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Using AI to Improve SEO: Exploring Internal Links and Backlinks

Can AI workflows help boost SEO by automating internal linking and backlink building? Let's discuss...

Published on Apr 30, 2024 by Alex Halliday

Internal Links

Internal links are an important part of a well rounded Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. They not only facilitate easy navigation for users but also contribute significantly to enhancing a website's internal SEO. By guiding search engine crawlers through the website's pages, internal links ensure proper indexing and establish a clear signal of page authority across the site.

In tests with implementing a robust internal links strategy can greatly expedite the ranking of new content and maintain the relevance of older content.

Today : Tedious Internal Linking (for those that even do it)

Creating internal links on websites is a manual and tedious task, and only a few websites actually do it. It requires closely comparing new and existing content to identify key phrases and concepts that would make good candidates for linking. For example, a blog post on 'machine learning' would benefit from including links to previously published articles on 'artificial intelligence' or 'data science.’

As websites scale their content, identifying the most suitable anchor text and destination pages for internal links becomes increasingly annoying and time-consuming. Less than 1% of websites do a good job of this.

AI Powered Internal Linking

Can AI help with internal links? Large Language Models (LLMs) and vector databases are two parts of the modern AI stack that can come to the rescue.

LLMs like GPT-4 and Claude 2 are exceptional at content analysis, which is useful for text analysis and identifying key phrases in content.

Vector databases offer text-similarity based search, making it easy to identify similar or related content. For example, a newly written article on 'quantum computing' can quickly be matched with existing content on 'qubits' or 'quantum algorithms' thanks to the semantic search capabilities of vector databases. AirOps provides a managed vector database called Memory Stores, which can be set up in under 5 minutes. Here is how it might work :

Example workflow

  1. Ask GPT-4 to generate a keyword rich, 200 word summary of an article: This will give you a good baseline of the contents of an article.
  2. Perform a semantic search for the generated summary: You can store your entire website in an AirOps Memory Store, our vector db product. Once created, you can quickly search your entire website contents for things semantically similar to this article. This will look for similar things you have written.
  3. (Optionally) Perform a series of smaller searches: If your article covers a lot of different topics, you may want to break down your article into 5 or so sub-summaries.
  4. Ask GPT-4 to suggests links: The Memory Store search will return a list of pages. Now you can ask GPT-4 to suggest key phrases in your article to the relevant returned pages from your Memory Store.

This approach not only expedites the internal linking process but also enhances its accuracy. By identifying semantic correlations between content, AirOps ensures that links are contextually relevant and beneficial for SEO. Daisie, a social and education platform using AirOps, relied on this workflow to automatically link its course catalog to generated articles. This level of detail helped achieve a 60X increase in traffic.

AI Backlink Building

Backlinks, which are links from other websites pointing to your own, are crucial for building domain and topical authority, and play a key role in your SEO strategy. Search engines, such as Google, give them significant importance as they are a key factor in determining rankings. Having a strong backlink profile can propel your website to the highly desired top-tier search results, making the acquisition of backlinks a valuable pursuit.

Automated Backlink Building: AI Assisted Approach

The use of AI and automation technologies can make backlink building process more efficient and less labor-intensive. By utilizing AI, a task that used to be extremely challenging can now be simplified into a manageable workflow.

The first step is to use an LLM to search the internet for high-ranking pages that have domain and topic authority related to your content. These pages are not just any pages, but they are the ones that can provide significant SEO benefits through their backlinks.

Example workflow

  1. Source Domain List: Find high topic authority domains relevant to your website
  2. Create an AI Research Agent: An AI Agent (that you can create on AirOps) can navigate a target domain and find contact information. This Agent would need to be equipped with :
    a. the Google Search tool
    b. Web Scraping Tool (that returned pages as Markdown so links were intact)
    c. GPT-4 32k Agent LLM
    d. Ability to write email addresses to a Google Sheet or CRM
  3. AI Outreach Drafter: Create an AI Workflow that drafts personalized outreach comms to websites with content ideas or backlink opportunities.
  4. Automated Email Sending: Once the AI Outreach Drafter has generated personalized outreach communications, an automated system can be set up to send these emails to the identified websites. This saves time and ensures that the outreach process is streamlined.
  5. Monitoring and Tracking: To measure the effectiveness of the backlink building campaign, it is important to monitor and track the responses and actions taken by the contacted websites. This can be done using tools like Google Analytics or CRM systems to analyze the impact of the backlinks on website traffic and search engine rankings.

Leveraging HARO for Backlinks with AI

Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a platform where journalists seek expert sources to quote in their articles. For businesses and individuals, it provides an opportunity to obtain high-quality backlinks from reputable news outlets and publications. However, the large number of HARO requests can make it difficult to track and respond to those that are relevant to your niche.

Streamlining HARO Responses with AI

This is where AI can make a significant difference. By using Large Language Models (LLMs), you can automate the process of sifting through HARO requests. These AI models are adept at understanding the context and can quickly identify requests that match your business's expertise and industry.

AirOps simplifies this process further by enabling the creation of a custom workflow. It constantly monitors HARO requests and alerts you when a relevant one comes up. This way, you don't miss out on any potential backlink opportunities that could enhance your website's authority and search engine ranking.

An Alternative Approach with Backlinks AI

If you're looking for a more hands-off approach, there's also Backlinks AI, available at This service offers smart filtering of backlink opportunities, identifying relevant HARO requests for you. It even goes a step further by drafting replies, which you can then customize and send out. Starting at just $9 a month, it's an affordable solution for businesses looking to build backlinks without investing a significant amount of time.

Competitor Backlink Analysis with AI

Finally, understanding where your competitors are getting their backlinks from can provide valuable clues as to where you should be building links. AI can significantly streamline competitor backlink analysis and building workflows.

Example Workflow for Competitor Backlink Analysis

  1. Competitor Identification: List your main competitors and their websites.
  2. Backlink Extraction and Prioritization: Use an AI tool compared with a premium data source like SEMRush, to extract all backlinks pointing to your competitors' websites and identify those that could be good candidates for backlinks
  3. AI-Powered Outreach Planning: Utilize AI to draft personalized outreach messages to the owners of the selected websites. The AI can suggest content collaboration ideas or propose backlink exchange opportunities that are mutually beneficial.
  4. Automated Outreach Execution: Set up an automated system to send personalized outreach emails to the selected targets. Schedule follow-up messages to increase the chances of a positive response.
  5. Performance Monitoring and Adaptation: Monitor the success rate of your outreach efforts through AI-powered analytics tools. Refine your approach based on the feedback and response rates, continually optimizing your strategy.

The Benefits of AI in Competitor Backlink Analysis

By leveraging AI for competitor backlink analysis and outreach, you can gain a competitive edge in your SEO efforts. AI allows for a more efficient and targeted approach, saving time and resources while increasing the likelihood of acquiring valuable backlinks. Additionally, the data-driven insights provided by AI can help refine your overall SEO strategy, ensuring that your efforts are aligned with the most promising opportunities in your industry.

Using the AirOps SEO Playbook

When implementing AI in SEO strategies, it is crucial to take a gradual approach, testing and iterating along the way. AirOps provides a platform that facilitates this process, allowing for easy implementation of AI in SEO workflows. It is important to remember that human review is essential, as AI is a tool to assist and enhance human efforts, not replace them entirely. By staying responsive to the data and continuously optimizing strategies, businesses can maximize the effectiveness of their SEO initiatives.

For more information and valuable workflow starting points, refer to the AirOps SEO Playbook. If you are interested in a custom project, you can schedule a call with the AirOps team through this link.