The Skyscraper Link-Building Technique: How To Rise Above Your Competitors

the skyscraper link building technique

Building links is one of the toughest things to do to drive SEO. And when I say link building, I am only referring to legitimate white hat SEO, not shady activities that include purchasing backlinks.

One way you can make webmasters and other people link back to you is by producing high-quality content. And to make a high-quality article, one of the techniques you will hear is called the Skyscraper Technique.

What is it and how does it work?

Today, I will give you an overview of the skyscraper link-building technique. By the end of this tutorial, you should have a roadmap for creating your content.  

What is the skyscraper link-building technique?

This technique was pioneered by Brian Dean, an SEO expert. He said that to get backlinks, you have to create and publish content that is better than anyone else.

Many people misunderstand this technique as merely creating content that is longer. No, it does not necessarily have to be longer. However, longer also means you have more rooms to discuss important details about a chosen topic.

This technique is based on three principles:

  • Find the top-ranking content for a topic or keyword you want to rank for; make sure it has received backlinks from other sites.
  • Create your content and make sure that it is better than the top-ranking ones.
  • Promote your content, and ask people for backlinks.

That is how it works in a nutshell. It may sound easy, but it is not. You see, the key item that you have to remember here is that it should be BETTER. You have to wear a different hat—you need to think about the content from a user’s perspective.  

How does the skyscraper link-building technique work?

To get an overview of what you should do, you need to understand how the skyscraper technique works. Overall, your goal is to improve your SEO rankings, so we will focus on it.  

If you create better content, people who find your page are more likely to stay on your site and read the whole content instead of just skimming it. What this means is that they are spending time on your site, which Google records.

This time spent is called average session duration. If users are spending a lot of time on your site, Google’s algorithm will naturally think that your content must be great.

If this content is superb, the user is also likely to explore more pages from your site. This action is going to reduce your bounce rate. Again, on some occasions, Google likes it if your bounce rate is not abnormally high.

The end result is that your content will prioritize search engine results pages or SERPs. If somebody searches for a keyword for which you are already ranking, he will see yours at the top.

And what does a person do with this information? If your blog post has been quoted on that person’s blog, he will likely backlink to you. Why would he not if your content is at the top of the SERPs, right?

The other way it works is by asking for a backlink from other publishers. You have to promote your website—specifically, your blog post.

In this process, you must know the websites that backlinked to the top article you are trying to beat.

Once your article has been published, you have to contact these websites. Tell them that you noticed that they backlinked to an article and that you have created a better one. Then, ask them tactfully if they would also consider backlinking to your content for the same keyword.

If the article you published is really great, then they surely will backlink to you. However, you will never really know which websites backlinked to the top article unless you have an SEO tool like Semrush, AHREFs, and others.

Before you subscribe to SEO tools, read reviews, like a comprehensive review of Semrush and AHREFs, so you can make an informed decision.

Is this guaranteed to work?

No, there is no guarantee. Content creation is like making a film—you can put your best efforts into it, and it can still bomb at the box office. Do not be discouraged, but know that the Skyscraper technique is not a silver bullet.

Tips to make the skyscraper link-building technique successful

Now, here are my tips on how you can make this technique work for you.

1. Choose the right keyword and then research

It makes no sense to write content for a keyword that is not relevant to your niche. Once you have identified the right keyword, type it in Google Search, and get the top five articles on the first page.

Do not include the pages or sites that popped out because they are ads. Those ads are from sites that paid Google for that keyword, so they are not really the best—they just paid, so they are on top.

2. Read and understand the content  

You have to read all the top five to understand what they are getting at. You have to put yourself in the position of the consumer of the information.

Ask yourself:

  • What information is missing?
  • Is there anything inaccurate?
  • How can you improve it?

If you were the consumer, do you wish this could have been written in another way?

3. Create high-quality content

This is the last and most crucial step to creating content worthy of being a skyscraper. You have to create something better.

Here are some tips on how to create better content:

  • Make sure the info you provide is accurate
  • Create content that is divided into chapters
  • Write from the perspective of the target reader
  • Put as many details as possible, but do not write huge blocks of texts
  • Make sure that the content is educational
  • Write longer but only if it is necessary
  • Use images, diagrams, infographics, and videos in your post

Double-check your work once it is done. Make sure there are no grammatical errors and that you wrote in a globally comprehensible manner.

Keep it aside for a day, and then reread it. Once you are sure, no edits are necessary, publish the content.

The next thing you have to do now is to market this content. You can share it on your social media channels, or do as Brian says—do a blogger outreach and then tell the blog editors about your comprehensive article.

Summary: Skyscraper Link-Building Technique

The skyscraper link-building technique is a serious challenge for webmasters. Writing content that is original, unique, and longer than those that are already ranking on Google is tedious, to say the least.

However, you will never get recognized if you only publish blogs that are already seen everywhere.

If this is a lot of work to do, you should hire an affordable freelance writer to do it for you. Spend a few bucks for in-depth articles for keywords that you want to rank for.

There is no guarantee that you will get backlinks, but Google will surely recognize your post as one of the best, and you will get more traffic.

John Kilmerstone

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling, photography, and blogging. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of blogging. Discover how to turn your passions and pastimes into an online business.

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