17 Untapped Backlink Sources (Updated)

How’d you like to see my secret stash of untapped authority backlinks that I personally use to rank for competitive keywords?
Well consider yourself very lucky…
…because today I’m going to pull back the curtain and share some of my absolute BEST sources with you.
Warning: you are NOT going to find anything about guest posting (blah) or blog comments (yawn) here.
I’m bringing the noise.
Bonus: Download a free checklist that will show you how to quickly leverage these strategies. Includes 2 bonus strategies not found in this post.

1. Give Testimonials

Companies big and small LOVE to show off their customer testimonials.
If you’re using a product or service that you love (or at least like), consider sending them a testimonial.
When you do, make sure to tell them that they can put it on their homepage or a testimonial page.
To show that you’re a real person they’ll often put a link to your site for you…without you even having to ask.
Make no mistake, you can get some baller backlinks from testimonials (here’s one on a DA89 website):

And here’s another example of a testimonial page from a DA86 site:

When I see an authority site with testimonial links I sometimes buy their product just to give a testimonial and get a link.
(That’s how powerful this is)

2. Find Golden Link Opportunities From “Best Of” Blog Posts

Click “Play” to see how it works:
3. Blogger Revie

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If you have a software product, information product, consulting service or ANYTHING of value that you sell, you can easily turn that into handfuls of high-quality backlinks.
By offering it to bloggers for free.
Here’s how:
1. Find bloggers in your niche that might be interested in what you have to offer. If you sell an information product that teaches people how to make their own soaps, you’d Google things like “soap making”, “make soap at home” etc.

2. Your results will be a mixed bag of mommy bloggers, hippie bloggers, and sites like ehow.
Filter out any major authority sites or news sites. You’ll be left with a solid list bloggers that might be interested in your offer, like this one:
3. Reach out to them with this email script:
Hey (site owner name),
I was searching for some homepage soap recipes today when I came across (site name).
Awesome stuff!
Actually, I just launched a guide that teaches people how to make luxury soaps at home. I usually charge $X, but I’d be more than happy to send it over to you on the house. All I’d ask is that you’d consider mentioning it on your blog or writing a review.
Let me know how that sounds.
Your name
You want to be VERY careful about the language you use for this strategy.
Note how I don’t ask for a link or review…which would violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
I just send them the product and let them decide if it’s worth a mention on their blog.

4. Link Roundups

Hit “Play” to see how you can use link roundups to build quality backlinks:

5. Link Reclamation

Link reclamation is simple:
First, you find mentions of your company and products that don’t link back to you.
Here’s an example:

Then you email the person with a friendly reminder to add your link.
Very simple…but very, very powerful.
See how the author of that article mentioned backlinko.com….but didn’t link to it?
That’s where link reclamation comes into play.
Instead of saying “oh shucks, I wish they linked to me”, you proactively reach out and ask them to link.
You see, when people mention you in an article, they (usually) like you.
(That’s true even if they didn’t add a backlink to your site)
A simple friendly reminder email is usually enough for them to log into WordPress and add your link.
Here’s the step-by-step process:
1. Find Unlinked Mentions
Use a tool like BuzzSumo and Mention.net to find mentions of your brand.
When you do, you’ll get a heads up whenever someone writes about you online:2. See whether or not the person that mentioned you linked back to your site.
If they linked to your site, you’re set.
If not, move onto step #3…
3. Reach out and get your link
Finally, send them this script:
I just wanted to reach out and say “thanks” for mentioning YOUR BRAND in your excellent article yesterday.
We really, really appreciate it.
I’m reaching out today to ask if you could add a link back to our site. That way, people can easily find us while reading your article.
Either way, thanks for the shout out and keep up the great work!
I can tell you from experience that these are some of the easiest — and most powerful — links you’ll ever get.

6. Create (And Promote) a Scholarship

Everyone knows that .edu links are the bomb.
But aren’t legit .edu links impossible for Average Joe SEO?
Fortunately not.
If you create something that universities want to link to, you’re golden.
And that’s where scholarships come in.
In fact, Chris Dreyer recently used scholarships to build 90 .edu links (!) to his client’s website:

Now that you see how well this works, let’s dive into the step-by-step process:
Step #1: Create a Scholarship Page
Your first step is to create a page on your site that describes the scholarship, tells people how they can apply etc.
Here’s an example from Chris’s campaign:

Step #2: Find University Pages that Link to Scholarships
Fortunately this is a breeze using this search string in Google:
inurl:.edu “scholarships”

#3: Let the Universities Know About Your Scholarship
When you find a scholarship page on a .edu site that seems like a good fit, send them this email:
Hello (Name),
I’m excited to let you know about a new scholarship opportunity for (School) students.
Our scholarship is called “(name)”, and it’s designed to help (brief description).
Here is a brief list of our requirements:
(List of requirements)
We would be honored if you’d be kind enough to add our award to your scholarship page (scholarship page URL).
Of course, we’re here to answer any questions you may have.
Thank you,

(Your Name)


HARO (short for Help a Reporter Out) is one of best ways to get killer backlinks from authority news sites.
Here’s how HARO works:
1. Sign Up To HARO as a source here.
2. You’ll get three emails per day from reporters looking for sources, like this one:

3. Respond with your credentials and some helpful tips.
Easy right? You give a reporter a tailored response and they’ll hook you up with a link.
Don’t sleep on HARO.
Backlinko reader Sameep Shah got a link to his web design business from Inc.com (DA92) using HARO:

8. .Edu Resource Backlinks

We already established that backlinks from .edu domains pack some serious ranking punch.
Besides scholarships (#6 on this list), there’s another strategy you can use to get .edu sites linking to you:
Resource pages.
Here’s how it works…
Most universities have resource pages where they link to websites that are helpful to students and faculty. Here’s an example:

Let’s say you had a website web design. You could get a link from the example above by emailing them and showing them your helpful web design-related resource.
Use these search strings to find them:
site:.edu “your keyword”
site:.edu “your keyword” + “resources”
site:.edu: “your keyword” + inurl:links
site:.edu: “your keyword” + “other sites”
Only 5-10% of them will actually post your link. But keep in mind that a handful of these links can make a HUGE difference in the SERPs.

