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Link building is one of the most difficult tasks in SEO. Lately, I’ve been able to increase my link building conversion rate by looking for old company mentions in Google, where a link was never established. This is how to do it, and why it works.

How to search for old mentions:

First, search your company name in Google. Next click “show search tools.” Click “custom range” and enter a date range that is a few years old. Then click “search.” This will return places on the web where you were mentioned. You’ll need to go through them in order to find the sites that mentioned you, but haven’t linked to you.

Why it works!

Vince, our creative director, recently reminded me that having an “in” is a very powerful factor in networking and building relationships. It’s one of those things that you know, but you may not be actively applying. So I started integrating this idea into my link building research. I started looking for old mentions of our clients’ companies in Google, where a link was never established. I was surprised at how many mentions there were, where no link existed. Within a very short period time, new links were being acquired and they were coming from high quality sites. I also noticed that I usually found a good way to start the conversion, when I found an old company mention. These websites typically had old information or images that needed to be updated. So it provided the opportunity to reach out to them, and help them by providing the new information or assets.

The age of the mention technically doesn’t matter, but here a few specific reasons why an old mention might give you a good way to break the ice and initiate a conversation.

  • Your old mentions sometimes have outdated information, logos, or images. This gives you an opportunity to help them by providing them with the new assets, while you also ask for a link.
  • Old mentions provide the opportunity for you to send a “thank you” email. Thank them for having mentioned you for such a long period of time and explain how they may have helped your business by doing so. Thank them, and again, you could ask if they would consider linking to you.

Looking for links where you have an “in” where people already know you and are already mentioning you on their site, but may not have a link pointed to you, is an efficient way of building links.

I regularly tweet SEO tips for companies, so if you’re looking for more, follow me on twitter at @redoliveryan. If you are sick of link building and would like our help, visit the company SEO page on our website.