Advanced Google Search Queries for Link Prospecting

Advanced Google Search Queries for Link Prospecting

While a lot of search engine optimisation work involves improving your own website, there’s only so much you can do to make your website more search-engine friendly. If you want to improve your search engine rankings, then you will need to build some incoming links too. You could hire an SEO agency to help you get some good incoming links, but there are a lot of ways to build links yourself too. For example, you could try guest blogging to promote your website.

Finding Related Sites to Build Links

If you’re looking for opportunities to have your message appear on other websites, you’ll need to get creative with your searching. Some useful things to search for include variations on the following phrases:

  • Add your link
  • Write for us
  • Guest posting
  • Submit an article
  • Add a press release
  • Post case study
  • Sponsored post
  • Product review
  • Submit your competition

Of course, if you search for just the above terms, most of the options that you find will be sites that are completely unrelated to your site’s topic. Completely unrelated links aren’t very valuable for search engine optimisation. To find links that are related to your site, you’ll need to use more precise search terms.

Using Advanced Google Queries

For day to day search purposes, just entering a simple natural language search phrase is enough to get decent results, however Google offers some sophisticated search options for times when precision is important.

If you want to search for websites that will allow you to “Submit an article” about loans and personal finance, but don’t want to have your search results cluttered up with sites related to student loans, then you could use the ‘-‘ operator to exclude the word student.

So, your query would look like:

“submit an article” student -loan

Surrounding a part of your post with quotation marks indicates that you are searching for that phrase, rather than those keywords scattered across the page.

Other useful operators include OR (so you could search for finance OR loan), and the + operator. This is used to force the search engine to pay attention to that keyword. Some words – such as “the”, and “for” are considered to be stopwords -Google will skip over them because they’re so common. If you want to make sure they’re included in the search, prefix them with a plus.

Researching your Competitors

Sometimes, researching your competitors can give you a good insight into search engine optimisation. If you want to know who is linking to your competitors, then use the following query:


This will give you a list of websites that are linking to your competitor. From there, you can either send that list to your SEO agency, or approach some of those websites yourself – in addition to doing your own keyword research and getting other, hopefully even more valuable, incoming links to your own website.

Article by Amy Fowler of search engine optimisation experts, Boom Online Marketing. ‘Like’ the Boom Facebook page to find out more.