This is a guest post by one of our Guest Authors.
When a search engine is aiming to rank a site, it uses various factors. Yet, the two major ones are content and backlinks. A site must thus generate fresh content often and at the same time have enough backlinks.
Although stealing back links may seem like something that could get a site in trouble with search engines, it is not. In fact, this is among the best white hat SEO strategies that a site can use to raise its ranking on the SERPs. Thus far, this is among the few strategies that have stood the test of time in organic SEO.
Why Should You Do This?
If you are going to be expending your energy stealing back links, be sure that it works. One of the main reasons you should do this is that Google, the largest search engine on earth, uses backlinks when considering how to rank a site.
You can test the importance of back links by doing a random search on Google of any keyword. All the sites that appear on the first page of SERPs will have an excellent link profile. In short, these sites meet the high standards that Google has set.
Some of the companies behind these sites go to great lengths to make this happen. Sometimes spending huge amounts of money, which may not be possible for a small business. Thus, if you do spy on them, it could improve how your site ranks.
When you steal the competitor’s backlinks, your site will have as many links as they all have. That way, the site will receive special consideration when Google is deciding how to rank it. Combined with other SEO techniques, your site could end up at the top of SERPs.
How to Get Started with Stealing Your Competitor’s Backlinks
The first step in getting hold of your competitor’s backlinks is to check out their link profile. The sites that rank at the top of the SERPs have hundreds of links; begin your research with the two main ones.
If you try to analyze all the top ten competitor’s backlinks, you may find you are setting yourself up for a lot of work. If you want to have a significant impact in a short time, you will have to start small.
To get the links that your competitors use, you will need to use a backlink analysis tool. You can choose from many options. These are among the most popular tools SEO experts use.
Bing’s Link Explorer
One of the most popular tools in use today is the link explorer by Bing. The tool is free to use by anyone who has a Bing Webmaster Tools account. Before you use the BWT Link Explorer, you must verify your site, a process that is quite simple.
After the site verification, open BWT tools and click on “Diagnostics and Tools.” From the drop-down menu, choose “Link Explorer.”
Enter the URL of your competitor, and from the source dropdown, select “External.” Click “Explore” to get started. The tool will offer you a good amount of information on the sites link profile.
This BWT tool does not offer you a solid analysis such as anchor text, page rank, and more. You will only receive the source of the link and the page title. You can export these results.
If you are looking for a backlink checker that is a bit more revealing, you should think of using Ahrefs. It offers you many metrics for analysis. Although it does offer a free account, you should get the full access account.
The major reason why you should use Ahrefs is that it has one of the biggest backlink indexes in the world. With over 12 trillion links in their database, you will most likely get to see all the links that your competitors use. Besides that, its database gets updated every 25 minutes.
The company has many cool features. Among them is a useful guide on how to use their tool to extract the link profile of the competition. Another awesome feature from this company is their alert system. Each time your competitors get a new backlink, you will receive an alert in your email.
If you want to dig deep and find out all the secrets that your competition uses, this tool should be in your arsenal.
Open Site Explorer (OSE)
Some of the top SEO experts in the world use this tool. The tool has a backlink feature that allows you to explore what your competition has been using.
Using the OSE is quite easy. You will only need to paste the URL of the site you are investigating in the provided box. Scroll down on the results page until you come to the “Inbound Links” heading.
Other backlink tools come with the option to export the list. OSE does not offer this option. Thus, concentrates on the links with the best Page Authority and Domain Authority ranking.
The links you get are the top performers that your competition is using to outperform you in the SERPS.
This tool is one of the few tools that rival Ahrefs uses when it comes to analyzing link profiles. With the free account, you can export all the backlinks of the sites that you verify. For other sites, you can only export the top 10 links.
Watch out for the ‘Trust Flow” of every URL when using this tool. The feature tells you how trustworthy the URL could be. It bases this calculation on the quality of links that point to it.
The tool offers you many other metrics. For instance, you determine its last view and its first indexing by the search engine. The tool even lists 301 redirects. Additionally, it checks for links to the www and non-www versions of a site.
The tool runs as desktop software. The tool currently pulls more backlinks than Majestic SEO and Ahrefs. One of the most useful features is that it can check whether a backlink is live or not. It can also show page rank scores, social shares, and the anchor text.
The information by the tool is in real time. The tool has a feature, which lets you see the content the competitor is using to attract back links. That way, you do not have to spend lots of time guessing or conducting research.
With the free version, you can only access 100 backlinks per URL. Additionally, you cannot export results if you use the free version.
The tool is quite useful. You can extract backlinks at the domain, subdomain, and at the page level. With the free trial version, you will get data such as social share, link velocity, and much more.
One of the tool’s most interesting features is that it can filter duplicate results. With the free version, you can pull out 25 back links. You cannot export the results until you sign up for a 14-day trial of this tool.
Analyze Your BackLinks
After you have gotten all the links that your competitor uses, you will now have to investigate them. This is necessary to ensure that you get only the best links from your competition. If you do not this, Google may penalize you, which could affect your SEO.
One of the metrics that you will be checking for is the Google PageRank or PR. Google uses it to analyze the authority and quality of a site. The least PR ranking a site can have is zero while the best is a 10.
Despite using it to rank sites, Google no longer makes the PR score visible. That does not mean it does not play a significant role in link building.
The first step in your analysis is to check whether Google indexes the site. You can also check if other search engines index it. If Google does not index the site, it might be a bad idea to use it.
You will also need to do a thorough investigation of the competitors backlinks. If the sites have made any mistakes, you can exploit that to rank above them in the SERPs. To audit your competitor’s link profile, follow the same steps that you would use to audit your site.
One of the best tools for doing a link audit is Open Site Explorer (OSE). An audit shows you links that are likely to have a negative effect on your SEO ranking. After the audit, you will remain with only healthy links for the competitor.
After the audit, pick about 5 to 10 of the best links that come for your audit.
The final step of the audit is to create a spreadsheet. This is quite simple, simply paste all the links you got from the audit into a simple spreadsheet. You can either use the Google Spreadsheet or use Excel.
If that is not an option, you may have to do everything by hand. With only about 20 links, that should not be a difficult task to do. In the spreadsheet, you will need to come up with two other columns that you will label “Link” and “Replicated.”
In the “Link” column, you will paste a backlink that you were able to replicate with success. In the “Replicated” column, record whether you were able to replicate the backlink type.
What Backlink Replication Means
Replicating a backlink means being able to do what the competitor did to get the backlink. For instance, if the competitor joined a discussion forum and posted the backlink, try it too. You will need to find a question on the forum that is relevant to your site and post an answer with a link to your site.
Visit the site that the competitor got their backlink and try to replicate their actions. Another place to get a backlink is to post a guest blog. Most blogs allow authors to post a free backlink. Check to see if the blog you use has this feature.
Guest posts are a great place to post a backlink that will lead to site visits. You will also need to come up with captivating information for it to work. Remember that you do not have to get a guest post on the same site as the competition.
There are many places on the internet that will allow you to post a guest post. Do your research and send as many requests as possible to post guest posts.
Sometimes, you may not have enough time to write all the posts yourself. If you have an employee who has a good understanding of your products, get him or her to do the guest posts for you. A post by someone who has a deep understanding of the product always leads to more trust by customers.
Remember that you cannot create backlinks without offering anything in return. You must offer helpful advice first before asking people to click on a link.
About the Author:
SEO Expert Brad is your Local SEO Expert since 1997 with a Proven track record of driving over $100million in sales