How to Review 250 Link Prospects in One Hour: Link Building How-Tos Day
By: Ben Wills |

Hey folks! Ben here. You might have noticed that after five consistent weeks of 20-50 minute videos, there wasn't one last week. And this is good because....

We've decided to shift the format of the videos to be more tangibly useful to each of you. So, instead of doing a higher-concept, long, drawn out video each week, we're putting together one great 10 minute video that showing you exactly, step-by-step how to take a piece of your link building efforts to the next level.

I'm really stoked about this series. When I started the videos, I knew we would end up calibrating, making some changes, etc. And, this is one of those changes.

You might have also noticed our nice little pun: Link Building How-Tos Day videos will, you guessed it, be released on Tuesdays!

(Easy there, tig(er)/(ress), we're #WordNerds just as much as we're link building nerds.)

This week? It's that pesky task of reviewing your link prospects to decide which ones you're going to reach out to.

Over the years, we've found a great way (and put together a fantastic tool that we haven't found anywhere else) to do this quickly and easily....so quickly and easily that we've regularly reviewed 250 link prospects in an hour.

How do we do it? Read on...


If you want to skip the fancy words and pictures, we've got a moving-picture version of this how-to. It's just under 11 minutes and gives you everything you (or anyone else you work with) need to know to start reviewing link prospects this quickly as well.

If you prefer words and pretty pictures to moving pictures and the magnificent sound of my voice, just keep scrolling and read on, my friend.


Video: How to Review 250 Link Prospects in One Hour

Neat, huh?

If you'd like to see more detailed videos like this one, but, even longer and more in-depth, register here for free (if you haven't already), then head over to the Link Building Videos section for some members-only videos.


Step-By-Step: How to Review 250 Link Prospects in One Hour

Build Your Prospect List

The first thing you'll need is to start with your link prospect list. This might come from link building queries, a SERP Dominator report, RSS feeds, or your social media monitoring tool.

Prioritize Your Link Prospects

Once you have all of your link prospects, preferably, you have them sorted and organized in some way. Maybe you've run your prospects through a bulk PageRank checker, maybe you've run them through a multiple-citation analysis, or, maybe you even have a link building tool that creates all sorts of awesome and sortable stats for each prospect.

Either way, at this point, you should have your prioritized list of link prospects. Sort them from "most valuable/relevant" at the top, going down in value as you go down your spreadsheet.

Create a "Save" Column in Your Spreadsheet

In your spreadsheet, insert a column in Column A, directly to the left of your prospect list. Label this column something like "Save?" or "Approach." To move as quickly as possible, you'll simply put an "X" in this column right next to the link prospects that you definitely want to save.

Setup Your Web Browser for Maximum Loading Speed

When you're reviewing 50 URLs at once, you're going to put a pretty significant strain on both your computer and your internet connection, even if it's just for a few minutes at a time. In order to lessen the effects and maximize your available system resources for the task at hand, I recommend taking the following steps:

  1. Restart your computer. Seriously, this helps. Especially if you're on a Windows machine. You want to free up as much RAM as possible.
  2. Open up your browser of choice. I personally use Chrome on my Mac since it seems less buggy than FireFox. But, you can see with this test how much memory Chrome uses and how FireFox is the obvious choice for low system resource usage on Windows. My recommendation? Try both and see what works best with your setup.
  3. Turn off images in your web browser's settings.
  4. Turn off JavaScript in your web browser's settings.
  5. Leave CSS on. This really helps a lot when it comes to making sense of the page. Without CSS, some pages are nearly indecipherable. ;)

Use the URL Reviewer to Open Multiple Prospects in Multiple Tabs at the Same Time

Next, go to the Ontolo Link Building Tools > URL Reviewer.

In the right-hand side, enter your list of URLs.

CAUTION: START SMALL. Use 5 URLs to start with, then add a few more and a few more, seeing how many your system can handle.

Slowly work your way up. I've got a Macbook Pro with a 2.4Ghz Intel Core Two Duo processor and 2GB of ram. With this, I've been able to load up to 50 URLs in here. BUT, it gets slow....

Click the confirm link on the URL Reviewer to open each prospect in its own tab.

Review Your URLs

The quickest way to review your URLs is to keep your left thumb on the CTRL or Command/Apple key, and your left index finger on the "W" key. When you hit this combination of keys, your active tab will close.

You're going to just keep hitting CTRL-W or Command-W until you see a prospect that looks like one you want to approach.


Record Your Qualified Link Prospects in Your Spreadsheet

Go over to your spreadsheet, and mark an "X" in the column next to that URL.

Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.

Take the Rest of the Day Off

I'm dead serious when I say this: This kind of work is exhausting. I've reviewed, at most, 1,200 link prospects in a day. I was braindead for the rest of the night and the entire day after. It zaps you.

My recommendation for coping? Do this before lunch. Use lunch as a break to clear your brain and shift gears. When you come back from lunch, do something completely different. If you can, don't do any more link building for the day. Read the Ontolo Link Building Blog instead. ;)

Use this technique in moderation, but use it consistently. There simply isn't a faster way to review link prospects.


  1. Hey Ben, Just came across

    Hey Ben,

    Just came across your blog post when looking for link prospecting tools. Great ideas here! To be honest, I never thought about turning off images and java when I run through a ton of sites. I am going to try this next time and see if it helps speed things up for me. I too find it a huge drain on me to do this for hours on end and usually need to take the afternoon off, glad you and I can agree on that! LOL


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