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How to Spy on Your Competitor’s Backlinks

Are you curious about how your competitor is getting so many links? Or, maybe you’re worried they’re doing something shady to get ahead. In either case, spying on your competitor’s backlinks is a great way to learn their secrets and see what tactics are working for them. And it’s easier than you might think – all you need is free software and a little know-how. So read on to start tracking your competition’s backlinks today!

The Importance of Backlinks

backlink jigsaw puzzle

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to spy on your competitor’s backlinks, let’s talk briefly about why they’re essential in the first place. Backlinks are among the most important ranking factors for search engines like Google. In other words, the more backlinks a website has, the higher it will rank in search results. That’s why link building is integral to SEO (search engine optimization).

There are many reasons why backlinks are essential. Let’s break it down:

1. They’re a Sign of Trust

trust in a block of wood

People who link to your website are essentially vouching for it. They’re saying that you’re a credible source of information and that their readers can trust you. This is why backlinks from high-quality websites are valuable – not just the quantity of links that matters, but the quality.

2. They Help Search Engines Find Your Website

search engine

Backlinks are like breadcrumbs leading search engines to your website. The more backlinks you have, the easier it is for search engines to find and index your site.

3. They Improve Your PageRank

PageRank key

Every website has a PageRank, which is essentially a measure of how popular and influential it is. The higher your PageRank, the better – and backlinks are one of the main factors determining your PageRank. So if you want to improve your search engine ranking, building more backlinks is an excellent place to start.

4. They Drive Traffic to Your Website

web traffic

Backlinks are also a great way to drive traffic to your website. When someone links to your site, they give you free advertising. And if that link is on a popular website, it can result in a lot of traffic.

So as you can see, backlinks are essential for various reasons. And that’s why it’s important to keep an eye on your competitor’s backlinks. By knowing their links, you can get an idea of what’s working for them and try to replicate their success.

Do you want to find competitors’ backlinks? Of course, you do. Let WowVisible help. We offer the most comprehensive link-building and content marketing services in the industry. We’ll help you get the links you need to improve your search engine ranking and drive traffic to your website. Contact us today to learn more!

How to Spy on Competitor Backlinks

man spying on data file

Now that we’ve established why backlink spying is essential let’s look at how to do it. There are a few different ways to track competitor links, but we’ll focus on the most popular methods.

1. Using Tools

man spying online

There are a few different tools that you can use to spy on competitor backlinks. The first is Ahrefs. Ahrefs is a paid tool, but it offers a 7-day trial so that you can try it out before committing to a subscription. Once you’ve signed up for the trial, enter your competitor’s URL into the “Site Explorer” tool. You’ll see the backlinks pointing to your competitor’s website.

Another great option is Moz’s Open Site Explorer. Like Ahrefs, Moz’s tool is also paid, but it offers a free trial so that you can test it out before committing to a subscription. To use the tool, enter your competitor’s URL and hit “Search.” You’ll see a list of the backlinks pointing to your competitor’s website.

Why Using Tools is A Crucial Part of Spying on Competitor Backlinks

Tools like Ahrefs and Moz’s Open Site Explorer are essential for backlink spying. That’s because they give you access to data that would otherwise be very difficult – if not impossible – to get. For example, without these tools, you wouldn’t be able to see the exact anchor text used to link to your competitor’s website. And you also wouldn’t be able to see the source of the links (i.e., the websites linking to your competitor).

2. Searching Google

person using MacBook pro with google website on screen

You can also find competitor backlinks by doing a simple Google search. Start by searching for your competitor’s URL. Then, scroll down to the bottom of the search results and click “More results.” You’ll be taken to the Google Cache version of your competitor’s website. The cache is a snapshot of the website’s appearance when Google last crawled it. So, if you see a backlink on the cached version of the site, that means that the link was present when Google last crawled the site.

Of course, this method isn’t foolproof. Sometimes, websites will remove links after Google has cached them. So, if you don’t see a link on the cached version of the site, that doesn’t necessarily mean the link is gone for good. However, it’s still an excellent way to find competitor backlinks.

How Does Searching Google Help You Find Competitor Backlinks?

woman using a laptop with Google on screen in cafe

There are several reasons why searching Google is an excellent way to find competitor backlinks. Let’s break them down:

1. You can find links that have since been removed

As mentioned above, sometimes, websites remove links after Google has cached them. So, if you’re trying to find a link that’s no longer on the live version of the site, searching Google may help you find it.

2. You can find nofollow links

nofollow links concept text on a monochrome blue background

In some cases, you may want to find nofollow links. For example, if you’re trying to replicate a competitor’s link-building strategy, you’ll need to see both follow and nofollow links. However, most link-building tools (like Ahrefs and Moz’s Open Site Explorer) only show follow links. So, if you’re only looking at these tools, you may miss out on some critical data.

3. You can find links that are hard to find with other tools

In some cases, you may not be able to find a connection with other tools, even if it’s there. That’s because some ties are hard to find with link-building tools. For example, if a website links to your competitor but does not use any anchor text, the link may not show up in Ahrefs or Moz’s Open Site Explorer. However, it will show up if you do a Google search for your competitor’s URL.

