How to use Scrapebox for Link Building not Spamming

Scrapebox is well known in the SEO community as a Grey Hat, Black Hat, Yellow Polka Dotted Hat link building tool that is mainly used by blog commenting spammers. If you have ever spent any time reading blogs you will have seen the stereotypical comments on blogs. They usually say things such as “Great Blog Post thanks for sharing” with a keyword rich anchor text link to a site selling fake Ugg boots.

I know a lot of my regular readers will have a heart attack at the recommendation of using Scrapebox as a “White Hat” Link Building tool. A lot of people in the SEO community hate the thoughts of automated link building and the sheer mention of a tool such as Scrapebox makes their skin crawl. I can already imagine several people ready to jump down to the comments and tell me that tools like this are ruining the internet…

Well “Soapbox White Hatters” I’m going to show you a way that you can actually use Scrapebox to make the internet a better place… in fact a safer place for all!

So what is this Scrapebox Link building technique?

This link building technique utilises some of the free plugins that you can get from Scrapebox, the main tactic in this technique is to find a compromised or malware infected site and open a dialogue with the site owner in an attempt to receive a link either via a Guest Post or by suggesting the site owner replaces broken links with your own.

Scrapebox currently costs $97 (there are a few coupons on the net for $57 if you search around) and for the amount of time and money this tool will save you it is more than worth the investment. Scrapebox allows you to harvest thousands of URL’s from Google and Bing in no time at all and by entering your own custom footprints e.g. “submit * guest post” [keyword] you will find lots of guest blogging opportunities for your niche quickly. You can also import .txt files with lots of different search terms to put your harvesting on steroids.

The first free plugin you will need is the Malware and Phishing Filter once you have installed this plugin it allows you to search a list of sites from Scrapebox to find sites that have been compromised by some form of Malware. If you have Google Webmaster Tools setup on your websites then Google will normally inform you that a site has been infected by malware. Sadly many bloggers and small business owners rarely check their sites for malware and not everyone knows how to setup Google Webmaster tools.

Import your list of scraped URLs into the Malware checker and run it. This will flag up any site that has been compromised by some form of malware. You now want to export all of these bad urls and using the OSE check for PA/DA of the pages. Starting with the sites with the highest authority I then work down my list.

You can run the list through the Scrapebox Whois tool or use Scrapebox itself to check the contact page for any email addresses. You do not want to visit these sites as there is a risk that your computer maybe infected by a virus.

Now you want to send an email to the webmaster informing them of the malware issue on their site and send them a link to some helpful blog posts on how to fix malware infected sites. (If you haven’t checked out John Doherty’s blog post on SEOMoz about outreach email then make sure you do!)

You obviously do not want to ask for a link at this point. Depending on the quality of the site it might be worth using your hustle to track down alternative contact details too such as phone number, Twitter Handle, LinkedIn profile etc.

I have had a very good success rate in contacting webmasters using this technique and quite often I find that they are very grateful for you pointing out the problem on their website. Now that you have the dialogue with the site owner I will leave it to your imagination as to what approach you use next to obtain the link. But, this a good time to check the site for broken links or pitch a guest blog as the webmaster will probably have to recover the content on the site. I have even had a few webmasters offer me the chance to buy their sites for a small fee as they don’t have the time or inclination to fix their site and keep it up to date anymore!

So there you have it one way in which you can use a well regarded spam tool to speed up your link building research and to help make the web a safer place.

More Scrapebox Goodies.

I’m going to cover off a couple of other tasks I like to use ScrapeBox for when I am carrying out my day to day role, and hopefully I can show you some great ways to save time and speed up those monotonous processes.  There are a lot of extra applications for ScrapeBox and I am going to leave it to your own judgement as to the “ethical” use of this tool.

How to find Blogs to Guest Post on using ScrapeBox

I know guest blogging has been getting a lot of stick recently and quite rightly so. Some link builders have been really abusing this great tactic over the past few months; but I am sure you won’t be doing that will you now.

In this guide I am going to run through some screenshots so you can see how easy it is to use. I hope you are pretty up to speed with your advanced Google search operators, because you’re going to be dusting them off once you get your hands on ScrapeBox.

In this guide I am suggesting ways to find guest post prospects but you could just as easily use this method to find blogs to place infographics, videos or whatever other outreach projects you are working on.

  1. You want to add in your main keyword in this case I am looking for SEO blogs to write for
  2. You select “Custom Footprint” and add in your different footprints
  3. Select the search engine(s) you want to scrape e.g. Bing, Google, Yahoo
  4. Click the “start harvesting” button and go grab a fresh cup of coffee
  5. Once you have finished harvesting your URL’s you want to remove the duplicates (and you can also use ScrapeBox to lookup the PageRank of the domain)
  6. You then want to export the list into a CSV file
  7. I then like to do some basic prospecting to qualify my targets e.g. Web Design, PageRank or mozRank, RSS Subscribers, Social Media presence

I am not going to cover off best practises on pitching your guest posts in this article but if you want some good pointers on outreach I suggest you read my blogger outreach interview.

How to use ScrapeBox to Check for Broken Links

Another ScrapeBox tool you will find quite handy is the bulk URL check, especially if you have a big list of URL’s to check on a regular basis.

