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Why Should You Track Competitor Backlinks

The importance of keeping an eye on your web competition cannot be overstated. They’re keeping an eye on your business I assure you, and you should be doing the same. One important method is called “backlink tracking.” Backlinks are critical to all search engine results so you need to pay attention them. Higher quantities and higher quality of backlinks almost invariably leads to higher search engine rankings. Higher rankings in searches will come from better backlinks, which in turn will lead to bigger sales for you.

Backlink analysis is a large portion of an SEO company’s job. It can be extremely time-consuming, and result in raw data that takes hours and hours to cull through to get to the good stuff. Newer versions of backlink tools are now available from the larger browsers (for free) and from companies offering the services (for pay). There are comprehensive software packages available for site analysis, as well. Backlinks have become a main component in the SEO team’s responsibilities, increasing effectiveness and offering up real data useful in analyzing the competition. You can see your competitors’ link building strategies, see what customers think of their sites, and get assistance with important keywords for better placement in searches.

Tracking your competition’s Backlinks is no different than tracking your own. Yahoo Site Explorer is free and it works as well as or better than others I have seen. So, make the list of competitors you wish to track and make yourself a weekly task to plot the number of backlinks your competitors have. In addition, sort the results by Google PageRank to see how many high PR sites are included in the results. This is the best indication of quality links so you should track those as well. Relevance is also essential so make sure that you are getting backlinks from related sites to your industry. Plot them on a graph using Excel so that you can establish a trending analysis. It’s what we do here at Optimum7 for all of our clients and we are getting paid to do it.

Another slick little tool you can use is our Link Velocity Tool. You need to track the rate of growth of your backlinks vs. your competition. If you are 10,000 backlinks behind your competition, it won’t do you any good to be adding 100 backlinks per month, if they are doing the same … you will simply remain way behind in backlinks … and, of course, in rankings, visibility et al. Here you can use this tool to actually calculate what you need to achieve and plan a set of actions to address your “backlink deficit.” In other words, you can determine how much more velocity you will need to overcome the deficit. Then you can develop a plan of content generation, implementation and syndication (off-site optimization) to generate a higher velocity of backlink growth relative to your competition. This is the course you must continually monitor and adjust based on the numbers.

Using Yahoo Site Explorer and Optimum7’s Link Velocity Tool you can track competitor backlinks and adjust your backlink growth strategy accordingly. This takes strong commitment and discipline to track, create content, promote the content and just keep at it.

Do you want to compete more successfully online? Contact us. The initial consultation is free. Or simply sign up for Link Velocity Tool 100% free.

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