Why the Skyscraper Technique is More Important Now Than Ever

Table of Contents

Skyscraper Technique is a revolutionary but not new technique to get backlinks, that originated as the brainchild of Backlinko’s Brian Dean. How can a technique be revolutionary but not new at the same time? More importantly, how can YOU use the Skyscraper Technique to get a ton of backlinks yourself? 

Keep reading this article. It contains the answer to every single one of your questions. The greatest among which should be- Why is the Skyscraper Technique essential NOW?

Let’s start with a small history lesson. 

In the ancient past, when Google had not yet come into existence, Yahoo! and Alt Vista used to rule the world. 

These ruling search engines had initially started out as mere page directories. But even as they grew in power, they only cared about the content on your page, nothing else. 

Then in 1998, Google was born and this changed the history of search engines forever. 

What was so special about Google? 

It was the first search engine that started ranking pages according to citation notations. The more your article was linked to by other sites, the more you rose in ranking. As the years rolled by, this became one of Google’s most important criteria for ranking pages.

Long story short: Everyone started rushing to gain backlinks to their sites to increase their web traffic. 

Many techniques to increase backlinks rose to the forefront. For example, for a while, all anyone focused on was broken link building or digital PR. But these were not perfect processes. The success rate was often low and it took too long to implement properly. 

Then, in 2014, Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko, introduced the world to his brainchild: The Skyscraper Technique. 

Why did it take the world of content marketing by storm? 

Because within 14 days of using the Skyscraper Technique on his article Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List (2021) the organic traffic to his website, not just to the article itself, doubled

Obviously, people started listening closely to what he was saying. 

Before I explain why the Skyscraper Technique is more relevant now than ever before, I need to give you a very basic idea of what it is. 

What is the Skyscraper Technique? 

Since Brian Dean is the one who came up with the concept, let’s hear his explanation first: 

“Have you ever walked by a really tall building and said to yourself:

“Wow, that’s amazing! I wonder how big the 8th tallest building in the world is.”

Of course not.

It’s human nature to be attracted to the best.”

Brian Dean, Backlinko

Remember that saying that was drilled into our heads as children: “No one remembers the second-best”?  

That’s exactly what this technique is based on. 

The aim is to find the best content out there and to create something better. 

Or in the words of the master himself: 

“…finding the tallest “skyscraper” in your space…and slapping 20 stories to the top of it.”

Brian Dean, Backlinko

For this, he provided a very comprehensible guideline. Three easy steps: 

  • Find link-worthy content
  • Make something even better
  • Reach out to the right people

But before we delve into the logistics of the Skyscraper Technique, I’ll answer a question that must be rattling about in your mind. 

Why is the Skyscraper Technique More Relevant Now Than Ever Before? 

Before you invest a huge amount of time and effort into learning the Skyscraper Technique, it’s probably a wise decision to ask: Is the Skyscraper Technique even relevant?

Yes. Despite its birth and bloom in 2014, the Skyscraper Technique is still popular. In fact, its relevance has increased. 

Why? Because Google no longer just cares about the number of backlinks that you generate. It also cares about the quality of the content and the authority of the backlinkers of that content. 

With Hummingbird, Google announced a complete overhaul in their core algorithm. They started analyzing millions of pieces of content to figure out what quality, authority, and relevance looked like. 

Google E-A-T

This is where Google E-A-T came into the picture. E-A-T stands for Expert, Authoritative, Trustworthy content. Millions of algorithms were unleashed to figure out what qualified as quality content. 

This surge in Google updates started in 2018 and now, in 2021, Google has been coming out with new updates almost on a daily basis. 

Apart from these self-learning algorithms, Google has also armed itself with around 10,000 real people all over the world who are working as ‘quality raters.’

So, if you’re planning to stick to the old link-building techniques, I have some bad news for you. 

Those techniques which focus only on the quantity of backlinks, no longer work. 

Why does the Skyscraper Technique still work then?

Because the Skyscraper Technique has always focused on making BETTER content. 

