How Glassdoor dominates backlinks through data-driven content

Glassdoor uses user data to create incredibly insightful reports about companies. This SEO strategy has a lot to teach us about using data-driven content.

16th February 2022
3 min read

In a nutshell

Simply put, Glassdoor offers 'data-driven content'. Let me explain.
It is a:
1) Job posting portal — employers can post & advertise open jobs
2) Job review portal — employees can share feedback about their company

On Glassdoor's website users share about everything from bosses & salaries to work culture & the hiring process. This data is then organized by the platform across different parameters.

Glassdoor uses the data to create:
1) Lists of top founders, companies, etc
2) Surveys presenting employee choices
3) Reports about trends & employee preferences

Data-driven content is shared extensively.
A couple years ago we published a report titled 'State of Remote Work'. People loved the insights that were included and shared it.
This report generated backlinks from 141 unique domains.

The Glassdoor website is full of data-driven content.
For example, they recently published the Workplace trends for 2022. This has insights around economic recovery after Covid-19, for instance. The information can be used by employees, newspapers and politicians.
So, the content is bound to be shared. When that happens, it generates backlinks.
This Glassdoor article has 360 backlinks in just over 2 months.

With so many high authority website backlinks, Glassdoor's domain authority is bound to go up. Glassdoor's DR is as high as 91, so they always rank at the top. Competitors would be lucky to beat Glassdoor!

So, finally, here's what you can learn from Glassdoor's SEO initiative:
1) Use data-driven content to get attention and links.
2) Website authority is key! It takes time & effort to buildd authority, but it's a huge boost to rank any content on your website higher on Google.

Glassdoor pops up every time you search for anything related to jobs!

You could be looking for lists of the best places to work for or reviews for those places. This job review website is bound to be there.

Glassdoor has been around for 15 years now and has engaged millions of users since. They pulled off this feat with a very simple, yet brilliant SEO strategy.

They are valued at more than a billion dollars — and SEO is at the core of this success.

They used a trick which you might just be lying on without being aware of. We have tried this first-hand at our sister company, Remote Tools, and swear by it.

So what is this trick? I've poured out the secret below with examples.

Data is king!

If I have to sum up Glassdoor's offering in a couple of words, it would be — 'data-driven content'. Let me elaborate.

Glassdoor is a job posting portal. Their main offering is to sell job posting and advertising space to employers.

They also have another offering — a job review portal. Company employees visit the platform and share feedback about their jobs.

Now, they have 23 different websites in countries across the globe - all doing the same thing. The number of potential users is thus multiplied. Users in each of these countries visit Glassdoor and provide data about their workplaces.

While collecting data, the feedback is categorised across various parameters.

Employees talk about everything, from their bosses & salaries to work culture & the hiring process.

This means that Glassdoor has data — a lot of it.

With this data, comes opportunities to draw insights and present them to people.

So Glassdoor adopted a few ways to go about this:

  1. Creating lists like top founders, best workplaces, etc. based on user ratings.
  2. Sharing surveys presenting employee choices.
  3. Drafting extensive reports showcasing their findings around these choices.

For example, they recently published a research article on the workplace trends for 2022. This combines insights about hiring and labor trends, remote work, salaries and workplace communities. These insights are obtained from the data collected over the past few years.

Before we dig deep into why data-driven content is so powerful, let me share a quick example of how we used data-driven content to get attention!

Data-driven content gets views, shares & links

A couple of years ago, we surveyed about 300+ experienced remote workers. We asked them about their preferences, challenges faced, and some other insights.

Then, we derived insights from this data and put this into an extensive report. It showcased the State of Remote Work at that time.

Some examples of insights included in the article:

  1. Remote workers didn't really want to go back to a physical office
  2. People were often working overtime, when working remotely
  3. Work flexibility was the most important thing about remote work.

We had a tiny following at the time, but the when we shared it on Hacker News, Twitter & Reddit, it got a lot of attention.

Why did it work you ask?

  1. Simply put, data sells. People love stats & insights based on data.
  2. Remote working community is (or was) a small, but passionate group of people & companies. The insights from the report appealed to them & gave strong talking points.
  3. There were very few detailed reports or surveys in the field, so people were happy to link to & share our insights.

