Competitor Backlink Analysis

The Ultimate Guide To The Competitor Backlinks Analysis

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Are you frustrated and bored being outranked again and again by your competitors? Do you want to outrank your competitors without putting hard efforts? Or, you wish that you could loot their backlinks, traffic, and rankings.

If yes, then you’ve come to the right place!

This guide is specially made for you, in which you will find out many useful and workable techniques to outrank your competitors like a pro. I know that there are many methods you are already familiar with from many other sources.

But, here, you will learn the advanced techniques with smart work which help you save your valuable time, money, and energy.

Today, I am going to show you how to do the smart competitor backlinks analysis with both free and paid methods using advanced excel skills. I guarantee you that these tactics will definitely work.

Are you ready to dive into this guide?

Before going to it step by step, I would like to talk about the reasons why we need to do competitor backlink analysis.

Why do we need to run a Competitor Backlinks Analysis?

There are many reasons why you need to run the competitor backlink analysis campaign:

  • You are investing a lot of effort to improve your products/services, but not getting expected results
  • You are creating a lot of backlinks but not getting high ranks
  • Why are they getting more traffic than you?
  • What are the other strategies they are using to beat you?
  • Your competitors are not creating any backlink but still get top rankings. What are the dominant strategies they are using? I bet you would like to know those methods.

Step by Step Guide on Competitor Backlinks Analysis

Let’s kick off with the step by step guide to run a smart competitor backlink analysis campaign.

  • Research of real competitors
  • Make a list of competitors in the Excel
  • Filtering the competitors
  • Find backlinks of competitors
  • Filtering of backlinks
  • Finding strategies of competitors
  • Making a strategy to outrank them
  • Final result analysis


Researching of Real Competitors

This is one of the easiest tasks in the process of analysis of competitors. But the skill you need to master is to find real competitors of your business and for this, more than 75% of people hire professional & Best SEO Company who know how to find your competition. Well, I like the quote of Iris Murdoch: “We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality. “

Like the above quote, we need to come out from the illusion, and we need to find the reality.

You might be wondering, who are the real competitors exactly?

For solving this, we need to take an example. So let’s switch gears for a moment and assume, I want to rank on the keyword ICO Development & ICO Marketing.

What are the strategies I can use?

First of all, I need to optimize my page, after that, I can do a powerful task like competitor backlinks analysis.

For now, I can type in Google a keyword “ICO development,” and I find these results:

I select my top 5 competitors like this:

Later, I will make a list of my top five competitors and, one by one, I will open every competitor’s website. I will see the site by different aspects and parameters like what they are doing in their on-page optimization, what type of content they are optimizing in their website and what kind of link building strategies they use.

For now, I will select one competitor and put their exact page in the Ahrefs tool:

I found the results in the Ahrefs tool that this competitor’s specific page ICO has 286 backlinks from 48 referring domains and the 21 organic keywords which are already ranking on Google.

The next step would be:

Finding Backlinks of Competitors by Both Free and Paid Methods

Paid Methods

Paid Methods (Ahrefs): In this method, it is very easy to find the relevant categorized backlinks of the competitor. All you need to do is to search the competitor’s name in the Ahrefs and click on the backlinks. You will find these type of results:

After that, click on one link per domain which directly means the referring domains.

And I found unique 47 backlinks.

Now, you need to filter the results by clicks on the links (ascending to descending order) which is on the right side:

By doing this, I found there are some websites where competitor makes more than 50 links on that site. It is positively showing me that these sites may be worth for me and my website rank.

The next move is to filter the backlinks.

But how?

Very simple. You can do this in the tool, or you can download the sheet in Excel file. For the Excel file, I’ve discussed some techniques below to filter the backlinks data manually.

By filtering in the tool, you have unlimited options to filter anything.

Let’s assume I want only the do-follow links:

Go to link type and select the do-follow option:

If I want the platform type blog, go to the platform section and select blog:

If I want to know what type of anchors competitor is using to rank I have to click on the Anchors in the left side navigation of the tool:

This way I can find the anchors which competitor is using the most. With the help of this, I can make a new strategy with the help of new keywords which has low competition and high volume. You can also filter the terms according to your requirements, like two words terms, 3, 4, and also you can search the term that you want to target the most in the search bar.

Now I want to know who the real competitors are.

