Ontolo's Nightly Prospecting DB finds new link prospects for you each night. We then crawl each link prospect, adding them to a fully-searchable database, and bring in SEOmoz and PageRank metrics for each link prospect.

This lets you find exactly the link prospects you're looking for.

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Table of Contents

Configuring Nightly Prospecting

Each night, we find new link prospects for you based on how you configure Ontolo.

Get to the Link Building configuration by clicking the green "Settings" link next to the red "Help" link in the top left. Or click "Settings" in the top bar to go to the Campaign Manager.

These are the same exact tools with the only difference being the clicking the green "Settings" link will keep you in the Prospect Search form.

How Nightly Prospecting Works

Each night we combine your "Topics/Prospecting Phrases" with different link building queries as chosen by the "Link Types" you wish to find.

Ontolo finds link prospects for you on a nightly basis, but we cannot start our research (i.e. you will have 0 link prospects) until at least one Campaign has its Link Types and Prospecting Phrases configured and we have completed one night of research.

To get started with the toolset, at the very least, you should configure one Campaign's Link Types and Prospecting Phrases today. Then, check back tomorrow morning to find your first link prospects. If you have more than one Campaign, ideally you would configure all of your Campaigns as soon as possible so we can start collecting link prospects for them all. The cutoff to have your Campaign configured in time to get prospects during our next research is 01:30 UTC.

Link Types and Prospecting Phrase configuration can be found on the Campaign Manager’s Link Building tab:

http://ontolo.com/campaign-manager#tab-link-building

See below for instruction on how to configure Prospecting Phrases and Link Types.

Prospecting Phrases

Prospecting Phrases are the words and phrases used to drive your link prospect research, and they directly determine the quality and relevancy of the link prospects we collect for you. The more thought you put into your Prospecting Phrases, the more specific and relevant your link prospects will be. To get the best results out of Ontolo's research, know that Prospecting Phrases are often not simply the keywords you wish to rank for in Google, Bing, or other search engines.

Since Prospecting Phrases drive our link prospect research, they should typically be words or phrases you'd expect to find on the types of sites and pages you wish to get links from, which are not necessarily the same words or phrases you wish to rank for.

For example: You may generally wish to rank highly for broad keywords like "rock climbing," "ice climbing," and "rock climbing tips," but if you're running a link building campaign with a more specific goal like something targeting women climbers, then you might use more specific Prospecting Phrases like "women's rock climbing," "rock climbing for women," and so forth.

Prospecting Phrases can be changed at any time as your Campaign's goals change. Just keep in mind that Prospecting Phrase changes will not be reflected in your link prospect database until the next night's research is complete. Prospecting Phrases are segmented by Link Type (described in the next section).

The following search operators may be used in Prospecting Phrases:

  • +: Require a term. Ex: +climbing
  • -: Disallow a term: Ex: -running
  • "": Group terms to be searched as a phrase: Ex: "rock climbing"
  • ~: Match terms like this term (synonyms): Ex: ~rock
  • ..: Number range: Ex: 1..5
  • *: Match any term (wildcard): Ex: "rock climbing *"
  • Any Google supported operator that uses a colon: Ex: intitle:climbing, intext:bouldering

Here's an example of how one might configure Prospecting Phrases for a rock climbing based Campaign if they were interested in finding Blog opportunities specific to the women climbers, with some emphasis on finding an audience in education (students, teachers, etc):

Some notes about this example:

The light blue background behind the Blogs Link Type label indicates that the Prospecting Phrases for it are the ones being edited.

The maximum number of Prospecting Phrases (10, see the "Count" column) has been configured for the Blogs Link Type. You should configure as many Prospecting Phrases as possible to maximize our ability to find relevant link prospects.

The double quotes around some terms group them as phrases, which means those phrases must match exactly when we do our research. For example, this makes the quoted group "climbing guide" match that phrase exactly, rather than only matching each of the words, climbing and guide, separately on a prospect's page.

The site: operator has been used for two of the configured Prospecting Phrases to limit matches for those phrases to sites in the .edu top level domain. Operators like site: apply only to the Prospecting Phrases they are configured with. For example, any Prospecting Phrase shown that does not include the site:.edu operator is free to match a prospect in any top level domain.

The red exclamation point next to the Sponsored Links Link Type indicates that Ontolo is unable to do link prospecting for that Link Type because we have exhausted all Prospecting Phrases for our research. In this case, the issue is that the Priority for the Link Type is greater than 0 (prospecting for the Link Type is enabled), but 0 Prospecting Phrases are configured (0/10). This could also be the case however if Prospecting Phrases were configured and the Priority greater than 0, but all possible research with those Prospecting Phrases has been completed. In either event, the red exclamation means that new Prospecting Phrases need to be configured for the Link Type.

In this example, all Link Types are enabled (their Priorities are greater than 0). Note however that if there is a Link Type for which you know you do not want to find prospects, you can set its Priority to 0 to disable prospecting for it entirely, even if you have Prospecting Phrases configured for it.

