Link building has come a long way since the early days of posting links pointing to your site like they were flyers for a lost cat. Successful offsite SEO is no longer a matter of quantity (though, quantity and regularly still play a role) so much as it is a matter of quality. In order to build the authority of your own site, you must leverage the authority of existing sites, and construct links that are meaningful in the eyes of users as well as search engine robots.
So what constitutes an “authoritative” site? Two of the most valuable options, .gov government official sites, and .edu educational sites, are rare to find and hard to build links on—it’s no simple matter of making a simple request or doing the posting yourself. The next best thing is getting your link on a major news website, like CNN or MSNBC, but that must be just as hard, right?
Actually, building links on major news sites isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. It’s true that it will take significantly more time and effort to build these links, and you may never be guaranteed a spot at the end of it, but these links are far more valuable than ones you build on traditional forums or blog spaces.
Try any or all of these three significant ways you can earn valuable backlinks from major news sites:
Your first option is one of the easiest. In order to get a link on a major news site, you have to get noticed. And getting noticed isn’t just a matter of making an introduction. In order to get seen and appreciated by a major news site, you have to have information that is truly newsworthy; these outlets have a reputation because they’re committed to publishing only the most significant material.
Google News is a publication outlet that can help you achieve that visibility and credibility. If you’re new to Google News, think of it as a gigantic, constantly updated database with news stories from around the world. Google takes this aggregated cache of news and then displays it to users using sophisticated algorithms that show content appropriate for each user’s interests, history, and geographic location.
Google News allows almost anyone to post credible news articles for consideration to be included in this database. If you have a “news” or “press” section of your website (and you actually use it to publish newsworthy information), this option is perfect for you. You can set your site up within the Publisher Center, and submit content regularly for consideration. You can also submit individual articles or press releases.
If you’re lucky, another major news publication will take notice of your Google-published news entries, and will either reference it in a link out to your site, or follow up with you for more information. It’s a roundabout way of getting attention from news sites, but if your content is worth their attention, they will take notice.
The worst-case scenario here is that no major news sites pick up your link—if that’s the case, you can still enjoy the benefits of having your articles listed on Google News. It may not increase your domain authority as much as a pack of high-authority links, but it will send a significant flow of new traffic to your site.
The principle behind this tactic is the same as the previous entry: in order to earn a link on a major news site, you have to get their attention with a major news article. Google News is incredibly useful for sites with regular news releases, but it only increases the visibility of content in one channel: Google search results. If you’re interested in submitting your article to major news sites directly for consideration, you can distribute your own individual press releases with a service like PRWeb.
Through PRWeb, you’ll be able to publish your press release and syndicate it—depending on the service you use, you should be able to submit it to tens of thousands of different news outlets, differentiating them according to their geographic location or industry niche. This distribution usually includes some of the biggest names in national news, but you will have a higher chance of getting picked up in low- to medium-authority news sites.
If your press release is highly significant, well-written, and timely, you do stand a decent chance of getting picked up by a major news outlet, featuring a link pointing back to your site as a reward for your efforts. However, even if your article falls through the cracks of the highest-tier publications, the links you earn on lesser-known publications will still be highly valuable. This is especially true for local news sites, which will earn you backlinks anchored with a specific location, enhancing your relevance in local SEO.
Temper your expectations by remembering that submitting a press release is no guarantee of publication on a major news channel, but distributed press releases are still one of the best shots you have. Submit newsworthy press releases regularly for the best SEO benefit.
Comments are always a decent option for link building, and major news sites are no exception. You’ll certainly get more visibility and credibility if a news site publishes one of your articles, but if you’re looking to get some high-authority link juice, posting something relevant in the comments section is a great alternative.
Your best bet is to find an article that has something to do with your industry. For example, if you work with new technology, find something in the “Technology” section that is related to a product you’ve produced. If you work in financial services, something in the “Money” section might be better. You can also use a search function to find a highly specific article, but do your best to select articles with a recent publication date in order to stay relevant.
As with any link building exercise, take caution to ensure your link appears natural. Any indication that could give a webmaster the impression that you are only posting a link for the page rank boost will immediately get your comment flagged as spam and removed. Make sure your link is to a specific, relevant page on your site, and introduce the link by explaining why you’re posting it and why it’s relevant to the article. Get involved with the discussion, and you might earn a handful of new web visitors in addition to improving your SEO.
Getting links from major news sources is neither stable nor easy enough to be a reliable, independent link building strategy. However, when executed as part of a broader, multifaceted offsite SEO campaign, news-related link building can be an enormous assist to your efforts. Be patient with news sites and stay consistent in your efforts even if you don’t get a bite right away. Emphasize the quality and relevance of your news items, and diversify your strategy whenever possible to cover the most ground. Eventually, you’ll find a rhythm for your news, and your SEO strategy will succeed because of it.