How can I find them?

I can find with the help of competing domains section like this:

By clicking on this option, I found familiar competitors who are also targeting my preferred keywords.

But how to play with competitor domain section in advanced options?

You need to click on the common keywords section (High to low). By doing this, you’ll find the best competitors who are targeting the standard keywords.

Alert on Backlinks: If you have some fixed competitors of your website, you can easily add them to the Ahrefs alert.

What are the benefits of Add them to Alert?

Whenever your competitor makes new links, you’ll get alert through the mail. You’ll have an idea or overview of the strategy of the competitor.

Find competitor guest posting sites and send them a pitch

This is one of the best tasks to do in this process because it generates the naturality of links. Your competitor may have tons of guest posting links. You need to find relevant categorized links according to your niche.

But how to do that?

Well, there are many methods to do this task, but I am sharing my ways which are workable according to my testing. For example, assume my competitor is Brian Peters of buffer blog.

Image Method: In the image method, copy the current image URL of the author then select the option search by Google image like this:

Click on the “Search Google for Image”. You’ll see all the blogs and website where Brian Peters is the author and where they contribute to the website like this:

Author Name Method: In this method, you need to search the author name in the Google and use one operator Author Name + “author”, or you can also use this operation which is specially used for finding the author page: Author Name in URL: author.

After searching the author name, you’ll find results like this:

Write For Us Method: In this method, you need to explore the niche in which you operate. Assume that you are in the SEO Field. Search on the Google SEO + “write for us”.

After searching this, you’ll find the results like this:

List and Comments Method: You do not really need to search all over the place when people have already done the hard work for you.

What Does it Mean?

Very Simple, Visit some blogs by searching “guest posting sites list”. In the blogs, you’ll find some comments like this:

You’ll see more than 50 comments on the blog list site. It means these people’s can readily accept your post because they are commenting and they want to be on the list.
To be honest, this technique is working for me now. I can find hundreds of guest posting opportunities in one day by using this technique.

Ahrefs Content Explorer Method: It is effortless to find blogs by searching on the Ahrefs content explorer. Let’s try this query:

Author: Author Name

You’ll find the results like this:

Pro’s Tip: After making links on the researched sites, make sure to consider one thing which is qualifying for the link. Also, try to send personalized pitches to each person you get in touch with. Make sure your subject line is short and to the point, the writing style is professional yet friendly and there is necessary contact information in your email signature. To create a professional email signature with a headshot and clickable social media icons use online editors like Newoldstamp or MySignature.

Ask yourself this: If Google will manually review the link, would they like the link or they have a problem with the link? Does the link appear to be natural to Google or not?

After you figure out the answer, you’ll understand all the things which Google wants.

Sheet Method

Let’s take a different approach to link analysis of all the information we can gather from the tool.

But how can I Filter backlinks in the sheet?

It’s very simple!

All you need to know some basic excel techniques to do this. After downloading the sheet, the sheet looks like this:

I remove some of the columns which don’t matter to me, and now the sheet is ready for the filtering:

Similarly, if I want to find only do-follow links:

First of all, I will apply the filter. Click on the data on the upper section and then click on the filter by selecting the first row.

If I want to find only do-follow links, I will click on the arrow button then the drop-down menu will appear, and I will click on the do-follow and do-follow content button:

Same like the above video, if I want to know which site has the most backlinks created, I will go to the total backlinks column then I will click on the arrow button to filter high to low.

How can I find categorized backlinks like post backlinks, profile backlinks, image backlinks, blog backlinks, bookmarking backlinks etc.?

It’s effortless to find those by using some sorting techniques.

All you need to understand are some filtering techniques in the excel, so you can find backlinks easily in categorized groups. Don’t worry, if you don’t know the techniques.

I am here to teach you a short and simple method.

The first step is, you need to select the link column where you need to do the sorting. I choose the link column, and then I use the shortcut key ctrl+h which is used to Find and replace.

If I want to find the links which include the text “profile” or “ICO”, then this technique will replace them with “color” for the next step of sorting.

In the above image, I set the process step by step like:

  • Step1: Find And Replace
  • Step2: Input text in the Find What Column
  • Step3: Click on the Format button
  • Step4: Select the color
  • Step5: Click on the Ok button and the Replace All Button.

What will be the results?

