We’re introducing a new feature for our link building en link bait tool: discover your competitors link secrets. Very important because 70% of your ranking depends on a strong link profile. This feature will help you get loads of ideas on where to get links from and how to beat your competitors.
To check it out: in SEO Effect memberzone go to ‘Link strategy’ and research links from your competitors. That is, if your campaign is of the payed kind! If, at the end of this post, you really see the value for your SEO efforts, check the SEO Effect pricing page to see what options we offer.
This tool has been running in ‘stealth-mode’ and the first responses from our clients we’re encouraging:
Whoo, this is so cool. A world of options is opening up for us. We can finally understand how our competitor plays the game!
Why is a competitors link profile a thing?
The so called ‘link profile’ gives you insight in the link strategy of your competitors. With that, you can copy the best bits and try to acquire the same links to your site or mimic the effective parts of a competitor’s link strategy.
This gives us two activities:
- Research the link profiles from your competitors and learn from their content strategies.
- Use the link strategies of several (!) competitors.
Research your competitors link profile and content strategy
Get a clear view on where they get their links from and what actions they take to make that happen. For example, do they:
- do research and publish about it?
- publish whitepapers that you can download via a number of sites?
- answer questions on Q&A sites?
- use press releases to get mentioned on news sites?
- create freebies that get used many other sites or blogs?
- sponsor events?
- perform as guest speakers on conventions?
- focus on local SEO by entering into directories and guides as much as possible?
- publish WordPress, Drupal, Magento plugins that gets them published on the related websites?
- do nothing special at all?
Now determine which of those strategies suites your situation too and get busy!
Word of wisdom: just a few links probably won’t do the trick. This is something for the long haul. So make sure your link strategy encompasses activities that you actually enjoy, especially if you’re a small outfit. And for larger companies: make sure you allocate budget and resources.
Mix and blend! Mimic the link profiles of multiple competitors
If you would unveil the link secrets of just one competitor, and mimic that exactly (which is hard) you will probably end up almost as high as that competitor. Because matching (or getting close) is just not good enough. You need to you surpass their link profile in order to beat their rankings. However if you use the combined link strategy of say five competitors, you have a good chance of beating all of them.
How to evaluate link prospects from a link profile?
When examining a link profile you want to get inspired by the best links that competitors have. So you need to filter out the chaff. SEO Effect does part of job for you by showing only top links and focussing on high ranking sites first. Check out the sample from a link profile shown above. To filter any further, you can sort the proposed link prospects on:
- Domain Authority (DA);
- Spam score (Sp) of the sub domain;
- Page Authority (PA) from the page where the back link to your competitor’s site has been found.
Sort from high to low or, for the Spam score, from low to high, and select link prospects that:
- appeal to you,
- have sufficient authority (high DA and PA),
- have a low Spam score. (SP between 0 tot 7),
- fit your link building strategy.
Store the selected links in your ‘Link prospect list’ so you can use them later for link building or on-line PR.
Link prospect preview
Use the loupe icon on each line to see e preview of the domain. Each URL is clickable and opens the page in an new browser tab.
Beware of link spam!
For each result, you also get a ‘Spam score’ (Sp). If you click on the score bar, (in paid campaigns only) you’ll get a tool tip explaining what each spam score is based on. It is a score from 0 to 17 where each ‘point’ represents a different spam indicator.
Spams core explained
The spam score is a simple metric that indicates the trustworthiness of a (sub) domain. It adds a point for each spam flag that is triggered. The higher the spam score, the higher the chance (!) that Google gives that sub domain a penalty or a ban. And if your site would get a lot of links from sites with a high spam score, your own spam score will get high too! Note: we’re talking about a chance for a penalty or ban. There is a strong correlation between a high spam score and getting on Google’s bad side. But that correlation is not apparent between individual spam flags and Google taking action. So you need to look at the broader picture and that is exactly what the spam score does.
|Spam score||Chance of Google penalty / ban|
|0 t/m 4||< 10%|
|5 t/m 7||10 – 50%|
|8 t/m 17||50 – 100%|
How to use the Spam score?
Sort the link prospects on spam score to avoid the ‘bad neighborhoods’ of the internet. Although the spam score does not reveal every spammy site, it does really help to avoid spammy link partners. But stay critical and keep thinking for yourself! On another note, you can also use the spam score to clean up your link profile if you get a penguin penalty for (part of) your site. We’ll get to that in more detail later.
Work flow of Link prospecting has changed
Next to the introduction of the spam score and the competitor link profile research, we also updated the work flow of link prospecting in general. You now start with the link prospect list and (using the green ‘+’ icon) start adding link prospects by:
- adding your own link prospects manually,
- start link research via one of three research methods to help you find link prospects.
Also read: SEO tools – Link building and Link bait
Got curious? Try the new function yourself!