Web search engine algorithms have changed over the years, but one ranking signal has remained constant – inbound links. In fact, inbound links are so important that a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, Andrey Lipattsev recently revealed that links are among its three major search ranking factors.
There are many effective ways to manually build and naturally earn backlinks from relevant, authority websites – one of such ways is getting links on resource pages and blogrolls of other people’s websites. In SEO, this type of inbound links is called resource links.
Resource Links Explained in Simple Terms
Resource links are links found on resource pages of websites.
A resource page is a webpage with a curated list of links pointing to useful resources on a particular topic, for example, an advertising agency website can have a “resources page” containing links pointing to “business building resources.”
The resources can be ebooks in PDF or ePub formats, infographics, blog posts, videos, MP3s, software, interactive tools such as mortgage calculators, and so on.
The links are usually embedded in anchor texts describing the web resources being linked to and the links can lead to the home page or directory of the resource.
Is Resource Link Building a White Hat or Black Hat SEO Strategy?
Resource links building is a white hat SEO strategy. When done right, getting links on resource pages of other people’s website is perfectly okay and doesn’t flout Google Webmaster Guidelines.
The links on resource pages appear natural, add value to the web page, and help users discover quality resources and content they wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.
For instance, if a digital marketing blog publishes a resource page listing links to valuable resources on internet marketing, and you have a 5,000-word complete guide on Instagram Marketing, there is nothing wrong in writing to the blog publisher and suggesting he or she includes your great guide as one of the resources.
Why Seek Backlinks on Resource Pages?
i. Relatively easier to get – compared to other link building tactics such as guest blogging, brand mentions, promoting contents hoping to earn backlinks, resource links is easier to get. In fact, some websites include a form on their resource page asking website visitors to suggest relevant links.
ii. It’s a white hat SEO practice – resource page link building doesn’t contravene any search engine’s content guidelines, instead, it adds value to the resource page and to the web as a whole.
iii. Perceived high value – resource links are often presented as recommended resources, making people perceive them as having value; for example, if marketing guru, Seth Godin publishes a list of recommended internet marketing resources, digital marketing professionals will naturally believe the resources must be valuable for Seth Godin to recommend them.
iv. High visibility – some webmasters link to resources page from the main navigation of their website making it visible to website visitors and can lead to more clicks to the destination websites.
v. Provide context for your website – when a web page gets a link from a relevant website, it helps Google better understand what the destination page is about. For example, if a graphics design website gets a resource link from a graphics design tutorial site, it further strengthens the theme of the destination site as a website related to graphics design. A better understanding of web pages by web search engines leads to a higher ranking of the pages.
vi. Create a domino effect – the link visibility of the target website leads to more clicks, more clicks can lead to more dwell time on the website, more dwell time leads to a higher ranking in the search engines. With high ranking comes more visibility in the search engines and more opportunity to end up on more resource pages.
What Makes a Good Resource Link Profile?
Not all resource links are good – some are bad for SEO and should not be sought. A resource link is good for SEO if it fits the following profile:
Relevant – a good resource link comes from a website that is topically related to the web page being linked to. For example, if a website is about artificial intelligence tools, it is better to get a link on a resource page that has to do with artificial intelligence, not on a phone blog.
On high authority domains – resource links from a high authority domain are looked upon favourably by web search engines as opposed to low authority domains that might raise a red flag.
Natural anchor text – an anchor text is the linked text describing what the link is about. A natural anchor text is a text that simply describes the link without including too many keywords or exact anchor texts. A branded anchor text such as a website name (Daily Posts, for example) is considered a natural anchor text.
Free listing – a good resource link is listed for free and not paid for. Buying link space on resource page is bad for SEO and lowers the quality of contents being accepted to be published.
Not reciprocated link – some webmasters exchange resource links with one another – this is a black hat SEO practice. A good resource link, on the other hand, doesn’t reciprocate by linking back to the resource page or the domain.
Quality of surrounding links – a good resource link is a link that is listed among links that point to quality and trusted domains. If the surrounding links point to spammy sites, it might affect the value of the link in the eyes of the search engines.
How to Get Links on Resource Pages
First, ensure you have content worth linking to, awesome content that you don’t have to be pushy when pitching it to webmasters, content whose value speaks for itself.
That said, here is a simple two-step process to follow to find resource pages in your industry and get valuable backlinks on them to enhance your SEO efforts:
Step 1: Search Google for resource pages in the industry you are targeting
To find resource pages in your industry is easy using Google – all you have to do is search using the keywords webmasters use to name resource pages and add your industry name as part of the search term.
The common words webmasters use to name their resource pages are resources, links, helpful links, recommended resources, best resources, useful resources, best sites, best blogs, and blogroll.
For example, if your industry is website design, your keyword will be “website design resources” – without the quotation marks. The search should return a decent amount of results for you to sort through.
To get more precise results, make use of Google Advanced Search Operators to target page titles and URLs that contain your search term.
The two Google Advanced Search Operators to achieve that are inurl: and intitle:
inurl: enables you to search for keywords in the URL while intitle: enables you to search for keywords in the page title.
For example, the search query below searches for website design pages that have the word “resources” in the URL:
website design inurl:resources
The search query below searches for website design pages that have the keywords “best” and “resources” in their page titles:
website design intitle:best resources
You can also use Google Advanced Search Operators to search for resource pages with “submit links” form.
Step 2: Contact the webmasters of each resource page to request for link addition
Once you discover the resource pages you want your links to appear on, the next step to take is to contact the webmaster managing the pages and request that they should add your link.
Start with resource pages that have “submit links” form – all you have to do here is submit your link.
After submitting your links using the forms, move on to contacting webmasters of resource pages who didn’t provide a “submit links” form.
Webmasters can be contacted using contact forms on their websites as well as using email-finding tools such as hunter.io. The tools will reveal the names and email addresses of the website owners so you can contact them.
The best way to contact them is through email. With email, you can track your emails to know if they were opened and read or not, run A/B split tests so you can discover the email subject lines and content that work.
To get quick results, follow these cold email best practices:
Sending webmasters email asking them to include your link in their resource page is not a one-weekend project, you will need to do follow up because not all webmasters will respond; even those who responded to your email and promised to add your link might forget to add your link.