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Ye Olde Blog of SEO
Dec 15

#SEO ‘whitehat’ backlink tip: become a software mirror

Mirror, mirror, on the wall who’s the highest authority website of them all?

There’s no doubt everyone from Poland to Poughkeepsie is looking for solid ways to attract legit backlinks, am I right?

One night last week while doing some client work, I was negotiating a deal to host some industry software as a professional courtesy to one of my clients friends. It wasn’t my idea, but I didn’t see any harm especially since I wasn’t paying for the bandwidth.

The next week we got a big fat “download” link from the referring page, what a nice surprise! My client was now an official software mirror. The software was only 5MB but it got a lot of downloads and would occasionally stall out on the origin website.

For those of you unfamiliar with what a mirror is: when a software developer starts getting a lot of downloads, they might offer that download on another server to spread the bandwidth out. In open source, a lot of times people volunteer this.

what is a mirror

For instance, if I’m hoping to rank for “SEO” related keywords on this blog, perhaps I would contact Screaming Frog and ask them if they’d be interested in using my server as a mirror.

Keep in mind a lot of software vendors don’t want to share road, while others do. It might take a lot of negotiation to make it happen, you can’t just throw up a file and become a mirror (in most cases anyway.)

While there are a number of pros and cons for both parties involved, if you pitch the idea properly everyone will come out winning.



I’m not certain if getting a link straight to the archive e.g.:

has as much power as getting a link to a “download” page:

but I’d definitely try and get the link to point to a download page rather than the .zip or installer file.

ubuntu mirror

The Linux community is a great example of a community that mirrors each others software.

You should also be sure your server has enough capabilities before you go mirroring a 2GB ISO image or something like that. Even a 20kb file could take down your server if it is requested 10k times a day. Be aware of your limitations before you go committing to something like this.


As far as potential repercussions, I don’t know what to tell you here folks. You gotta decide this one for yourself. I don’t see a problem with doing this as long as you are genuinely wanting to be a mirror and not doing it just for the backlink.

Is it against Google’s guidelines? I don’t know what to say, you’ll have to interpret this yourself.



About The Author

Patrick is an SEO blogger and the founder of Elite Strategies, an SEO and internet marketing agency located in Delray Beach, FL.