My new favourite tool that can help with link building

Build links easily in communities related to your niche with the help of this browser extension.

Now that I’ve finished my MA, I’ve started to take on more freelancing projects and have found myself conducting lots of link building of late.  In doing so, I’ve found this good browser extension that I thought I’d share.

A while back I wrote about building links organically by participating in communities that fit around your niche.  I gave several examples on how you can find these niche sites easily.  One of those examples was a website called “Sites Like“!  If you’ve not heard of it yet, allow me to explain.  You simply input a URL and it outputs a list of sites it believes are closely related.  You can see why that’s a handy tool for link builders?

Sites like tool for finding niche websites

Making it even easier:

Although visiting the website and inputting your desired URL is already pretty easy, have got a browser extension too so you can find related communities right from your browser window.  I don’t know whether it’s new, or whether I’ve only just noticed it?  Either way it’s very handy.

How to use it for link building:

So, let’s imagine I’m building links for a website that sells interior design services.  In a backlink profile for a competitor, I find an interior design social network site giving out several links.  I visit it and then click the ‘Sites Like’ button in my browser.  It provides me with 15 examples of similar websites and the opportunity to click the link to visit more in a new tab.

I won’t lie and tell you with every single click I find millions of sites that are utopias for link builders: perfect community-driven social networks where you can easily build a number of links, no.  But I HAVE found one or two gems that have made it worthwhile.

And what about the other non-community sites?  They’re still useful too and they be able to give you plenty of link building fuel.  They must be related to your niche in some way, since this site relies on tagging by topic. Is the recommended site selling the same sorts of products?  Why not run them through a backlink tool? Or are they a resource on your topic?  Maybe contact them and ask to exchange links, or better still, request they link to your content.

I’ve used this method to build links on several different projects recently with reasonable success.  It’s very quick and I have found it to be very useful.  I hope it will be for you too, good luck!

sites like tool

Introducing the Site Report Tool – Review

Yesterday, the lovely people at launched a great new tool that could help you improve your website, gain search engine rankings and attract new traffic.

Introducing the…… drumroll please……..: Site Report!About Us site report

This brand new tool allows you to look at the most important SEO factors of a website and see a report of what’s going right and what’s going wrong.  You can look at your own website, a competitor’s site, or simply a site you admire.

To have a go with the Site Report tool simply type a website address into the tool and wait as the technology evaluates up to 50 pages from your chosen site.  After a couple of minutes, you’ll get a detailed report showing you where your sites lacks in terms of SEO… from missing H1 tags to dodgy meta descriptions.

The Site Report tool is great because…

It’s ideal for small businesses that are new to SEO and want to improve their website/s.  At $9.95 per month, it’s certainly cheaper then hiring an SEO consultant if you just want to start off by making a couple of basic, low-level changes.

The Site Report tool allows you to see what needs changing at a glance, I think this is particularly great for analysing the length of title tags and meta attributes.  Immediately see if any are too long or short without having to spend too much time devising clever ways to count characters en masse!


I think only being able to scan 50 pages is a bit of a problem for larger sites.  With that said, you can delete pages once they’re fixed and then scan new pages.

How to find niche communities…

Learn how to find really good niche communities for both link building and networking with these great tips:

I have three tips that I’m going to share with you today, which you can use to build a network of links from niche communities.  Since developing these tips, I’ve managed to find great niche communities for the sites I optimise.  I hope you’ll be able to find at LEAST one niche community to engage with too.
But before I get onto the tips, I’ll answer TWO important questions:

  • Why should I be engaging in niche communities? And:
  • What are the benefits of participating in a niche community?

(Feel free to skip these and jump down to the tips below if you already know why it’s important to post in niche communities as part of your SEO campaign.)

Why should I be engaging in niche communities?

Many SEOs try to fool Google into thinking their sites are important. We push our links onto bookmarking sites, news submission sites and social networks.  And we’re all guilty of creating accounts, dropping links and moving on to the next place very quickly.  I feel that it’s no longer the best technique, and it’s pretty obvious that Google’s on to us, so let’s keep one step ahead of the game and use a method that will benefit us, Google AND our niche market.

