors that comment on stories. We have built an internal list of the ones that work well for linking using sites like CMS Matrix to find the content management systems that allow direct linking from comments. Unfortunately I cannot share our list - but I can share the overall idea!

If you'd like more information on our link building strategies , please contact us for more information. If you have your own ideas on finding relevant links using search commands, please leave a comment below on just how you do it. Since we use Drupal you will get a direct link from it ;-)


Nice post. I like the allinurl tip, especially.

I appreciate the tips on finding relevant sites to look for link prospects. Most of the web marketers I know only search for keywords within Google, such as "Mexico travel + submit site" or similar. I think your advice makes a bit more sense to find the most relevant ones though.

Here is a way to speed up the process:

links -dump 'http://www.google.com/search?q=specialized-query&num=100&start=0' | egrep -o "http:.*" | grep -v "google.com" | egrep -v '[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}' | awk '{ print "<li><a href=\""$1"\">"$1"</a></li>" }' >> backlink_hunter.html; firefox backlink_hunter.html &

Something like that... but for optimal results will require tweaking.

Very useful information - I really didn't know how to search pages using keywords. Thanks!

Just an FYI... I don't think it's enabled by default, but you can turn auto nofollow adding on for any input format. Drupal.org has it on. Interesting article. I've been looking at your site trying to learn more about SEO. I've got this goal to knock my competition off the top of the Google results for some keywords.

Very nice post :)

It?s also important to check with the command allinanchor, which give us mor information about competitors

I had no idea that the standard in Wordpress was no follow. I thought it was a plug-in that was required or robot.txt. What a waste if time. I am glad I came across your site when I did before I wasted another 3 months of commenting. Thank you!

Hi Joshua,
Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, WP incorporated the nofollow by default for quite some time now. There is a plugin to allow links (dofollow).

I would suggest stopping by CMS matrix or a similar site and finding popular CMS platforms that use the dofollow method. Getting posts on WordPress sites garnishes little in the link building arena.

Hi Brian,

Some nice technical tips, but in most cases I suspect you are probably only going to get offers to exchange low value links on "Resources" pages, or no link exchange option at all. I may be wrong about this, but I suspect most high PR sites would not be willing to place a home page link to your site either for money or an equal PR value link exchange (since it impacts their aesthetics). While of course there are some sites that will accept money for a home page link, and agree to limit their number of outbound links, they don't advertise the fact because Google will ignore these links once it finds out they are pay based. In the final analysis, you probably need to go to an SEO firm who has a "buddy club" of site owners that accept pay based home page links for money. This is probably very expensive, since you need to pay the SEO firm's override in addition to the amount going to the site owners.

I have found a footprint like ["Your name:"+"Your e-mail address:"+"Your website:"+"Add your comments:"+"Please enter the code you see in the image:"] for search in Google. You can use it for your purpose. I think it will work more efficiently.

good post.. i would like to post one more thing .. which is Disqus commenting.. very effective and very natural too

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