Irene Dobik
October 10, 2017

Find Link Building Opportunities From Your Competition

Find Link Building Opportunities From Your Competition

Some say that link building is dead. Well, link spamming is dead and let’s leave it at the beginning of the 2000s and forget it forever. In 2016, Google came out to prove that, as well as content, links are still key pillars of SEO. Links from relevant and trusted websites will not only boost your PageRank, but they will also make you more heard of. No matter which strategy you use, first and foremost, your links must be high quality. Google calls spamming sites bad neighborhoods. There’s no equality in the world of backlinks – not all links are equal. One backlink from a relevant and authoritative website is equal to dozens of shady backlinks.

You have probably already looked at relevant websites, blogs and forums, tried guest posting and perhaps buying links. You’ve looked through the lists of blogs on your topic and are aware of the opinion leaders. Whatever you do to boost your rankings, always remember that your competitors are the first source of advice. No how-to article or webinar can provide you with information as relevant and fresh as your competitors can. All you have to do is find this information and use it wisely. The following advice will do for any link building strategy. And you may even discover some new ideas for link building that you thought were inappropriate for you website.

Let’s Find Your Organic Competitors!

Let’s see how we can find out where your competitors get links. But first, let’s make sure you know who they are.

Doing this manually will take some time, but you can type some of your keywords into Google and find the sites that show up in the top 10. Using Google advanced Search operators will make this much easier. You’ll need to identify the sites that rank for many keywords in that niche and add them to your list of competitors.

Most SEO platforms offer competitors research. You can do this very quickly in Ahrefs ‘Competing Domains’ ( a free trial is available), SemRush, Serpstat Competitor Analysis Tool (free trial) or Buzzsumo for finding content.

Let’s Explore Their Links!

In contrast to finding your competitors, this can not be done manually.

There are many tools to help you with backlinks. Pay attention to anchor text because these phrases work the same as keywords and help you rank for a certain query.


SimilarWeb works almost the same as other SEO tools.

With it, you can get a list of websites referring traffic to your competitors. It’s a bit different from simply getting links though. SimilarWeb shows links that are effective in bringing new visitors to the site. This doesn’t always mean that this website is high quality or there are many links here.

An unusual feature – the one this tool is no doubt named for – is that you can see sites that are similar to those being visited. Plus you can see top Countries where traffic comes from. Data from SimilarWeb is not 100 percent precise but is enough to weed out the websites that you don’t want to link to you. Right there, you can check websites you found for 9 different metrics, including:

  • Engagement (Visits, Time on Site, Page Views, Bounce Rate)
  • Monthly Visits and Traffic Sources (Direct, Referrals, Search Keywords, Social Networks, Mail, Ads)
  • Site Rankings (Country, Industry, and Worldwide)
  • Similar Sites

You can also download the SimilarWeb extension for Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.


Serpstat is an all-in-one SEO platform which consists of five modules. But now we
are concentrating on the Competitor Analysis Tool. After you get a list of your direct organic competitors you can then pick up any url and go to Referring Domains to find links.

For example, let’s imagine that “Linkology” is our biggest competitor.


You can see how many referring pages each domain has, its Alexa Rank and Serpstat’s own trust rank. Click on a url to explore its parameters right away. There’s been a lot of talk about the importance of local SEO recently. Choose the specific database if you want to gain authority in particular countries. You probably don’t want to get links from another corner of the earth because this does not make sense for some businesses. But, if you see that many of your competitors get linked from outer space, probably you can consider this too!

We can also find links to a certain page. This definitely will give more precise data. When they say Google ranks pages not websites, it means that although domain’s trust matters a lot, each page is a separate element. Do not build your link building strategy around one page only. Pay attention to all pages of your website that you find important.


When it comes to links, Ahrefs comes to mind first. After you choose your competitor(s), there will be dozens of referring domains ready to be explored. You can track new backlinks for your competitors in Ahrefs. You will need to create backlink alerts for each of our competitors in the “Backlinks” section of Ahrefs Alerts. This will send you a weekly email that lists all new backlinks Ahrefs has discovered for the site. There is also a possibility to find domains that link to a couple of your competitors at the same time.


Mention allows you to track social mentions and get live updates about your brand from the web and social media. You can create a few alerts: general (with all your main queries) and for each competitor. You can choose the language of mentions, type of mentions (e.g., choose only blog posts), and country. It will gather all posts that appear on the internet since you started tracking.

Mention does not equal link. But there is no doubt they should be a part of your strategy. Brand Mentions Are the Future of Link Building. If there is a mention of your competitors brand name somewhere, yours should be mentioned too. Yes, mentions indirectly bring traffic to your website but they could do even better if they include links! Here’s a good strategy of turning mentions into links.

What Else Can I Do?

  • Make sure it is easy and pleasant to link to you! (Create HTML ready snippets to plug right into a page)
  • Get organic links by running contests or flash mobs.
  • Create a content that will go viral.
  • Mention opinion leaders/ leaders of the niche or your partners in content you create. People are likely to share articles where they are mentioned.


So, now you have found plenty of websites to get backlinks from. Depending on the type of each website, you can apply time tested techniques to get ahead of your competitors. Have fun and don’t forget to check your backlinks from time to time!

What Do You Think?

Do you have any link building tips, tricks or tools you’d like to share with your fellow readers? Please tell us in the comments section below


Additional reading: 6 Steps To Cleverly Get Natural Backlinks For Your Website

And this article, from HakiReview: Broken Link Building Strategy – The Ultimate Guide

Irene is a former journalist, currently working as a content marketer in IT company. She is interested in digital marketing, search engines, and the way humans and machines affect each other. You can connect with her via LinkedIn or Facebook.


Featured image: Copyright: ‘‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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