Link Building Ideas – Use Google Categories
Everyone who is does link building on a regular basis can suffer from SEO’s alternative to writers’ block. Running out of link building ideas and places to get links from can be a familiar problem amongst SEO’s who tend to get ‘link builders’ block’.
Finding Related Sites
One way to find link opportunities is to search for sites, blogs or directories that relate to same industries as your site or business is related to. So the first thing you would do is write down the different industries or ‘categories’ that you think your site would fall into. However, sometimes you find that you’ve exhausted all avenues of this list and become stuck for ideas. A good way to think of different categories and different sites to look for is to use Google’s own categories in both the Merchant Centre and Google Places.
Google Merchant Centre Categories
Google’s Merchant Centre requires advertisers to apply a Google Product Category to every product submitted, and provide a really useful tool which allows you to search for your product and find the most suitable sub-category. I have often found that the most suitable sub-category in Google’s eyes is not always in the main category I’d expect to find it in. This has given me ideas of perhaps looking for sites that fall into different categories than the categories in my original list.
For example, if I were to look at links related to flooring, I would often look at home improvement related sites, but by using Google’s categorisation, flooring comes under ‘hardware’.
Google Places Categories
Another Google product that requires categorisation is Google Places. Although it is possible to use your own category names, it is recommended that advertisers use Google’s own categories in their Places listing. There is a similar search function to the Merchant Centre which populates suggested categories based on what you type into the category field in Places, however there is also a nice little tool here which generates suggested categories.
The Places categories I find are useful to use when submitting directory listings. Perhaps looking in directory categories that closely match Google’s own categorisation is a good way to gain links that Google are more likely to consider as a ‘related’ link.
By trying to understand Google’s mindset in this way may just help you think like the search engine you’re optimising your site for.
Do you often suffer from link builders’ block? Where do you find inspiration to get new links?