For now, the Link Prospector’s Help and FAQ page will live here on the blog. We’ll migrate eventually to a more suitable spot :)
Your campaigns are folders that store your prospects. You can name them after your clients for example or specific initiatives you’re working on. Grouping your prospects for a client or project is very important if you plan to use domain exclusions extensively.
- Create a Campaign: Name your campaign thoughtfully, just as you would carefully name a folder on your desktop to better remember what’s in it.
- Rename: As you use the tool and you may want to change the name of your campaign. The “rename” button enables you to do just that.
- Delete: You can delete campaigns too if you wish – but be sure you’ve downloaded the results within as they can’t be recovered once deleted.
Here’s where you find new prospects or view those you’ve already gathered.
This is the page for creating link prospect reports. It contains “dials” and parameters for you to stipulate what the tool returns in your prospect reports.
- Report Types: The report types are primarily organized by “tactic,” that is, the manner by which you intend to engage with publishers to earn mentions or links. The Custom Report enables you to pass queries in bulk, directly to the search engine. Some of the reports, those labeled “research,” are designed to find particular types of content in your market.
- Select Region: By selecting region you specify which TLD (top level domain) of search engine from which you’d like to source your prospects. If you’d like prospects geared towards a UK market, select “United Kingdom.” If you’d like German-oriented prospects, select “Germany.” Please note: if you’re looking for non-English prospects you should NOT use the preset reports. You must use the Custom Report type and design your own queries. If you’d like help with this, please contact Garrett@CitationLabs.com.
- Search Scope: Search Scope enables you to pull prospects from either web results or blog results. We rarely recommend using both unless you’re specifically looking for blogs and want to be as thorough as possible.
- Select Depth: Depth refers to the number of results that we will attempt to return from the search results for you. Depth does NOT refer to the number of pages of results! We can look for 1 through 1000 results for you, but recommend for most prospecting jobs that you set your depth to 10 or 20. This is because there are rarely productive prospects past the 20 mark.
- TLD: TLD enables you to limit your prospects based on the TLD – that is, .edu, .gov, .org, etcetera. You can also input TLDs that are not reflected in the drop down. Alternately you can add site:.tldofchoice to your research phrases.
- Date Range: Date Range enables you to limit your prospects based on the time frame within which they were indexed. This is especially useful for guest posting – set the Date Range to “past year” so you can find the sites that have published a guest post within the last year.
- Safesearch Features: Safesearch enables you to pre-remove results that are potentially shocking or offensive. Some people prefer not to scan through results to ensure they are “safe for work” enough to pass along to clients and Safesearch helps with this.
- Send Email Notification: Once your report is complete you can designate who receives a notification via email. You can also set it so that no one receives an email. If you’d like to permanantly set this you will need to go to the “Profile” section.
- Exclude Domains: Exclude domains enables you to remove a list of domains at the global and/or campaign level – you have to set them up before they can be excluded though! Click the “Exclusions” button to do this.
- Research Phrases: Your research phrases are the most powerful way to direct the tool’s results. We recommend using “category” or “big head” phrases here rather than your targeted SEO keywords. For example, rather than “Harley Davidson XR1200X” we recommend using “motorcycle.” Above all though, we recommend experimenting and assumption-testing!
In this section you can view prospects related to a specific campaign.
- LTS: The link target score (LTS) is a measurement of a domain’s overall relevance to the queries you created at the “Find Prospects” stage. We calculate a domain’s LTS based on the number and position of its occurrences within the SERPs. A higher LTS indicates that a domain has a stronger search presence for your queries, and often but not always this indicates higher quality and higher likelihood of being a converting prospect. It’s ONLY useful for comparing domains within a single prospecting report, and not for comparing prospects from one report to another. Domain PR is a better metric for comparing one domain to another across reports.
- PR: We gather Google’s Toolbar Page Rank score for each domain. This is primarily useful for quick, bulk decisions.
- Export Domains: When exporting your results you can choose to only export the domains that the tool found. This means that the tool automatically removes any folders or URL information beyond “domain.com” or “sub.domain.com”. Export domains when you’re not asking for a link on a specific page (eg: guest posts).
