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Is It Alternatives You’re Looking For?

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Is It Alternatives You’re Looking For?

You probably clicked this result because a) you appreciate a good Lionel Ritchie pun, or b) you’ve heard that HARO is dead and want some alternatives—hopefully both.

Whatever the reason, in this article, I’ll share some alternatives to HARO and a few extra ways to get expert quotes and backlinks for your website.

Disclaimer: I am not a PR expert. I did a bit of outreach a few years ago, but I have only been an occasional user of HARO in the past year or so.

So, rather than providing my opinion on the best alternatives to HARO, I thought it would be fun to ask users of the “new HARO” what they thought were the best alternatives.

I wanted to give the “new HARO”—Connectively—the benefit of the doubt.

Still, a few minutes after my pitch was accepted, I got two responses that appeared to be AI-generated from two “visionary directors,” both with “extensive experience.”

My experience of Connectively so far mirrored Josh’s experience of old HARO: The responses were most likely automated.

Although I was off to a bad start, looking through most of the responses afterward, these two were the only blatant automated pitches I could spot.

These responses weren’t included in my survey, and anyone who saw my pitch would have to copy and paste the survey link to complete it—increasing the chance of genuine human responses—hopefully.

So, without further ado, here are the results of the survey.

1714560965 992 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For1714560965 992 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Sidenote.

The survey on Connectively ran for a week and received 101 votes. Respondents could vote for their top three HARO alternatives.

Price: Free.

Help a B2B Writer was the #1 alternative platform respondents recommended. In my survey it got 22% of the vote.

Help a B2B Writer is a platform run by Superpath that is similar to HARO but focused on connecting business-to-business (B2B) journalists with industry experts and sources for their stories.

Is It Alternatives Youre Looking ForIs It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: Free and paid plans. Paid plans start at $99 per month.

Coming in joint second place, Featured was popular, scoring 18% of the vote.

Featured connects journalists with experts and thought leaders. It allows experts to create profiles showcasing their expertise and helps journalists find suitable sources for their stories.

1714560966 485 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For1714560966 485 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: Free and paid plans. Paid plans start at $99 per month.

Qwoted is another platform that I’ve heard talked about a lot. It came in joint second place, scoring 18% of the vote.

Qwoted matches journalists with expert sources, allowing them to collaborate on creating high-quality content. It streamlines the process of finding and connecting with relevant sources.

1714560966 768 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For1714560966 768 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: Free for ten pitches per month

Despite being the “new HARO,” Connectively came 4th on my list, scoring 12% of the vote—surprisingly, it wasn’t even the top choice for most users on its own platform.

Connectively connects journalists with sources and experts. It helps journalists find relevant sources for their stories and allows experts to gain media exposure.

Is It Alternatives Youre Looking ForIs It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: Free and paid plans. Paid plans start at $5.95 per month.

SourceBottle is an online platform that connects journalists, bloggers, and media professionals with expert sources. It allows experts to pitch their ideas and insights to journalists looking for story sources. It scored 9% of the vote in my survey.

1714560967 683 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For1714560967 683 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: Free.

JournoRequest is an X account that shares journalist requests for sources. UK-based journalists and experts often use it, but it can sometimes have international reach. It scored 7% of the vote in my survey.

1714560967 333 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For1714560967 333 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: Paid. Plans start at $1,150 per year.

ProfNet connects journalists to expert sources. It helps journalists find knowledgeable sources for their articles, interviews, and other media content. It helps subject matter experts gain media exposure and share their expertise. It scored 5% of the vote in my survey.

1714560967 357 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For1714560967 357 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: 7-day free trial and paid plans. Paid plans start at $147 per month.

JustReachOut is a PR and influencer outreach platform that helps businesses find and connect with relevant journalists and influencers. It provides tools for personalized outreach and relationship management. It scored 3% of the vote in my survey.

1714560967 678 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For1714560967 678 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: 14-day free trial and paid plans. Paid plans start at $50 per month.

OnePitch is a platform that simplifies the process of pitching story ideas to journalists. Businesses and PR professionals can create and send targeted pitches to relevant media outlets. It scored 3% of the vote in my survey.

