analyzing-competitors-backlink-strategyThe necessity of backlink analysis

Links are quite important for site promotion. Their quantity and quality largely determines site popularity and its place in the SE results. Collecting all the links that lead on the sites of competitors is an important part of SEO.

SE algorithms become more difficult with time; new factors, necessary to follow, appeared. However, backlinks still affect site position, so backlinks analysis is an actual task for optimizer.

Examples of situations in which the analysis is needed:

  • Analysis of the competitors. It is always useful to know how many links present on the site and types of those links to identify the advantages and disadvantages of the competitors’ strategy.
  • Dynamic analysis of the reference mass. History of the site reference mass is very important for buying a domain, auditing or determining promotion strategies.
  • Help in determining of semantic core. The most frequent references texts of competitor’s determines queries, used for promotion.

Always one step ahead


In business, you should always be one step ahead, instantly reacting to any changes. SEO-promotion is subjected to the same laws – it’s a competitive race, so stop for a moment and you lose ground.

Link strategy is a comprehensive analysis of internal and external factors that have an impact on the site progress. Improper website maintenance leads to collapse: search engine position drops and he site may fall out of the SERPs. The main reason for errors during the promotion is incorrect reference strategy. Misconceptions lead optimizer for another fight with the algorithms of SE.

Link strategy tasks

  1. To prevent sanctions and filters during the promotion.
  2. To create the ground for stable growth in positions.
  3. To develop a consistent method of promotion.
  4. To get targeted traffic.

Construction of a powerful reference mass requires deep SEO knowledge and accounting of recent developments in the industry and SE. It’s almost impossible to cope with this task alone, as it is very labor intensive and time consuming. But you can entrust site link promotion to backlink building service and solve all the problems in this segment of optimization.

Main stages of reference strategy

  1. Semantic core creation. Quality of promoted requests not only affects attendance, but also plays a crucial role in conversion. Incorrect core can serve as a pretext for reducing behavioral factors and drop in positions.
  2. Anchors. To make proper anchors, check the next parameters: literacy, uniqueness, near-anchor text.
  3. Evaluation of the competitiveness. This factor aims to search, selection and analysis of competitors in the promoted query. It’s desirable to choose queries with average level of competitiveness.
  4. Purchase rate. Do not rush in promotion, better adhere to the following scheme:
    1. First week: purchase not more than 1 reference in two days.
    2. Second week: not more than 1 link per day.
    3. Third week: not more than 2 links per day.
    4. Fourth week: up to 5 links per day.
  5. Donors. Reference strategy involves selection of high-quality donors. Take into account the next parameters: donor’s rating, attendance, content, design, age. All of these factors directly or indirectly indicate site quality.
  6. Promotion methods. Development of promotion methods defines the way you’ll increase your reference weight (eternal and rental links, articles, registration in catalogs).

Reference strategy is not a panacea, but only ways to achieve the goal. Each optimizer should conduct preventive measures to obtain the desired result with minimum risk.

Backlink building: how to choose the competitors

Reference analysis allows to know how your competitor’s expend their budget, what is the weight of their backlinks and which keywords they use for promotion.

Points to remember when selecting the competitors for analysis

  1. If you have dozens of requests, it’s not necessary to analyze all the sites on all queries: you cannot do it physically. Select problem queries for which the site was lowered in search.
  2. Look for Top 10 sites for these requests. If there are sites that ranked in the top ten for all requests at the same time – great, that is your competitors for analysis.
  3. Primarily analyze the sites, which according to parameters such as domain age and number of indexed pages is similar to yours. It happens that the results of analyzes of several competitors suggests the very different conclusions. Then, as a prior competitor take a site that is most like yours.
  4. Pay attention to the promoted pages. If different pages on competitor’s site are searched by different keywords, and you’re trying to promote one page for those keywords – you may have problems.

How to choose tools for backlinks analysis: main characteristics


  • Accuracy of backlinks collection.
  • Technical support. The presence of responsive and professional support greatly facilitates use of the service.
  • Usability. When selecting a service for backlinks analysis, optimizers often pay little attention to usability. Meanwhile, the ability to submit a convenient data is no less important than the ability to produce these references more accurate.
  • Ability to save the results. For a serious analysis you should have an opportunity not only to see the data on the screen, but also to keep them in a convenient format for further work. Paid services, such as or don’t limit users in downloading links. Also, all paid services have free trial version with limited abilities (but really free-to-use functionality is not enough for normal operation).
  • Possibility of comparative analysis. It’s important to compare several sites on the subject of the difference in the reference weight.
  • Additional features of paid services.

