Mining 31,500,000 Free Links For The Take

by Ruud Hein October 26th, 2009 

Majestic SEO kindly reached out to us, correcting Yahoo's link data and showing off their own impressive backlink data power at the same time: the true number of backlinks to GeoCities is over 850 million.

Today, Yahoo closed GeoCities. A little bit of history, a little of culture disappeared <sniff>

And this is yet another event where SEO's separate themselves from normal people show their true, professional nature.

Where others see the web decreased by 7.5million web pages and 8 million images, we see…

31,500,000 850,000,000 Free Links

GeoCities started in 1995. That's when Microsoft released Windows '95 including this thing called Internet Explorer. Netscape was just 1 year old. In Internet
GeoCities is
56 years
The world was different, simpler almost. Except for publishing web sites that is.

In other words, GeoCities is ancient. In Internet years, GeoCities is 56 years.

In that time the millions of web sites and web pages hosted on GeoCities have acquired a shitload staggering amount of links. Over 31 million 850 million in fact.

Those links lead led to pages about just about everything and anything. People talked about their families and pets on GeoCities but also build resources about the Mic'maq, CGI freebies, or coffee. That and about a million other topics.

Mining 31,500,000 850 MILLION Free Links

Use Yahoo's linkdomain operator to find links pointing to Geocities. Add the keyword or topic you're targeting. This combination finds pages that and link to Geocities and have your keyword on their page. SEO

politely contact the site ownerWhen you find a prospect, politely contact the site owner to point out that Yahoo has closed GeoCities but that you may have an alternative resource available for them to link to.

Melanie Nathan has some excellent tips on how to approach site owners in Link Request Strategies for Blogs, Edu's & .Gov's: Respect My Authoritah!

It's a Wrap

  • Yahoo takes Geocities offline
  • …but thousands of links are still pointing to it
  • …search the ones relevant to you
  • …and suggest to repair their broken link by replacing it with yours

See also


And you? Do you plan to make use of GeoCities' disappearance? If not, why not?

Images by: vshioshvili and franganillo

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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23 Responses to “Mining 31,500,000 Free Links For The Take”

  1. Yes indeedy you can smell the link juice in the air! Some of it with the foul odour of fried spam and burnt copyright and trademeark laws… also some very good reference and resources but the SE's didn't stop indexing large portions off it for nothing around 97 before Yahoo! bought it if memory serves correct.

  2. Ruud Hein says:

    That's the beauty; whatever those pages held … the good links to them are clean :)

  3. William Tucker says:

    Great post… Just hearing the name 'Geocities' makes me all nostalgic! The internet had a certain magic in the mid-late nineties… I remember actively looking for sites to link to in those days! Anyone for Web Rings? lol!

    • Ruud Hein says:

      Web Rings were great — of course you shouldn't just join one; you had to have one :)


      ^^ That's what I remember a lot from GeoCities :)

  4. And just thinking about how many of those are possibly edu & gov links, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy :)

    I suspect that most people will be too lazy to put in the work of doing the research and contacting each site though. That's good. Their loss = our gain.

    • Ruud Hein says:

      I bet that will be the case, Melanie. Some of the best SEO is at the same time the simplest, easiest … yet most time consuming. From good content to going through a pile of free links :)

  5. Sarah D says:

    I like this , it could actually come in handy.

    thank you

  6. interesting, so we can ask politely the webmaster whose page linked to old geocities page and replace the links with ours.. sounds yummiee..

  7. Majestic SEO says:

    A lot more than that – 850,697,046 external backlinks from 916,529 referring domains!

    • Ruud Hein says:

      That's .. staggering. And an impressive display of the backlink data you guys have collected.

      Thanks for the correction: I've folded it back into the post.

  8. Karl Foxley says:

    A very useful approach to acquiring some new links.

    Thanks for sharing,


  9. cbhost says:

    This is very interesting indeed. I suspect it will be a numbers game. Chances are, many of these sites still pointing to Geocites aren't updated much and getting a hold of these webmasters might prove challenging. You will also have to find unsuspecting webmasters who don't see links as commodities. Still worth it if sending 50 emails yields 1 good link.

    • Ruud Hein says:

      There's really good stuff in between. Found some City Councils linking to resources, for example.

      I think Melanie is spot on in that for the most part, these backlinks will simply go to waste.

  10. […] Geocities ist tod – holt euch die Links! – die Domain wär auch nett… […]

  11. Tad Chef says:

    There is even a better way of getting those links. Go to the Google cache or then download the actual content, place it on your webspace as a mirror and then ask for the link.

    • Ruud Hein says:

      Very creative, Tad. I guess how you do it also depends on whom and what it is for. But yes, truth remains you can work these links a lot of way and the way you describe allows you to get some links to newer pages.Smart!

  12. Jon says:

    What a brilliant idea. I was going to contact local clubs etc. and see if they wanted a new website, but this seems like more fun and may even pay more in the long run.
    .-= Jon recently posted: Fall of Pound Lifts Essex Exports =-.

  13. Jon says:

    Now this is funny, just did a new search and my website came up twice in the top 10. At least I can guarantee the links get changed!
    .-= Jon recently posted: Fall of Pound Lifts Essex Exports =-.

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  16. I am surprised they don't keep the content in a wiki style system and plaster their click thru ads all over the pages, could generate some significant income.

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