Using Google Alerts for SEO Link Building

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 04, 2013

Do you use Google Alerts for link building? If not, you should — it’s easy to set up, it’s free, and it helps you build quality links that boost your SEO.

How are Google Alerts good for SEO? You can:

See who’s talking about your company – and what they’re saying. This is a good way to correct misconceptions about your products, get follow-up quotes in blogs where your company was discussed, or simply ask the editor of the blog or website to provide a link to your website. Coming from a reputable website that’s relevant to your industry, that’s a link that’s worth building.

Score a guest post on someone else’s blog that has mentioned you. If a blogger likes your company, products or services enough to write about it by name, they’d probably be happy to let you submit a guest post to their blog on an industry-specific topic. You could write about breaking news relevant to your field, new technologies or trends, or tips and tricks of your trade – it depends largely on the format of the blog and what the editor is looking for. So be flexible and you could get a great opportunity for free, positive publicity as well as a backlink to your site.

Use keywords to find websites that don’t link to yours yet, but should. This is another way to get guest posts: Create a Google Alert for keywords that relate to your products, services or the problems they solve. Sometimes a website or blog will say it accepts guest posts; sometimes it won’t – it costs nothing to ask. And if you do get to submit an article or blog post that positions you as an industry leader and provides a backlink, that’s priceless. Another way to find such opportunities is to set up Google Alerts such as “bloggers wanted” <industry>, “writers wanted” <industry> or “guest post” <industry> (with your particular industry filled in, of course).

Keep up with your competitors. Find out which sites they’ve contributed content to and drop the editor a line (you already know they accept guest posts!). This is not just a good tactic for link building, it’s also great for fine-tuning the keywords you target and knowing what your competitors are up to.

Dialogue with potential customers. Find out what is being discussed and where. Robot-generated “comment spam” on forums or blogs is always a bad idea, but thoughtful and helpful replies to customer questions can certainly include a link to your website. To use Google Alerts for this, pair keywords such as your company name, product name(s) or others with words like “how,” “help” or “why.”

Setting up Google Alerts is easy. However, don’t set up too many at first or you’ll be overwhelmed with emails! Go to http://www.google.com/alerts, enter your keywords in the search query, choose the result type and frequency of emails, enter your email address, click “Create Alert” and you’re done. Then you just have to use the data to help you find the right sites to build links with.

It may not be a fast track to higher search engine rankings, but as an ongoing part of your overall SEO strategy, using Google Alerts for link building is a great idea and something you can devote a little time to each day. And you’ll be able to do a little virtual networking along the way, building relationships as well as links.