Oh and did I mention, you don’t even need to buy a license for this tool it’s completely free!

All you have to do is open the tool and then import a list of links you want to check in one text file. Now upload another text file you want to add in your URL’s. There are two options here you can either check a link to a specific URL is live or just check a link to the domain is live. It only takes a few minutes to check your list and then you can export the failed links and check with the webmaster to see why it may have been removed.

How to use ScrapeBox to Scrape Google Image Search

Do you suffer from your images being stolen by webmasters without attribution?  Well you can use Scrapebox to search Google for your image and then return the URL’s. The best way to do this is to make sure your image file names contain a set of random letters and numbers that will make it easy for you to find them e.g. dog-photo-xc345.jpg

You can then do a quick Google image search with ScrapeBox for “dog-photo-xc345.jpg” and the URL’s will be revealed. I would then personally load this list into ScrapeBox and use the WHOIS lookup tool to find the contact information for the domain owner and reach out asking they provide a link to your site for fair use of your image.

“Haters gonna hate… Scrapers gonna Scrape…”

As I mentioned at the start of this post there are lots of other great uses for ScrapeBox such as this article on ScrapeBox Keyword Research and also some additional ScrapeBox Tricks and Tips by Dan Bochichio.

If you have any more Scrapebox tips and tricks drop them in the comments below.

Social Media on Autopilot for Busy People

Anyone who’s anyone is talking about Social Media and how it is the new way to find new customers and interact with your old ones.  I can understand that many busy business owners probably struggle to find enough hours in the day to remember to eat, let alone Tweet. I rarely write about Social Media on this blog but I thought I would share this tactic I recently used for a new client. My client was a very busy local business owner who didn’t have a single Social Media account let alone a Social Media strategy, and I certainly didn’t have the time to look after another account too so I went about finding ways to save time for us both.

Everyday my Twitter and Google+ streams are full of people in my niche sharing other people’s great content and by doing so getting more and more followers, they become “Thought Leaders” or subject matter experts. You see the Social Media is just that “Social” if you want to be popular on Twitter you need to do just 3 things… that’s right 3 things!

  1. Engage with other people
  2. Share & Reshare other peoples great content
  3. Share your own content

I have put these things in their order of importance and as you can see talking about yourself is the last thing to do. By  sharing really good content you will get more followers and not just any old followers, engaged followers  & people who think you are the person with their finger on the pulse in your industry.

But, I don’t have time to sit on Twitter or LinkedIn all day looking for Infographics, Videos or blogs to share with my followers.

Well this is why I am going to show you a great tool & a couple of tips which will allow you to do this on autopilot!

Find the Content Specialists

Firstly you need to find the top bloggers  in your industry. You probably already know who a few of these are, but you can either do a quick search on Google or use a blog directory; Alltop is a superb place to start and so is Technorati

You want to make a list of the RSS feeds of all the blogs you like in a text file. If you don’t know what an RSS Feed is read this

Automatically Post to Social Media

The RSS to Twitter service dlvr.it is the go to service here, it’s dead easy to setup and allows you to post to a number of social accounts at the same time including Twitter, LinkedIn  and Facebook. All you have to do is paste in the feeds and add your social profiles.

If you want you can also add more rules to your feeds so that only posts containing or not containing particular words, this allows you to have some editorial control over what updates are shared with your audience. You can also add extra text to the update such as hashtags or an intro or call to action such as “Read this Great Article…”  will help get your updates noticed.

dlvr.it provides metrics such as the number of clicks and retweets you receive and it will show you your most popular content for the past 7 days… did I mention it was free?

Another great feature I use with dlvr.it is their schedule a post. This allows you to setup announcements in advance in case you are away or you could reshare some of your popular content from the past to your new followers or people who may have missed it.

Engaging With Followers on Autopilot

Remember rule number 1?

That’s right engage with other people on Social Media, well there is a great service that I discovered only a few weeks ago called ifttt , pronounced ift as in lift.

IFTTT stands for “If This Then That”, it allows you to automate tasks online such as you can back up your Instagram photos to Dropbox automatically or you can receive an alert if someone tags you on Facebook.

The automated tasks or “recipes” I use the most are:

  1. Thank someone on Twitter if they RT me
  2. Greet New Twitter Follower
  3. Post Tweets with #FB to Facebook
  4. Email me when someone mentions me on Twitter
  5. Send an SMS when a particular person sends out a Tweet (I’m not stalker honest)

The tasks above are great especially if you send a tweet to someone who might mention you with the hashtag #FF (Follow Friday) or you can jump online if you receive an SMS as one of your friends has mentioned you or tagged you on Facebook.

ifttt is growing rapidly and more and more services are being added to improve your automation online, it really is very easy to use and I recommend you go setup a few recipes now, at the moment I am setting up a task to send me a Google Calendar update to “Remember an Umbrella” if tomorrows weather report is predicting rain.

By using tools such as ifttt and dlvr.it it means you don’t have to spend hours online everyday and can start to get more out of social media.

If you have any more great Social Media automation tips please feel free to leave a comment below or send me a tweet

+Chris Dyson