Instead, spend your time building quality links organically by engaging in a range of discussions on niche community sites.  Niche communities WILL help your content rank highly.  By participating in a niche community, you’ll build STRONG, relevant links to the site you’re optimising and you’ll give something back to the users of that site.

What are the benefits of participating in a niche community?

Aside from the obvious (a chance to link the site you’re optimising), niche communities provide the following:

  • LuMaxArt FS Collection Orange0052A stream of targeted and interested members, which you can engage with.  Find out what they’re interested in.  Learn about the questions they’re asking, which you can answer and later expand into blog posts (As an aside, I like to browse sections matching my particular niche in Q&A sites for this reason!)
  • Potentially, there’s a chance to bring a stream of targeted traffic to your site.
  • The chance to build trust and authority in your area.
  • The opportunity to network with other niche community members, who also have blogs and websites (think guest posts, blogrolls and comments.)
  • In some cases, PageRank can be passed to the site you’re optimising, which may help you rank better.
  • Think of all that relevant content surrounding YOUR links!

Sounds great doesn’t it?

We just need to find some fantastic niche communities to engage in now!

For the sake of this article, I’m going to look for handmade / crafting niche communities.  Let’s pretend I sell handmade items in the UK, so ideally I’m looking for UK niche communities to engage in.

So let’s get started:

Tip #1:  Find niche communities using Google’s advanced search operators:

How to find a Niche Community on Google

Visit Google (in the country of your choice) and type in the following:

allintitle:social network + craft

Allintitle: searches through the title tags on sites in Google’s index.  It asks Google to return results with ALL the keywords in the title.  Pretty handy if a niche community has named their site something like ‘The Craft Lovers Social Network’.

Next, try:

allinurl:join + craft

Allinurl: does a similar job to allintitle.  It searches for ALL of those words in the URL.  Again, this is handy if somebody has a site with both ‘craft’ and ‘join’ in their URL.

HINT: Try substituting network for ‘community’, ‘forum’ or ‘blog’ and ‘join’ for ’sign up.’

HINT: Try using related words for ‘craft’ too, such as: handmade, jewelery, etc.  And try using both plural and singular options.  Append ‘UK’ (or your country of choice) to find niche communities specifically in that location.

Tip #2: Find niche communities using ‘Sites Like’:

Find sites like those in your niche

If I’ve found one niche community and I’d like to find some similar sites to join, I type the following into Google:

Sites like

Usually, I find a blog post that gives a round up of similar sites to my favourite niche community.

If not, I try inputting the original site’s URL or some key phrases into these websites:

These return similar sites to the URLs you put in.  Very handy!

Tip #3:  Find niche community forums using these tools:

Use boardreaders to find niche sites

Forum participation is a great way to engage with your niche community.  Advice: spend less time worrying about your signature links and more time building relevant, helpful and USEFUL content in the forum and the traffic will follow.

You can easily find niche forums by searching with the following tools:

I found 20+ crafting and handmade communities with those methods, in just 5 minutes, how many did you find for your niche?


Soon, I’ll be posting a guide on engaging with your niche community, giving you my formula for optimal participation. That’ll be up in the next week or so, so please subscribe to my RSS feed.

Finally, if you missed my last post, I shared over 500+ social media websites, which I’ve found on my Internet travels.  Many are categorised by niche, so you may find some great communities in there to get you started 🙂

[Image credit]

500+ social media networks – AND they’re ALL YOURS

Access to over 500+ social media networks for free by using these methods!  Enjoy:

If you’re in the SEO business and you’re looking to create profiles, engage with people and talk about your brand (oh, and of course, get some great backlinks in the process) you’re probably used to searching high and low for different social media websites to sign up to.  And, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably always on the lookout for new places to make your mark, whether these are networks, bookmarking websites or article driven community hubs..

The search is over!  100s of social media networks!

