How To Scale Link and Citation Prospecting

I love the idea of scraping…. but I just can’t do it. I’ve sat through presentations from Annie Cushing and Eppie Vojt, and I still can’t do it. I’ve had Ethan Lyon sit me down, and try and teach me – but it doesn’t sink in. I don’t do much intense data collection, all I want to do is scrape search engine results in mass.

That’s why I use Link Prospector.

The custom report feature in Link Prospector can hold up to 300 custom advanced queries and can scrape in multiples of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 300 – all the way up to 1000 results. It will also remove duplicates and group results by domain, get the  home page Tool Bar Page Rank, and pull title tags and meta descriptions.

How to Use Link Prospector Custom Reports

Let’s say I am launching an infographic about wine, and I want to find a large collection of sites that are hosting wine infographics.

Start by taking a look at the competitive landscape. Let’s look at the related searches for [wine infographic] (not actually using brackets).

Not much to go off here, let’s try wine illustration:

Illustrator cs2 wine and wine adobe illustrator are red flags. I need to remove the following keywords on every single query:

Finally, let’s go with one that is sure to get us some strong results, [wine chart].

This gives us a good idea of how to structure our advanced queries:



Let’s start building advanced queries:

From here you can either concatenate all your results, or you can use the baked in tool that Link Prospector offers:

Note: the third column narrows everything down. If you are trying to get as many results as possible, add a block for just the negatives to column C.

Here’s to set up Link Prospector for bigger scrapes:

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Once you get the export, turn it into a quick Link Prospecting Pivot Table and go from there.

How To Scale Citation Prospecting

Let’s say I am building citations for a world-class, outstanding, unbelievable Chicago Restaurant. Do a search that triggers a local pack and copy and paste the local pack into excel.

Here’s a video of how to do it

on a Mac in Excel… gross.

For each of the advanced queries – use the address and the telephone number as two separate queries.

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The results aren’t too shabby.

If you follow the Link Prospecting Pivot Table Process, you can quickly minimize garden variety citation sources. When opening their home pages, search for “add”, “register” or “submit” and you will generally find the link to the sign up page pretty quickly.

But for local businesses, reviews from popular magazines and websites don’t only help with local rankings, they build a local presence and can bring new business in the door.

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This Link Prospector export included: – An architectural site that happens to review spectacular restaurants.

Check Please from WTTW – The definitive Chicago food lovers show on PBS, it’s an honor to be featured.

Grubstreet, Serious Eats and Chicagoist are top notch blogs. – Could we put something bizarre on the menu and as bait and try to get the producer’s attention?

The Red Eye – A free newspaper put out by the Chicago Tribune. Search for food reviews on the site and start tracking all their food journalists.

Bacon Fest – Not only does it sound awesome, they are giving out links, citations and tons of press for participating. – An environmental organization hosting an interactive map for locations that offer cork drop off for recycling – Awesome, let’s sign up for a good cause and get the citation while we are at it.

Chicago Foodies – This is exactly the type of readership we want to get infront of

This tactic yields a lot of high quality PR targets, as well as pulling in a ton of great citation sources.

All in all, it took 40 minutes to copy the local pack into link prospector, let the report run, turn into a pivot table and go through the first 100 results and find these high quality prospects. So stop doing grunt work – become efficient and start scaling.

John-Henry Scherck

John-Henry Scherck is the owner of Growth Plays, a B2B content strategy and SEO consultancy based in Los Angeles. He works with founders, marketers, and investors to plan, build and refine growth marketing initiatives using a common sense approach.