I first coded DropMyLink over 5 years ago.
The initial version was extremely simple and it took me maybe an hour to code up. It had 15 or so SEO footprints that you could use to discover some useful backlink sources.
5 years is a long time, especially in this internet age.
We’ve seen a dramatic change in the way Google ranks sites, and purely dropping random, off-topic links is no longer an effective strategy anymore.
The reason I started Drop My Link in the first place, was to make my life easier to build backlinks to my sites.
Back then, adding some profile, comment, directory and web 2.0 links was often enough to get your sites ranking on the first page of Google very easily.
On one forum I was reading at the time, there was thread that included a huge collection with thousands of SEO footprints that you could use to build links. It was (and still is) a very popular thread with almost 500 replies.
The problem with these lists of footprints is that there were too many and it was extremely time consuming and hard to sift through, especially for one person.
And that’s how Drop My Link was born.
I created it to put together the most useful of these footprints in one place and have them accessible in an easy to use way.
It’s been one of my most successful ideas and people have really liked the site.
With very little promotion on my part, it has been mentioned on huge sites like QuickSprout, Problogger, Niche Hacks and many other places.
It even was featured in one of Russell Brunson’s videos which was very cool.
Is Drop My Link still useful today?
At 5 years old, Drop My Link has been getting a little long in the tooth for awhile now.
Some of those old footprints that I had included, like Angela’s backlinks (forum profile links) and Squidoo links are now pretty worthless post Google Panda and Penguin.
To get Drop My Link in-line with the new SEO landscape I decided to give the site a much needed facelift.
If you register for an account now, and login, you will now see some nice, new usability improvements, and the addition of many new useful footprints.
With a name like Drop My Link, you might think the sole purpose of using the site is to get backlinks. And in a way that’s true.
But the key to getting the most value out of the site is to focus less on the backlink for SEO purposes, and more on getting that backlink for increasing traffic to your site and to build up the reputation of your brand.
This means taking the extra time to provide that extra value for every backlink you leave.
I’ve incorporated many of the footprints that they have publically shared into Drop My Link and I guarantee that you will see some great results if you follow their strategies which I will link to below.
Drop My Link now includes over 60 footprints, and I’m adding more every week.
Here are some of categories that Drop My Link (DML) now supports.
Comment links are probably the easiest places to get backlinks on. DML includes footprints for sites using CommentLuv and KeywordLuv where blog owners have specifically installed these plugins to encourage more comments on their sites.
But you can’t just be a “drive by commenter”.
Leaving a simple “Great Post!” and dropping your link is not going to do yourself any favors.
The secret to making comment links work is to use the opportunity to build a relationship with blog owner by leaving a thoughtful comment that establishes you read the post. Adrienne Smith is an awesome example of someone who does this.
Read any of her comments and you will see they are like mini blog posts in themselves. By doing this, she stands out and becomes memorable. And in return, when people comment on her blog posts, they leave very high quality comments on her blog as well.
This is called relationship marketing and it works great. If you want to get better at blog commenting, I highly recommend you reading this post How to Become a Blog Commenting Superstar on her blog.
Forum backlinks are an underrated backlink source. DML includes footprints for all the popular message board software including vBulletin and phpBB. This will enable you to find any forum in your niche very easily.
Like with blog commenting, you can’t just sign up to a forum, make a self promotional post with your link and expect any results.
Instead, provide value and not only can you include your link, but you will also get tons of traffic as well.
What’s the secret to providing value and dropping a link?
The easiest way is by directly answering questions by people are specifically asking about. If the link you drop is an actual valuable resource then other forum members will appreciate it and it won’t look like spam.
Another technique I’ve personally had a lot of success with is create a case study or follow along thread. These are some of the most popular threads on any forum and if you do it right can generate traffic to your site for a long time.
I’ll talk more about this in a future post.
Guest Post Links
Late last year, Google came down hard on guest posting for links.
Despite that, I remain convinced that guest posting will always be one of the best strategies to use to promote your site. With guest posting you can build your brand, get more traffic, and make connections.
In fact, if you are just starting out, I would recommend that guest posting will give you the most bang for your buck.
One of the best resources I’ve seen on guest posting is Brian Dean’s Definitive Guide To Guest Posting. In it, he shows how he finds the best blogs to guest post on by using certain footprints.
Guess what? Drop My Link now incorporates all these footprints so you don’t need to remember them. :)
If you’ve published your latest and greatest post, then one of the best way to get additional eyeballs and links is to find Weekly Link Roundups to get published on.
Kristi Hines has her Fetching Friday posts where she curates the best post of the week on marketing and productivity.
Ana Hoffman publishes her Weekly Marketing Skinny every week and at the end of each one she mentions any of the bloggers who mentioned her.
If you have have a post that you feel qualifies for these types of roundups, you need to get yourself included. It’s another great way to brand yourself, get more traffic, and obtain a link from a high quality, relevant site.
All these link roundups have certain footprints that make them easy to find. I think the first person who started talking about this was one of my mentors, Kim Roach. One of my favorite posts is her 101 Ways to Promote Your Next Blog Post where she shares some of her favorite footprints for finding these link roundups (see item #91).
So of course I had to add these footprints as well into Drop My Link.
Quick tip: Use the time filters to get results from the past month or year to make sure you’re finding roundups that are still being actively published.
How To Use Drop My Link
Using DML should be pretty self-explanatory. But I do have a few tips to make things a little more efficient when using the site.
If you haven’t used it before, it will annotate the Google Search results with useful data for each search result including Google PR, Alexa Rank, and SEMRush data.
This lets you quickly get an additional datapoint to evaluate each result to see if it’s worth adding your link on.
If you are using the Google Chrome version you can also save the search results to a CSV file which is extremely useful. You can then open up the CSV file in Excel and use its sorting functions to sift through the data.
I’ve also recently added some filtering mechanisms to Drop My Link. If you search using a very broad keyword (or no keyword at all) you may get a lot of results to sift through.
By default the site will use results from any time period, but you can use the time dropdown to filter results by Last year, month or week. This is a great way to make sure the link sources you are looking at are fresh and relevant.
And finally, if you want to uncover those extremely valuable .edu or .gov links, use the TLD dropdown filter. While this won’t work with all footprint types, you will get good results with blog and forum links.
What’s Coming in the Future
I’m currently actively developing Drop My Link, so expect to see more categories and footprints added in the future.
I will also be including support for different search engines soon, which will give you a more diverse set of places to find links.
I want to make Drop My Link one of the most essential resources in your toolbox, so as always, if you have any suggestions or feedback, please leave a comment below.