Searching for the most attractive backlinks of competitors and then replicating those links belongs to one of the most time-consuming SEO techniques. We all know what backlink analysis takes, don’t we?
Generally, there are two options:
- Manual methods such as search operators
- Backlink analysis tools
There are many operators you can use for advanced Google search. These are valuable when looking for competitors’ backlinks:
- site:* yourcompetitor.com
- site:* yourcompetitor.com -site:yourcompetitor.com
To be more effective, I recommend using backlinks tools. Though in this way we still need to earn researched backlinks (often by doing email outreach), we can save a lot of time during the analysis.
From What I Analyzed, We Need To Follow These 3 Steps:
- Finding powerful backlinks
- Analyzing the backlink category and anchor placement
- Replicating selected backlinks
1. How Can I Find Powerful Backlinks Of Competitors?
It’s all about metrics, filters and one simple hack. To quantify the quality of backlinks, we need an aggregate metric. Backlink tools tend to have their own indexes based on various metrics and calculations.
The Widely Used Metrics Are:
- Moz metrics such as DA, PA
- Majestic metrics such as CF, TF
- Social signals
- Alexa Rank
- External links ratio
- Spam signals
The metrics chart looks commonly like the image below. In this case, the last column (LS) represents the power of backlinks. I analyzed the domain “pizzahut.com” in LinkMiner.
When we look at the numbers, we can see the score is mainly based on CF and TF. Using aggregate metrics will do the 1st job. We can sort results by the metric to gauge how strong is the link profile of our competitor.
The link profile remains one of the major ranking signals of Google algorithm. Besides having a list our competitor’s backlinks, we are able to identify why they rank high for one keyword or another.
Now when we have a basis of sorted data, our next task is to filter results according to our link building goals. If we want to strictly improve the rating of our link profile, we’ll focus on dofollow links. For advanced filtering we need to work with following criteria:
- Dofollow vs. Nofollow
- Sorting by various metrics
- Anchor text
- Target URL
- Active vs. deleted
- Backlink category
Let’s say we want to replicate “pizzahut.com” backlinks from blogs. Our main aim will be active dofollow links from the category blogs. We can even set the anchor text to “pizza” to find optimized anchors.
2. Analyzing The Backlink Category And Anchor Placement
This is the hack I mentioned at the beginning of the previous step. Instead of opening all the backlinks in our browser to find out what is the linking website about, how it looks and where is the anchor, we should go for a tool that offers these features.
Knowing whether a backlink is from blog, forum such as Quora, Reddit or specialized Q&A site is crucial to decide how difficult it is to earn.
Let’s Continue With The Case Study
When we dig into “pizzahut.com” backlinks, we can find a few from Q&A sites and forums.
These links are easy to create. Many of the sites can be joined by submitting Twitter, Facebook or Google account details. Depending on the niche, I strongly recommend joining:
- Product Hunt
- Hacker News
- other business-specific discussions and forums.
This is time-consuming if we lack an option to preview the linking website with the exact anchor text placement, ideally highlighted.
I did it multiple times. It takes ages. That’s why an embedded website preview is a win! It let us see behind metrics to help us decide whether we want our site to be linked or not. In case you are taking notes, highlight this one.
3. Replicating Selected Backlinks
I think it’s more effective to save links somewhere in the tool instead of browsing through endless reports, CSVs and notepad exports. Similarly, when doing keyword research, we create keyword lists.
Which Links Can Be Replicated Quickly?
Once we create the list, we can easily replicate links from Reddit, Quora and other discussion forums. It takes seconds or minutes to earn new backlinks from sites which our competitors are already linked to.
How About Others?
Thanks to differentiating among various categories we can also focus on backlinks which are harder to earn, such as blogs. Earning a link from authoritative blog takes more time because we need to outreach author or webmaster of the site.
In this case, we leverage our outreach skills and make sure the quality of content we want others to link to is outstanding. Nevertheless, the authority of these links is worth the extra time.
Finding backlinks of competitors, especially the ones you can replicate quickly, is a process that can make you sit in front of a computer for hours if you don’t use the right tools. There are backlink analysis tools by Moz, Ahrefs, Monitor Backlinks and others.
Read reviews and try free versions (except Ahrefs) to find which suits you best. Keep in mind that each of them offers a bit different metrics based on various calculations and data sources.