How to analyze backlinks from competitor sites
Posted On May 26, 2021
Here’s a simple tip: Look for backlinks that look similar to the sites you’re looking for.
If you see them, you may be able to identify a competitor that may be worth a visit.
“Backlinks are like a signature, they’re the first link that comes out of someone’s browser,” says Jim Miller, a marketing professor at the University of Virginia and a former Google engineer.
“If you see one, you know the site has good credibility.”
The best way to know if a site has a good backlink profile is to click through to its homepage, read about it, and then click through again to see if it’s still there.
“Once you see the homepage, you can look for the backlinks in the comments or in the search results, or in comments about the site,” says Miller.
For example, the following backlink analysis site has about 1.4 million comments on its homepage.
If a site with just 100 comments has 10,000 backlinks, that’s a strong sign it’s likely a good competitor.
“You need to be able look at thousands of backlinks and pick out the ones that are worth visiting,” says James, “so you can then decide whether it’s worth a search or not.”
If you find something, say it’s a great link, but don’t buy it.
If someone’s trying to sell you something, ask them to backlink it, instead.
And if you’re trying to build a site, Miller recommends taking your time, looking at the history of a site and doing your research, then doing it again.
If the site doesn’t have a great backlink, you might want to look at whether it could have been better built or more transparent.
“That’s when it gets really important to be very careful about what you’re doing,” says Chris McQuinn, who’s also an SEO consultant and an affiliate marketing specialist.
“A lot of the time, it’s hard to tell if you’ve gotten a bad backlink because you’ve just been looking at one or two of them and not seeing many others.”
He says a lot of backlink research doesn’t look at a company’s overall reputation, but at a specific link or keyword in a particular niche or industry.
“Most of the backlink sites we’ve done have the right keywords in the niche,” he says.
“And so when we look at them, we’re looking at links from a specific keyword that has the exact same type of link that we’re seeing.”
But if your backlink has a generic name, then it’s probably not a good fit.
If your backlinks are from sites with bad reputation, like Google’s own site, the search engine will tell you they’re bad.
“It’s pretty rare for a backlink site to be bad,” McQuinn says.
But it does happen.
He says he once tried to build his own backlink list and got a bad response.
“I looked at my own backlinks on Google and they were a bunch of generic junk,” he recalls.
A good back link profile can be a good indication of whether a site is trustworthy, but it’s only a starting point. “
McQuanins point is that backlinks can be good or bad, but they can’t always be perfect.
A good back link profile can be a good indication of whether a site is trustworthy, but it’s only a starting point.
If it looks like someone else’s backlinks have good quality, you should be able see them on your own site and see if they’ve been picked up by Google. “
When you’re searching for backlink data, you’re going to see a lot more of these negative backlinks than you would otherwise,” says McQuins advice.
If it looks like someone else’s backlinks have good quality, you should be able see them on your own site and see if they’ve been picked up by Google.
“In the long run, I think the most important thing you want to do is look for back links that are in good shape,” McQueen says.
For instance, a company that’s getting tons of traffic and has good rankings may be in a bad spot.
“Look for sites with good backlinks with very high quality,” says Howard Smith, author of “The SEO Way” and founder of the online content company, The SEO Way.
“Those backlinks will be the best way for you to get the most value out of your website.”
A good quality backlink is important because it shows a company is trustworthy.
“Even if they have bad backlinks,” says Smith, “they’re still a reputable company and they’re still going to have the credibility of a legitimate business.”
“So if you see a good quality site that has good back links, then you should look at it again and see how it’s progressing,” he adds.
“But don’t feel bad if you don’t see any good quality sites.” And