Resource Page Link Building: The Definitive Guide

Resource page link building

Link building is hard. There’s no way to sugar coat it.

But if there’s one SEO strategy that generates a higher chance of success than all others, it’s resource page link building.

Unlike other methods of link building, resource pages are easy to find and page owners want to link out to you. After all, what good is a resource page without any links?

Assuming your content is high quality, you’re actually doing them a favour by providing your resource.

In this post, I’m going to walk you through step by step on how to build high quality backlinks from resource pages.

What is resource page link building all about?

A resource page is simply a page on a website that lists helpful links and resource for a particular topic. For example, a food blog about Paleo might have a resource page dedicated to Paleo recipes.

Resource page link building is simply the process of getting your site included on the page as one of the resources. The owner of the website might have no idea your resource exists so it’s your job to let them know!

The benefits of resource pages

So what’s so good about building links to resource pages?

Well for starters, there’s the benefit of having more links pointing to your website. This is always a good thing (unless of course they’re shady links).

On a more advanced level, resource pages tend to be seen as credible. With credibility, there’s a greater likelihood of people seeing your link and clicking on it.

Why are they credible? There’s two reasons.

First, resource pages exist to be helpful, not to sell. Since you typically won’t find a buy now button on them, people are more inclined to trust the page and the links on them (although some resource pages may contain affiliate links).

Second, resource pages are often created by respected or reputable sources. Look no further than Harvard University’s helpful resources for anyone new to entrepreneurship.

Harvard resources for first time entrepreneurs

Naturally, this resource page features big names like Fast Company and Hacker News and you’re highly unlikely to obtain a link from them. But, you’ll soon realize that there are plenty of other University pages linking to much lesser-known sites.

So now that you know what resource page linking building is all about, you’re ready to dive in. Here’s our easy 3 step process for resource page link building.

Step 1 – Find the resource pages

The easiest and most direct way to find resource pages is through a simple Google search. As we mentioned in the intro, resource pages are quite easy to find which is what makes them so great.

As you perform your searches, there are a variety of search combinations you can use.

Combinations pairing your desired keyword with the word “resources” and “links”

With these search strings, you will find pages containing the words resources and links along with your keyword.

  • Keyword + “resources”
  • Keyword + “useful resources”
  • Keyword + “helpful resources
  • Keyword + “links”
  • Keyword + “useful links”
  • Keyword + “helpful links”

So if I was running a Paleo blog, I would search for Paleo + “resources”

keyword + resource google search

Google has now returned a variety of pages containing Paleo resources. Here’s an excerpt from one of the pages.

Example of a resource page

Now you’ll notice from the first screenshot that over 5 million results turned up! Obviously, you won’t have time to sift through 5 million search results. So in step 2, we’re going to show you how to narrow down the results.

Before we do that, I’m going to provide you with additional search queries that are even more specific.

Combinations that filter based on URL and title

You’ll notice that many resource pages contain the words “links” and “resources” in the title and the URL. With the following search strings, you can zero in on search results that only contain these words in the title or url.

  • Keyword + inurl:resources
  • Keyword + intitle:resources
  • Keyword + inurl:links
  • Keyword + intitle:links
inurl search operator

Notice that when we use the inurl operator, Google has returned 23,000 results instead of 5 million. Although the first several search results are likely to be similar (if not the same), you’ll notice that they’ll start to vary as you continue down the pages.

Combinations that filter .edu results

While somewhat controversial, many SEO experts agree that backlinks from an edu domain carry more weight than a regular domain. Use these search strings to find high authority edu pages.

  • site:.edu Keyword + “resources”
  • site:.edu Keyword + “links”

Combinations that find related searches

In certain cases, you may find that your keyword is too specific. This can happen if you’re in a very obscure niche that wouldn’t have dedicated resource pages for your topic.

If you find yourself in this situation, use the “~” operator to find resource pages related to your keyword.

Keeping with our Paleo example, using the “~” operator would bring up pages not only related to Paleo, but it would also bring up resource pages related to cooking, health, fitness, etc…

  • ~keyword inurl:resources
  • ~keyword inurl:links

If you want to get even more specific, try some of these search modifiers.

