How to Search for who is linking to your competition’s websites

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Much of what Google does to rank a website in search for a particular search term is thought to be known but is never 100% for sure to be known. We can all say that by creating links from websites that have good page rank to your website will make the biggest difference in how you are to rank in search.  For those who are looking to rank higher for a particular search term, it can be very confusing on where and how to obtain good quality links.  Going down the path of obtaining links for the benefit of your search position can be risky and it is most times best to slowly earn these links by creating great quality content through blogging that people will want to link to and share. One of the better ways to immediately find out where to get links to your site is to research your competition and who is linking to them.

Step 1 – Find your SERP Competitors

Knowing who your competitors are for the most popular search term that would bring the most relevant traffic and customers to your site is easy to find. Simply type your search term and pick the top placement.  This is you search engine results competition. This may be different than what your actual competition may be but here you are looking to place in organic search in order to receive the most possible customers, sales, and leads. Keep in mind that if your are small business that sells doughnuts you would not research the first result if it was Tripadvisor.com. You would scroll down to the first most relevant result result of the other doughnut shop in town that is coming up way before you are.

Step 2 – Type the url of your competition in search.

This may be phillsdoughnuts.com. You could just type the name of the competition but you don’t want to add in any other possible search results that may not pertain to the competition. Try to be a specific as possible.

Step 3 – Start Taking Notes

Most of the results are of course going to be links to the actual website you just searched for and various pages related to that particular URL.  Depending on how many pages the search engine has crawled, you may have to dive down a few pages before you begin to see other search results that are not related to the competition’s website.  Once you do start to find links related to the competition and that mention the competition;  you have now struck gold. The first websites listed are usually the sites that pass on the most link juice and will most likely give your site the best boost in rank.

Step 4 – Make a Plan, Execute

Now that you have a solid list of sites that you know are linking to your competitor, you now need to plan out how you can get these sites to link to you.  Most of the time it is as easy as creating an account and a profile with a link to your site.  This may involve creating new social media accounts and or creating a listing that may cost a monthly fee.  Other sites many be websites that are blogs or press articles that link to your competition.  These links are a bit more difficult to obtain seeming they are possibly posts written by an outside source but it gives you ideas and direction.  Maybe it is time to create some press and buzz yourself and your business.  Most importantly you will get a clear vision of what your competitor has done online and where they have been involved.

Closing

Using this method is a great way to research new link possibilities.  It is free, easy to accomplish, and is one of the many ways to research your competition.  One of the best results of this search is finding out what social media accounts your competition is actively using.  There may be niche social account that you have never heard of that is bring business to your competition. Overall what I have found so far with SEO is to: keep it honest, write from the heart, and never stop!  Thank you for reading.

Jason Houston
Jason Houston
Jason Houston is a web developer at Complete Web based on the island of Nantucket Massachusetts. He actively monitors the status and health of over 20 accounts to maintain position in search and to ensure each business is doing everything possible to increase revenue. Feel free to ask Jason a question at: jason@mycompleteweb.net