That’s the most important part according to Brian Dean. Take the best content out there and make it even better. Therefore, the focus of the Skyscraper Technique had always been on the quality, authority, and relevance of the content. 

This is exactly why you need the Skyscraper Technique more than ever now to keep up with Google’s baby algo-bots. 

(I didn’t come up with that extremely creepy term on my own. That’s Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes’ brainchild)

How to Use the Skyscraper Technique for Link-Building? 

I’ve already told you the 3 key steps of the Skyscraper Technique. Now let’s delve into them even further. 

1. Find link-worthy content

Your goal is to create linkable assets. The meaning is evident in the name itself- a piece of content that is so good that people want to keep linking back to it time and again.

But, to create a linkable asset, you have to figure out what other people find valuable. Should you go about trying to read people’s minds and then make random guesswork when you fail?

Of course not. 

Brian Dean makes a very simple suggestion. Just find what the best piece of content is at the moment. The benchmark for consideration is: it should have at least 25 major sites linking back to it. 

However, there are several challenges that you can encounter during this initial step of the Skyscraper Technique. 

  1. Even if you manage to create a list of articles based on the number of backlinks that they generate, this list is not going to remain static. The top sites regularly topple each other over for the top spot. 
  1. You need an article that has consistently drawn backlinks and continues to do so. Stumbling across an article that gained a score of backlinks in 2009 and then faded away from recognition, is not going to help you. It’s not relevant anymore. 
  1. The Home Pages of sites are always linked back to more than their blogs. But that’s obviously of no use to you. You’re looking for informational content that you can improve. How do you separate these while looking at the number of backlinks each page generates? 

To overcome these challenges, you must use any one or more of these tools:

Semrush Backlink Checker

Semrush boasts of having the fastest backlinks checker at the moment. 

How to use it? 

Figure out which are the most popular sites in your industry. Pick the top-billing one at the moment and head over to the backlinks analytics tool and click on the “pages” tab. 

You’ll see all the pages of the site listed according to the backlinks they generated, in descending order. The Home Page will most probably be at the top but ignore that. You’re looking for blog content that you can improve upon. 

“Domain review” also allows you to find out what kind of traffic a page is most frequented by and the keywords that a page ranks for. 

Ahrefs Site Explorer

This one is quite similar to Semrush so I’m not going to go over all the steps again. 

You need to start out with the URL of the most popular site in your field, but instead of “pages,” you just need to click on “Top Pages.” 

The result will be the same: a list of the site’s pages arranged according to the number of backlinks they generate, in descending order. 

The anchor text analysis feature of Ahrefs is a handy one. You can use this to figure out how your competitors are enhancing their backlink profiles. Added perk? You can also use this feature to figure out if your site is facing any negative SEO attacks. 


Unlike the first two, you do not need to know your top-billing contender for this one. You just need to enter a keyword that you’re targeting. 

Buzzsumo is different from the first two in another interesting way. Their main focus is on relevance. Hence, they offer the “Filter by date” option. 

Brian Dean advises you to choose the “Past Year” option specifically for the Skyscraper Technique but it also depends on your product. 

Again, the result is the same. A list of pages from several different websites that you can readily use. With Buzzsumo you don’t need to perform an analysis on each of the most famous websites separately. 

Google Search

This one you had probably thought of already. But you’re still going to need the above tools we mentioned for this. 

Pop in your keyword of choice in the Google Search Bar and collect the URLs of the top ten sites in the Google Search Results Page. 

Now enter each of those URLs in any backlink checker tool and you’ll see how many backlinks they generate. 

Wasn’t that easy? Let’s now move on to the second (and the most important) step of the Skyscraper Technique. 

2. Make something even better

Ah. Here comes the difficult part. You need to put on your creative hats for this one. 

I need to clarify something. Just because I said “Create something better than the best,” it’s not always something you can practically do. 

The best might actually be the best. You might not have the resources to produce something better-researched or better-looking. Sometimes, you just have to accept that there is no room for improvement. 

And if that is the case, don’t toil any pointlessly. Find the next best thing, the flaws of which you can clearly see. 

