Simple Hack to Find Backlinks from your Local Competitors

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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13,308
Since most Local Search Pros feel that backlinks are even more important with the current local algo and since building great backlinks is always a challenge...

I wanted to share this post with you from Ahrefs.

<a href="https://ahrefs.com/blog/find-backlinks/">Find Your Competitor?s Recurring Backlink Sources with this Simple (yet little known) Hack</a>

I?m sure you don?t need me to tell you that analysing the link profiles of your competitors is one of the best ways to find backlink opportunities for your website.

It just is.

But, wouldn?t it be cool if you could reverse engineer what your competitors are doing to specifically promote each piece of content they create?

And more specifically, uncover recurring link sources that will link out to their content again and again?

Well, it is cool? and the good news is you can do it!

Here?s how... A Neat Little Intersect Tool Hack...

Now obviously you need Ahrefs to do this hack. But I know many of you already use it, you probably just never thought to use it this way.

The other thing you guys could do is use this for your own SEO efforts to find out what backlinks other Local Search companies are getting.

Since I've never focused on links, I don't use or Ahrefs. So I didn't know you could use Ahrefs Site Explorer to find the most popular posts on a domain. That's really great info to know as well.

Hope this helps. Happy link hunting!
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
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Sep 12, 2012
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Pretty cool stuff. Never knew ahrefs had an "intersect tool". That may be enough right there for me to try them out.

I've been using majestic for a few years. Has anyone used both and which one do you prefer? Also, which one seems to have a more complete library of links?
 

Tim Colling

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Sep 3, 2014
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...I've been using majestic for a few years. Has anyone used both and which one do you prefer? Also, which one seems to have a more complete library of links?
I use Majestic. I have used ahrefs in the past. I like them both, and right now I can't justify to my thrifty mindset paying for both of them at once. When I read articles like this, though, I'm tempted.

I think you could do something like this with Majestic also, though.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Sep 12, 2012
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I use Majestic. I have used ahrefs in the past. I like them both, and right now I can't justify to my thrifty mindset paying for both of them at once. When I read articles like this, though, I'm tempted.

I think you could do something like this with Majestic also, though.
Who has the most complete database of backlinks do you think?
 

Tim Colling

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Sep 3, 2014
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I haven't personally researched the answer to that question, so I can only say that most articles that I read seem to say that they both have links that the other does not and also most say that both of them are very good.

I don't want to get in the middle of any religious wars over which is best.
 

JoyHawkins

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Jul 18, 2012
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I've heard that Majestic is awesome. I've never used them. We have an account with Ahrefs and I LOVE them. Their blog is also amazing and is filled with wonderful posts like this one. They also did one back last year that I had to read over several days (it's super long) but it had amazing tips in it: https://ahrefs.com/blog/white-hat-link-building-expert-roundup/

There are a ton of articles comparing the 2 services but I found this one rather intriguing. Update #3: Ahrefs vs Majestic SEO - The 1 Million Domain Showdown
 

Eric Rohrback

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Oct 3, 2012
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Who has the most complete database of backlinks do you think?
I personally think aHrefs is a little better; I've found more unique links than some of the other providers. Everyone (Majestic, aHrefs, Moz, Google) has different indexes they're referencing, so it's hard to really say "who has a complete database" since it's kind of relative. Best thing to do is to combine as many sources as you can,trim the URL to root domain (with an excel formula), and then dedupe. That way you get a sampling from multiple sources and the puzzle starts to look a little more complete (but always unfinished).

Since I know the next question is "which formula do you use" I have one saved in a template txt file:

=MID(b2,FIND(":",b2,4)+3,FIND("/",b2,9)-FIND(":",b2,4)-3)

Just make sure to change "b2" to the correct cell the URL is in, then double click the bottom right corner to automatically copy it down the entire length of the workbook. After that you can dedupe and find common domains/urls from the multiple sources.
 

CodyBaird

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Jan 4, 2013
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341
Eric hit the nail on the head:
Moz, GSC, Magestic, & ahrefs are slightly different. I would add that Moz doesn't seem to update their index as frequently as Magestic or aHrefs. The moz index also doesn't seem to be as deep. GSC only gives a sample set but it seems to be more comprehensive today than years past. I personally feel like majestic has the deepest and freshest index. I stopped using OSE a while back. We use magestic now.

I don't believe anyone can really justify paying for all three or even two. I also don't think that is necessary.

We quit focusing on link research for content generation/publishing ideas in 2014 and started spending more budget/time on audience research instead. Part of that research is about identifying pain points, creating buyer journeys, and also identifying where that audience spends there time online. That research guides what content and which outlets for publishing.

Audience research can be very time consuming and costly. Which brings me full circle. This post idea / strategy could offer an simpler, cost effective way to create content AND build links.

@eric thanks for the excel tip! Very cool.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

Eric Rohrback

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Oct 3, 2012
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993
What I've found after doing dozens of link audits is that a majority of links your competitors have, you may not be able to get. They've either bought links, built a pbn, or got in the good graces of an editor somewhere to guest post. Like Cody said, you're better off spending more time understanding the customer needs/wants, and focus on them. Once you understand your customer then you'll be able to research where they play online and where you should be spending time (not necessarily where your competitors are).

You're able to download your own link data for free from Majestic, some from OSE, and the sample set from Search Console to do link reviews/audits on your own site. You'll need to pay for ahrefs, but you'll need to decide whether it's worth it. That's mostly where I review backlinks. Reviewing competitors can be good for ideas where your customers could be spending time, but I wouldn't spend as much time looking at competitors. At the end of the day you'll most likely learn that you can get a fraction of the links, and that fraction will most likely be made up of directories or other low impact sites that you already knew you could get.

Be smart about your time, and if you don't have one already you really need to build out an excel template where you have all the formulas built in. That way all you need to do is copy and paste the data, and let the spreadsheet do the bulk of the work for your (huge time saver)
 

JoyHawkins

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Jul 18, 2012
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Personally I find it really helpful to analyze backlinks of competitors. I did it for a dentist yesterday and found 10 new sites that I wasn't aware of that I sent to our team to get him listed on. They were sites specific to the dental industry. I find it's helpful because when I get a client in a new industry, I'm not aware of the dozens of sites that exist that could be important for him to be listed on. I also discovered that for a few of them, my client was there but the listing was linking to his PPC site.

I think I use Ahrefs more than any other tool out there in my regular day-to-day tasks.
 

Eric Rohrback

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Oct 3, 2012
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993
I think I'm in the same camp as Cody - persona research & customer profiling is a better use of time. I guess the big thing I've seen after doing this enough is that the sites I find that I CAN get listed on after doing the competitor analysis is minimal in value. Basically I'd find directories that were lower tier and really wouldn't bring the site much traffic.

Not sure if that's been other people's experience or not. I remember doing a couple and spending a good chunk of time reviewing competitor sites, then doing an overlap analysis to see where the common links were with the client, and the end result was a bunch of low value links were the only real ones we could get.

@Joy - of the 10 sites found, how many did you see get a substantial amount of traffic? I guess spending a bunch of time on this in the past and not finding sites that drive good traffic to the client's site has made me step back from this tactic. Maybe it could be useful to find popular sites that I wouldn't know about, so maybe I was doing something wrong in the analysis.
 

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