A quick practical guide to exploring your competitor’s link building techniques shared by Ann Smarty.

This Guide will help on your overall competitive research and for defining your own first-stage SEO techniques.

1. Exploring your competitor’s niche link building strategy

Search Yahoo: [linkdomain:site.com keyword]

Using SeoQuake addon for your Internet browser you can also sort the results to find most powerful pages linking to your competitor based on their age, backlink data and PR.

2. Evaluating your competitors’ deep linking strategy

Search Yahoo: [linkdomain:site.com -site:site.com -link:http://site.com -link:http://www.site.com]

To filter niche related deep backlinks add your keyword to the query: [linkdomain:site.com -site:site.com -link:http://site.com -link:http://www.site.com keyword]

Again, playing with SeoQuake addon you can also sort the results to find most powerful resources linking to your competitors’ inner pages.

Aaron Wall suggests calculating your competitor’s deep link ratio, i.e. = # deep links / # all links X 100%.

3. Looking for your competitor’s targeted anchor text

The “Link Diagnosis Tool will provide you with the comprehensive information on your competitor’s anchor text usage:

You can choose most popular anchor text (sort by ‘count’) and see all the pages locating the link plus some helpful information for each of them (PR, linktype, number of outbound links). It is also wise to check and compare most common anchor text and actual queries your competitor managed to rank for.

What is more you can sort by ‘linktype’ and see only ‘dofollow’ (don’t like this word) backlinks.

Following this simple guide to analyse each of your competitors’ sites will provide you with sufficient information for a start. You can later do an advanced analysis that may include your competitor’s brand penetration and saturation, audience and overall website growth rate analysis.

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