Now, how to make a piece of content better? Sometimes the flaws are clear and sometimes they’re a bit harder to spot. I’ll give you a list of the most effective ways to improve a piece of content. 

Make it Longer

Which article did Brian Dean use the Skyscraper Technique on first? 

Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List

Two Hundred. 

If you search for “Google Ranking Factors” right now, you’re going to get lists of barely 10-30 factors at max. (This article by WebFX does try to top Dean’s article by attempting a 200+ list. But since this was published on 2nd June, 2021, it is obvious that they were trying to Skyscraper the OG Skyscraper.)

The point is, to date, there are very few articles that can challenge the supremacy of the original Backlinko article. 

Writing more long-form articles works. Especially if you can maintain the quality. Remember, you’re not just trying to reach the top-billing position, you’re trying to remain there for a significant amount of time. Otherwise, one of your competitors is going to topple you over and start generating backlinks towards their articles. 

This is why you must go significantly bigger. If there’s a Top 10 list, don’t stop at Top 15. Go for Top 50. If there’s a Top 50 list, go for Top 100. Or even more. 

This won’t be easy, of course. According to Dean, it took him 20 hours to complete that Google Ranking Factors article. 

But as you can see from the results, if you can leap over the highest-ranked competitor by a significant margin, you’re going to stay in that top spot for a while. 

Make it More Detailed

But not every list can be stretched on endlessly. Sometimes, you have to dive deeper. 

A lot of the time, the lists that you come across are just a bunch of bullet points with no explanations. People have to search for those bullet points separately in order to find out more about them.

You can easily do that research for them and gather the information in one place. A meatier list is not only longer but also more substantial. 

But it doesn’t necessarily have to be longer. It just has to provide a better quality of information than an existing piece of article is providing. 

If you consider yourself to be more knowledgeable about the issue, feel free to add in your insights. You’ll end up producing a richer piece of content that people will love reading. 

Make it More Eye-Catching

Superficial beauty might be overrated but tell me, which page would you keep reading? 

Option 1: A very detailed article with paragraphs full of information on a page with no hints of color. 

Option 2: The same article with the information arranged in neat bullet points, a cheerful banner on top, a scattering of infographics, and plenty of pictures that help illustrate the point of the article. 

No matter how unmoved you think you are by superficial displays of charm, you’re going to choose the latter option. 

Why? Because the second article is just more visually pleasing and that makes it easier to read. 

The article itself draws your attention to the most important bits of information.  You don’t have to keep re-reading the same paragraph to ensure that you didn’t miss out on anything. 

A lot of the older top-billing blog posts could simply be knocked off their throne by replacing them with newer, shinier, prettier alternatives. 

You don’t need to do tons of research for this. You just need to learn or invest in a bit of page designing and infographics. 

If you have the skills and the resources, you can also make quality video content. Lots of people don’t want to read a 6000-word article, but they’re willing to watch a 3-hours-long video on the same subject.

Not that I’m advising you to make a 3 hour-long-video. But if you can put your points together in a short, well-designed video- you can even use it in your blog. If your video is the first or best of its kind, it’s going to get you some well-deserved backlinks.

Make it More Relevant

As I’ve pointed out in the beginning, relevance is a criterion that Google also takes into account along with quality and authority. 

No piece of knowledge remains exactly the same over a period of 10-20 years. The world of technology, in particular, evolves extraordinarily fast (just take a look at what’s going on with Cryptocurrencies at the moment). 

So delve into some of the recent research or innovations in your field and incorporate them into your work. 

No one likes an outdated piece of content. This is exactly why the best websites keep updating their own articles periodically. Brian Dean updated his Google Ranking Factors article as late as 2020. 

Even the most well-researched piece of content from 2007 will be outdated now. This is why it’s easy to figure out what you must do to improve an older piece of content. 

Remember, you don’t have to follow just one of these suggestions at once. You can apply all four options to improve a piece of content if there’s room for it. 

After all, the Skyscraper Technique aims to outshine the best. 

