Link Building: How Open Site Explorer Can Help

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A recent buzz term, in the world of SEO copywriting, has been “link building” – a term used to describe the practice of getting other sites to link back to yours. A key step in this is to determine who’s already linking to your page – and that’s where Open Site Explorer can help.

Open Site Explorer is a simple and free tool that lets you see a detailed report of who’s linking to your website, what kind of authority those pages have, and what sort of anchor text other pages are using to link to your site.

We learned first hand that performing a search can generate some pretty interesting data! We searched our own domain ( and found that most sites linking to ours were what we expected, with a few happy surprises. The 2 that stood out to us were found to be coming from blog posts on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. These domains have a near perfect domain authority (meaning Google LOVES them). A link from a high-authority page can help dramatically increase your own site’s Google clout, which is the goal with link building!

So how did we achieve it? You may call it a happy accident, the blog posts that had links to our domain were written back in 2009. One of our former employees, a wonderful SEO writer who may have been ahead of her time in this case, was proactive in commenting on SEO-related blogs and tagging her posts with our URL. This just goes to show you another truth in SEO marketing, commenting on others’ content is helpful to everyone.

As you can see, Open Site Explorer can be useful in learning what current link building efforts are helping your page along. Once you know who’s linking to you, your next step is to foster these relationships. Start by thanking them for the mention and reciprocate if appropriate on your own website.

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