1714560967 17 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For1714560967 17 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: Free.

PitchRate is a free PR tool that connects journalists and highly rated experts. Useful for subject matter experts looking for free PR leads, media coverage, or publicity. Or journalists looking for credible sources. It scored 1% of the vote in my survey.

1714560967 890 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For1714560967 890 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: Free and paid plans. Paid plans start at ~$105 per month.

A UK service that connects media professionals with expert sources, press releases, and PR contacts. It scored 1% of the vote in my survey.

1714560968 51 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For1714560968 51 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: Invitation-only platform.

Forbes Councils is an invitation-only community for executives and entrepreneurs. Members can contribute expert insights and thought leadership content to Forbes.com and gain media exposure. It scored 1% of the vote in my survey.

1714560968 753 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For1714560968 753 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: Free.

Yes, you read that right.

HERO was created by Peter Shankman, the original creator of HARO, who said the platform will always be free. It scored 1% of the vote in my survey.

Peter set up the platform after receiving over 2,000 emails asking him to build a new version of HARO.

1714560968 119 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For1714560968 119 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: Paid. Sign up for details.

Meltwater received no votes in my survey, but I included it because I’d seen it shared on social media as a paid alternative to HARO.

It’s a media intelligence and social media monitoring platform. It provides tools for tracking media coverage, analyzing sentiment, and identifying influencers and journalists for outreach.

1714560968 923 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For1714560968 923 Is It Alternatives Youre Looking For

Price: Free.

Expertise Finder also received no votes in my survey, but it was included as I saw it had been recommended as an HARO alternative on LinkedIn. It’s a platform that helps journalists find and connect with expert sources from universities.

HARO had a dual purpose for SEOs: it was a place to acquire links, but it also was a place to get expert quotes on topics for your next article.

Here are a few more free methods outside the platforms we’ve covered that can help you get expert quotes and links.

We’ve already seen that JournoRequest is a popular X account that shares journalist requests for sources.

But you can also follow hashtags on X to access even more opportunities.

Here are my favorite hashtags to follow:

I used to track the #journorequest hashtag to find opportunities for my clients when I worked agency-side, so I know it can work well for quotes and link acquisition.

Here are two opportunities I found just checking the #journorequest hashtag:

Journorequest example for HuffPost USJournorequest example for HuffPost US

Here’s another example from the Telegraph—a DR 92 website:

Telegraph example DR 92 website journorequestTelegraph example DR 92 website journorequest

Certain types of content are more likely to be shared by journalists and PRs than others.

One of these types of content is statistics-based content. The reason? Journalists often use statistics to support their points.

Once they have included your statistic in their post, they often add a backlink back to your post.

We tested this with our SEO statistics post, and as you can see, it still ranks number one in Google.

SERP overview for SEO statisticsSERP overview for SEO statistics

Another method is to use the Linking authors report in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. This report shows the authors’ names who link to any website you enter.

You can see which authors link to their site by entering your competitor’s domain. Some of these authors may represent outreach opportunities for your website as well.

  1. Head to Site Explorer, click on Linking authors
  2. Type in your competitor’s URL
  3. Contact any authors that you think may be interested in your website and its content
Linking authors report, via Ahrefs.comLinking authors report, via Ahrefs.com

Tip

If you download your website’s linking authors and your competitors into a spreadsheet and put them into separate tabs, you can compare the lists to see which authors are only linking to your competitor’s website.

When I was about to wrap up this article, I was contacted by Greg Heilers of Jolly SEO on LinkedIn.

He said he’d sent 200,000+ pitches over the years and wanted to share the results with me.

These are his top three platforms over the last 1,000 pitches he sent. Interestingly, we can see that it’s similar to my much smaller-scale survey.

Jolly SEOs 1000 link placements
Jolly SEOs 1000 link placements
Ordered by number of link placements. Average Domain Rating from Ahrefs. Average organic traffic from Ahrefs.

Hopefully, the data here speaks for itself. The high-quality links and traffic from HARO alternatives is considerable.

