Use Google Alerts to Enhance Your Link Building Strategy - Will Hanke

Use Google Alerts to Enhance Your Link Building Strategy

Written by +Will Hanke on July 28th, 2008

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I’m a big fan of Google Alerts. I love letting Google scour the web for me and provide me with a nice little email that tells me about (and links me to ) new articles about a particular subject that I may be interested in.

For example, I run a very local website called Arnold Talk ( which I post news articles and events that are related to my little town. So I set up a few alerts such as “arnold mo” and “arnold missouri”. Any time someone posts an article that mentions that phrase, I’ll get an email about it.

It’s great because I can have information about upcoming events before anyone else does, including the local newspaper.

So how can you use Google Alerts for your business?

Let’s say, for this example, that you run a business selling football supplies. You stock and ship footballs, helmets, pads, even trophies around the country.

You notice that your ranking for “red helmets” is low and you want to get a few links for that phrase. So you log into Google Alerts and add a new alert for that phrase. Make sure you use the quotes, or else you’ll end up with results that just mention the word ‘red’ and the word ‘helmets’ on the same page. That won’t do you much good.

So a day or two goes by and then you get an email from the Alerts telling you that there is a blog with your phrase. You click the link and see that its a high schooler who is blogging about his day, and he mentions the new red helmets they got this year. You look around and find his email address and shoot off an email similar to this:

Dear Johnny Quarterback,

Today I noticed that you had mentioned that your team got some new helmets for this years football season. Congrats!

I am an Internet marketer, and I would like to know if you’d be interested in creating a link in your recent post where you mentioned the helmets. If so, I’d be happy to pay you $5 for the link.

I hope your team does a great job this year, and wish you the best of luck on your football career.

Joe Mama

Now, it may work better for you if you just mention that you are a sports store owner, or you may want to skip that part altogether. The point is to get the link, and cheap. Since the chances are this blog isn’t read by too many people, the value of the link is not going to be high. But it’s a permanent link. And Johnny Quarterback will be thrilled to get $5 bucks.

Do you use Google Alerts to help you with your link building strategy? If not, why not? What’s more fun than using Google to beat Google?

By the way, if it works out and you get the link, I’d also follow up with him asking him not to post the fact that he sold a link (for obvious reasons).


Will Hanke is the Chief Search Marketing Strategist at Red Canoe Media, a top St. Louis Search Marketing & SEO firm. In addition to helping some of the city's most recognizable brands with their online marketing strategy, Will also is an Amazon bestselling author, speaker and teacher.


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Is the alert functionality a separate google application? If not, which application is it embedded in?

  2. Will says:

    Hi Scott,

    For some reason this morning on the way in to the office I realized that I didn’t link to the alert system. Here it is, sorry about that.

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