Link Types

Link Types are, in short, the kinds of links you wish to find. With Ontolo, you can find the following standard Link Types:

  • Article Directories
  • Blogrolls
  • Blogs
  • Donation Links
  • Guest Posts
  • Links Pages
  • Sponsored Links
  • Web Directories
  • Infographics

Additionally, you may defined "Raw Prospecting Queries." Raw Prospecting Queries are passed straight through to search engines, without modification, to find link prospects. This provides you with a full range of creativity for finding new link prospects. Raw Prospecting Queries are used only once to find prospects.

Link Types describe a type of link prospect. In other words, they describe a type of website or web page (ex: Blog) on which you might want a link. Ontolo gives you the ability to target only the types of websites you wish to acquire links on based on a set of common types.

Prospecting Phrases are configured per-Link Type. Although each Link Type you are interested in can be configured with the same Prospecting Phrases, you could choose to use different Prospecting Phrases for various Link Types based on your specific requirements. For example, this would allow you to do different research for Blogs, than Article Directories, if that made sense for your Campaign.

To avoid collecting link prospects for a type of website you aren't interested in, either do not configure any Prospecting Phrases for that Link Type, or set the Link Type's Priority to 0 to disable prospecting for that Link Type. For example, if you only want to find link prospects on Blogs on Article Directories, only configure Prospecting Phrases for those Link Types, or make sure the priority of all other Link Types is set to 0. Not prospecting for Link Types you are not interested in ensures your monthly prospects will be allocated only to those Link Types you do want, and helps make the link prospects in your database more relevant and higher in quality.

The Raw Prospecting Queries Link Type is special, and is considered an advanced configuration option. Its use is not required. The Prospecting Phrases you provide for all other Link Types are used as a basis for our research, and are not used literally as they are entered by you. Raw Prospecting Queries on the other hand are used in our research exactly as they are entered by you. Note however that Raw Prospecting Queries are only used one time each, unlike other Prospecting Phrases. This means that phrases entered as Raw Prospecting Queries will be used and exhausted during the next night's research, whereas Prospecting Phrases for other link types are used many times in combination with research query templates and will last many weeks before being exhausted.

Link Type Priorities

Link Type Priority determines how much of our link prospect research will go towards a Link Type. A Priority of 0 disables the Link Type, meaning no research will be done using its Prospecting Phrases (if any are configured). A Priority of 1 is the lowest priority for which we will do research (discover fewer prospects), and a Priority of 10 is the highest (discover more prospects). If all Link Types have the same non-zero priority, they will each get an equal amount of link prospect research done for them.

Topic Counts

Topic Counts simply measure how many Topics/Prospecting Phrases you have defined out of the total number available for that Link Type.

Standard Link Types allow for up to 10 Topics/Prospecting Phrases per campaign. While Raw Prospecting Queries allow for up to 25 Topics/Prospecting Phrases per campaign.

Priority Values

Priority values allow you to specify which Link Types are more or less important than others. The higher the Priority (e.g. 10), the more important the Link Type and the more link prospects we will find of that type. The lower the Priority (e.g. 2), the less important the Link Type and the less link prospects we will find of that type.

To stop prospecting for a Link Type, set a Priority of 0 (zero).

Finding Specific Link Prospects

With Ontolo, unlike other link building tools, you do not find link prospects by looking at your competitors' backlinks. Instead, we find relevant (both by link type and topic) and valuable backlinks, based on your link building campaigns.

Using Search Queries

When we discover a new link prospect for you, we index that link prospect's content in a searchable database.

How the search box appears by default.

An example search query, including some advanced search operators.

Selecting Link Types

If you want to find specific kinds of link prospects, you can do this with Ontolo.

Selecting the "Any Link Type" dropdown offers the following, searchable options:

  • Article Directories
  • Blogrolls
  • Blogs
  • Donation Links
  • Guest Posts
  • Links Pages
  • Sponsored Links
  • Web Directories
  • Infographics

Value Scores

In order to find valuable link prospects, you can set specific value ranges for the link prospects that show up in your searches.

Value scores to restrict on:

  • Domain Authority
  • Home PageRank

Searching by Campaign

Searching on a specific campaign will return results that were found during the prospecting for that specific campaign, as defined in the Link Building tab of the Campaign Manager.

Checking the "Search Selected Campaign Only" will return link prospects found only for this campaign, as defined in the Link Building tab of the Campaign Manager.

COBLs: Competitor Outbound Links

Finding link opportunities based on where your competitors have links is a great way to pre-qualify a link prospect.

Adjusting the "Min COBLs on Page," from 0-25, COBLs allows you to search and return only link prospects that are relevant to your search query and also have a minimum of up to 25 links on the page.

IBLs: Inbound Links

Finding link opportunities based on how many links already exist to that page from external sites is another a great way to pre-qualify a link prospect.

Adjusting the "Inbound Links to Page," from 0-100, IBLs allows you to search and return only link prospects that are relevant to your search query and also have a minimum of up to 100 links from different sites.

