How to Find Competitor Backlinks (4 Methods)

  • Samuel Darwin
  • Jul 13, 2021

Backlinks have been one of the most regarded factors used by Google and other search engines to rank your page. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher your rank will be. And this article will guide you on how to find competitor backlinks and turn them into yours.

Note that these backlinks are not just any other backlinks. These backlinks are niche-related and cater to the same audience as your website does. By doing so, you’re establishing high-quality backlinks from the data you get from your direct competitors.

However, you still have to make an effort in finding backlinks that are relevant to your site. You also need to commit to converting these backlinks through white hat link building. This will put your website in a better position against your competitors.

Direct vs. Indirect Competitors

To keep your backlinks relevant to your site, you have to differentiate your competitors. You can sort them into direct and indirect competitors to establish a two-pronged attack and gain more relevant links.

Direct competitors fall in the same industry as you do. For example, if you are selling cars and have a business website, your direct competitors are other car merchants on the web. These domain-level competitors have the same target audience as you do.

Indirect competitors, however, are not related to your industry. These competitors compete with your website on a page level. Page-level competitors compete for the organic keywords you are using. This can affect the organic traffic you are receiving for a keyword.

To get new opportunities from indirect and direct competitor’s backlinks, you need to approach them differently. Here are some methods you can apply to find competitor backlinks.

4 Methods to Find Competitor Backlinks

1. Know Who Your Competitors Are

Sorting your competitors between domain-level and page-level competitors can help you find the right opportunities for link building. By knowing your direct competitors, you can get more relevant links than stealing backlinks from indirect competitors.

Big websites have a lot of backlinks and dealing with them all together can be a headache. Start with two of your biggest domain-level competitors for your main keywords. This way, you can manage your backlinks more efficiently and avoid unnecessary backlinks on your site.

You can also do this for your page-level competitors to know what sites are ranking for your LSI keywords. However, you have to spend more time choosing which websites to build links to. Remember that not all backlinks from your page-level competitors are related to your website.

2. Use Tools to Find Sites Linking to Your Competitors

There are a lot of SEO tools where you can get your competitor’s backlink profile. Here are some of the tools you can use:

Ahrefs Site Explorer Tool

Summary of metrics shown by Ahrefs for your competitor's backlinks.
Summary of metrics shown by Ahrefs for your competitor’s backlinks.

Ahrefs will give you a list of the backlinks for any website that you search. You can see the Domain Rating (DR) and organic traffic received by the backlinks of your competitors. Having this data will give you a holistic idea of which websites you’d want a backlink from.

Moz Link Explorer Tool

Summary of Moz metrics for your competitor's backlinks.
Summary of Moz metrics for your competitor’s backlinks.

One notable metric when using Moz is the backlink’s Spam Score. This tells you the quality of the website according to different metrics arranged by Moz. You can be confident in reaching out to competitor backlinks with relatively low Spam Score to protect your website from potential harm.

Here are some other tools you can use to check the quality of your competitor’s backlinks:

  1. SEMRush
  2. MajesticSEO
  3. CognitiveSEO

3. Monitor Competitor Brand Mentions

Social listening tools are effective tools to know when your competitors are getting mentioned on some websites. This is essential if you want to gain as much advantage as you can against your competitors. Staying updated on their link building will help you analyze your website competitor.

If you know where your competitors are getting mentioned (either on product roundups or features), you can get your brand up there as well. This is a good opportunity for you to grab and get a backlink from.

You can use Brandwatch to keep track of competitor brand mentions (and your brand mentions as well). It’s a powerful tool that can give you a clear understanding of the website’s audience.

4. Monitor Keywords Used by Your Competitors

By monitoring your competitor’s keywords, you will know what websites they submit their guest post to. If those websites accept guest posts from two of your direct competitors, there are high chances that your link will be accepted as well.

You will also know what keywords are they ranking on Google to gain organic traffic. By knowing what keywords to use, you can also rank your website on search engines. However, choose only the keywords that are related to your content. The more you stray away, the more irrelevant your audience will be.

How to Convert These Opportunities to Backlinks?

After finding the origin of your competitor’s backlinks, it’s time for you to convert them to your own. Not because they accepted your competitor’s backlinks that they will accept yours automatically. You still have to earn links from this opportunity.

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Build a professional relationship with the new opportunity – reach out to the webmaster not just to get a backlink, but to establish a healthy relationship between you and them. It’s a good start if you can get them to reply to your emails.

2. Ask to contribute to their website through a guest post – after talking to the webmaster, you can subtly open your intentions and ask them if you can contribute to their website. Guest posting is a good way to contribute to the website and gain a backlink from.

3. Create quality content to impress – the last thing to do is to impress the website owner by providing well-researched and high-quality content for their website. Make sure that your link is not sticking out like a sore thumb. Make the guest post for the sake of the website’s audience and make your link a supplementary resource for it.

As you go on with finding competitor backlinks, remember that this won’t separate you from your competitor in terms of ranking. If you and your competitor have backlinks from the same domain, it won’t make much of a difference. That’s why you still have to build links from your efforts.

Final Word

If you’re looking for backlinks that are easy to replicate, you should consider finding competitor backlinks. This is easier compared to traditional link building methods because you’re grabbing free-floating opportunities from your competition.

However, you should continue with your link building strategies. Don’t rely on finding competitor backlinks too much because it won’t make you better than your competitors.

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