Stop your search and let me share with you my five best kept secrets.  These are five websites that contain hundreds of links to social networking websites.  Some are arranged by niche, others by function.

I promise, these will give you fuel for weeks:

1.  150+ social networks, categorised by niche:

social networkingsocial networking

With over 50 different categories and hundreds of websites listed, you’re sure to find a social networking site that will help you build relevant links and engage with interested people.  Is beer your thing?  There’s a network for that.  What about pets or politics?  Religion? Shopping? Smoking? Sport? Spanish? Real estate? Travel? Education? Yep there are social networks for all those too.  A lot of the niche social networking sites linked ALSO have their own reviews too, conducted by the site’s owner.

Social networks categorised by niche:  Click here to visit.

2. 100 social media websites that pass PageRank:

social mediasocial media

This list IS a little outdated (it’s from 2007) and there are several sites that a) no longer exist and b) have now opted to nofollow links BUT don’t be put off.  There are still LOTS of links on this site that are worth checking out.

100 social media websites that pass PageRank:  Click here to visit.

3. Over 350+ social media networks:

social networking sites

This website was designed for users who’d like to check which social media websites and social networks they can still claim a branded profile on.  For example, I can search ‘SuperCarly’ and see out of the 350+ social media websites which I can then go and still claim!

But how does this help you build networks and profiles?

Well, in the top navigation, KnowEm provides a list of the services they’re currently tracking, all divided up by function.  For example, I can see roughly 30 blogging websites, 47 community sites and around 30 bookmarking sites and there are still a lot of other options to look through.  The site also contains social media networks for specialty niche areas too, like health, design, music, business, travel and news.  KnowEm offer a premium service too, so if you’re too busy, they can secure your brand name across all available social media networks on your behalf.  Bargain.

350+ social media networks:  Click here to visit.

4.  10 image bookmarking websites for backlinks:

image bookmarking
OK, this one will only keep you busy for one hour, but it’s worth it.  I’d never heard of these websites before I found this post.  You can sign up to most of them and create profile links and backlinks to your submissions, though two websites require invites before signing up (though you can email to request these.)  Plus, if you create a really good image and it goes viral, you get lovely free traffic!

A must for all designers and photographers. Businesses – you could get your staff to submit quirky photos to a couple of these sites?  Give them a try!

10 image bookmarking websites for backlinks:  Click here to visit.

5. 30+ social media networks on Ping.Fm

PingFm social networks

I’m going to be honest and assume that a bunch of these websites ARE already contained in the 350+ list KnowEm provides…BUT I will say that I’ve already spotted one or two gems that don‘t appear to be on the KnowEm site, which is pretty useful!

Ping.FM boasts the ability to update a lot of  services from the same place, making your social media networks and social networking portals very easy to manage!

30+ social media networks on Ping.Fm:  Click here to visit.

I hope you’ve found these websites as useful as I have!

A big shout out to the owners who spent a lot of time collating these lists to share with us all.

Lastly, have you any similar resources to share?  I’d really appreciate it 🙂

(Credit:  Icons.) Follow removed from links & exciting new venture have put me on an emotional roller coaster this week (well, not quite – that’s a slight exaggeration!) But there have been two big announcements over the last seven days, one good and the other a little disappointing.
Unfortunately the latter involves’s newly launched ProFollow service, which I blogged about a couple of weeks ago!

ProFollow is NoFollow – but not for long (hopefully!)

On Saturday morning I woke up to a lovely email from’s Kristina, who’d taken time to personally write and send me a message about the company’s decision to temporarily stop giving out free follow links to people who’d taken the time to edit their pages.

She referred me to the official blog post on, which states:

We decided to stop following all external links after discovering that Google may regard our Spotlight article service as a form of link selling. Link selling isn’t normal web advertising. A link seller provides inbound links to a site specifically to manipulate search engine results.

So, there you have it.  No more lovely, free follow links – but is this just for now?

