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UP THE ANTE: Using Social Reverse Engineering to Improve Link Building

Excellent content, check. Relevant links, check. Website with high traffic and an active community to boot, check. You basically have all the SEO elements for a kick-ass blog post. So why isn’t your post generating the traffic you’re aiming for? How does an article, which starts from a small bud, bloom into a full-blown viral content?

Build it and they will (not) come.

Around two to three years ago, the saying “build it and they will come” rang true. Many content developers hashed out article after article after article, thinking that having a compelling piece was enough for the search engines.

These days, that idea does not apply anymore. Of course, you’ll have to agree that the primary marketing strategy that any company should have is to ensure that their product or service is nothing short of amazing. That’s the best marketing you can have.

However, if you don’t push your product out there, it won’t make news. Even if you’re at the cutting edge of innovation, it’s likely that your audience – even your early adopters – won’t immediately recognize the value you can provide.


Promote your content through your social media networks. Make it easy for your target audience to share, like or tweet your ideas by putting easily-accessible social share buttons around your site. Just make sure it won’t turn into clutter. Poor appearance may turn off first-time visitors.

Along with promoting your idea or product or service, you should also get into monitoring your content’s movement on the Web. It is one of the best ways to see if your campaign is effective. Do Google Searches for your article, article keywords and author bio to see what’s being said about your content.

Monitor your content via social reverse engineering

The key to a great campaign is to never stop innovating. While traditional monitoring will help you keep track of your content, reverse engineering can yield more results—if you know what to do with them. But first, what is reverse engineering?

Simply put, reverse engineering is the process of taking a system (in this case, link building), tearing it apart to see how it works and then, out of the knowledge gathered from the analysis, creating a whole new technique or a duplicate of initial system.

How will we use this in link building? The aim of social reverse engineering is to find out who is talking about your posts and build relationships with them.

1. Scour the Internet for the broadcasters.

Make a list of all the people sharing your competitors’ or your own content, especially those who have their own blogs or websites. Find out what types of content they are interested in, taking into consideration their relevance to your own niche.

For Twitter, use Topsy to track Tweets.

For Facebook and Google+, use Google Search to monitor shares. Use the search operator “site”:[URL] [URL]

2. Reach out to these people.

This process may be used in two ways:

A. If they’ve shared your content (ones you’ve written on your own blog), begin establishing relationships with them.Tell them about your content and ask if they have any suggestions or ideas to improve your piece. You may find guest blogging opportunities here, especially since they know who you are and they’ve shared your content in the past.

B. If they’ve shared your competitors’ content, see if you can engage them to be interested in your articles which are related to the ones from your competition. Again, you may invite them to look at your article and ask if they have suggestions for improving it. Once they start sharing your content, it will be easier to request for guest blogging opportunities.

3. Scale the process.

Soon, you might find yourself writing outside your own website. More and more people will connect with you through the social reverse engineering system.When this happens, continue to monitor your guest blogs’ performance in terms of social sharing. Track and create a list of people who have shared them. Talk to them and build rapport. Eventually, you may ask them if you can write for them. Your network will expand exponentially through this method.

The main goal of social reverse engineering is to establish relationships between the people in your niche. Sharing ideas and being an integral part of the knowledge pool is important in developing your campaign.

Do you have other ideas on how to execute reverse engineering to further enhance your link building campaign? Share them on the comments section below!

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