Link Building 101: Using Google Alerts for Backlinks in 2021

Let’s get that out of the way right from the start.

Nope, link building is not dead, and frankly, it may never be. Why?

While it may not play the primary role it played when Google originally launched its search algorithm, gaining hyperlinks or mentions from other relevant websites in your industry is still a powerful way to show to Google that your page should be considered authoritative.

It seems like everything has gotten a bit more complicated over the past few years when it comes to finding those link building strategies that can increase online rankings and also comply with Google’s guidelines.


Source: Giphy

You might want to consider reading our previous article on safe approach to link building.

TL;DR: While often a tedious process, link building isn’t something you should ignore in 2021 as it’s still one of the top three most important ranking factors.

With huge amounts of content being posted every day and people having their inboxes bombarded, one can feel helpless in the journey of earning backlinks for one’s online assets.

How to act as quickly as possible in this space? What free tools can you use to build backlinks?

Join us to discover some of the most beginner link building techniques that you could benefit from right after reading our series of articles. Today, we’re excited to share one of our simplest strategies: Google Alerts.

Use Google Alerts to claim what’s yours and more

From initial setup, tips and tricks, and follow-up, here’s what you need to know to maximize your link building efforts using Google Alerts.

This way, you should be able to retrieve relevant notifications from Google’s database, without triggering alerts when your own website publishes new content (hence the -site:sendaway.com part). Adding quotes will only trigger exact match searches, helping you avoid most of the noise reaching your inbox.

You can use any search operator, i.e. special commands available for an enhanced Google search experience, so hopefully you have fun setting alerts. If you’re unfamiliar with search operators, Ahrefs has done a great job of creating a comprehensive list.

  • Now that your alerts are in place, it’s time to wait for the magic of Google. Depending on your configuration, relevant alerts will be sent to the email address you used initially. What you’re looking for in an opportunity is when a mention comes from another website, but there’s no backlink associated with your brand.
  • When this happens, you can use a tool like Hunter.io or manually check a website’s contact and/or advertising pages to find their contact information. Now you’re ready to send a pitch asking if they can also add a backlink to your in-text mention. We suggest that you prepare the pitch beforehand and simply modify certain fields for personalization reasons.
  • What? An email template you could use right away?

Yes, of course, we have a ready-to-use template for you – however, we recommend creating one that matches your style and brand voice exactly:

Object: Thanks for the mention!

Email body:

“Hey [Name, Website],

I just noticed that you mentioned [Me, My Brand, My Product, etc.] on your website : [Link].

Thank you for supporting our efforts, it’s always a pleasure to meet people who find our [Content, Products, Resources, etc.] useful and valuable for their [readers, audience, etc.].

Would you mind referring us for attribution?

Let me know if you want us to share ideas.

See you soon,
[YourName]”

  • As a final step, be sure to add the opportunity to a link building status sheet alongside the outreach dates so you can send follow-up emails easier and smarter (don’t expect not get an answer upfront, these will usually require a sequence)

However, in all honesty, you need to set realistic outcome expectations based on your business/brand’s growth phase.

When mentions like this pop up, you know you’re halfway to earning a new link. Since the author already knows about your company and your products, there is a good chance that he will respond to your email.

In conclusion for now

Important Note: Google has previously announced that it can detect unlinked mentions BUT it does do not pass PageRank. This means that striving to earn that link will definitely pay off in the long run. Additionally, you should know that a no-follow link is also better than none at all thanks to Google treating it “as a way to better understand how to properly analyze and use links within our systems.”

Feel free to leave us a comment if you have any questions. I hope you find our article motivating and jump right into action.

Until our next article on Link Building 101 – remember that link building is a marathon, not a sprint!


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