Competitive link analysis is essential since it gives you the idea of how link building is done. You will come to understand how link building is done in the established sites in your niche. By properly analyzing the pages linking of your competitor, you will get more ideas for link building for your own site. It helps to identify where your sites are talked about and helps to find out your partners. You can keep up-to-date by participating in the threads discussing your site and return favor to your partners. The competitive link analysis helps to find out the links your competition is using to rank well.
The following are the major competitive link searches that will help to analyze the backlinks of your competitor.
Direct link searches
Search engines will tend to list important links first. Let we see the various methods of using link operator in yahoo site explorer.
The above command will list the links pointing at competitor’s site. The most powerful links to that site will be listed between 1-200 in the list. Also there is another important thing we can find out in the searches is that the newer link will appear before the older links.
Keyword embedded searches – Shared from [Advanced Link: Operator to Explore Your Competitor’s Backlinks]
To find out pages that use this text (keyword) and link to the competition:
link:http://www.competitor.com/ -site:competitor.com inurl:keyword
To find out in forums and discussion boards:
link:http://www.competitor.com -site:competitor.com inurl:keyword inurl:forum OR inurl:forums
To find pages containing your keyword in the page title:
link:http://www.competitor.com -site:competitor.com intitle:keyword
To find .edu or .gov sites linking to the page
link:http://www.competitor.com site:.edu OR site:.gov
To find pages of various file types
To find pages of different geographic location
Some useful Firefox add-ons for quick link analysis
SearchStatus: SearchStatus is a toolbar extension for Firefox and Mozilla that gives extensive search-related information about a site, all conveniently displayed in one discreet and compact toolbar.
Yexplore: Adds quick access to Yahoo Site Explorer. Just right click, select yExplore and the URL will be passed to Yahoo Site Explorer in a new tab.
SEO Link Analysis Firefox Extension: This Firefox extension gives you a bit more information when opening such pages, it gathers the PageRank for the linking page, the anchor text used on the link, and checks whether the link is nofollowed or not.
These competitive backlink analysis helps us reach out to the most valuable sites. Although we get the list of backlinks of the competitor by various methods discussed above, there is a need of filtering out links that will pass very low or nil link value to the sites.. Examples of links that we should avoid are sitewide links, links that are no-followed, links coming from same domain and IP blocked.
Disclaimer: The post is completely based on individual thoughts and SEO Services Group bears no responsibilities for the thoughts reflected in the post.