Step 2 – Narrow down the results

As you perform the various searches outlined above, you’ll likely find thousands of resource pages. Your task now is to find those that are the most relevant, reputable and of  highest quality.

To make that determination, focus first on the page authority then on the domain authority. The page authority indicates how much authority that specific resource page has. The higher the page authority, the more “link juice” that will get passed down to your web page.

No need to guess about which websites are good or bad in terms of domain authority. By installing the MozBar, we can see all the metrics we need right on the search results page.

Page Authority and Domain Authority stats

Using this data, you can concentrate on the most valuable pages and spend less time on those with low page authority (PA) and domain authority (DA).

Step 3 – Reach out

In some cases, resource pages will actually have a line encouraging you to email them with relevant resources to add. They may even have a form on the page itself to submit resources.

Looking back at the Harvard resource page, you’ll notice there’s a link on the page itself encouraging people to suggest new resources.

Suggest a resource

Below is another example from Startup Stash – a curated directory of resources & tools to help you build your startup.

Link to suggest new resources

If you don’t see anything like this, have no fear. It just means you’ll need to work a little bit harder to find an email (but not that much harder).

When it comes time to reach out, here are some recommendations.

Make sure your resource is a good fit

This may sound obvious, but you need to understand the kinds of links that are already on the resource page that you’re contacting. Is your content relevant to that page’s audience?

Make sure there’s some precedent for your kind of site being linked to (or at least an indication that you could get a link). If, for example, a resource page only links to published scientific papers in scholarly journals, then there’s a good chance they won’t link to your startup’s blog.

Depending on the resource page, you may want to pitch content from one specific section of your site. For example, if you’re a Paleo blog and you’re reaching out to a resource page about Paleo recipes, it would be much better to send them to a page on your site dedicated to recipes rather than sending them to your home page.

Do some detective work if you’re dealing with large websites

Let’s pretend for a second that the Harvard resource page didn’t have a link to suggest resources.

If that was the case, you wouldn’t just reach out to anyone at Harvard.edu. You’d need to do some detective work and find the right person to contact about that particular resource page.

Using this same example, you’d see that this page was provided by the Harvard Innovation Lab. Knowing this, you could then research who the Innovation Lab’s webmaster was – and send them an email requesting inclusion on the resource page.

When possible, always send the email to someone directly.

Ask nicely and don’t be pushy

When you’re confident that your resource page is a good fit, and you’ve found the right person to contact, go ahead and send a friendly polite request.

You can try saying something like this.

Hey [first name],

I was doing some research on [topic] and noticed that you have [this killer resource page on your site]. Awesome job!

Since you’re clearly an authority on the subject, I thought you’d be interested in checking out my article on [topic]. It’s super in-depth and I think it would make an awesome addition to your resource page.

Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out:

[Link]

Cheers,
Christopher”

It’s really as simple as that!

Keep in mind that if you’re reaching out to an influencer, you should engage with them first. The more rapport you’ve built, the easier it will be to get a link. But in most cases, you’ll just need to send an email.

Conclusion

As you can see, resource page linking building is a fantastic way to build quality backlinks to your website or content. Due to the fact they’re easy to find and there’s a higher probability of success, this strategy is a true no brainer.

About the author: Christopher is the co-founder of Snappa – the fastest way to create graphics. Get started for free.

  • Anh Nguyen April 2, 2016, 5:18 am

    Thanks for this highly actionable post, Chris!

    I’ve gotten a few sweet links from other methods like the Skyscraper’s technique by Brian Dean but have not focused on resource posts before. I’ll be sure to give it a try.

    I’ve been mostly sending emails by hand though, and it’s very time consuming. Do you recommend any good outreach software?

    Cheers,
    Anh

  • Christopher Gimmer April 2, 2016, 10:37 am

    The Skyscraper technique from @disqus_ayyW5RNNgX:disqus is definitely a fantastic way to get links. One of my posts actually went viral using the technique which you can read about here:
    http://backlinko.com/viral-marketing

    In terms of outreach software, a good friend of mine runs NinjaOutreach.com. There’s also BuzzStream but haven’t used it myself.

    Hope that helps!

  • Ahfaz Ahmed June 2, 2016, 5:08 am

    Great article Christopher. I have bookmarked this page now and will use it whenever I need to build links from resource pages.

