Search engines uses a variety of factors like domain age, unique content, page rank, etc to rank a website or keyword phrase. However throughout all the years, backlinks is a big factor in determining whether you appear on page 1 or page 97 of the search results. Having more backlinks then your competitor will rank you higher. But having more doesn’t mean you will automatically rule the competition. You must ensure that your links are of quality, and not coming from spammy, gambling, or p0rno sites. For the last 2, probably it may work for you if your site belong to the same niches. There are many ways to get backlinks, and you may want to check out this post where I discussed 10 basic ways to build your links.
Another interesting and effective way is to find where your competitors are getting their backlinks from. Within or outside of your niche works fine since variety of links is one of the factors. However the former is deem more important. Previously most of the site owners used Yahoo Site Explorer (YSE) as a free way to find out the backlinks of competitors and their own site(s). Unfortunately YSE retired last year 2011, and forced many webmasters as well as software using YSE to look for alternatives.
1. Majestic SEO
One unique and interesting feature is the “Neighbourhood Checker”. The tool checks neighbourhood based on the domains or IP address you input. It helps you to determine is the IP spammy and/or are there potentially dangerous neighbour, or sites hosted on the same IP or even subnet.
2. SEO SpyGlass
SEO PowerSuite consists of a range of SEO tools: Rank Tracker, Website Auditor, SEO SpyGlass and LinkAssistant. To remain on topic, only SEO SpyGlass will be discussed here. The software works on any operation system and empowers you to track and analyze your top-ranking competitors and obtain detailed information on how they managed to rank higher than you, what types of links they are building, and why better than you. Currently, SpyGlass can analyze your competition in 412 local and international search engines. That means for site owners that want to rank in their country or locally, you get even more specific data for your analysis. The backlinks analyzation software is available in free and paid version. To download the free version for SEO SpyGlass, go here.
The paid version (SpyGlass Pro) allows you to uncover unlimited backlinks of any website you choose, whilst the free version only calculates the total number of backlinks the site has, and only 1100 links per project are shown.
Other notable paid features include
- scheduling tasks automatically, getting step-by-step instructions on how to improve your SEO and outrank your competitor (great for users new to SEO),
- keeping a history of backlinks, exporting/copying your data to spreadsheets for further anaylsis, printing, or sharing.
- For users or companies that provides SEO services to clients, SpyGlass Pro allows you to customize the backlinks report with your company’s log, name, header, footer and defining which sections or search engine data to display.
3. Open Site Explorer & SEOmoz Pro
Open Site Explorer (OSE) is a free online application from SEOmoz that provides link metrics for any given website such as:
- Inbound Links
- Total Pages
- Linking Domains
- Anchor Text
- Page Authority
- Domain Authority
- Linking Root Domains
- Total Links (all links to the page including internal, external, followed ,and nofollowed)
- Social Media Metrics – Facebook Shares, Facebook Likes, Tweets and Google+1
In all likelihood, there are definitely more software out there that can find backlinks and analyze the links for you. However this are the 3 tools that have given decent accuracy and impressed with their good presentation of data.
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