How to monitor competitors’ backlinks: easy way to provide the detailed analysis


  1. Find a successful site in the last 6 months, using, for example, SemRush.
    1. Type a search query.
    2. Look for the sites in top. Selection criteria: increased past six months, good semantics, relatively young domain (3 years or less).
    3. Analyze the selected site. Compare it with others on the return. To do this, click the Competition Graph. As a result, we see nearest competitors’ dynamics. Ideally, watch 50-100 top sites by category in order to find more appropriate projects.
  2. Analyze the backlinks of successful websites.
    1. Enter the URL to Aherfs. Typically, those sites that have recently come out on top in different niches, have 1000–2000 links (and sometimes only few hundreds of quality backlinks).monitor-backlinks-stats
    2. Unload backlinks. Select Inbound Links -> Links. Export the backlinks to excel file.
    3. Operating with the data in excel. The first thing you are interested about is the time of reference appearing on the site / its anchor. For convenience, it is better to sort backlinks by time of occurrence and then study them in detail. You need to sort the data in the table, analyze info of the selected time period and view the full picture. After sorting, you can easily check links types, frequency and regularity, anchor.

This approach allows you to see the whole picture of the backlinks from the very beginning of the competitor’s promotion. It’s particularly suitable for those sites that have been promoted for less than a year and has already received good results.

Analysis of competitors facilitates by using special tools. But is it possible to study the competitor’s manually, without using any automated instruments? Yes, it is. For example, you can work with the issuance of popular search engines. Use 4 steps to find target info:

  1. Reverse search using Whois database.
  2. Reverse search by IP-addresses.
  3. Reverse search by Google AdSense data.
  4. Reverse search according to GA data.

You can use Bing SE to find sites that are located on the same server. Just type target IP-address in the search box like ip: <IP Address>.

Typical mistakes when building backlink profile: how to repeat good competitor’s actions and avoid bad ones?


So, how to buy links as efficiently as possible, avoiding mistakes? A lot of factors involved, so there is no definite answer. Self-dependent promotion is often connected with mistakes when purchasing references. But even if you’ve analyzed the competitor’s site, to repeat its strategy you need to have the same budget, geographical location, theme, etc., all of which will likely not be the same. So each case is different, and there is no single pattern that guarantees you success.

Anyway, there are some basic mistakes to avoid:

  • Fast backlinks weight growth. The most important rule is naturalness of your backlink profile. The new site, even though it contains interesting and useful information, cannot get backlinks quite fast. Often, wanting to get quick results, optimizers start buying links in large quantities, which makes search engines to apply sanctions to the site. So do not force, better make a schedule. Relate the dynamics of reference growth with site traffic increase. Permissible reference weight gain depends on many factors, ranging from site CMS, age, theme and selected key phrases.
  • Backlinks from bad donors. “Bad site” concept is rather comparative, so no one can say exactly what it means in terms of SE. But there are some signs:
    • Page is not in the first place for pieces of text. This means that the text is not unique. Do not buy links on such sites. Exceptions are news sites.
    • The site refers to “bad” resources or has a bad theme. When buying links, put settings, which put your backlink as the last one.
    • Presence of pop-ups. All the search engines are trying reflects the essence of your query most clearly. Pop-up windows do not allow the user to see the information he was looking for. He has to close them, and this procedure is most often caused by the opening of several windows. Most of these pages immediately closed, and if they do not have useful info, then they are bad. Therefore, such sites and pages are often get sanctioned by search engines.
    • Number of external links. Try to buy links from those pages, which have minimum number of outbound links.
    • Number of visitors.
    • Page content. Keep an eye on the fact that the page must contain maximum useful info.
  • Links are not indexed. Quite difficult problem. There is a huge variety of ways to forbid indexing. If you have no time for finding the causes, simply place the donor in the black list.

Do not chase for quick results, make analysis purposefully. Buy links on quality resources and, of course, watch out for already bought ones.