How to Quickly Find Unlinked Mentions and Build Links

UPDATE: Since this article has been written, Ahrefs has added the functionality for exporting unlinked mentions

If you’re working with a popular brand, most likely, people are talking about that brand somewhere.

Wouldn’t it be great to find where people are mentioning your brand?

Also, wouldn’t it be great to build links from these mentions?

This process allows you to quickly find content that is mentioning your brand or you brand’s product and whether or not they are linking to your brand’s site.

This process can be used as a fast and easy way to prospect for link building.

In less than an hour you’ll be conducting outreach, politely asking for simple links back to your brand or product page.

People who are excited and loyal to your brand/product tend to be open to adding a links back to a brand they support.

First things first, set up your sheet using RankTank’s checkLinkBack script.

This will check if the url in a selected cell is linking back to the domain you are building links for.

To Get Started

Open up a new Google sheet (or you can use this one -don’t forget to select File > Make a Copy, so you have your own sheet) and go to: Tools > Script editor

function checkLinkBack(url,text) {
var counter=0;
var response=UrlFetchApp.fetch(url,{muteHttpExceptions:true, method:"GET", followRedirects:true});
var myRegexp = /]*>/gi;
var elems = response.getContentText().match(myRegexp);
}while(!Array.isArray(elems) && counter<=3) //if (counter>3){return response.getContentText();}

var output=[];
for(var i in elems) {
return true;
return false;

In the script editor, drop the above snippet:

Now it’s Time to Find Mentions

Next you want to use Ahrefs Content Explorer to search for content to check for backlinks.

For this I’d recommend using “Brand Name” or “Brand Name + Brand Product”.

This will give you a good amount of relevant content for your brand, but let’s take things one step further.

Make use of Ahrefs filters.

  • Set you Languages > English
  • Then Domain Rating > 20 to 100.
  • And then check the box next to “One article per domain”

This will keep multiple root domains out of your results, as you will probably only want conduct outreach on one link per domain.


You may be staring at that “Highlight unlinked domains” button and thinking to yourself,

“Well, this should do the trick right here, why am I even reading this?”

EXCEPT: when you export your list of content it does not highlight the unlinked mentions.

If your client has a good amount of products, you will want to find multiple lists fast and not have to go through selecting each unlinked mention.

After you’ve exported all you lists, import them into the google sheet with the RankTank script.

Insert a new column and put the domain you want to check links for in the header.

Use the following function in the cells below that to check for unlinked mentions.

=iferror(if(C2="","",if(checkLinkBack(C2,$A$1), "Yes" , "No" )),"N/A")

Replace “C2” with the cell that contains the url you want to check for a backlink and replace “$A$1” with the cell that contains your client domain.

Copy this formula down you sheet and let it do it’s magic.

This will tell you whether or not the urls you found in Ahrefs is linking to your client domain.

Now you have a list of prospecting urls as well as their DR.

Time to Make the Links

The final step is to now load this target list into your favorite link building outreach software, collect all the needed contact information – and you’re off to the races.

If you have any questions on how I use this process to mine for thousands of link opportunities each month, leave me a comment and I’ll get right back to you.

Tom English

 | June 23 ,2017