Let’s be honest: there is a lot in the day-to-day job of an internet marketer that is downright tedious. But every once in a while you come across a tool that helps make those tiresome tasks enjoyable.
Citation Labs new Outbound Link Scraper and Contact Finder are two such tools, that make the task of link prospecting just a little bit easier.
I’ve spent the last several weeks at work reaching out to bloggers. It’s been a time-consuming, boring chore. When I started using the two new Citation Labs tools the other day, I wanted to stay late at work to keep playing with the tools and keep finding more link prospects.
So what do they do?
Outbound Link Scraper
Say you’ve found a really great directory of sites that is related to your niche. There are several categories and pages with links that you want to look at, but you don’t have time to open each one individually. Collect all of the URLs of the pages with links, and throw them into the Outbound Link Scraper. What you get back is every outbound link on all of those URLs, neatly collected in a CSV file.
I put in 11 URLs, and got back nearly 300 outbound links. It took just a few minutes to run the tool, and saved me 30 minutes or more. It also saved me from the carpal tunnel of copying and pasting that many URLs into a spreadsheet.
Once you have your list of URLs from the Outbound Link Scraper, you need to find contact information for those sites, right? That’s where the Contact Finder comes in. Enter your list of URLs, and it will return either an email address, contact page, or if it can’t find either it will return nothing for that site.
The tool uses regular expressions to find anchor text with the words ‘Contact’ or ‘About’ on the site, then crawls those pages to look for email addresses or contact forms. If you know regular expressions, you can modify this to have the tool search for whatever you want on a site, but don’t fear: if you don’t know regular expressions, the default is already filled in for you.
Again, the Contact Finder exports to a handy CSV file.
I found I was getting about 20% of URLs not returning any sort of contact information, but manually looking for contact info on a handful of sites is much less mind-numbing than hundreds.
Citation Labs also has two free tools – URLs to Domains, which is great at cleaning up lists to just the root domain, and URL Filter that can be used to search a list of URLs for specific words. Helpful for narrowing down and cleaning up your lists!