This research shows that Featured gained the most link placements in this campaign.

We have compiled some helpful content related to link building that you can get your teeth into. These hand-picked guides will take you from beginner to expert in no time.

Here are my favorite resources on this topic:

Final thoughts

There are many options for sourcing expert quotes and getting links for your next marketing campaigns. HARO may be dead, but its legacy lives on.

My highly unscientific survey suggests that most “new HARO” users liked Help a B2B Writer the most, but for HARO purists, there really is only one choice—HERO.

Give your favorites from this list a whirl, and let me know if you have any success. Got more questions? Ping me on X. 🙂



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Screaming Frog SEO Spider Version 20.0: AI-Powered Features

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What’s New with Screaming Frog SEO Spider 20.0?

For SEO experts, our toolkit is crucial. It’s how we make sure we can quickly and effectively assess how well our websites are performing. Using the best tools can put you way ahead of other SEOs. One example (and one tool I’ve personally been using for years) is Screaming FrogIt’s a powerful, straightforward, and insightful website crawler tool that’s indispensable for finding technical issues on your website.

And the good news is that it keeps getting better. Screaming Frog just released its 20th major version of the software, which includes new features based on feedback from SEO professionals.

Here are the main updates:

  1. Custom JavaScript Snippets
  2. Mobile Usability
  3. N-Grams Analysis
  4. Aggregated Anchor Text
  5. Carbon Footprint & Rating

Custom JavaScript Snippets

One of the standout features in this release is the ability to execute custom JavaScript snippets during a crawl. This functionality expands the horizons for data manipulation and API communication, offering unprecedented flexibility.

Use Cases:

  • Data Extraction and Manipulation: Gather specific data points or modify the DOM to suit your needs.
  • API Communication: Integrate with APIs like OpenAI’s ChatGPT from within the SEO Spider.

Setting Up Custom JS Snippets:

  • Navigate to `Config > Custom > Custom JavaScript`.
  • Click ‘Add’ to create a new snippet or ‘Add from Library’ to select from preset snippets.

setting up custom JS snippets screamingfrog 20setting up custom JS snippets screamingfrog 20

  • Ensure JavaScript rendering mode is set via `Config > Spider > Rendering`.

Crawl with ChatGPT:

  • Leverage the `(ChatGPT) Template` snippet, add your OpenAI API key and tailor the prompt to your needs.
  • Follow our tutorial on ‘How To Crawl With ChatGPT’ for more detailed guidance.

Sharing Your Snippets:

  • Export/import snippet libraries as JSON files to share with colleagues.
  • Remember to remove sensitive data such as API keys before sharing.

Introducing Custom JavaScript Snippets to Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 significantly enhances the tool’s flexibility and power. Whether you’re generating dynamic content, interacting with external APIs, or conducting complex page manipulations, these snippets open a world of possibilities. 

Mobile Usability

In today’s mobile-first world, ensuring a seamless mobile user experience is imperative. Version 20.0 introduces extensive mobile usability audits through Lighthouse integration. 

With an ever-increasing number of users accessing websites via mobile devices, ensuring a seamless mobile experience is crucial. Google’s mobile-first indexing highlights the importance of mobile usability, which directly impacts your site’s rankings and user experience.

 Mobile Usability Features:

  • New Mobile Tab: This tab includes filters for regular mobile usability issues such as viewport settings, tap target sizes, content sizing, and more.
  • Granular Issue Details: Detailed data on mobile usability issues can be explored in the ‘Lighthouse Details’ tab.
  • Bulk Export Capability: Export comprehensive mobile usability reports via `Reports > Mobile`.

Setup:

  • Connect to the PSI API through `Config > API Access > PSI` or run Lighthouse locally.

Example Use Cases:

  • Identify pages where content does not fit within the viewport.
  • Flag and correct small tap targets and illegible font sizes.

mobile usability analysis on screamingfrog 20mobile usability analysis on screamingfrog 20

With these new features, Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 streamlines the process of auditing mobile usability, making it more efficient and comprehensive. By integrating with Google Lighthouse, both via the PSI API and local runs, the tool provides extensive insights into the mobile performance of your website. Addressing these issues not only enhances user experience but also improves your site’s SEO performance.

