Welcome back to another edition of how to run successful link building campaigns, last week I talked about how to be successful with social linking, this week I will be talking about link modifications. What a link modification is is a backlink you already have that you need/want/should get modified with a better anchor(or link) text. Getting a backlink modified may seem like an easy task you should think again. This can be a very difficult task and I would rank it as being almost as difficult as getting a one way link. But the gain of getting a link changed for you is so much more that it might just be worth the hassle that comes with it. Here are some steps that you should follow when looking for link modification opportunities.

  1. Use a backlink checker to pull down all of your backlinks: Yahoo site explore works well just make sure you export it so you can see all of the link text for each link. Another good tool is link diagnosis (can only be used in Firefox). Again you can export the results into a nice clean excel document so you can easily see the URL, Link text, Link ULR(the link they are pointing to you)
  2. Scroll through the backlink export looking at your link text: After you have exported your backlinks go through them all and see if there is any link text in there that is not very good. To distinguish which link texts you don’t want refer back to what keywords you want to target. This will help with going through the document faster especially if you are looking a thousand plus backlinks.
  3. View the site you link is on: When you find a link that is not utilizing a very good link text copy the URL and go and look at the site. On the site you are going want to do a quick analysis of it:
    • Does it have a PR (PageRank)
    • Is there a lot of links on the site already
    • Where is my link at
    • Does it look like other people are using custom anchor text
    • Is the site relevant
    • Is my link on there by mistake
      • This could be the case if you had a previous partnership with them but you killed their link and they may not have killed yours link yet. Be very careful with this as you don’t want to contact them and more or less remind them that they need to remove your link.
  4. After you do the analysis does the site meet your requirements: if you go through the steps above (you may have more yourself) and they don’t meet your requirements then you may just want to leave the link be. While it is still a link back to your site if the site is more or less garbage it isn’t passing much value to you anyways, and you should not waste your time with it. This is up to you though if you feel you would benefit from it go for it.
  5. Create a custom email: After reviewing the site and it seems like a site that your link is benefiting from then look around the site and try and find a contact person for you to contact. Create a custom email that is personal asking them if they would be so kind as to change the link text of your link. Be friendly and be very appreciative of them linking to you, remember they could take your link down at any time so you want to show your appreciation for giving you the link. You want to make sure you sound like a human not a email bot that is just spamming their email box.

That is it, now you need to just wait and hope that they are willing to change the link for you. As a rule of thumb I normally give them a week to two weeks before doing a follow up email(or phone call if you can find the telephone number) just to find out the status. If you don’t hear back it is not a big deal because you are getting a link back regardless them changing it is just more of a benefit for you. Stay tuned next week for my link building campaigns discussion on directories.

As always I’d love to hear from all of you.