Competitor Link Mining

 

This strategy of link building is probably the most important. It’s also the one that’s most proactively done at the big SEO agencies, and it’s the way that you can get most of link building done for your own niche sites.

 

Essentially, you’re link building through competitor analysis.

 

The link opportunities you can find through analyzing your competitors’ backlink profiles are almost endless.

 

Think of it this way: When you do a search for your keyword, you’ll see 10 competitors (depends on your search) ranking on the first page.

 

Sure, they could have great content and solid on-site SEO, but for the most part, their backlinks are powering their rankings. Now imagine what would happen if your own site had the exact same links as all the sites on the first page combined.

 

Of course, it’s not possible to get EVERY SINGLE link that each of these sites have. Some will be brand mentions on blogs or news releases, and will be impossible to get.

 

But there are more than enough that we can “steal” and point to our own site from the same page.

 

So here’s how it goes , The method can be broken down into 3 steps:

 

Step 1 – Analyze your biggest competitors – for both links and most shared content.

Step 2 – Find out who is linking to them – and for which pages.

Step 3 – Steal their links – not literally stealing. I’ll show you what this means in a minute.

 

There are many different ways to go about this process, and many different tools you can use.

 

but we are going to show you the easiest (and simplest) way so that you don’t have to buy a bunch of tools, or end up with a bunch of overwhelming spreadsheets.

 

Awesome, so let’s get started.

 

 

Get the top 10 search results

First, search for your targeted keyword on Google. You may have many variations and different keywords, but just do a search for one of them now.

 

start off with the biggest search volume ones first.

 

potty training Google Search

 

Then, make a list of the URL’s in a separate text file.

 

potty url list

 

Just do this for 1 keyword, and the 10 results from the first page for now.

 

Open up a backlink checker

There are 3 main backlink checkers, and everyone has their own preference for what they like to use.

 

1. Ahrefs
2. Moz
3. Mangools (Link Miner)

 

Ahrefs has the biggest and the most frequently update index.

 

Hereʼs an image from their website to give you an idea of the size of their Keyword Index

 

ahref keyword index

 

So itʼs no surprise that Ahrefs is known to find a lot more links than Moz and Mangools are able to find. Is there a free alternative? You can check out this tool: OpenLinkProfiler

 

But for best results weʼd recommend investing money in a powerful backlink checker.

 

Which Backlink Checker Should I Invest In? (Is It Worth It?)

If you consider the fact that backlinks are going to be the main driver of your rankings and search traffic, even just a single powerful link built each month will make up for the monthly cost.

 

As for which one you should buy, you should stick to our recommendation for Ahrefs.

 

It is costlier than the other tools, but it gives you much more accurate data than the others as well. At $99/month, youʼll have the whole web index at your finger tips.

 

Even a single powerful backlink every month, that you build through the data acquired by Ahrefs, can pay off the toolʼs cost.

 

Not only that, but you get access to their entire suite of tools, not just the backlink tool. You get access to Keyword Explorer, Content Explorer, Site Explorer,Rank Tracker and so many other amazing features thatʼll help you get ahead of your competitors pretty fast.

 

Analyzing link profiles is a major part of your SEO, even outside of this backlinking strategy, so it’s important to have access to a tool that gives you the best data available.

 

White hat Google Ranking Strategy

 

An example of competitor link mining

Remember the URLs we have asked you to save in a Text file? Itʼs time to extract their backlinks using Ahrefs

 

But instead of the exact URL we are going to search for the siteʼs main domain URL

 

Why?

 

Because  This will not only give an idea of the available link sources of the site, but will also help  identify potential content ideas that can work on to create better resources that can get links from the sites currently linking competitors.

 

But first, letʼs enter the main URL, BusyToddler.com, in Ahrefs Site Explorer

 

busytoddler ahref overview

 

As the screenshot shows, itʼs a pretty powerful site.

 

It has a DR score of 50 (which shows the strength of a site based on its backlink profile), and has 14K+ backlinks from 1K+ sites
Impressive.

 

Itʼs a direct competitor site, so most of its backlinks will be relevant  as well.

 

If we can identify the sites that are linking to BusyToddler.com, and find the reasons why theyʼre linking to them, we can reach out to those sites and try to get then to link to us as well.

 

Letʼs see itʼs backlink profile by clicking on the “Backlinks” link

 

busytoddler backlink overview

 

This gives us a list of thousands of backlinks to this site.

 

With Ahrefs, you can use multiple filters to make your backlink search even more convenient. For now, though, letʼs just use the Do-Follow filter to only see the list of Do-Follow backlinks to BusyToddler.com (because only Do-Follow matter in terms of SEO)

 

If you scroll down and have a closer look at these backlinks, youʼll find that some of them are do-follow blog comments that we can easily replicate by commenting with our links as well.

 

Simple. If you look closely, youʼll find many other do-follow link opportunities. Itʼs the easiest way to build backlinks by learning from your competitors.

 

Some of the links are press releases or News links, which are almost impossible to replicate because theyʼre brand specific.

 

So weʼll have to skip those. But many of them are also editorial backlinks to the different blog posts published by BusyToddler.

 

busytoddle blog post

 

Google considers editorial backlinks among the most powerful link types.

 

Why?

 

Because theyʼre contextual links, in the body of a blog post, approved manually by an editor. Which means the chances of such links being spammy or irrelevant are very low.

 

Such links are mostly created using one of the following techniques.

