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Researching your competitors links

Oct22

Written by:
2009/10/22 12:11 PM RssIcon

microscope-research Inbound links are the lifeblood of traffic and traffic rank for your blog. It not only shows confidence in your blog, but has the ability to spread your brand all over the internet. As with any product there is always someone wanting to be better than you. To your surprise you will probably find that there are a few who have more inbound links and have done their link building better than you. In today's post we look how you can find what links your competitors have.

Finding out where your competitors' links come from is not all that hard. You just go to Yahoo! or Google and type in link:www.your-competitor.com to get a list of inbound links to the site.

Yahoo's does give more extensive and accurate data. But there is a limit of 1,000 links per website. This is often a problem as some competitors will most likely overshoot that limit. How can you then overcome this limit and yet still find all your competitors links. Well here are a few tips that I found on Sitepronews.com that might help.

Search for Links to Particular Web Pages

Include the full URL of any particular page that you might be interested in researching.

link:www.your-competitor.com/products.html or link:www.your-competitor.com/services.html

Exclude Internal Links

It is external links that you are researching on your competitors site. Including the internal links will skew your research. What you need to do is exclude the internal links so that you are only left with the external ones 
You can do this by adding -site:site.com operator to your search query. Type in:
link:http://www.your-competitor.com -site:your-competitor.com or linkdomain:www.your-competitor.com -site:your-competitor.com
and you'll get a list of external backlinks only.

In Yahoo! site explorer there is a dropdown list that will do the same. That's cool.

Exclude Links Coming from Certain Domains

The -site: modifier lets you exclude links coming from specific sites. Whenever you see a large amount of links coming from a certain domain then add the -site:thisdomain modifier to your query and the links from this site will not be shown.

You don’t have to limit it to one site. You can add -site: multiple times in one query so that you have something like this:
link:http://www.asb.com -site:xyz.com -site:en.lmo.org

Check Links Coming from Certain TLDs

The site: modifier actually lets you get a list of links coming from domains with certain TLDs or Top Level Domains: e.g.. .com, .org, .edu, .co.uk and so on. Just type in
link:http://www.your-competitor.com site:.gov or linkdomain:www.your-competitor.com site:.gov
and you'll get a list of .gov sites linking to your rival.

Note: Do this in Yahoo! regular search, not site explorer

Exclude Links Coming from Certain TLDs

You exclude certain TLDs from the results with the -site:.tld modifier. Usually the biggest chunk of links come from .com's so add a -site.com modifier and you'll get lots of new link data.  Combine the internal link exclusion with excluding certain TLDs to narrow your research

Try link:http://www.your-competitor.com/page.html -site:your-competitor.com -site:.com
Or link:http://www.your-competitor.com site:.org -site:wikipedia.org

Try Different Search Engines

You are not limited to Google or Yahoo. Try this on other search engines, with one exception, Bing. Bing does not give link data at the moment. Why not try AltaVista, Alexa, Exalead, Excite. What about your regional search engines. For South Africa try Ananzi, Aardvark etc. Search them, get rid of the the duplicates and you'll have a ton of competitor's links to study.

Note: Parts of this article first appeared on Site-Reference.com

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7 comment(s) so far...


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Re: Researching your competitors links

Good informative post - have RT'd tweet on twitter.
By the way, if you go to Google Tools you will find they have created a tool of their own to show backlinks. Regards, Steve

By Steve on  2009/10/22 12:19 PM
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Re: Researching your competitors links

Hey Steve,Thanks for the comment. Oh, and yes, thanks for the Google tip. Yes I knew that, but one has to have your site registered first don't you. This way you can research right in the Search Engine.But I would recommend Google tools, there are some helpful things there.

By Robert Bravery on  2009/10/22 12:29 PM
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Re: Researching your competitors links

As usual Robert, you've provided some very helpful information. This is the beauty of blogging, learning something new every day.

By Jimi Jones on  2009/10/22 01:12 PM
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Re: Researching your competitors links

Thanks Robert, not something I've done before. I'm guessing an action plan then is to visit those sites linking in to find a way to get backlinks to your own on there?

By Mike CJ on  2009/10/22 03:48 PM
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Re: Researching your competitors links

Brilliant, now I can target those blogs and sites specifically and get my own back links on there. the amazing things that you learn for free! Cheers Robert! Just added this to my ever growing to do list.

By Chris Downing on  2009/10/23 01:02 AM
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Re: Researching your competitors links

Thanks Mike,

Yes you're correct. We have to have a plan of action otherwise the exercise is pointless. But could not include all that into one post.

By Robert Bravery on  2009/10/23 08:04 AM
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Re: Researching your competitors links

@mike,
I have todo lists for my todo lists

By Robert Bravery on  2009/10/23 08:21 AM
 
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