3. Reach out to the right people

This part is not very different from the outreach program you follow during broken link building. First, you need to promote your content. 

People aren’t naturally going to stumble across your content no matter how great it is. This is because thousands of blog posts such as yours are published every day.

So, how do you effectively promote your content? You need to find the right people to promote to. 

In order to do this, you need to reach out to:

Pages that had linked back to the content you outdid

Rather than beating about the bush, why not first reach out to the pages which had linked back to your original rival? 

This way, you can explain to them exactly why your content is better and more updated, and ask them to link back to your content instead. 

How to find these pages? If you’ve been using Semrush for Step 1 of the Skyscraper Technique, go back to the same results page.

You’ll see “Export” at the very top right corner. Clicking on that will give you a list of the pages that linked back to the earlier article you targeted. Hence, you get a solid list of prospects that you can now start emailing. 

Don’t worry. You don’t have to manually figure out the email addresses of all 200 sites. 

You can use a variety of Email Finding Tools for this purpose like Hunter, Discoverly, and Lusha

The Semrush Link Building Tool can then help you to send out the emails and also to monitor and manage them. 

However, what you write in that email is also crucial. 

This the draft that Semrush suggests (an updated version of Brian Dean’s own template): 

Source: semrush.com

The key point to highlight is: Why your readers will find my content more useful. 

Besides Semrush, you can also use Ahrefs or Majestic SEO for this step of the Skyscraper Technique. 

But remember to cancel out the unimportant pages from the list. You’re not trying to generate backlinks from article directories and forums. 

While you can use the filters provided by the tools for the purpose of blocking out spam links, I would suggest skimming through the list manually at least once. Often a lot of good links are mistakenly packed away with spam links. 

Other relevant prospects. 

There might be people who are interested in your topic but have not linked back to the particular article you decided to outdo. In this case, you’re not going to find them on your backlinks analysis search page. 

Media Databases such as Gorkana or ANewsTip will help you find journalists interested in your field. 

Since these are cold emails, you might not be flooded with replies. Brian Dean wasn’t either. He had an 11% success rate, in fact. 

Wondering why I didn’t say “ONLY 11%”?

Because, as I have said before, it isn’t about the number of backlinks you get. It is about the quality. 

Moreover, can you really argue with this technique that made his website traffic double in 14 days

11% might not seem like much. But the Skyscraper Technique clearly worked out for him, just as it did for everyone else who tried it.

Limitations of the Skyscraper Technique

Despite the fact that the Skyscraper Technique does work brilliantly, there are a few challenges that you might face along the way. It’s better to be aware of these before you start. 

A long list of older articles that might have linked back a piece of content like yours might not want to make unnecessary changes. 

It’s the good old “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. Unless some very new discoveries or innovations have come into play, some site owners won’t bother going through the hassle of changing their links. 

Also, you might reach out to a journalist or writer and figure out they aren’t working with the same organization anymore. 

But that shouldn’t dissuade you from following the Skyscraper Technique. Just reach out to bloggers who keep updating their sites regularly and focus on evergreen content. 

Don’t let these limitations bother you too much, these are no more than a minor hiccup. 

Of course, there are some more difficulties that you’ll face along the way as you start to implement the Skyscraper Technique by yourself. This is why I’ll tell you a few ways in which you can tweak the established Skyscraper Technique to produce better results. 

How to Improve the Skyscraper Technique? 

Reverse Skyscraper Technique 

Erika Varagouli of Semrush came up with this method of flipping the Skyscraper Technique on its head. 

What she suggested is- look for content with obvious flaws. Which is the exact opposite of trying to find a skyscraper. 

Why do this? 

Because content marketers often walk into the trap of creating great content but not marketing it properly. 

The aim of the Reverse Skyscraper Technique is to find these pieces of content that underperformed so that you can now market it in a better way. 

In the Reverse Skyscraper Technique, you’re also on the lookout for:

i. good content that is not good enough to stand out, and 

ii. good content that is on a badly designed page. 

