Finding credible backlinks is a task that can take hours before you see any real results, it’s one of the most painstaking practices in SEO. Especially with recent Google algorithm changes SEOs need to be extra careful about where they build backlinks. A good beginning measure for any link building campaign is to find unattributed brand mentions by doing a simple search in Google.
A brand mention search can be done by typing “Brand Name” -site:brandname.com, of course you can add keywords or other modifiers in there as well to siphon out some of the bad results. However, if you’re not having any luck with a Google search there’s another way to find guaranteed brand mentions using Wikipedia.
The first thing we’ll need to do is find a backlink audit tool such as Ahrefs or Open Site Explorer; for this guide I’m going to use Ahrefs. Next, find your client’s brand page on Wikipedia; in this case I’ll be using Google’s which is located at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google.
Once you have both of those items it’s time to paste the brand page URL into your backlink audit tool, if you’re using Ahrefs you should get a page that looks similar to this one:
Next you’ll want to select the URL radio button so that Ahrefs only pulls links pointing to that exact URL; this will save you a lot of time. Once you’ve selected URL you can click on the External tab under Backlinks.
Now that you’ve completed the previous steps you should see a screen filled with luscious backlinks. Make sure you select the Not Sitewide, Text and DoFollow radio buttons to make things a little easier on yourself.
From here you can export of all the links in any order, usually ordering them by their rank is a good first step. Work your through each of the backlinks by visiting each site – you can also use the MozBar to confirm that the pages you visit have real link value.
Wikipedia is a very credible resource, despite what your professors told you, so I don’t recommend attempting to replace their link with yours on the linking page. Instead you should convince the webmaster of the linking page to add your brand’s link as an additional resource.