Tricks To Personalize Link Requests: Whois + LinkedIn + Bing/Google + Company Data

Ever needed to send a link request but lacked anything better than “webmaster@site.com” as a contact address? I’ve been back to basics with a client recently, and of course this classic situation has come up. Here are a few tools/tricks I’m using to get more information to personalize the email/phone call and increase the success rate:

1) Whois data: For those who don’t know, “whois” refers to the registrant information and associated contacts for domain names. Often a person is listed in the whois data even though the site itself doesn’t give any names of people to contact.

2) Sometimes, Whois only lists a company name. In such a case, I’ll look up the company on both Bing/Google and LinkedIn. Maybe the company behind my link-target-site has a brochure site about themselves with contact info. Better yet, maybe they’re on LinkedIn and I can contact them there!

3) At times, you’ll find a site for the holding company via Google but because of server or other issues, the site’s not accessible. And that’s where search engines’ cache and preview can be really handy! In particular, try a site:example.com inurl:contact search to find a contact page on your target domain, then use cache or preview to see if there’s an email or phone number publicly visible.

4) Another valuable resource I just discovered is searching for a company by name – often yellow pages type directories come up in the results with valuable data.

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