The goal is to fix the flaws and to reintroduce the piece of content to the world with a makeover so that they can start paying attention to it. 

There’s absolutely no innovation involved but it still feels like you’ve put something new out there. So, you still get the brownie points for innovation. 

Why use this over the regular Skyscraper Technique? Because very often it’s impossible to overshadow a skyscraper. Most skyscrapers don’t have glaring holes in them that you can fix. 

However, since you are targeting a piece of content that did not perform well in the first place, you need to be very sure that there is a demand for this kind of content at all. 

Your main job is to promote this piece of content fabulously. Therefore, you need to do sufficient research regarding whether people are willing to link back to this content before you start out. Don’t toil over a piece of content that wasn’t promoted because no one ever had any need for it. 

Sniper Approach

The Sniper Approach is one of the most common variants of the Skyscraper Technique. 

Rather than firing off 200 emails with the same template, some content marketers choose to carefully observe their target before they fire the bullet- like a sniper. 

This basically means, they make it a point to send highly customized, personal emails instead of bulk emails. 

This approach obviously stands to have a higher strike rate than Brian Dean’s 11%. 

The primary goal of the Sniper Approach is to get quality backlinks. The number of backlinks is not an issue that the followers of this approach are concerned about. 

Say, you have successfully implemented the Skyscraper Technique but there are a few major blogs that have not linked back to you yet. Maybe you really want these backlinks because these blogs have a lot of website traffic or have a high authority ranking. You should absolutely try out the Sniper Approach in this scenario. After all, your targets are few. 

However, this approach is simply unfeasible if you’re planning to take down thousands of targets. Snipers weren’t meant to take down a large crowd. They were meant to take down stragglers. 

If you’re planning to target a large crowd, you’re going to need a shotgun. 

Shotgun Skyscraper Technique 

The invention of the Shotgun Skyscraper Technique can be credited to Mark Webster and Gael Breton of the Authority Hacker. 

In this article, Webster talks about the variety of problems one faces when one really sets about trying to “reach out to the right people.”  

Expectation: Blog owners would smile at you and readily replace the old link with your link because you asked them to. 

Reality: They straight up ask you for cash to replace the link. 

And the obvious problem is, you cannot keep handing out money to everyone indiscriminately. Not only that, Google looks down upon paid link placements. 

The Problem With The Sniper Approach

Webster also points out the glaring hole in the Sniper Approach. If you have to personalize each email to the blog owners’ tastes, you’re going to need at least 8-10 minutes to craft each email. 

How many emails do you end up sending out during the entire day? 24 hours X 60 minutes = 1440 minutes. Divide that by 10 and you get 144 emails per day. 

And that’s only true if you are a vampire who doesn’t need to sleep. 

If you’re not Edward Cullen (and you don’t have to keep staring at a woman while she sleeps), you’re going to send out a very maximum of 100-110 emails per day. 

Let’s say you have a very high success rate of 30% (though that’s stretching it a bit too far). You’re going to get 33 replies per day. 

This figure comes from a very, very generous assumption that you are willing to work 18 hours per day. Realistically, you’re going to have half that number- 17 backlinks. 

And that’s just not going to cut it. 

You need to switch weapons. 

The Shotgun Skyscraper Technique is focused on bringing down as many targets as possible within the shortest period of time. This means sending out semi-personalized bulk emails with the help of tools instead of super-personalized ones. 

You may feel like their success rate is lower but think about this. Even with a success rate of 30%, you’re going to get 33 links in a day at max. 

Even if we assume the success rate of the Shotgun Skyscraper Technique to be as low as 5%, if you send out 1000 emails a day, you’re going to get 50 backlinks. 

That’s not the only reason why one might consider using the Shotgun Skyscraper Technique. 

Why The Shotgun Technique Becomes Necessary For Practical Cost-Cutting Reasons:

As I’ve mentioned before, blog owners are going to ask for money. If you send out a lot of emails, you can then start classifying the blog owners based on:

  1. The ones who need payment,
  2. Ones who agree to feature guest posts,
  3. The ones who want to perform a link exchange. 