4. You can find links that are from before the link-building tool was created

woman finding an idea or inspiration depicted through a lightbulb

Sometimes, you may want to see links before the link-building tool is made. For example, if you’re using Ahrefs to spy on your competitor’s backlinks, you’ll only be able to see links created after Ahrefs was launched (which was in 2011). So, if your competitor has been around for longer, you may miss out on some critical data.

5. You can find links that are from before the link-building tool was created

Sometimes, you may want to see links before the link-building tool is made. For example, if you’re using Ahrefs to spy on your competitor’s backlinks, you’ll only be able to see links created after Ahrefs was launched (which was in 2011). So, if your competitor has been around for longer, you may miss out on some critical data.

3. Checking Referring Domains

domain

Referring domains are the websites that link to your competitor’s website. To see a list of referring domains, you can use a tool like Ahrefs or Moz’s Open Site Explorer (both of which we mentioned earlier). Enter your competitor’s URL into the device, and you’ll be able to see a list of referring domains.

4. Checking the Linking Page

Once you have a list of referring domains, you’ll want to check the linking page to see if the link is still there. To do this, visit the referring domain and look for a link to your competitor’s website. If you can’t find the link, it may have been removed. However, it’s also possible that the link is just hard to find. In this case, you may want to try using a tool like Wayback Machine (which we’ll discuss in more detail below).

5. Checking the Anchor Text

close-up of marker pen highlighting text

The anchor text is the text that’s used to link to your competitor’s website. To see the anchor text for a particular link, you can use a tool like Ahrefs or Moz’s Open Site Explorer (both of which we mentioned earlier). Enter your competitor’s URL into the device, and you’ll be able to see a list of links along with their anchor text.

6. Checking the Linking Page’s PageRank

The PageRank of the linking page is another essential piece of data you can use to spy on your competitor’s backlinks. PageRank is a metric developed by Google, and it’s used to measure the importance of a webpage. You can use a tool like Ahrefs or Moz’s Open Site Explorer to see the PageRank of a webpage.

7. Checking the Linking Page’s Title

word title typed on typewriter

The title of the linking page is another essential piece of data you can use to spy on your competitor’s backlinks. To see the title of the linking page, visit the link and look at the title tag in the HTML code. You can also use a tool like Ahrefs or Moz’s Open Site Explorer to see the links’ titles.

8. Checking the Linking Page’s PageSpeed

The PageSpeed of the linking page is another important piece of data you can use to spy on your competitor’s backlinks. PageSpeed is a metric developed by Google, and it’s used to measure the speed of a webpage. To see the PageSpeed of a webpage, you can use a tool like GTmetrix or Pingdom.

9. Checking the Linking Page’s Domain Authority

The Domain Authority of the linking page is another essential piece of data you can use to spy on your competitor’s backlinks. Domain Authority is a metric developed by Moz, and it’s used to measure the overall strength of a domain. To see the Domain Authority of a domain, you can use a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer.

10. Checking the Linking Page’s Alexa Rank

The Alexa Rank of the linking page is another essential piece of data you can use to spy on your competitor’s backlinks. Alexa Rank is a metric used to measure a website’s popularity. To see the Alexa Rank of a website, you can use a tool like Alexa’s Site Info tool.

How to Use Competitor’s Backlink Data to Improve Your SEO Strategy

SEO

Now that you know how to spy on your competitor’s backlinks, it’s time to use that data and improve your SEO strategy. Here are a few ideas on how you can do that:

1. Find New Linking Opportunities

One of the best ways to use your competitor’s backlink data is to find new linking opportunities. To do this, look at the list of referring domains and see if there are any from which you can get a link. If you find a relevant linking opportunity, reach out to the website owner and see if they’re interested in linking to your website.

2. Improve Your Anchor Text

words highlighted

Another way to use your competitor’s backlink data is to improve your anchor text. To do this, look at the anchor text your competitors are using and see if you can match or exceed it. If you’re not sure how to do this, we recommend using a tool like Moz’s Keyword Explorer to find the best keywords to target.

3. Improve Your Linking Pages

Another way to use your competitor’s backlink data is to improve your linking pages. To do this, look at the titles and PageRanks of the linking pages and see if you can match or exceed them. If you’re unsure how to do this, we recommend using a tool like Moz’s Page Optimizer to help you optimize your pages.

4. Improve Your Overall Link Profile

improve concept

Finally, another way to use your competitor’s backlink data is to improve your overall link profile. To do this, look at the overall strength of your competitor’s links and see if you can match or exceed them. If you’re unsure how to do this, we recommend using a tool like Moz’s Link Explorer to help you analyze your link profile.

Now that you know how to spy on your competitor’s backlinks, put that data to use and improve your SEO strategy. By following the tips above, you can find new linking opportunities, improve your anchor text, and improve your overall link profile. Good luck!

 

Do you want to learn more about SEO and finding your competitors’ backlinks? Then this is the right time to contact us. WowVisible is a digital marketing agency with extensive experience in SEO and backlink analysis. We will be happy to help you improve your website’s ranking and traffic. Visit our website today to learn more about our services.

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