- Export Paths: When you export paths you’re exporting the entire URL the tool found in the SERPs. This is most useful when you’re looking for specific types of pages and want links on them – for example, links pages or lists.
The Exclusions function enables you to remove domains or URLs from your results. Exclusions are retroactive, meaning you can exclude them after you bring results back. Exclusion syntax: It’s important to note that you can use an asterix, the wild card operator: “*” when excluding domains. For example, if you don’t want to see blogspot blogs you could add *.blogspot.com as an exclusion.
- Global Exclusions: Global exclusions remove domains across all of your campaigns. Common global exclusions include *.google.com and *.facebook.com. These are domains that you know will never provide useful prospects for any of your projects.
- Campaign Exclusions: Campaign exclusions only apply to a specific campaign. This is so you can remove any definite “no’s” or domains you’ve already reached out to.
The Profile Page is where you manage your account. This is where you can change your password or purchase more credits.
- Send Email Notification: At the Profile level, this function enables you to globally designate who – if anyone – receives an email when your reports are completed.
- Change Password: This enables you to change your password.
- Purchase Subscription: You can purchase a monthly subscription if you have a large amount of prospecting to do… Purchased credits – whether by subscription or in a one-off format – never expire.
- Purchase Credits: If a subscription doesn’t make sense for your efforts you can purchase credits to use as-you-go.
1) What does a credit get me?:
The credit is the basic unit of link prospector usage. All the preset reports – if used in the default setting – cost 1 credit to run. Reports cost more than 1 credit when you increase the depth past 100, select Web and Blog results from the Search Scope and when you run a custom report with a high number of custom queries.
2) How to I generate prospects in a non-English language?:
You must create and use your own queries in your target language. Paste them into the custom report type with Region set to your target region. We can help you by providing our “footprints” for you to translate and combine with your “Research Phrases.” If you’d like assistance please write Garrett@CitationLabs.com. We are working on making the Link Prospector function in multiple languages beyond English – if you’d like to assist in this please write Garrett@CitationLabs.com.
Tutorials, How To’s, Guides and Reviews
Here’s where you can learn more about how others use the link prospector – and get a good education on the basics of link prospecting.
The Link Prospector Mastery Series:
- Choose Your Link Building Tactic: Link Prospecting Mastery
- Finding Highly Productive Research Phrases: Link Prospector Mastery
- Setting the Advanced Targeting Parameters for Useful Prospects: Link Prospector Mastery
- Exporting and Qualifying Your Link Prospects: Link Prospector Mastery
- Contact Finding + Link Outreach: Link Prospector Mastery
Link Prospector Reviews:
- Link Building Tool Review: Link Prospector (Search Engine Land)
- Link Prospector Review: Here’s Why I Use It (SEOBook)
- Link Prospector Review by Wiep
- Link Prospector Review by Jon Cooper
- Link Prospector Review by Sean Si
- Link Prospector Video Review by Matthew Hunt
- 15-Min Showdown with the Link Prospector Tool from Citation Labs by Rich “kiosk” Bernstein
- Citation Labs Link Prospector Review
- The Only Tool You’ll Need to Find Mountains of Link Prospects
Link Prospector How To’s:
- 5 Advanced Guest Post Prospecting Tips for the Link Prospector
- Using Link Prospector & Buzzstream To Find Valuable Guest Blogging Opportunities In Minutes
- Experimenting with Custom Reports in Citation Labs’ Link Prospector by Michael Smith of 9xb
- A Link Development Strategy for Large Websites (LP use case) by Kaiser the Sage
- Creating a CRM database for your SEO linkbuilding (LP use case) by Joel Chudleigh
Link Prospector in Non-English
- Skalierbare Kandidatensuche in der Linkakquise (guide to using the Link Prospector in German)
Required Reading for Prospectors:
- 5 fundamentals of large scale link prospecting
- Fundamentals of Large Scale Linkbuilding on #SEOchat with Garrett French
- The Link Prospector’s Guide to the Tilde
- Beginner’s Guide to Link Prospecting Using Google Search
- The 7 Principles of Bulk Outreach for Link Building
- Link Building Query Theory: 7 Crucial Keyword Types for Link Prospect Querying
- 3 Step Prospecting for Highly Productive Link Building Queries