*The following (short but valid) tip is by Nick LeRoy*
A couple days back I wrote an article regarding how I acquired several PR4+ links with personalized e-mails. What I left out was one trick in which makes this technique a little less time consuming.
After you have a list of targeted websites it’s time to look for a reason to contact the webmaster. The example I use in the article mentioned above is spotting broken links and using that as a fantastic way to open a line of communication with the webmaster. Unfortunately manually checking each website you’re targeting can be very time consuming and there is still a chance that you won’t even get a response back. How can you better utilize your time and maximize this technique you ask? One little tool.
Broken Link Checking Tools
Xenu link checking tool is a fantastic tool for very quickly analyzing links on a particular page. This program will build a report and state which links are broken. As much as I dislike any ‘automation’ with SEO this is a time saver. Run a quick report, if you find broken links then proceed with the personalized e-mail. (Example available here).
Manual Checking Is Best
While XENU is a great tool to point out 404 error pages it isn’t a ‘solve all’. XENU does not find redirected pages, parked add pages or display that the site has completely changed in theme. Use this tool to determine if it’s appropriate to contact the webmaster. If you get a response from the webmaster, then go to the potentially linking page and check the links manually. Yes it may take more time but its easier to justify it once you know you have a qualified lead.
While this technique isn’t difficult to execute, it is indeed time consuming. Several fantastic links can be obtained using this technique but I suggest you use it in addition to other link building techniques and not rely on it by its self. For sites that only need a couple links to rise to the top it’s fantastic, for more competitive terms you could find yourself spending A LOT of time for just a few quality links.
Nick LeRoy is the search marketing specialist at Minnesota Web Design firm DKS Systems