Not every option is as good as the other one but you will at least have a clear idea about how many people you need to pay and whether or not you can do away with the paid link placements. 

The classification just helps you to negotiate better. 

Another specificity of the Shotgun Skyscraper Technique is that it creates its linkable assets based on keywords with a very high level of competition i.e. a high Keyword Difficulty (KD) score. 

Webster accepts that it is easier to rank on Google with a keyword that has a lower KD score but the end goal of the entire Skyscraper Technique is not to merely rank but to generate the maximum number of backlinks. Sure, sometimes those two come in the same package but they do not have to be mutually inclusive. 

Why should you really give the Shotgun Skyscraper Technique some thought? 

According to Webster, they get 1667% more backlinks than the Sniper Approach.

Skyscraper Technique Examples

This entire article is filled with stories of successful implementation of the Skyscraper Technique, from Backlinko to Authority Hacker. 

I’m not just going to focus on the success stories because that’s not going to help you. 

More likely than not, you are going to make certain mistakes the first time you implement the Skyscraper Technique. 

That’s why I am going to tell you a story of success and a story of… not exactly failure, but something akin to it. Remember to learn from both. In the second case, I’ll tell you how not to make the same mistakes. 

Story of Success: Ryan Robinson of Hubspot

This is the article by Fast Company that Robinson decided to outshine. 

Why this in particular? Because this article was the talk of the town in the freelancing community when it was published. Robinson knew there was a demand for this information. 

What did he decide to improve upon? The design. 

Hence, this article was born. 

He took an article that looked like this:

Source: fastcompany.com

And turned it into this: 

Source: creativelive.com

You can easily see why his article reached the top-billing position. All he needed to do was simplify the information provided and present it in an infographic format. The infographic was made by Rachel Frankel.

Afterward, Robinson used BuzzSumo to find out which blogs and brands would be interested in this kind of content. 


8200+ shares, 72,000+ views, and 3,648 new email subscribers. 

Story of Failure: Dale Cudmore of RawResume.com 

Cudmore’s now defunct website was brand new at that point when he decided to try out the Skyscraper Technique. RawResume was meant to help people improve their resumes and find better jobs. 

He tried to improve this article through the Skyscraper Technique. How did he find the article? Keyword research. 

What did he decide to improve upon? The length and the depth. 

Looking at the article he outdid, at this point in time, is pointless because ResumeGenius updated their article very recently whereas RawResume itself does not exist anymore. Stylistically, obviously, the original article wins. 

However, comparing both of the articles makes it evident how much longer and more detailed Cudmore’s article is. 

Source: web.archive.org

There are 8 long chapters filled with intricate details of the resume writing process. He knew people would get tired of scrolling down endlessly, so he added this shortcut so that people could jump over to the required section. 

Cudmore chose to send out emails to only those with a URL rating of 5 or higher (URL rating takes into account the strength of a target page’s backlink profile). 

He sent out 232 emails and got 15 backlinks. So, a success rate of 6.5%. Not bad, to be honest. 

But still, his rankings did not change significantly. 

Did Cudmore do the Skyscraper Technique wrong? Was this truly a failure? 

The answer to both of those above questions is: No. 

The Skyscraper Technique worked exactly as Brian Dean said it would and it did give Cudmore the backlinks that he wanted. 

It just didn’t give them a ranking. Why? Because he would have needed at least 66 backlinks to get ranked in the Top 10. 

He only sent out 232 emails! For 66 backlinks, his success rate would have had to be 28%! 

That’s not realistic in any sense. The 30% success rate I assumed in the Sniper Approach was a hard stretch because I wanted to prove that even that success rate would not matter if one was targeting several thousands of people. With cold emails, a 28% success rate is a dream!

The point is: If Cudmore’s true goal had been to rank in the Top 10, he should have reached out to way more people. Or at least used any of the tools I mentioned to find his linkable asset instead of just doing keyword research. 

The quintessential goal of the Skyscraper Technique is to find a skyscraper that you can scale. Not just to find any fairly tall building. 