Managing the Link Building Process

Similar to sales CRMs like SalesForce, Ontolo gives you the ability to manager your link building process at each step of the way.

Editing a Link Prospect

To edit a link prospect's Qualification or Acquisition Statuses, Tags or Notes, first select one more more prospects to edit.

Qualification Statuses

Qualification Statuses are used to note your process in the qualification stage of link building.

NOTE: If a link prospect, its domain or subdomain has any qualification status, it will not show up in your general link prospect search results (in the "Prospects" folder). It will, however, show up in the folder for that Qualification Status.

To set a Qualification Status, choose a Status under "Modify Status," then check which parts of the link prospect's URL you would like to apply that Status to.

    "Modify Status" is used as follows:
  • Qualified: This is a link prospect you would like to pursue.
  • Review: This link prospect needs further review. If you have a team of link builders, a junior link builder may select this option so that a more senior link builder may review the prospect.
  • Rejected: This is a link prospect you do not want to pursue.
  • Remove: Remove any Qualification statuses you may have assigned to these prospects.
    "Apply To" applies Qualification Statuses as follows:
  • Domain(s): Apply the selected statuses under "Modify Status" to the Domains of the selected link prospects.
  • Subdomain(s): Apply the selected statuses under "Modify Status" to the Subdomains of the selected link prospects.
  • URL(s): Apply the selected statuses under "Modify Status" to the URLs of the selected link prospects.

Acquisition Statuses

Acquisition Statuses are used to note your process in the acquisition stage of the link building.

To set an Acquisition Status, choose a Status under "Modify Status," then check which parts of the link prospect's URL you would like to apply that Status to.

    "Modify Status" is used as follows:
  • Contacted: You have contacted the link prospect and are awaiting the first response.
  • Communicating: You have contacted the link prospect and have received at least one response.
  • Link Acquired: You have received a link from this link prospect.
  • Link Rejected: You have received word from the link prospect that your link request has been rejected. Alternatively, if you have multiple follow-ups without a response, you may set the Acquisition Status as Rejected.
  • Remove: Remove any Qualification statuses you may have assigned to these prospects.
    "Apply To" applies Acquisition Statuses as follows:
  • Domain(s): Apply the selected statuses under "Modify Status" to the Domains of the selected link prospects.
  • Subdomain(s): Apply the selected statuses under "Modify Status" to the Subdomains of the selected link prospects.
  • URL(s): Apply the selected statuses under "Modify Status" to the URLs of the selected link prospects.

Tags

Tags are used to better organize your link prospects into categories that make sense for your campaign.

    "Apply To" applies Tags as follows:
  • Domain(s): Apply the selected Tags under "Modify Status" to the Domains of the selected link prospects.
  • Subdomain(s): Apply the selected Tags under "Modify Status" to the Subdomains of the selected link prospects.
  • URL(s): Apply the selected Tags under "Modify Status" to the URLs of the selected link prospects.

Notes

Tags are used to log any communication, thoughts or ideas about link prospects for future reference. Particularly if you have multiple members of a team working on a campaign, this may be useful for keeping everyone on the same page.

    "Apply To" applies Notes as follows:
  • Domain(s): Apply the selected Notes under "Modify Status" to the Domains of the selected link prospects.
  • Subdomain(s): Apply the selected Notes under "Modify Status" to the Subdomains of the selected link prospects.
  • URL(s): Apply the selected Notes under "Modify Status" to the URLs of the selected link prospects.

Exporting to CSV

Ontolo currently allows for two types of exporting formats:

  • Export Full CSV: Exports all of the information and metrics that we have found for that URL. The only thing this does not include is the full-text of the link prospect.
  • Export to Raven: Exports a few metrics for importing into the Raven Tools Link Manager.

Using Link Notifications

Notifications allow you to be alerted whenever we find a link prospect that matches your requirements. This makes it so that you don't have to log in to Ontolo to see if there are any new link prospects that match your Link Targets.

Notification Frequency: How often you would like to be notified of new link prospects that match your Link Types, Prospecting Phrases, and the Value scores below.

Email Notifications to: What email address you would like to have notified of new link prospects that match your Link Types, Prospecting Phrases, and the Value scores below.

How Link Types are Used

Link Types are one of two fundamental pieces of Notifications. (The other being Minimum Value scores.)

We will only notify you when we find a link prospect that contains both your Link Type and the Link Type's Topics/Prospecting Phrases.

For example, if you have a Topic/Prospecting Phrase of "sports cars" for the Link Type of Guest Posts, we would notify you if we found a guest blog post called "Top Sports Cars by Guest Writer Andrew Davidoff."

Notifications use the Link Types and Topics/Prospecting Phrases as defined in the Link Building tab of the Campaign Manager.

Setting Minimum Value Scores

Notifications are sent when a prospect matches the Link Types and Topics/Prospecting Phrases as described above, as well as when the prospect meets the Minimum Value Scores you define.