Cita­tion Labs’ new link prospect­ing tool has already gen­er­ated a fair bit of noise online (see here, here and here).

We have been using it for a cou­ple of weeks now and, thus far, have been really impressed.

Of course, it’s not the first link prospect­ing tool but, what really sets it apart for me, is the qual­ity of the user experience.

In 5 min­utes, you can have a list of thou­sands of sites which in some way match the oppor­tu­nity you’re look­ing for.

As some­one who’s spent hours on the gath­er­ing process in the past, this is a wel­come relief.

The sim­plic­ity of it also means you can intro­duce to team mem­bers who wouldn’t nor­mally take a part in the prospect­ing process.

What it boils down to though, is less time time prospect­ing, more time out­reach­ing, which equals more links.

My tip so far for using the link prospect­ing tool is to com­bine it with Ontolo’s Fil­ter Prospects tool to make sure you’re not wast­ing time going over old ground.

This isn’t ground­break­ing but it is nonethe­less use­ful, espe­cially when you’re work­ing on a large scale, long-running link build­ing cam­paign that has been shared across sev­eral team members.

(It’s an awful feel­ing when you realise you’ve just made a fresh approach to a site that’s already been tar­geted in your cam­paign, believe me.)

Once you have used the link prospec­tor to gather urls for you to review,  drop them in the ‘poten­tial prospects’ list.

Next, you need a list all the urls you have pre­vi­ously qual­i­fied as part of that campaign.

We use Buz­zStream to man­age all our link build­ing efforts, so it is sim­ple enough to just down­load all this sites to a csv.

Now, drop these into the ‘approached prospects’ box and click ‘Refine List’:

Now you will have a list of link tar­gets that match your value propo­si­tion and that you haven’t come across before.

The best thing about this is that you can also copy in addi­tional met­rics from Excel, such as PageR­ank — it only com­pares the first cell.

This means you can still manip­u­late your refined list and address the higher-profile tar­gets first.

Between Buz­zStream, Ontolo and Cita­tion Labs, there are some really inter­est­ing and excit­ing tools being cre­ated for both prospect­ing and management.

Hope­fully there will be lots more posts to come on how peo­ple are com­bin­ing the best of each of these for more effec­tive link building.

Post By Michael Smith (31 Posts)

Michael works at 9xb Dig­i­tal Agency in Har­ro­gate, Mon­day to Fri­day. Click here to fol­low him on Twit­ter or have a look a his Google+ pro­file.

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