Why The Skyscraper Technique Is Garbage


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In this article, I will explain why the Skyscraper Technique is actually complete garbage when it comes to SEO. In saying that, I do owe a lot to the Skyscraper Technique because it has built loads of links for me and it has worked extremely well for my clients.

While I have gotten some great results out of this technique, it’s not perfect, and that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in this article.

You will learn the disadvantages of the Skyscraper Technique for SEO, what you can expect when using it, and exactly why it really doesn’t work at in some cases.

I will also explain how you can overcome each of these challenges so that you can smash this technique and build loads of links to your site at scale.

Issues With Skyscraper Technique

Low Conversion Rates

One of the biggest problems with the Skyscraper Technique is the fact that the conversion rates are so low that it’s almost embarrassing. You might send 100 emails and only get one link back, which means you have to put in a lot of work for very few links back.

If you’re doing all of that work yourself, it also means that you’re constantly topping up the prospects, and trying to find and chase people to get links to your site. In reality, 99% of the people you contact are not going to work for you, and this is something you need to be aware of.

Skyscraper Technique Furnace

Something else to keep in mind is that at times you have sort of got a Skyscraper Technique furnace. You are just constantly throwing prospects into the furnace to try and get some links to your site. This means that you burn through a lot of websites before you even get one link back.

This issue is especially problematic if you’re lining up all the prospects yourself, because you’re constantly trying to find emails and clean them, or searching for new people to reach out to.

If you’re in a niche where there are not many links, you can easily burn through most of the websites that you want to contact within three to six months. This means that you will have very few websites left to contact.

Once you are on a blacklist, you can’t repeatedly contact these websites because you don’t want to annoy them, and you don’t want to get into trouble for contacting them constantly.

In fact, you should probably not contact the websites again for between six to twelve months. You have to be careful of burning through prospects too fast because it is hard to replace them.

It’s Not The World’s Most Glamorous Job

Another thing that grinds my gears about link building is the fact that it’s just so damn boring to set up. You are constantly looking through spreadsheets, trying to find emails, and contacting people to find someone that you can get a link from. The reality is, that all of this is extremely boring.

It might be fun the first few times you set up a spreadsheet for link building, but after the first hundred or so, you start asking yourself, “Do I really want to do this again?”.

It sucks up your energy, it’s extremely boring, and you start asking yourself deep philosophical questions that would never have come up if you didn’t start prospecting for link building.

Build A Productive Time Saving System

If you are constantly building links and topping up prospects for the Skyscraper campaign, after three or six months, you’re going to hate it. By building a system that is extremely productive you can save a lot of time along the way.

Otherwise, you’re going to hate your job. You are going to be hating your life because you are so bored of doing the Skyscraper Technique over and over again.

The reason that most clients outsource to me is because I have this very powerful system that allows me to set up a link building campaign within only a couple of days.

I outsource most of this to my team, and we save our clients a lot of time simply by building links at scale with a smart prospecting system. The best part is that it doesn’t cost you any time and we handle all the boring stuff.

Skyscraper Technique Is Like Tinder

I would say that link building for SEO is a little bit like using Tinder. It is essentially like online dating. Keep reading and I will explain why.

There Is Competition Everywhere

If you’re messaging a webmaster, so are 10 or 20 other people, and it’s the same on Tinder. If you are messaging one girl or guy, 20 other people are messaging the same person. You can’t delude yourself by thinking that you’re the only one.

There is loads of competition out there, and because you’re up against everyone else, you have to make yourself stand out as more special than the others.

Let me give you an example; if you send a cold email, and you think, “It’s just a matter of time before I get a link from this person”, just imagine that every single day they get 10 or 20 emails asking for the same things that you are.

How annoying would that be? What can you do about this? You have to make yourself stand out as unique so that your email will be read.

You can do that in a number of ways. Through your copywriting, content, the way you present yourself, or how you talk to people. These are all unique ways to make yourself stand out when you’re using the Skyscraper Technique for SEO.

The main thing to remember here is that you’re not the only one contacting them, so you have to make sure that you’re very optimized when it comes to link building with the Skyscraper Technique.

If you’re not optimized and you just do the basics, like using 80/20 rule to get away with doing as little as possible, you will not get links using this technique. This is exactly why it fails for most people when they try it the first time around.

Prepare To Be Rejected

The other thing that’s a little bit challenging about the Skyscraper Technique is that because you’re reaching out to so many people, not everyone will be happy that you contacted them.

Some of these webmasters are brutal when they respond to you. I’ve had webmasters say the most awful things to me, but it’s just something you have to accept. You can’t take that rejection personally because it’s just a part of the job.

When you’re reaching out to hundreds of people or even thousands of people, especially when it comes to the Skyscraper Technique for SEO, it’s going to be really hard sometimes. People are going to say things that you don’t like, and this is just something that you have to accept.

Look At It From Their Perspective

A way to overcome this issue is to try look at it from their perspective. If they’re receiving 10 or 20 outreach emails every day from people like you trying to get links to improve SEO, they’re going to get pretty pissed off.

This is all a part of the process. Accept that some webmasters are going to link to you, and that others are going to hate you for contacting them for links. You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelette, and it’s something you definitely cannot take personally.

High DR Backlinks Are Rare

Here is something that might be really disappointing. When using the SkyScraper Technique, you won’t get links from DR 80 or DR 90 websites. That’s because these are like the top 1 or 2% of the internet when it comes to authority.

They receive so many outreach emails that they don’t have time to respond to every single person. Because of the authority of these websites, they are the obvious choice for people when it comes to the Skyscraper Technique.

As a result of this, they get bombarded with lots of crap that they don’t want, so it’s completely understandable that they don’t respond to everyone.

Maybe 1 in 100 links is DR 70 or above. If you really want to target websites with a high DR, the Skyscraper Technique is not the best link building strategy for this type of backlink.

Use HARO instead

If you want to take more of a sniper approach and focus on the high-quality websites, I recommend using HARO. This platform is basically where loads of journalists post queries looking for opinions from webmasters just like you, and it is is a great way to target high-quality websites.

For example, you can get links from The Washington Post, Mashable, or other top publications that you would never get from a simple outreach email. It’s a really powerful way to build links to your site, that is more focused on authority.

Low DR Websites Still Move The Link Building Needle

However, with the Skyscraper Technique, even if you’re getting links from a DR 5, DR 10, or a DR 30 website, these are still powerful backlinks that are going to move the needle when it comes to SEO for your website.

Because as long the website is getting organic traffic, it’s got a decent amount of DR, and it’s relevant to your niche, it is a link that’s worth having. This is especially true when you’re first getting started and trying to build links to your site, because any type of backlink that’s white hat will make a difference.

I owe a lot to the Skyscraper Technique, and even though I’ve ranted about it in this article, it is still a very powerful way to get links to your site.

It is something that I recommend to all of my clients, especially when they’re first building backlinks to their site. My advice is to still take this approach, but to simply be aware of the potential disadvantages.

Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!


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