Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies, 4th Edition
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Quality backlinks are valuable to your business website. Links pointing to your site help improve your site’s search engine rankings and bring you new website visitors. But before you can foster healthy link relationships, you need to find out who might want to link to your site in the first place. One way to do this is to research your competitor’s backlinks.

Competitor research is an important aspect of search engine optimization and digital marketing. You can study nearly every aspect of a high-ranking competitor’s website to learn what you should and shouldn’t do to improve your rankings. So when it comes to link profiles, studying your competitor’s backlinks can help you discover the types of websites that might want to point to your site as a resource on an industry topic or product. Looking at your competitor’s inbound links will also give you a clearer picture of what the search engines consider to be “quality backlinks,” or links from good neighborhoods.

So how do you know who’s linking to your competitors? You can get a list of your competitor’s backlinks by using an SEO tool such as the free Link Analysis Report by Bruce Clay, Inc. This tool is simple to use and doesn’t require registration, login, software download, or credit card information. It’s completely free and open.

How to use the free Link Analysis Report

All you need to use the Link Analysis Report tool is access to an Internet browser. Follow these steps to use the tool:

  1. Go to SEOToolSet.com.

  2. Click on SEO Tools.

  3. Click on Free Tools.

  4. Click on Link Analysis Report.

  5. Select Link Analysis Report.

  6. Enter a competitor’s URL into the search box.

    Note that the tool, which provides a list of 30 backlinks for any given URL, can process only one URL at a time.

  7. Click Link Report.

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What you get from the Link Analysis Report

The report gives you a list of about 30 backlinks for that URL. This data is pulled from the Google, Bing, and Yahoo search engines. Although it can handle only one URL at a time, you can use the tool as often as you want.

If you want to see a complete list of all the backlinks for a certain URL, you need to use the full version of the Link Analysis Report. The full version is available through a monthly subscription to the SEOToolSet Pro and produces all the inbound links to a page.

Run the free Link Analysis Report on a few of your competitors’ top-ranked pages, compile a list of backlinks, and then evaluate the linking pages to get an idea of what the search engines consider quality backlinks. This way, you can use the Link Analysis Report to identify sites that are good candidates to build relationships with.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Bruce Clay has been a search engine optimization consultant since before there was Google. Today, Bruce Clay, Inc., is a leading search marketing company providing SEO services and consulting, pay-per-click advertising management, content development, and social media marketing services. Learn more at bruceclay.com. Kristopher B. Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing agency and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay in 2009. He most recently founded three-time SEO agency of the year finalist LSEO.com and DIY Software company DoItYourselfSEO.com.

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