HARO Study: Results from Analyzing 2500 Queries

Boni Satani

Boni Satani

April 12, 2021

HARO Case Study

We analyzed 2500 HARO queries to generate insights for digital marketers.

We did the analysis to learn:

  • What percentage of queries get published.
  • Number of publications linking back to the source & nature of these links.
  • DR & Organic Traffic of these websites.
  • Popular & Unpopular HARO niches.

Our study aims to help marketers decide if HARO is the right platform for Link Building & PR.

Our Key Findings:

Published Queries Vs Non-Published Queries

Only 35% of the queries submitted by journalists were published, while 65% queries were not published on the mentioned publication site.

I.e. 3 in every 10 query get published.

Publish Queries

We also found that the majority of sites on which queries are published had high DR, which means that every backlink carries enormous potential & has a huge scope for positive results.

Category with the Highest & Lowest Number of Queries

Understanding how many queries different industries receive will help businesses and marketers predict HARO’s potential for their particular brand.

General Category received the highest number of queries while sports category received the lowest number of queries.

Business and Finance Queries

Top 5 categories (along with their subcategories) that received the highest queries were:

  1. General:
    Gift, Home Decor, Adventure, Art, DIY, Gadget, Books, and School & College
  2. Business and Finance:
    Accounting, Investment, Offline & Online Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Frugal Living, Human Resources, Business Ideas & Tips.
  3. Lifestyle and Fitness:
    Personal Health, Fashion, Life Hacks, Personal Development, Relationship, Parenting, Nutrition.
  4. Biotech and Health:
    Mental Health, Medicine, Drugs, Nursing, and Medical Professional
  5. High Tech:
    Cyber Security, DevOps, Networking, Security

Queries with 70+ Domain Ratings

Domain Rating, or DR, is a critical metric of Ahrefs that is measured from 1 to 100 and assigned to every website. It indicates the website’s authority as viewed by Ahref.

Ideally, a website with DR 70 and above is deemed highly authoritative by search engines, and a backlink from such website is highly useful for SEO.

And to give marketers a sense of quality sites, we analysed the DR of all the submitted websites/publications and recorded the DR of those websites that published the journalist queries.

53% of all 2500 queries had a DR of 70 and above:

Total Domain Queries

74% of all 867 published queries had a DR of 70 and above:

Published Domain Queries

This indicates that HARO is an excellent resource for receiving highly authoritative backlinks.

Queries with 10K+ Organic Traffic

The primary purpose of backlinks is to earn trust, build authority & generate referral traffic.

We used Ahrefs to extract the monthly traffic of these websites and mapped them for better understanding.

Out of 2500 queries,57% of queries received 10K organic visitors every month.

Total Traffic Queries

From the Published Queries, 78% of the websites had 10K+ organic traffic per month.

Publish Traffic Queries

Thus, HARO is an incredible source for brand visibility, impressions, and traffic!

Articles with Do-Follow Links Vs No-Follow Links

Lastly, we analyzed the type of links each publication provided to their source.

We found the breakup as follows:

  1. 56.40% of all published articles had a do-follow link.
  2. 11.18% of all published articles had a no-follow link.
  3. 18.80% of all published articles mentioned the source by name with no link.
  4. 13.61% of all published articles did not mention the source at all.

Do-Follow Links Vs No-Follow Links

Although 32% of articles did not link back, mentioning the source by name still creates brand visibility.

This demonstrates that nearly 68% of published articles add value to their source, making HARO a beneficial platform for backlinks and impressions.

Our Methodology:

  1. We collated 2,500 journalist queries made on HARO during January 2020.
  2. All data from these queries – Author Name, Publication, Query Title, Query Description, and Industry was scraped and documented.
  3. We analyzed the publication site mentioned for each query (except anonymous ones) with the post title to find which queries were published, whether there was a link back to the source, and the tag associated with the link. We documented this data.
  4. Using Ahrefs, we analyzed the domain rating and visitor traffic for sites that had published queries and later documented this data.
  5. All documented data was then analyzed and mapped to deduce the results and create usable metrics.

Our Conclusion

Businesses and digital marketers have been using HARO for backlinks for a long time, but no study has put HARO’s potential into perspective.

While some succeed in HARO, the majority of them find their efforts going to waste.

Our research explains why it happens, and you can use it to know how much useful HARO is for your business. Armed with this information, you can now ascertain whether HARO is indeed the right platform for your SEO efforts.

Further Reading:


Boni Satani

About Boni Satani

Boni Satani is the head of marketing at Zestard Technologies Pvt. Ltd. With over 8+ years of experience in SEO, Boni has helped many national and international businesses increase their online visibility and reap high ROI. He frequently blogs for the Search Engine Journal and YourStory. You can find Boni on Twitter and Linkedin.

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