Resource Page Link Building
Resource page link building is the second most popular link building tactic (Moz, 2016) and for good reason: it’s easy, fast and with high rates of success.
So, if you’ve been considering this tactic for your link building campaigns, you can go ahead and be sure you made a good decision.
Not sure how to implement it, though? Fear not, you chose the right article to help you through the steps.
Let’s begin with the basics.
What Is Resource Page Link Building?
Resource page link building is the practice of obtaining links from curated lists of online resources on websites in the same or a related niche.
Contrary to other link building techniques, where the marketer has to convince the webmaster to link back, resource page link building comes with the added benefit that website owners often encourage suggestions of new resources from readers. That makes it extremely easy for link builders to send a totally legitimate link request.
Below is an example:
Other times, when there’s no sign of direct encouragement from the webmaster, a persuasive email pitch will still do the job.
All in all, with this link building technique being so easy, it can be implemented even by complete beginners, as long as you have good link-worthy content to share with webmasters.
What Kind of Content Works Best With Resource Page Link Building
Because you’re going to have to convince the webmaster that your content is one of the best resources out there on a given topic, your content should be long-form and comprehensive — created, for example, with the Skyscraper technique.
In other words, link-worthy content — your very own version of a Wikipedia page.
Ask yourself these questions about your content:
- Is it a go-to resource that displays authority and trust?
- Does it contain expert insight?
- Does it contain original research and/or data?
- Is it useful enough for someone to want to link to it?
For example, if you compiled a collection of commented marketing statistics, that might be link-worthy content that you can pitch.
The same applies if you have interviewed experts (e.g. doctors, psychologists, marketers, CEOs, etc.) and you created a long-form resource filled with helpful insight from these great people.
Resource Page Link Building Techniques (The Guide)
1. How to Find a Resource Page
This is the easiest step in the process, for all you need is your web browser.
To start, load Google search engine and use any of these search strings:
niche + “resource page”
niche + “helpful resources”
niche + “resources”
niche + “links”
These searches will return only pages that list resources in your niche or industry.
See the example screenshot below for the search terms “breastfeeding resource page”, returning 16+ million results:
You can also use intitle:, inurl: and site: operators to further refine your search. For example:
php programming intitle:resources
gardening + inurl:links
robotics blog + site:.edu
When you want to add more specific search terms, a lot depends on your niche. For example, if you have a recipe blog, you may look for something like:
links intitle:best recipe sites
links intitle:cooking resources
By simply searching Google for smart search terms, you will retrieve tons of pages — including roundup blog posts and posts containing short sections with “helpful resources” or “further reading” — that you can pitch later for your resource page link building campaign.
2. Resource Page Quality
You can assess resource pages by metrics (using online checkers for Moz and Majestic metrics, for example) or by manual review.
Some helpful metrics (and why):
- Moz’s DA (Domain Authority): Moz’s domain-level score is an estimate of how well ranked a website is in Google and it’s been designed as a comparative tool (with competitors). The score range is 1-100.
- Moz’s PA (Page Authority): like DA, but at page level.
- Ahrefs’ DR (Domain Rating): like DA, it’s a score that covers the whole domain’s backlink profile (not only one page) and measures its strength on a 1-100 scale. The higher the rating, the better.
- Ahrefs’ UR (URL Rating): like DR, but at a page(URL level.
- Majestic’s TF (Trust Flow): this metric from Majestic, on a 0-100 scale, tells you something about the quality of the backlinks of a given site. TF is higher when a site got more backlinks from trusted “seeds” (authoritative websites).
- Majestic’s CF (Citation Flow): a 0-100 score by Majestic, it measures the “link power” of a website (how many sites link to it).
Your manual review should include:
- Relevancy Assessment: is this page relevant to your niche? Will your link add value?