N-grams Analysis

N-grams analysis is a powerful new feature that allows users to analyze phrase frequency across web pages. This can greatly enhance on-page SEO efforts and internal linking strategies.

Setting Up N-grams:

  • Activate HTML storage by enabling ‘Store HTML’ or ‘Store Rendered HTML’ under `Config > Spider > Extraction`.
  • View the N-grams in the lower N-grams tab.

n-grams analysis on screamingfrog 20n-grams analysis on screamingfrog 20

Example Use Cases:

  • Improving Keyword Usage: Adjust content based on the frequency of targeted N-grams.
  • Optimizing Internal Links: Use N-grams to identify unlinked keywords and create new internal links.

Internal Linking Opportunities:

The N-grams feature provides a nuanced method for discovering internal linking opportunities, which can significantly enhance your SEO strategy and site navigation.

The introduction of N-grams analysis in Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20 provides a tool for deep content analysis and optimization. By understanding the frequency and distribution of phrases within your content, you can significantly improve your on-page SEO and internal linking strategies.

Aggregated Anchor Text

Effective anchor text management is essential for internal linking and overall SEO performance. The aggregated anchor text feature in version 20.0 provides clear insights into how anchor texts are used across your site.

Using Aggregated Anchor Text:

  • Navigate to the ‘Inlinks’ or ‘Outlinks’ tab.
  • Utilize the new ‘Anchors’ filters to see aggregated views of anchor text usage.

aggregated anchor text report on screamingfrog 20aggregated anchor text report on screamingfrog 20

Practical Benefits:

  • Anchor Text Diversity: Ensure a natural distribution of anchor texts to avoid over-optimization.
  • Descriptive Linking: Replace generic texts like “click here” with keyword-rich alternatives.

The aggregated anchor text feature provides powerful insights into your internal link structure and optimization opportunities. This feature is essential if you are looking to enhance your site’s internal linking strategy for better keyword relevance, user experience, and search engine performance.

Aligning with digital sustainability trends, Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 includes features to measure and optimize your website’s carbon footprint.

Key Features:

  • Automatic CO2 Calculation: The SEO Spider now calculates carbon emissions for each page using the CO2.js library.
  • Carbon Rating: Each URL receives a rating based on its emissions, derived from the Sustainable Web Design Model.
  • High Carbon Rating Identification: Pages with high emissions are flagged in the ‘Validation’ tab.

Practical Applications:

  • Resource Optimization: Identify and optimize high-emission resources.
  • Sustainable Practices: Implement changes such as compressing images, reducing script sizes, and using green hosting solutions.

The integration of carbon footprint calculations in Screaming Frog SEO Spider signifies a growing recognition of digital sustainability. As more businesses adopt these practices, we can collectively reduce the environmental impact of the web while driving performance and user satisfaction.

Other Updates

In addition to major features, version 20.0 includes numerous smaller updates and bug fixes that enhance functionality and user experience.

Rich Result Validation Enhancements:

  • Split Google Rich Result validation errors from Schema.org.
  • New filters and columns provide detailed insights into rich result triggers and errors.

Enhanced File Types and Filters:

  • Internal and external filters include new file types such as Media, Fonts, and XML.

Website Archiving:

  • A new option to archive entire websites during a crawl is available under `Config > Spider > Rendering > JS`.

Viewport and Screenshot Configuration:

  • Customize viewport and screenshot sizes to fit different audit needs.

API Auto Connect:

  • Automatically connect APIs on start, making the setup process more seamless.

Resource Over 15MB Filter:

  • A new validation filter flags resources over 15MB, which is crucial for performance optimization.

Page Text Export:

  • Export all visible page text through the new `Bulk Export > Web > All Page Text` option.

Lighthouse Details Tab:

  • The ‘PageSpeed Details’ tab has been renamed ‘Lighthouse Details’ to reflect its expanded role.

HTML Content Type Configuration:

  • An ‘Assume Pages are HTML’ option helps accurately classify pages without explicit content types.

Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements:

  • Numerous small updates and fixes enhance stability and reliability. 

Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 is a comprehensive update packed with innovative features and enhancements that cater to the evolving needs of SEO professionals like us. From advanced data extraction capabilities with Custom JavaScript Snippets to environmental sustainability with Carbon Footprint and Rating, this release sets a new benchmark in SEO auditing tools.

Key Takeaway

Add this to your toolbox, or update to version 20 to explore the rich array of new features from Screaming Frog to optimize your website’s SEO, usability, and sustainability. It’s a no-fuss tool with tons of features that will help you stay ahead of your competitors, and ensure your websites perform optimally in terms of user experience and search engine visibility.

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Google Simplifies Adding Shipping & Return Policies For Online Stores

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woman online shopper affixes a barcode sticker to a cardboard box, marking it for return and refund

Google introduces Search Console feature for online stores to easily manage shipping and return policies.

  • Google now allows online stores to manage shipping and return policies via Search Console.
  • This simplifies providing vital information to customers.
  • The feature can potentially boost sales for retailers.

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Google’s Now Translating SERPs Into More Languages

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Google's Now Translating SERPs Into More Languages

Google updated their documentation to reflect that it added eight new languages to its translated results feature, broadening the reach of publishers to an increasingly global scale, with automatic  translations to a site visitor’s native language.

Google Translated Results

Translated Results is a Google Search feature that will automatically translate the title link and meta description into the local language of a user, making a website published in one language available to a searcher in another language. If the searcher clicks on the link of a translated result the web page itself will also be automatically translated.

According to Google’s documentation for this feature:

“Google doesn’t host any translated pages. Opening a page through a translated result is no different than opening the original search result through Google Translate or using Chrome in-browser translation. This means that JavaScript on the page is usually supported, as well as embedded images and other page features.”

This feature benefits publishers because it makes their website available to a larger audience.

Search Feature Available In More Languages

Google’s documentation for this feature was updated to reflect that it is now available in eight more languages.

Users who speak the following languages will now have automatic access to a broader range of websites.

List Of Added Languages

  • Arabic
  • Gujarati
  • Korean
  • Persian
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese

Why Did It Take So Long?

It seems odd that Google didn’t already translate results into so many major languages like Turkish, Arabic or Korean. So I asked international SEO expert Christopher Shin (LinkedIn profile) about why it might have taken so long for Google to do this in the Korean language.

Christopher shared:

Google was always facing difficulties in the South Korean market as a search engine, and that has to do mainly with Naver and Kakao, formerly known as Daum.

But the whole paradigm shift to Google began when more and more students that went abroad to where Google is the dominant search engine came back to South Korea. When more and more students, travelers abroad etc., returned to Korea, they started to realize the strengths and weaknesses of the local search portals and the information capabilities these local portals provided. Laterally, more and more businesses in South Korea like Samsung, Hyundai etc., started to also shift marketing and sales to global markets, so the importance of Google as a tool for companies was also becoming more important with the domestic population.

Naver is still the dominant search portal, but not to retrieve answers to specific queries, rather for the purpose of shopping, reviews etc.

So I believe that market prioritization may be a big part as to the delayed introduction of Translated Google Search Results. And in terms of numbers, Korea is smaller with only roughly 52M nationwide and continues to decline due to poor birth rates.

Another big factor as I see it, has to do with the complexity of the Korean language which would make it more challenging to build out a translation tool that only replicates a simple English version. We use the modern Korean Hangeul but also the country uses Hanja, which are words from the Chinese origin. I used to have my team use Google Translate until all of them complained that Naver’s Papago does a better job, but with the introduction of ChatGPT, the competitiveness offered by Google was slim.”

Takeaway

It’s not an understatement to say that 2024 has not been a good year for publishers, from the introduction of AI Overviews to the 2024 Core Algorithm Update, and missing image thumbnails on recipe blogger sites, there hasn’t been much good news coming out of Google. But this news is different because it creates the opportunity for publisher content to be shown in even more languages than ever.

Read the updated documentation here:

Translated results in Google Search

Featured Image by Shutterstock/baranq

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