9. Submit Your Site to Website Feedback Sites

There are a TON of sites that are designed to help you get feedback on your site’s layout or conversion potential.
And almost all of them allow a link back to your site.
Here’s an example:

As you can see, there’s a nice dofollow link on the page.
All you need to do is submit your site with a little description of how you want to improve it.

10. The Moving Man Method

Hit “play” to see how this powerful strategy works:

11. Submit Your Site to Blog Aggregators

Blog aggregators are sites that list quality blogs in different industries. Here’s an example (Alltop):

You can get a dofollow link on most blog aggregators for free in three easy steps:
  • Submit your site
  • Add a special HTML code to your site to confirm that you’re the owner
  • Wait for someone from the aggregator to stop by and take a look at your site
When they approve it you’ll have your own page on the aggregator with a dofollow link to your site. Easy peasy.

12. Find Guest Posting Gigs on Twitter

If there really is a hell, I’m convinced that Satan makes tortured souls guest post for all of eternity.
It can take hours just to find a handful of sites that don’t have a strict laundry list of guest blogger guidelines.
But there’s an easier way. You can tap into the underutilized power ofTwitter search to find sites that are posting guest posts on the reg.
Here’s an example:

You KNOW that the sites that have tweeted their guest posts in the last week must be posting on a regular basis (no annoying dead ends!).
Here are some search strings to use in Twitter search:
“your niche” + guest post
“your niche” + guest author
“your niche” + write for us

< div style="background-color: white; box-sizing: border-box; color: #111111; font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 18px; margin-bottom: 1.5em; word-break: keep-all; word-wrap: normal;">“your niche” + guest article

13. Scoop It

Scoop It is one of my absolute favorite places to build buzz and (nofollow) backlinks with a few minutes of work.
Scoop It is a site where people aggregate their favorite content around the web into a magazine format.
Here’s an example of a Scoop it page:

Lots of people’s personal Scoop It pages have hundreds of followers. Which means that your content will get in front of hundreds of people. More eyeballs=more links.
To get people to post your stuff all you need to do is use Scoop It’s built in suggestion feature.
Just search for a high PR Scoop It page and hit “suggest”. You’ll see something like this:

Just send the person a quick message and let them know about your content.
In my experience about 50% accept within a day –meaning dozens of authority backlinks in about 15 minutes of “work”.

14. Broken Link Building

This strategy is similar to the Moving Man Method I outlined above.
The difference is that with broken link building, you’re only looking for pages that are 404ing.
Moved businesses and companies that changed names won’t show up with this approach.
That being said, it’s definitely worth the time and effort because of the killer inbound links you can get from this strategy.
What we’re doing is finding resource pages in our niche. So if we were in the fitness niche you’d search in Google using these search strings:
“fitness”  + “resource page”
“fitness” + “resources”
“fitness” + “recommended sites”
“fitness” + “links”
And find pages like this:

Now you COULD email them and just ask for a link. But I’ve found that begging doesn’t work very well.
Instead, give the site owner a hand by letting him know about any broken links that you happen to find.
You can easily find the broken links on any page. Just use the nifty Chrome Extension Check My Links.
This program quickly finds any broken links the page happens to have. It also highlights them in red to make them easy to find:

Hi (site owner name),
I was just browsing around your resources page today, and among the lists of great resources, were some broken links.
Here’s a few of them:
Oh, and I have a website, mysite.com, that also regularly posts quality content related to whatever. If you think so too, feel free to post a link to it on your resources page.
Either way I hope this helps and keep up the good work!
(Your Name)

15. Infographics

Almost everyone in SEO knows about infographics, but I’m absolutelyflabbergasted at how few take advantage of this incredibly easy link building strategy.
That’s because many people assume that infographics are expensive and hard to make.
And they assume the infographic has to go viral for this technique to work.
Fortunately for us, both of these assumptions are DEAD WRONG.
Heck, you can get a halfway decent infographic made from someone on Odesk or Elance for less than $250. In my experience, the IDEA is 10x more important than the design itself.
Be creative, make something unique, and then hire a cheap designer to make it for you (you can also do it yourself using tools like Piktochart).
Once you have it ready, it’s time to get the word out.
1. Your first step is to submit it to infographic sharing sites, like these:
2. Then reach out to bloggers in your niche and offer them the infographic as a guest post. To sweeten the deal, tell them that you’ll write a unique description for their site.
I’ve literally gotten 100+ high PR backlinks from related sites from a single quality infographic and this 1-2 punch.

16. The Skyscraper Technique

Hit “play” to see how I used The Skyscraper Technique to boost my organic traffic by 110%:

17. Google+ Profile

Did you know that your Google+ profile allows contextual, dofollow links?
(Note, you have to be signed out of Google+ to see the link as dofollow. Weird but true).
Here’s an example:

With enough interaction within Google+ and direct linking to your profile, you can make that a pretty powerful link.

Now It’s Your Turn

Now it’s time to actually put these powerful strategies into practice.
To make the process easy for you, I made a checklist that outlines the EXACT steps you need to take for each technique in this post.
The checklist also includes 2 bonus strategies that I didn’t include in this post.
Download the free checklist now:

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