How I got 300+ High Quality Backlinks by Releasing Free Software

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In march last year I created a simple software application for windows called Helge’s Switchblade, which i actively developed for 5 months, released by myself on Sourceforge, and later decided to put it up on my own website with a simple landing page I bought from Themeforest, I then customized it a bit, added a navigation bar and uploaded my software onto my server.

The template I bought had an email form that looked nice, so I decided I was going to use this to build a little Software Niche list, that I could later monetize by sending updates, affiliate offers to other great system optimization software, antivirus and such.

I did not know how to use an auto-responder at that time, so I got a PHP developer friend of mine to create a Mailing system for me, I have around 300 software niche leads

Fast forward 5 months, Ghacks published this article out of the blue, they wrote a nice article on my software and gave it a good review, as you might know, is syndicated around the web, so this article, as well as my backlink was reposted and in some cases spun about 50 times from that single article, this happened automatically.

A few days after that Lifehacker also reposted the article, this is when shit really hit the fan, Lifehacker has more hits than and is reblogged a lot more times, in this case I believe it was upwards of 200 times, all with the Dofollow backlink to the site.

This brought 30.000 UNIQUE visitors to my site in January.

Sourceforge Download Stats



I had previously added a simple Paypal donation button on the donation page and in January alone some kind souls donated a total of ~100 USD to the development of the software.

So now I had 100 Bucks in my pocket, and 500 organic, high quality backlinks originating from authority web sites in the software and technology niche, this is great.
A few weeks after that TechRepublic, which is a branch of CNET aimed at IT Professionals published an article about my software as well!

The following months articles were published from high-ranking authority domains in the software/tech niche like, PCAuthority, TheWindowsClub, Betanews, MalwareTips, Technokarak and various others.


I also submitted my software MANUALLY to various software directories that accepted PAD files, in hindsight I would have bought the 1 Month subscription to GSA Auto SoftSubmit to blast the directories that it provides and be done with it.

All of this happened organically when users found my tool, and shared with their friends, colleagues and such.


AWStats Monthly Traffic





Traffic In January





Not bad for a simple tool I created to handle mundane computer tasks at work…


Backlink Reports


Why Did People Link To My Site?

The reason people linked to my site, wrote articles about it and shared it on their social network, was simply because I managed to stitch together a bunch of tools that people found useful and added some of my own stuff in the mix, all my software really does is launch other third-party tools, but what I did was to find portable versions of software, pack them into my tool, and have a nice GUI launcher that provides the user with an easy way to do troubleshooting tasks on their computers.


How To Market Your Software

  1. Make your software EASY to download and find, as you can see on my landing page once you get on the site there is a BIG download button on the first page, if you make your software EASY and FAST to download users will be happy.
  2. Provide multiple ways of downloading your software, Whenever i release a new version of my software I first Upload the file on my own website, then Sourceforge, then lastly I upload it to MirrorStack, which is a site that lets you upload your files to one place, and then from the site it will syndicate it out to a bunch of mirror sites, that way you can ensure that your download link never dies.
  3. Submit your software to PAD directories, these directories are basically file download sites, like, sourceforge and various other sites, a lot of these sites support user ratings, comments and usually provide a dofollow link to the developer’s website. If you are lazy and don’t want to do it yourself, you can try using GSA Auto SoftSubmitter.


3 Responses to “How I got 300+ High Quality Backlinks by Releasing Free Software”

  1. Babshaybell

    What a great and super undastanding post. First i must congratulate you on the going viral of your work. Its realy nice. Keep up the good job.

  2. Carl Thomas

    That’s a cool story. Shame the traffic had to stop, though!! I’ve seen spikes myself, though not from the big boys. 6k at the most. Did you slap some adsense on it? By the way< I noticed the software you linked to wasn't there. The anchor text was 'GSA Auto SoftSubmit'.

  3. Carl Thomas

    Oh, and do some nofollows on those affiliate links!!


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