    Just a quick question:

    Will reaching out to .edu websites help? While reading your article I made a list of some .edu websites’ resource pages. So will reaching out to them help? Will they reply and even if they did, what’s the success rate?

  • Christopher Gimmer June 2, 2016, 3:17 pm

    Hi Ahfaz. Glad you liked the article.

    Success rates will depend quite a bit depending on quality of your article and how relevant it is to the resource page. .Edu tend to be a bit harder to land so success rates can be anywhere from 5% – 10%.

  • Entertastic September 19, 2016, 8:53 pm

    Would like to help a small start-up with free hosting (no ads or anything) for a wordpress based website or perhaps a small e-commerce site (without payment processing). Would also be willing to help with ideas/suggestions/consulting. Interested? Get in touch with us.

  • Kes December 5, 2016, 5:58 am

    Is it ok to use emojis in the email?

  • Christopher Gimmer December 5, 2016, 9:20 am

    I don’t see why not. I use smiley faces in emails quite a bit.

  • Abdul Wahab Malik February 14, 2017, 2:03 pm

    Really nice idea. I have sent email to 25 webmasters and got response from 3. The number seems to be smaller, but at least I have got backlinks. Thank You

  • krrahman March 21, 2017, 1:27 am

    I have read it twice to three times to learn the real strategy. Just cool!

  • John Alba "The Tenth Man" April 16, 2017, 8:33 pm

    nice suggestions. Hope I am fortunate and get some bites. Thanks.

  • TecCrowd May 30, 2017, 1:41 pm

    you are writing great article. I have read your article. Thanks for this valuable seo article.

  • Eric Morgan September 14, 2017, 7:43 am

    I have tried this but it now shows total different results instead of resource or link pages.

  • Chris G December 25, 2017, 10:37 am

    Great suggestions- I am in the process of building relationships using this type of outreach. Appreciate the overview of importance of this process, how-to steps, and clear direction. Great read, thanks again!

  • Ahamed Mukul December 29, 2017, 4:28 am

    Reading 3rd time and already collected 85 niche relevant website now sending. Christopher could you please tell me when i send mail the webmaster what subject would be the best ????

  • datingsitespot.com March 3, 2018, 2:56 pm

    I wanna add some tools and other websites resources, how many words should have a resource page maximum?

  • Teun Bosveld May 8, 2018, 3:24 pm

    Nice article Christopher! I have made an informative website about a disease in my native language. I’m just starting with linkbuilding. To get links from various resource pages is fairly easy (I now have 5), however getting links from other sources has been shown to be pretty difficult.

    I have identified 11 more resource pages and what I’m wondering is whether it could be harmful, SEO wise, to only get links from resource pages. In other words: should I get links from those 11 resource pages as well, or should I not?

    Keep up the good work!

    Teun

  • Ali Imam May 10, 2018, 2:48 am

    Amazing post. Loved the way you explained everything in detail. Just subscribed to your website, Hope to see more from you. Keep up the good work.

  • chris nddie July 2, 2018, 6:29 am

    Awesome share. Bro just want to mention in the last link of snappa its not redirecting to the page you linked for, its on redirection. Thanks again.

  • Christopher Gimmer July 3, 2018, 9:59 am

    Thanks for the heads up

  • Huzaili Jamal November 2, 2018, 12:38 am

    Good article Christopher. I specifically googled resource page link building to edu sites and found your site at the top. I didn’t know before about using ~ to find related sites for resource pages so thanks for that.

    Although I need to ask, for edu sites, or gov sites, would you still use the outreach template you mentioned above? Seems to me it would be more suitable more personal bloggers. What would you change if outreaching to edu sites?

  • zuber seo November 27, 2018, 9:19 am

    thanks buddy. i like your search query terms. and also follow. one question: this process generate fast link builing or slow?

  • Ram chandra Lamichhane December 10, 2018, 2:53 am

    Awesome

  • shaurya jain December 14, 2018, 4:41 am

    something short like “quick question” would be good!

  • disqus_Bv63Sgco1O December 22, 2018, 4:35 am

    chrisnddie 3+

  • disqus_XZxN0TReQJ December 31, 2018, 1:02 pm

    chrisnddie yes but

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