Did you know your website may be harboring toxic links that could seriously damage its performance and productivity?
Did you also know that analyzing your competitor’s backlinks could offer you a valuable insight into the secret of their internet success?
Anyone new to SEO will need to quickly learn how to analyse links, and performing an analysis can be done manually, or by taking advantage of a free link analysis tool. There are a number of reasons you should regularly perform a link analysis: Firstly, to identify any damaging links that could be affecting your site’s performance in the search engines. Secondly, to analyze what your competitors are doing in order to emulate their success (or avoid their failures!) And finally because the more you analyse links, the quicker you’ll be able to identify links of quality, allowing you to implement effective link building strategies.
Conducting a back-link analysis is the starting point of any link building campaign, and as I’m sure you already know, link building campaigns are essential SEO techniques.
If your site has suddenly dropped in rankings and you have no idea why, it is possible you could have been hit by a Google algorithmic penalty – if this is the case you need to perform a backlink audit… and quickly!
There are a number of things you will establish by carrying out a backlink audit, one of which is that your site is currently over-optimized. Over-optimization can happen if you have been building links in one particular area for too long, or maybe you have used a particular anchor-text too many times during your link building campaign, leaving you at risk of the Penguin algorithmic penalty.
In 2012 Google unveiled a new tool to help webmasters deal with bad or unnatural backlinks by quickly removing them. The process of disavowing bad links works by sending a list of links you want to disavow to Google via Webmaster tools who will then disavow (remember to ignore) them in the future.
Links can be disavowed whether or not you have already received a penalty by Google. Keep a close eye on your link portfolio and regularly disavow any links you’re unhappy with, meaning you have a clean and natural link profile.
Stealing your competitor’s rankings is an old SEO favorite trick, and with a bit of know-how and some hard work you too could do the same.
Monitoring your competitor’s backlinks helps you understand why they’re ranking higher than you, and the strategies they used to acquire links.
Don’t just limit your attention to your direct competitors, review the links of industry influencers and indirect competitors as well. Gain a full understanding of the market place you’re operating in and take full advantage of it.
Your starting point should be to perform a simple natural Google search for your top ten keywords, and make a note of the major competitors appearing there. Analyze their backlinks to establish how their profile varies to yours in terms of number of links, types of site and the age of links.