The Truth about Link Building in Top Startups


Link Building is one of the frequently used tactics used in SEO, as we all are aware of. Search engines wander through the widespread metropolis of the World Wide Web, in that respect links can be called the roads between pages. Startups have it hard for sure as they enter in the business world, they have a long list of worries and at most times resources not as rich but they still require paying attention to marketing their business.

Startups need to pay heed to marketing

Startups should be concerned about marketing. I would rather say a startup or a non-startup need to be doing PR and paid acquisition, a blend of both to their advantage. SEO, most gracefully lies in between the dynamic marketing practices on a high pedestal. Desire to grow, to be seen, to be talked about? Search Engine Optimization. You need to be thinking of that!

Who are the top startups?

If I listed all the startups, the list would be long and utterly mundane. The criterion that has been used to make the final list of the startups has been a fairly simple one. The startups like Uber that everyone has heard of were avoided being mentioned in here instead, the ones mentioned are that have shown some toehold and were capable of closing a round of funding.

The criteria were:

The top 100 Angel–Series B companies
Sorted by their valuation
Those have raised financing from January 1st 2014–present.
By adopting this strategy, we get current companies that are according to our assumption, breathing and building. These also take account of companies like,, ZipRecruiter, Tune, and Mapbox.

Patience! The links are here, buddy.

Here we present you the top 55 domains that appear most often within the backlink reports of the top 100 startups as affirmed-

Domain # of Appearances 56 42 42 41 40 40 38 33 33 32 31 29 29 29 29 28 28 27 26 26 26 25 25 24 24 23 23 23 23 23 23 22 22 22 22 22 21 21 21 20 20 20 20 20 19 19 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 17 17

Then, the curiosity of knowing which type of links they are, kicked in. So, it was sorted out. The results announced that by far the most common are from PR, then positioned by the startup themselves on their profiles around the web.

Do links vary by stage of company?

The final question that arises is that how each startup’s site fluctuates with domain authority and quantity of linking root domains by the stage that the company is. Almost all of us by intuition are convinced on thinking that the more links it will have and the stronger their site will be. But does the data second our opinion?

To get this data, the Moz API  was used by John Doherthy to pull the metrics via a Google doc paved together from numerous locations. Here is the average number of links. The companies are categorized into Series A,B and C.
As the results of the link profiles of different Companies were compared, the charts came out to be misleading as Series A Company (Crowdrise) and Series B Company (Porch) were observed to have more links than the other sites in the dataset. According to data by Moz, Porch has 142k external links, while Crowdrise has 40k. The next highest is Canva at 18.5k, and the average transversely among all after Porch and Crowdrise is 1,695.

When Porch and Crowdise are removed as outliners, we get a vivid view of the backdrop. Series On an average A companies have more links than B or C Companies which may be explained by the explosion in propagation of tech blogs and the recent boom that was observed in the funding activity in 2013–2015 which is also clearly cooling now.

Links are not a totally reliable indicator of success. However, to an extent these can put in the picture that who’s popular.

The customs that help the top startups in link building are via-
1. PR
2. Placed links (profiles, etc.)
3. Editorial
4. Blogs


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