Using Google's Advanced Search Operators for SEO Link Outreach
Finding link opportunities for ecommerce SEO is one of the most essential yet challenging endeavors that search marketers face.
To compete with the big dogs (Amazon, eBay, etc.), you need to generate quality links that will last (and not drift away like the links found in guest blog post.)
In this article, I will share some simple techniques that I learned from Eric Ward for purposeful link outreach.
These highly effective techniques center on Google's advanced search operators to find relevant pages and websites that are worth reaching out to for links. So let's dive right in.
Leverage "inurl:" to find "Links" and "Resources"
Many websites create pages dedicated to relevant and informative links and resources for their visitors. These types of sites can range from directories, infomediaries, and ecommerce sites. When the domain is keyword relevant and authoritative, these "links" and "resources" pages offer incredible SEO value for the sites receiving the link.
Using the inurl: advanced search operator enables you to efficiently find these golden pages in Google.
For example, lets say we're doing SEO for an ecommerce site that sells natural wooden toys for babies and toddlers. Our objective is to find links and resources pages that offer opportunities to reach out and inquire about being included on their list.
Starting with the advanced search wooden toys inurl:resources, Google will render search results consisting of pages that include the word "resources" in the URL and are relevant to "wooden toys."
Now it's time to sift through the results and do some digging on sites we might find potential link opportunities. One notable opportunity is the #5 ranking page for BrianWoodenToys.com. Although the site name and brand looks like a possible competitor, the links on this page are diverse (although still relevant) and the site seems open to link exchanges.
Even though this is probably a reciprocal link opportunity, it will still offer some SEO value when done right. There's a contact email near the bottom of the page, so we'll inquire and see what kind of relationship we can build.
Try "site:" to Pinpoint Powerhouse Domains
In moving forward with this approach of using Google's advanced search operators, keep in mind that some of the search results shown are going to be competing sites. Ideally, you'll want to find .edu's, .org's, and other neutral websites that offer information, not so much products for sale.
Another great search operator is the more popular "site:". With this operator, we can narrow down the search results to specific domain types, like those mentioned above.
For instance, in our next round we try the search natural toys inurl:links site:org". The results shown are all .org's relevant to links for natural toys.
The first listing looks very promising, as the example client site offers Waldorf toys, which is a form of homeschooling and education (mentioned in the Meta description.) Sure enough, upon clicking into this listing, there's section of links dedicated to toys.
We hit golden opportunity with this high authority .org. It looks like we have a great chance at getting inclusion on this page, so we'll definitely inquire.
Start Searching and Start Reaching Out
By now, you should have a general idea on how to leverage these creative link outreach techniques. If you'd like to learn more Google advanced search operators, visit GoogleGuide.com for a nice list.
Do you have additional ideas to share? Please, let me know in the comments section below!
About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is an ecommerce SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of organic search marketing, particularly link generation, content strategy, and social media marketing.