The blog post does continue:

It’s possible we’ll reconsider our decision in the future, and remove the NoFollow attribute on pages edited by AboutUs visitors

Phew!  Let’s hope they do find a way to still reward visitors without Google assuming they’re selling links.  After all, any ‘juice’ being passed from the ProFollow scheme would have been worth nothing if couldn’t maintain a decent PageRank for its content because of ‘link selling’ anyway.

And now for the good news… AboutUs launch new project:

So, still wallowing in the disappointment from the revoked ProFollow scheme, you can imagine my excited little face when I looked at FaceBook and found that had launched a new side project –!

Now we’ve got something new for you: It’s all about the essence of websites, as understood – and conveyed – by different people.

Ooh, very interesting!  It’s essentially a platform that collates your ‘insights’ about websites, written in 120 characters or less.

Somebody has written the obligatory ‘it’s just like Twitter’ comment on the FaceBook page – and I guess it is a little similar to Twitter, yes. (120 character limit, for example.)  But this isn’t yet another microblogging service.  It’s a service to explain what you think is great or rubbish about other websites, which are then all collected and presented together on a page for that particular domain name.

So, naturally, I had to take advantage and put:

Super Carly

But that’s just my opinion.  If you disagree, you may write something different like ‘ is run by a smelly girl that likes smelly dogs’, or something equally as derogatory.  Or if you love my blog, you could write ‘ is run by an amazingly fantastic girl called Carly’, which is more preferential!

You get the point.

Of course, this website could have a more practical application then simply a platform on which to call me names; use it to find out if a website is fraudulent or scammy, search to find the shop with the best reviews or simply use it to find new places to surf.

Fantastic.  Never risk buying overpriced shoes again,  learn which Bingo site is the best and find fun new places to hang out!

Oh and let me know if you sign up to add any insights: simply leave your URL in the comments and I’ll even give you a vote!!

Oh and yes, I did notice that is providing websites with a follow link – I just didn’t want to point it out, jinx it and have them take it away, so shhhh 😀

Free follow links from have now started giving away follow links for FREE.

They’ve launched a new ‘Profollow‘ scheme, which I seriously recommend all SEOs take advantage of!

The scheme encourages users to create unique and valuable content on and in return they’ll get follow links for free.

You can read’s reasoning behind the scheme on their blog post entitled ‘Aboutus wants to give you link love!

But hang on…What is Logo is a collaborative wiki where users can edit pages about websites.

It’s essentially a Wikipedia for pages on the World Wide Web.

If you’ve never heard of, let me quote their mission statement:

To build the world’s most comprehensive, collaborative guide to the best places on the world wide web. We invite everyone to engage with our wiki: whether you’re an organization, business, non-profit or individual. Come see why the knowledge of many makes us one of the fastest-growing and most powerful websites on the internet today. It’s easy to participate because you can edit our pages!

How to get your FREE follow links:

All you have to do is log-in to (or create) your account, find the Wiki page for your website, edit the default description for your site (usually based on Meta Data which it scrapes) and email the team to say you’d like to be rewarded with free follow links for your efforts!  Of course, don’t spend two minutes making changes; write as much as you can and make sure it’s unique content.  Above all, make your page interesting – you want to captivate random visitors and MAKE them click through to your site.

Is it worth it?  Why should I bother?

Free follow links are a great reward for taking the time to edit wiki pages about your site.  Billions of page authors won’t take up this opportunity, so make sure you do!  Google will notice that ARE following you and not thousands of others, so they’ll see the link as a positive vote!

But that’s not all:

The unique content you write will lead to more coverage in the SERPS:  if you’re in first place for your keyword, let your page be second.  More coverage for you equals less exposure for your competitors!

Use your page to tell people what your site is about. This will help people who aren’t sure what your mission is and who don’t really understand why they need to sign up with you.

Finally, a nice glowing page can help your reputation.  If your site has some less-than-lovely reviews, you may want to embark on a bit of reputation management.  Use sites like to boost good things in the search engines and knock that bad press off Google’s first page.  (Of course, if all other 199,999,999 results in Google for your company are bad reviews, you might want to start listening!)

Feel free to show off your pages in the comments below!