Competitor Backlink Analysis

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Competitor Backlink Analysis

A common method of forming a link strategy is analyzing competitors. To analyze them, compile a list of main competitors, gather necessary data, and compile it into a single table. Then analyze the links, their sources, and create a plan for acquiring each specific link. This will provide a template on which to build your site’s link profile.

How to Gather Competitors and Analyze Data 

Enter a commercial query related to your business theme in the search bar, for example, “buy electric drill.” Select sites from the top-10 dedicated to construction equipment, as well as those similar in size and assortment to yours. If you have a small online store, do not focus on large trading platforms and big price aggregators, as the data will be different.

To analyze backlinks on competitor websites and view their sources, use tools and services like Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, etc. Ahrefs provides detailed backlink statistics but is paid. Ubersuggest is free, however, it does not show statistics for all domains.

What Metrics to Look At?

  • Backlinks — the number of backlinks;
  • Referring Domains — the number of unique domains linking to the site.

Depending on the service, metrics may vary by 15-20%, as each operates on its own search base. Nevertheless, all provide data on competitors’ link sources.

What to Do Next?

  1. Go to the “Referring domains” section (available in both Ahrefs and Ubersuggest). By entering the competitor’s website address, you’ll see their links and can work with them. However, it’s more convenient to export the data to CSV.

Note that by default, the display mode is set to show one link per donor. If you disable it, you will see all links from sites. But for analysis, it’s more convenient to use the mode displaying one link per domain — this is enough to identify sources.

  1. Export data for each competitor, then combine it into an Excel file. Sort the table alphabetically and by link source.

Often competitors have links from the same websites, and if you analyze each export separately, you might review the same resources.

  1. Pay attention to metrics such as Url Rating and, especially, Domain Rating. The latter reflects the authority of the domain from which the link comes. The higher the metric, the more effective the link will be. If the Domain Rating is 0, question whether such a site is worth analyzing.
  2. Study the sources of sites with high Url Rating and Domain Rating. For this, open each link and see how it was acquired: a paid link in an article, registration in Google, forum registration, etc.

For clarity, add a column in the Excel file where you will specify the sources of links. If you don’t want to invest in building paid links yet, i.e., you need registrations, links from forums where you can leave information about the company, products, then filter the sources by URL addresses containing the word “forum.”

Thus, analyzing competitors’ links will not only provide data on sources but also ideas for expanding the link profile.

How to Quickly Analyze Competitors and Calculate the Number of Links Your Site Needs?

Step 1: Gathering Competitors 

The simplest way to compile a list is to enter your queries of interest into a search engine and collect data from the top-10 results. You can also use specialized services like Ahrefs or MegaIndex. 

Important: Choose company websites similar to yours in size and assortment. If you are promoting a small online store or a local small business, study similar websites. Do not consider the link mass of aggregators (like Ozon, Wildberries) and large online stores (such as “Eldorado”). They will reduce the accuracy of the analysis and you won’t get valuable information.

Step 2: Analyzing the Number of Donors and Links 

How many platforms do competitors use, what types of links do they purchase, their shares in the overall link mass, and which pages are strengthened by them — Majestic SEO or its analogs can help find this information.

Count all types of links, the number of unique donor sites, and the total number of links. Their average value will be decisive in the strategy.

Step 3: Developing a Plan and Acting 

Base your actions on the figures obtained in the previous step and start working. Remember that a diverse link profile is optimal for promotion and is also the safest. This corresponds to how sites grow and develop naturally. Therefore, search engines will not suspect you of manipulation when the site begins to accrue various types of links:

  • Niche Edits are the most profitable. The cost starts from 1 cent per month. Even a small budget can be spent on improving the link-building strategy.
  • Guest Posts are the basis of promotion. They are embedded in an article that you write yourself or order from various services and are placed on the desired site.
  • Submits and crowd links. Where else to indicate a link to the company’s website if not in the profile of that company or its employee? Purchasing submit links is a kind of safety cushion for your link strategy. This is especially valuable for young sites.

There are many different tools for creating a suitable link profile. For example, you can try the “Favorites” feature in Serpzilla: upload a list of competitor donor pages and get constant access to purchasing links from the same platforms.

However, do not rush to rapidly increase the link mass. It’s better to do this gradually, and the “Smooth Link Purchase” auto-mode feature in the service can save time on routine work. All you need is to set the necessary quantity, budget, and frequency of launch for each separate URL. Success in link building depends on constant experimentation, so don’t be afraid to use new strategies and the possibilities of link services for effective promotion.

  • Sergey Pankov

    Sergey is a seasoned SEO expert with 20+ years of experience, global link building opinion leader, he is a regular speaker at various SEO conferences and webinars dedicated to website optimization. As a CEO at, Sergey is responsible for strategic & operational management of business areas, business scaling, building first-class customer service, innovation & technology management, hiring & management of teams of talents. Sergey's Linkedin
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