Advanced link building strategies are hard to come by these days. One of the most beneficial types of links you can possibly build are those that your ranking competitors already have. Finding these links is easy, obtaining them isn’t. The key to obtaining competitor backlinks is choosing what type of links to go after. Learn what link types we are going after, how to find them, and how to obtain them after the break.
Sharing common links with page 1 ranking competitors is a great first step to ranking right along side them or beating them. It’s pretty easy to use yahoo site explorer or open site explorer to find competitor backlinks. The key is honing in on high PageRank, low outbound link count, easy to obtain links. For the purposes of this guide we will be focusing on comment links. Some search engine optimization experts look down on blog commenting but if done properly these can be extremely powerful links, especially if your competitors already have them. Now that we want these links, let’s understand the how. As an example we will be trying to obtain high quality competitive backlinks using the keyword “buy iPhone 4s” and trying to build links to iPhone4stest.com.
Step 1: Identify your competitors
Head over to this SERP checker and enter your keyword and URL. In this case I used “iPhone 4s” as the keyword. The URL doesn’t really matter so you can put whatever you like. Copy and paste the top 100 rankings URLs into Excel. In order to use the list properly this will require some simple formatting that can easily be accomplished in excel 2007. First paste the list into Excel. Next you will need to utilize the “text to columns” feature seen here:
advanced link building strategy
What we’ve done is use delimited text to columns utilizing a colon as the separator. This will put your competitor list in an easy to use format. Once you have this, paste into notepad and save as a .txt file.
Step 2: Finding competitor backlinks
For the rest of this guide it is essential to have a program called ScrapeBox, bundled with a few addons. Google it to purchase. In order to find competitor backlinks we’ll be using the “backlink checker” addon of Scrapebox. Simply navigate to the addon and upload your new .txt file from step 1.
how to obtain competitor backlinks
Above is a screenshot of what the program looks like while gathering all inbound links pointing to your identified competitors.
Step 3: Filtering for high PageRank and low outbound link counts
This is the most crucial step of this advanced link building strategy and separates it from other link building tactics you may have read about. We only want competitive links from URLs with a high PageRank and a low outbound link count to ensure the highest quality links possible. We will be using the PageRank checker and outbound link checker addons for Scrapebox to filter out potential links for quality. Filter for PageRank and outbound link count in whichever order you like better. If you think low outbound link counts are more important, filter that first. Otherwise, filter by PR first depending on your goals. See the screenshots below for these filtering capabilities in action:
obtain competitor backlinkshow to obtain competitor backlinks
Step 4a: Obtaining the links
ScrapeBox is a scraper and comment poster at it’s core. Once we have our filtered competitive link list using the 3 previous steps, it’s time to comment on these URLs. You can of course do this manually to ensure the highest quality but if you are strapped for time, or interns, Scrapebox will work just fine. Set the “Name” to your keyword, in this case “buy iPhone 4s”. The email address can be anything you choose. The “website” is the URL that the link will be pointing to. In this case we are using “iphone4stest.com. In the “comments” section simply write a few comments you would like to post. Scrapebox will automatically choose one of these randomly when posting. You cannot use spun content, so don’t try or your comments will look like spam. The quality of the comments you write will improve the number of competitive links you are able to obtain, however you can still obtain a large number of links with generic comments as I will demonstrate. For the “blog list” simply upload your filtered .txt file you have from following the 3 steps above. Test out your comments and then hit submit. Go drink a cup of coffee, send an email, and then move on to the final step, 4b. Here is a screenshot of these fields in Scrapebox:
how to obtain competitor backlinks
Step 4b: Checking for your new competitive links
Now that you’ve posted comments on all blog posts where your competitors have links, it’s time to check how many of them are live. We’ll be using Scrapebox’s built in link checker but you can use any link verifier you have. Personally I check my links once a week as over time more and more comments will get approved. With this test using “buy iphone 4s” as the keyword I submitted ~2800 comments on high PR, low outbound link count blog posts. 9 of them were auto-approve. See the screenshot below for Scrapebox’s built in link checker.
how to obtain competitor backlinks Conclusion .
Targeting pages that already link to your ranked competitors is a great strategy to start to ranking for your keyword. As you can see I built 9 links on relevant pages that are already linking to competitors. These links are all on PR 3+ urls (URL PR not domain PR) and have less than 50 outbound links. This success on this strategy will depend on your keywords and competition. The sites ranking for iPhone 4s aren’t utilizing many comment links as part of their strategy. I’ve been able to build 100′s of high PR, low OBL links in minutes depending on the competition. It is extremely important to understand the types of links your competitors are getting. If they aren’t getting comment links, this strategy may not work exceptionally well for you. Make sure you are targeting link types your top ranking competitors are. The strategy outlined in this article is tailored for comment links because they are the easiest to reverse engineer and obtain. Remember to take time to build a variety of link types to your site. Just utilizing one link building tactic will result in poor performance and possible Google penalties.