Nov 14

The Skyscraper method

A fortnight back we covered best practice for one of the most basic strategies for getting your business site backlinks (if you want to know why that’s important for a business check out this article). Today we’re going to go over a slightly more in depth and sneaky route to backlinks – the Skyscraper method. Some might call it devious even. But damn does it work!

Why ‘Skyscraper method’?

Well, skyscrapers are impressive monoliths to human engineering capability. I’m sure most of you are aware of the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building. Can anyone tell me who’s in third place? How about the tallest building 50 years ago? Nope. As a species we seem to care about the biggest and the best and architects are constantly trying to slap another few dozen metres on to outdo each other. Similarly for search results you want to be on the front page or ideally the top result. How do we do that? The skyscraper method aims to find out what is in the top spot and usurp it! You build a more impressive article to steal away it’s links. Like we said, devious.

What do you do?

Well, first you need to research your industry. Find out what topics, discussions and trends are generating interest at the minute. If you’re a particularly niche area you might be lucky and find the top result is brief or poorly written and easy to expand upon as a simple article.
If not there are other routes you can take to spruce up the content. For instance, you could leverage a new, more engaging medium, update the statistics, or work out a new, more engaging design.
If you know your current audience prefers a particular medium that’s always a good start but turning a heavy, stats-laden slog of a read into an elegant infographic is always likely to be a winner.


My, what excellent work! The people must be told! So how do we do that exactly? If you have an audience already, promote it to them first. This builds it some organic momentum and looks better to other potential linkers.

Next up, you want to find out who’s currently linking to the page (or similar content for that matter) as its time to build a contact list you can tell about your new (better) resource. A backlink checker like Ahrefs is invaluable for this step!

Got that sorted? We need to send out our emails praising the previous work but adding in a ‘oh but I also made this which you might like to link to as well/instead’. It’s much like the procedure from our previous article on writing link requests so check that out for some extra tips!
Now, we have to simply sit back and wait for the results. Job done!

Or not. You’re never really finished!

So now you know about Skyscraping. And so does the rest of the net. Including your competitors. Make sure you keep your articles relevant and up to date with the right info. You don’t want them trying the same thing on you!

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