But the thing is, Cudmore didn’t really fail. He did generate the backlinks that he wanted to. He just got disappointed in failing to achieve a goal that he didn’t initially have and decided to walk off the battlefield too early. 

What can you do differently?

Make sure you understand that ranking in the Top 10 and getting a lot of backlinks are not one and the same. Yes, getting a lot of backlinks will help you rank but for that, you need to find the highest skyscraper that you can scale. 

Dale Cudmore did achieve his goal. It was just that his goal wasn’t too ambitious, to begin with. 

In order to truly follow the Skyscraper Technique, you must aim higher. 

Also, do use the skyscraper tools that are at your service. You cannot and shouldn’t do everything manually. Especially when you have a thousand other content marketers competing with you. 

In Conclusion: 

I’m not saying that the Skyscraper Technique is foolproof. But if you think about it logically, it has every reason to work. 

Now, it’s up to you how you wish to implement it. Brian Dean did not carve out his commandments on stone. You can make slight tweaks here and there as and when the need arises. 

Even if you have to make slight modifications, the Skyscraper Technique is worth knowing because, as I’ve said in the very beginning, the Google ranking system demands quality backlinks more than ever now. 

Plus, isn’t this a bit easier than trying to figure out how to keep on innovating every single day? You cannot possibly come up with brand new pieces of information on a daily basis. You need to have an alternative. 

By now you should have a decent idea of the tricks and tools of the trade. But if you have any further questions about the Skyscraper Technique, do ask away in the comments below! 

Also, let me know if you have come up with any nifty modifications that further improve the Skyscraper Technique! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who created the Skyscraper Technique and when?

Backlinko’s founder Brian Dean came up with the idea of the Skyscraper Technique in 2014. He used this technique for the first time in his article “Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List (2021).”

What does the Skyscraper Technique mean?

The Skyscraper Technique is essentially a link-building technique that focuses on beating the BEST content already out there. So basically you find the tallest skyscraper and you “slap 20 stories on top of it.” It’s an intricate process of finding link-worthy assets and making your own article longer, deeper, better than the present top ranker. Of course, the Skyscraper Technique doesn’t end here. You have to then reach out to the right people to convince them to use your content instead of the current top ranker’s content.

What is the Skyscraper Technique used for?

The Skyscraper Technique is essentially used for link-building. Google ranking not only depends on the number of backlinks that you have. But also the quality, relevance and authority of the backlinks you get. Skyscraper Technique gets you quality backlinks that allow you to topple the current top ranker from their throne.

How to do the Skyscraper Technique?

It’s an elaborate process. First you need to find link-worthy assets (topics that can actually get you backlinks). Then you need to find the best piece on content on that topic. Now you need to beat this content by any means. If it is short, make your content longer. If it is a barebones list, make your content detailed. If it is visually unappealing, make sure you include a lot of eye-catching graphics in your content. Once you are done, you need to start reaching out to the right people. You must convince them to replace their present linked content with yours.

Is the Skyscraper Technique still relevant?

Yes, it is more relevant than ever. Google’s E-A-T SEO is focusing on expertise, authority and trustworthiness. Your ranking no longer depends solely on the number of backlinks you have. It depends on the quality, authority and relevance of the backlinks your content generates. The Skyscraper Technique makes sure you have the best quality content from all angles. That’s why the Skyscraper Technique is indispensable in 2021.

What is the shotgun Skyscraper Technique?

The Shotgun Skyscraper Technique is focused on emailing as many targets as possible within the shortest period of time. This means sending out semi-personalized bulk emails with the help of tools instead of super-personalized ones. In this way, even with a minimal response rate, you can still get a decent number of backlinks.

What are the benefits of using the Skyscraper Technique?

The Skyscraper Technique allows you to get quality backlinks that have authority and relevance. This is necessary for getting a high rank in Google. By using the Skyscraper Technique, you’re essentially aiming to beat the current best and take its position. Therefore, this technique forces you to create the best quality content possible.

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