All links which include the text “Profile & ICO” will be colored by the orange color like this:

It’s time for the sorting process:

From the image above, you probably already know what the results are.

All the results which include the cell color orange are now on the top columns.

These techniques are effective and fast to find the competitor useful backlinks like a pro.

Like the other relevant terms according to your requirements, you can easily use this technique to filter the results in seconds.

Free Method

From paid to the free method. It is very easy when it comes to finding the competitor’s backlinks like a real white hat SEO player & Company.

Are you ready to know the free techniques?

Let’s do this!

The “free” means the Google Search Engine. With the help of the Google search engine, you can find the competitor backlinks in minutes.

All you need to know are some basic search engine moves which are used to find the links of competitors.

For example, I am taking one competitor link like this:

Now, these results will include all internal and social media links of SAG IPL.

But how can I find the links? You can do it with the help of “site:”. You need to put the competitor link like this then you need to write an operator:
And the results:

Now if you want to filter results in advanced categorization, you can use any search engine tricks in the mix.

Like, I want the results which include the term post. What is the search term I can use? + “post”

Next condition: What is the search term that you use, if you want to remove the facebook, twitter or other social media platform from the results? + “post” -facebook -twitter

By now, I believe you got the gist of how to execute it the right way. You can use many search operations to get the desired results.

You can go to the 1000 Results of Google after applying these search activities. There are many other search actions like:

File type

You can use these search actions in the process of competitor backlinks analysis and benefit from them greatly.

The other free method you can use is SEO review tools.

This is the only tool I trust for finding backlinks. It is also a tool used by one of the SEO gurus, Neil Patel. There is only one limitation of using this tool, it only provides limited backlinks of up to 100.

How to get backlinks from the SEO Review tools?

After you click on the perform check, you’ll get some backlinks (up to 100).

The next step is to make your own strategies:

This step is one of the most important steps because now you need to work on your craft. After researching backlinks, you need to make strategies on building relevant links on the sites regularly.

First of all, check all the backlinks which you researched. After that, try to make links better than your competitor on that sites. Filter the backlinks which have high DA and High PA and make natural quality links on them. These techniques are beneficial for your website to get more top rankings and outrank your competitor.

After collecting the data of backlinks from Google analyze them with main factors like it’s domain authority, page authority, spam score. With the help of these techniques, you can easily find backlinks in seconds. You don’t need to work hard. All things are available on the web. Researching and observing from the competitors is one of the best ways to find relevant categorized backlinks according to your niche.

What are the benefits of finding categorized relevant backlinks?

Mainly they generate relevance. This is the primary ranking factor I found in my experience. This technique will help you boost your rankings and outrank your competitors like a real SEO champ.

And we came to the most important thing!

I want to talk about the most important thing when you do these tasks. Make sure that your website is fully optimized on-page with the informative content, relevant tags, relevant meta tags. You can get an idea from your competitors also.

If your website is not fully optimized then sometimes, you’ll not get rankings. So preeminent of all, you need to do this task first and foremost, after that, you can proceed with competitor backlinks analysis.

The Last Step Is The Final Result Analysis

You need to analyze the results every week.


Because sometimes we start and run the work without knowing the actual results which can be wrong.

Analyze the results every week to see which competitor’s strategies are working out for you.

If the outcome is not of what you have wished for, then change the strategy and the competitor to get the desired results. These are the main points we need to consider when we start the competitor backlink analysis campaign.

Final Thoughts

Finding competitor Backlinks is a time-consuming and tedious task. But learning how can to make this task effective is the most important thing you have to consider.

By doing smart work, you can achieve the desired results in a fraction of time. You can outrank your competitors by using the methods described above. Bear in mind, you need to know that your competitors are always 2 steps ahead from you.

You might find a lot of junk when you run competitor backlink analysis campaign, but once you gain experience, the process becomes straightforward.

So these are the techniques that I use in my work. I hope you like these practices and will test them out on your website for getting the best results.

Try to master these activities and you’ll achieve great results.


Now, I’d love to hear it from you!

Please let me know which technique (Free Or Paid) you’re going to try first by commenting below.



This is a Guest Post by Gaurav Chatwani, an expert in the field of SEO and freelance content writing who loves to write content/guides which is related to the Digital marketing, bitcoin, technology, development and designing. He is SEO Analyst in the SAG IPL.

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