 

  • Naturally acquired/earned links because a site owner found their content useful.
  • By publishing guest posts on the target blog.
  • By sponsoring content on the site
  • By reaching out to the site owner and requesting a link

 

This is common for high authority sites that publish useful content (which is the model we are looking to apply as well)

 

So assuming Busy Toddler got these links because the site owner found their content useful, may be we can get such links as well if we create even more useful content

 

Letʼs have a look at one of the articles linking to BusyToddler.com

 

busytoddler posts

 

Okay so this link is from a site called HandsOnAsWeGrow. When we checked in Ahrefs, it has a DR score of 70, which means itʼs a niche leader with massive authority

 

Just look at the number of social shares this article has, 131K+!! Amazing Must be bringing in a lot of traffic and search authority to any sites it has linked to.

 

Now letʼs see the exact context in which theyʼve linked to BusyToddler.com

 

busytoddler context

 

Okay, so the article is basically a list of different fun name activities for preschoolers. And the link to BusyToddler is for a post that shares a name spelling activity.

 

Letʼs see that post on BusyToddler

 

busytoddle blogpost

 

You know what, weʼve hit the jackpot!

 

This is a simple article with hardly 500-600 words that describes a naming activity with a dozen pictures and their descriptions.

 

To give yourself the best chance of getting a link from this site, you should create an article on the same topic with MUCH MORE detail, twice the number of images, and lots of fun ideas for children.

 

then reach out to the site linking to it, and tell them about my resource which would clearly be more valuable than the one theyʼre currently linking to.

 

The chances of getting a backlink would be pretty high . So this is clearly an opportunity.

 

And there might be hundreds of more if you drill down each of the high authority links that your competitors have.

 

Is this clear? Is the thought process clear?

 

Thatʼs how you can find genuine, white-hat, high authority linking opportunities.

 

White hat Google Ranking Strategy

 

Letʼs explore another site

JamieGlowacki.com, from the URLs we listed. Again,  searched for the URL in Ahrefs Site Explorer, clicked on the Backlinks tab, applied the Do-Follow filter on the backlinks list, and sorted them by Domain Rating (DR) to find the most powerful links.

 

Hereʼs the list of links to this site.

 

jamieglowacki backlink overview

 

When scrolled down this list, you can find a pretty high authority link to this site from TheBloggess.com

 

the bloggess website

 

At first, it looks like an outdated blog with nothing much to offer.

 

But on a closer look, youʼd find that itʼs a massively popular site that gets millions of visitors every month. Itʼs owned by an author who has a Twitter following of 400K+.

 

The site has a DR score of 65+ and a backlink from it will add huge authority to any site.

 

But you know whatʼs the best part?

 

The link going to jamieglowacki.com from this site is a “paid link” I put paid link in quotes because even though it’s a link that was paid for, it’s not technically a paid link. Here’s why.

 

TheBloggess don’t run Adsense or other networks. They sell ads directly from their website.

 

One of the ad spots that they sell is sponsorship of a weekly roundup post, which gets a LOT of eyeballs.

 

The best part about this ad spot is that it’s permanent. It’s not a monthly ad spot on the sidebar (which gets taken down once you stop paying).

 

It’s a sponsorship for a post, which means it’s part of that post for as long as it’s live on the web. Perfect for SEO.

 

Hereʼs a screenshot of the page where they mention this link opportunity

 

the bloggess rates

 

Is this a paid link?

 

Not really in Google’s eyes. It’s sponsorship of their site and the advertiser’s product/website is a great match for their audience. Not all paid links are considered paid links.

 

This link is extremely powerful and is playing a very big role in the site’s high rankings for our keywords. It’s their most powerful link!

 

So we have the option of getting a link on the site ourselves.

 

It costs money, $350 in this case.

 

It may seem expensive at first glance, but when you consider that it’s a one-time payment for a “forever” link on one of the biggest blogs in the world, the amount of power it’s sending to this guy’s site, and the potential income you’ll receive from high rankings for the keyword, it’s not expensive at all.

 

And hereʼs a tip based on experience.

 

Even if a site doesnʼt clearly mention that it accepts sponsored links/posts, if you reach out to them with a good enough resource and offer payment for a natural looking do-follow editorial link, they will accept most of the times.

 

And they wonʼt reveal it to anyone, so technically it never gets treated as a paid link which Google is against. Something to consider.

 

 

What about networking?

this strategy is a part of networking. But when you’re going through competitors’ links, not all link building opportunities are ones that require outreach.

 

In the two examples above, we could easily get those links instantly by either leaving a comment, or providing sponsorship to that giant blog

 

Immediately, we have some extremely powerful links pointed at our site.

 

Only the second link we found required creating a better content resource and reaching out to the editor. Some of the links from competitor link mining will require networking,

 

most of them won’t because we’re not proactively looking for ONLY web pages where it makes sense to ask… “Hey, could you link to us too?”

 

Those are more geared towards lists

 

 

Check more Articles:

How To Use Guest Blogging For Link Building Strategy

How To Do SEO Competition Analysis The Right Way

15 SEO Link Building Method: Help You Rank On Google

How To Sell Backlinks : Everything You Need To Know ( 100% White Hat )

 

White hat Google Ranking Strategy

 

Conclusion

So as you can see, we can find some REALLY powerful links from using Ahrefs and some advanced knowledge on what to search and what to look for.

 

In just a matter of 10 to 15 minutes, we already have over 20 sources you can get links on by the end of the day.

 

That’s with only analyzing 2 competitor sites. That’s awesome! I hope you can see the power and efficiency behind competitor link mining.

 

Let’s move on.

 

 

 

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