Of course, it generated links. The page received backlinks from 141 unique websites! It has a URL rating of 38, and is one of our top rated pages on Remote Tools.

Glassdoor SEO casestudy

Wow, but does this always work so well?

As I said, data sells.

Now, let's get back to Glassdoor. Consider the Workplace Trends article from earlier. While Glassdoor just shared four broad points in it, the content is of strategic importance.

The parts about economic recovery post Covid-19, for instance, can be used by employees, newspapers and politicians to draw attention to the issue.

So, the content is bound to be shared. When that happens, it generates backlinks. That's exactly what happened here.

According to Ahrefs, this article has 360 backlinks from 178 domains — and that's just over 2 months since publish!

Glassdoor SEO casestudy

The case with our State of Remote Work report was the same. Insights around remote work were relevant to big and small companies and employees alike.

This content acts as data-driven content assets. By definition, these are pieces of content which take data and maximise its value.

Data now becomes a strategic asset. The one who wields it gets attention, shares and links.

Hang on, it doesn't stop there!

Across countries, Glassdoor's content is so valuable that it's shared by millions.

Their pages have backlinks from all the dream sites — Google, YouTube, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, LinkedIn, etc.

The US website,, itself has over 476mn backlinks.

Automatically, when you have these many high authority links, your domain authority goes up. A higher authority means Google favors you when someone searches for anything related to your offering.

Glassdoor is always so high in rankings, that competitors can consider themselves lucky if they manage to outrank Glassdoor!

To summarise, here are 2 powerful lessons around using data for your next SEO initiative:

  1. Use data-driven content to get attention and links. It can be your own data (collected over time) OR third-party data presented in a nice, visual format.
  2. Website authority is key! It takes time & effort to buildd authority, but it's a huge boost to rank any content on your website higher on Google.
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Canva is doing extremely well in terms of SEO. It get's 73.2M organic traffic, has 12M+ backlinks & ranks for more than 5.5M keywords.

The top landing pages (subfolders) that significantly contribute to their website traffic are /create & /template page.

Canva has designed these pages to rank for two sets of keywords with different intent. The intent for the first set of keywords is "Informational". Users are basically looking for information about tools to make/build/create a design/poster/card.

On the other hand, for the second set, the intent is "Navigational". The user is looking to navigate to a particular template page. So they are essentially looking for birthday card templates to eventually create their own cards.

The /create page ranks for the first set, while the /template page ranks for the second set. These pages are divided into categories like logos, poster, flyers. These categories are then further divided into subcategories like marketing, birthday card, business, etc.

All the category & sub-category pages are internally linked. So, Canva can rank for a range of keywords - from generic keywords like "graphic templates" to very niche keywords like "thanksgiving flyer template".

Internal linking also translates the authority juice from top pages to the other pages on the website.

To make sure these category & sub-category pages are easily replicable, Canva uses a simple template where you only have to change a few elements to create a new page.

How a high-school dropout built a $65B startup?

When Tobi Lutke moved thousands of miles to Canada to be with his future wife, he couldn't get a typical 9 to 5 job. So out of his love for Snowboarding, he decided to start selling Snowboards online.

After trying many online store buildders, Tobi felt frustrated because of the lack of good software to help with his problem. So he decided to build the software himself.

Eventually, when his store went live, he realised that the software he had built had more value than the actual online business. That's how Shopify got started.

Now, what exactly is Shopify? Well, Shopify basically integrates all the elements needed to start an e-commerce business.

Initially, Shopify was a simple tool. But, very soon, it was developed into a full-fledged platform where developers & the larger e-commerce community contribute to buildd products that work as solutions for e-commerce related problems.

Shopify essentially makes money via two means — the subscription plans & the merchant solutions. The subscription business accounts for 30% of Shopify's revenue, while the merchant solutions account for 70%!

After 10-15 years of operation, Shopify saw tremendous growth during the 2020 Covid 19 pandemic. This was largely because of the lockdowns & the influx of mom & pop shops setting online stores on Shopify.

Shopify's sales during this time increased by 86% & the number of merchants doubled to 2M! In 2021, Shopify's revenue tripled to $4.6B compared to 2019 revenue!

Tobi Lutke's persistent effort to help merchants eventually made him a billionaire!