The Secret to Uncovering Your Competition’s Backlinks
Have you ever wanted to see exactly what your competition’s backlinks look like? You’re trying to get on page 1 of Google and you know the #1 ranked site has 180 backlinks, but you really don’t know much about them. You certainly don’t want to go through and check each one of them manually.
In the comments section of my article about increasing search engine ranking, one reader (Eric Greene), pointed out this awesome feature of Market Samurai that I completely overlooked. Sure enough, I was blown away by it and decided that I absolutely had to share it here because of how powerful I think it is.
Now, I’ve always known that it’s possible to see your competition’s backlinks manually. To do this, you can open up Yahoo! and type in the following search string:
This search would show you every page that links to Google, except for pages that are on the Google domain (so this way you can really measure external links). Then, if you wanted to, you could click on each result and see the backlink, the anchor text used, etc. This would take forever.
Market Samurai has a really cool feature that will not only find the backlinks, but it will analyze the various anchor text used, AND tell you the page rank of each backlink. This is golden information if you want to know your chances of outranking competing websites within Google search results.
Here’s An Example
Rather than just tell you that Market Samurai can help you uncover your competition’s backlinks, let me show you. Let’s say the keyword we’re trying to rank for is…abdominal fitness equipment (this is completely random). Here’s what my initial SEO competition analysis looks like for page 1 of Google:
[Click image to enlarge]
The results look pretty favorable (just glancing at it, you want to see lots of green boxes). Don’t be too concerned with what each column means (although Market Samurai puts out a lot of great free videos that explain everything, including this one that explains how to interpret this information).
Now, because my website about abdominal fitness equipment won’t have “abdominal fitness equipment” in the URL, I’m not going to compare it to the sites in the above image that have “Y” under the URL column. #5 on the list looks to be a good comparison – it seems to be ranking highly primarily due to the 145 backlinks to the main page (column BLP).
Now here’s the secret. Market Samurai will analyze those backlinks for us. First, click the little triangle next to the search result you want to analyze.
Next, you’ll want to click on Anchor Text Analysis.
Presumably, this site is ranking highly for this keyword because it has backlinks which use “abdominal fitness equipment” as the anchor text. As you’ll notice, however, this isn’t completely the case. The below image is a sample of what the results look like (the full screen contains a lot more detail – these are simply the top anchor text strings).
It looks as if there are only 8 backlinks that include our target keyword. This doesn’t mean that if you get more than 8 backlinks, you will outrank this site, but it’s a good sign. Now, let’s get a feel for the page rank (PR) analysis, to see how strong these backlinks are. You can find the PR Analysis button right where you found the Anchor Text Analysis.
Once again, Market Samurai will give you a lot of great detail, but this is the relevant part for us:
This site has a couple PR4 and PR3 backlinks, but the vast majority are from PR0 sites, which means they are not particularly strong. It’s possible that you could outrank this site with less, but stronger, backlinks.
Now here’s where the money is.
We know how many backlinks our “competitor” has. We know how strong these backlinks are. Now, we can look at what some of these backlinks are, to see if we can actually use some of them. This is a bit of a trial and error process, and will vary among each site you look at.
When we did the PR Analysis above, Market Samurai gave us the list of backlinks, organized by PR. As it turns out, the PR4 links were from Twitter and YouTube profiles, so I’ll ignore those. I’m not going to look at all 147 links in this post, but I’ll give you an example of what you might look at. Here’s a little sample of the backlinks:
I might look at this and try to figure out if I can get any of these similar backlinks. Sure enough, I see there is a Squidoo article linking to this site. Therefore, I might go out and create a Squidoo article for my site.
This isn’t the best example because this appears to be a site where most links were built naturally (i.e. other people linked to the site naturally) instead of someone who actively went out and built backlinks for SEO purposes. However, when you find such sites in your research, you’ll be able to see forums, blogs, etc. where people placed their links and built effective backlinks. This is a great opportunity to swoop in there and use those backlinks too (by leaving a blog comment or creating a forum profile/signature).
In my article about increasing search engine ranking that I wrote earlier this month, I mentioned a service called Angela’s Backlinks. She charges $5 per month and gives you 30 awesome locations each month to leave your backlinks. These sites are all PR6 or higher.
The process I’ve showed you here with Market Samurai basically allows you to do what Angela probably does when she gathers her backlinks. If you don’t want to pay her the $5 per month to do all the work, this is one way you can do it yourself for free.
Market Samurai Free Trial
If you’re not sure whether or not this would be useful to you, you can sign up for a free 12-day trial. You don’t need to input a credit card number or anything – this is an actual, legitimately free trial (it’s what I used before I decided to buy it myself).
Hopefully this little tip helps you on your way to increasing your site’s passive income potential!
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