- Update Frequency & Broken Links: how often is the site updated? If the site is rarely updated, so might be this page, which might accumulate broken links and be seen poorly by search engines. Use Dead Link Checker to find broken links on the page
- Links On the Page: are they quality links? Are they followed or nofollowed? Do they look spammy? You will want to avoid a resource page filled with spam links. Also, you may want to think twice if the page only lists links with a nofollow rel attribute, because Google treats these links as “hints” and it’s not certain that they’ll follow them.
Now that you have assessed the resource page and its main domain, create a spreadsheet where you collect all this information.
See the example below:
For this example, we created a spreadsheet with 10 columns that include some metrics and manual review parameters:
- Page URL
- Page Title
- Page Authority (PA)
- URL Rating (UR)
- Domain Authority (DA)
- Domain Rating (DR)
- Update Frequency
- Broken Links
- Link Type (Follow/Nofollow)
Feel free to use this example as a template for your resource page link building spreadsheet. Naturally, you can add more metrics and parameters as you see fit.
3. The Pitch
When you request a resource page link, make sure that you mention having read about the request for new resources if the website owner placed one, or kindly suggest your page as a helpful addition to the list.
Stay relevant! Don’t pitch a C programming course to a plumbing page! Links don’t all have the same value and you will end up looking spammy.
Don’t forget to send your pitch to the right person — even if there’s only a contact form and no personal email, address the person by name.
Also, be personable and friendly: you want to inspire trust, not sound salesy and pushy.
Below is an example pitch (that you can use as a template):
Today I was searching for interesting pages on (TOPIC/NICHE) and I stumbled upon your resource page.
What a nice collection of websites! I’ve been browsing a few, I really like (PICK ONE).
The good news is that I also wrote about (TOPIC/NICHE) and I’ve been called an expert for it. Would you like to give it a read?
It would be cool to see it appear in your list, but naturally that’s up to you.
Let me know what you think!
If you deem it applicable, you can suggest an area where you would like the link to appear: that will make things easier for the webmaster. However, offer it only as a suggestion, since the final placement is up to the webmaster’s editorial decision.
4. What to Avoid
Some website owners only link to their own content in their resource pages, so if you pitch them, 99.99% of the time the answer will be a “no”.
Don’t waste your time! Only consider pages that link out to other sites.
Also, you’ll want to avoid websites that only link to highly authoritative sites (i.e. sites from doctors and the government if you’re in the medical niche) because they’re unlikely to add your link to their page.
Last but not least, only pitch websites in your niche or that promote your niche, because links are not all the same and Google will penalize both your site and the webmaster’s for unnatural (irrelevant) links.
The point is — focus your energy on achievable goals and you will up your chances to score a high quality backlink.
5. Bonus Tip: Look for Broken Links On the Resource Page
Did you know that you can be extra helpful to the website owner — and further up your chances to get a backlink?
You can find broken links on the resource page you’re hoping to get a link from and let the webmaster know about it. (They’ll thank you for pointing them out!)
- Use the LinkMiner Chrome extension or the previously mentioned Dead Link Checker tool to find broken links on your target resource page
- Add a line or a “P.S.” to your pitch about any broken links you’ve found, such as: “P.S. Hey! As I ran through the listed resources I noticed that the links to ABC and DEF are broken. Thought you might want to know.”
You could even suggest your page as a replacement for one of the broken links. In that case, make sure you stress the fact that your content is of the same quality (or higher) and about the same topic as the dead page.
Conclusion: Resource Page Link Building Is Worth the Effort
As you can see, resource page link building is not only easier than many other types of link building tactics, it’s also helpful to webmasters because it adds value to their sites.
And if the webmaster really enjoys your content, that could lead to interesting relationships among content creators (further collaboration or a partnership).
What really matters is that you run a manual review — as well as a metrics review — for each resource page to assess its quality, because the last thing you want is a backlink from a low quality, spammy page that will get you penalized.
We hope that our guide can help you get started and a run a successful link building campaign.
Here’s to your success!