How You Can Build Links Easily With Product Reviews

The art of building links to increase search rankings has been a big topic in the SEO community for a long time. This always seems to be the topic of discussion at the Search Engine Optimization meetings I attend each month. Everyone seems to be looking for the latest and greatest ways to increase in-house links.

All of the examples below are great ideas that any link builder can use at an agency or in-house. In my experience, my business ( has shown to benefit from each of these tactics and we’ll touch on each in the following.

Empire Covers has consistently targeted keywords such as boat covers, motorcycle covers and car covers, and ever since we moved link building in-house, we’ve been in the top 5 for all keywords we target.

If you know anything about Search Engine Optimization, you know there is a correlation between building text links and higher rankings. These are the steps we go through in order to build links.

The first thing we do is search through Twitter to find people with active followings and who are also engaged in the blogging community. We follow these Twitter users because they seem to be more willing to respond to tweets.

We also send mass emails every month in efforts to get people to review our product, but we have actually found Twitter is a much better tool in reaching out to people.

Also, Twitter seems to work faster in a sense, since people respond to a question much faster on the Twitter platform than via email or even Facebook.

Here are some more things to think about when engaging people:

  1. Try to enter or sponsor any contests they may be having.
  2. Do not talk about links or text links right off the bat. Try to engage them in their company or something that they are interested in.
  3. Even if it’s a YouTube video and not a text link, be happy with what you get. I have used many of the YouTube videos that people have produced for me  on our site and it is a great for the social side.

Using Product Reviews To Get Links

The most valuable and effective way to build links is to offer to send them a free sample of your product to review. I’ll note here that I was once at a conference and talked to someone from Bing that was in charge of their spam and SEO, he explained product reviews are a sort of grey area, but in my mind, any grey area is a green light.

Product reviews are an easy way to obtain publicity and feedback regarding your product or brand. We have averaged around 40 to 60 quality links per month via reviews and that seems to be working well for us.

Here are a few of my favorite example reviews and contest sponsorship links which we’ve obtained in this manner.

Video Review

This guy was extremely happy to find an RV cover that fit his abnormally large RV. The video he created was just the icing on the cake. Also, notice how we strategically asked him to add RV cover and to the video. All in all, he created excellent review for us and gave us an SEO boost to boot.

Simple Step-by-Step Review

This is a great review for a boat cover that just happens to be very interesting.

Contest Sponsorship

This is a contest we sponsored last month for an RV cover, which generated a lot of community interest as well, since  RV people love to comment on links. It was extremely cool to do, but honestly, also extremely hard to put on, taking three people to manage the contest.

Kids Demo How To Use Product on YouTube

You’d likely have to pay an agency top dollar for that review. Everyone in the office and the Web loved it and we got a lot of hits because of it.

Blogger Creates Social Proof

This is a review we absolutely love and use on our site. This guy lived in Panama during the monsoon season and used our covers. Once we put up the video on our motorcycle page, our conversion rate went up by about .5% to 1%, so from that perspective alone, it was pretty amazing.

I believe this method of link building is beneficial in many ways, since it’s good for the customers and also helps with everyday content on your site. This stuff is priceless when it comes to free advertising, and if a cover company can do it, why can’t you?

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | In House Search Marketing | SEO: General


About The Author: has over 7 years of Internet marketing and Internet retail experience. In 2005 he founded, a leading online retailer of protective covers for automobiles, motorcycles and boats, where he leads an in-house team of designers, developers and customer service professionals.

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  • Michael Martinez

    “in my mind, any grey area is a green light”

    This is why so many SEOs find their link building strategies fail in the long run.

  • Elisabeth Osmeloski

    Michael, in general, I would tend to agree with you – people too often misconstrue the ‘grey areas’ and go the completely wrong direction, execute a tactic poorly and get themselves into trouble from an SEO perspective. (and probably, Jake could have said that in a slightly different way…)

    That said, I don’t think it is entirely fair of (any) search engine rep to lump product reviews into this category – as generating buzz and awareness (ergo, links in the web world) through well placed product reviews (online or off- in print) is a viable, legitimate & longstanding PR/marketing tactic.

    When done well, it should never fall under SE criticism.

    After all, both Microsoft & Google have given away plenty of products (phones & laptops, for example) in hopes of getting reviews / buzz/links & mentions from online & offline media…

  • Michael Martinez

    It would be interesting to see what Michael Gray thinks of all this.

  • Jake Goldblum

    i could have worded that a lot better about the grey area. I would never do anything that would jeopardize my search rankings. I think this is a method a lot of big businesses use and it is fair game. We use the videos and pictures on the website to increase ROI.

  • I.L.

    A product review sells or gets appreciated solely on the basis of the creative meat put into it. Its absence makes the review a dud, leaving it with no takers. So rather than just slipping in a link to make it look and sound creative, the best to happen to a review is a more compelling draft. The links can come later on!

  • timred

    Jake, I just sent you a message listing out a few things I noticed that are really black hat about your tactics. I can see where this product review idea may fall in a grey hat area, but what you have up on is clearly black hat link building. It seems like you are really attempting to boost your rankings for boat covers, and it looks like it’s working for you as you are ranking great: I hope Google does a better job at picking up linkspam like this and devaluing it.

  • DavidS42

    I don’t think anyone making serious SEO efforts hasn’t dabbled with gray/black hat tactics from time to time.

    Jake, I’m curious to know how you tie your SEO efforts to sales. I don’t have any experience with SEO related to product e-commerce, but I’ve always heard Google Analytics doesn’t do a good job of differentiating between paid and organic traffic and I see that empirecovers seems to do some pretty heavy PPC marketing. Can you accurately measure what conversions are from PPC and which are from SEO? How many SEO sales can you really get from such a targeted niche?


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