Using Competitive Link Intelligence From Majestic SEO

To analyze link data from your competitors websites using Majestic SEO, you will need to purchase a paid subscription. There are plenty of plans available for whatever your needs may be and it’s very affordable.

Judging The Level of Competition

This is probably the most useful if you’re an affiliate marketer or someone deciding on selling a new product. Visit the Compare Domain Backlink History page to get a quick preview of the backlink progression of your competitors websites. You can register for a free account to compare more than one site. If your competitors are earning a ton of links, you might have a hard time overthrowing them from the search results. Keep in mind that if all of their links are low-quality, you shouldn’t have to worry much as long as you work on getting high quality links.

Finding Advertising Opportunities from Image Links

After creating a full report for your competitors website, you’ll find a column labeled FlagImageLinks in the Excel spreadsheet. Using this, you’ll often be able to find places that your competitor may have purchased advertising spots or banner ads. If that audience looks targeted, consider purchasing advertising from those same sites.

Getting Links Where Your Competitors Are

This is the low-hanging fruit and can be a great place to start obtaining links quickly and easily. One of the most common uses for competitor link data is finding out who is linking to their sites and trying to get links from them as well. Of course if they are linking to your competitors they should be interested in your site too.

Discovering Similar Sites That Will Link To You

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

You don’t want your link profile to look exactly like your competitors and if you hope to compete you need to get links that your competition doesn’t already have. Review the types of sites that link to them and what their audiences are like. Start to think about other places similar to these sites for more places that you can contact for links. You can also search for those sites in Google and then click the “Similar” link to see who Google thinks is related.

fuit tree image courtesy of MrB-MMX

Reclaiming Links From Sites That Have Shut Down

Often when I’m doing competitive analysis, researching niche directories or reviewing industry related “round-up” articles, I’ll come across a few dead links. If you come across a domain that no longer exists that tightly matches the content of your own site, you can try to reclaim their incoming links to point to your own site.

First, visit Yahoo Site Explorer and enter the URL of the abandoned domain into the field labeled Explore URL.

Click the “Inlinks” button near the top of the page then change the “Show Inlinks” drop-down menu to say “Except from this domain” and to “Entire Site.” Right below the drop-downs you’ll be able to export the first 1000 results to TSV. This is the maximum amount you can export. Once downloaded, change the file extension from TSV to .xls so that you can view it in Excel.

Next, check the Page Rank of all of the pages in your spreadsheet using these Page Rank checkers:

If you know of any others that work well, please leave me a comment because I’ve been looking for other options. I prefer the first PR checker that I’ve linked to, but it’s not completely reliable. Sometimes it will check thousands of pages at once and sometimes I can only get it to do 200 at a time, so you may have to mess with it a bit. I’ve even noticed that it sometimes times out in Firefox and then works completely fine in Opera or Safari.

Not all of the data returned from these bulk PR checkers is accurate but it is for the most part. Also keep in mind that these are only checking PR from the main domain and not for the specific pages you enter. You can copy directly from the page once the scan is complete and paste it into Excel. You may have to right-click in Excel and choose Paste Special > Unicode Text for it to paste appropriately.

Once you have all data in your spreadsheet, sort by Page Rank and start trying to reclaim links from the domains with the highest PR, since they are most likely to have the most trust and authority.