The following is a guest contribution by Tim Biden of Village Ads, an SEO service in Los Angeles.
You’ve been fighting and fighting to move up in the SERPs only to receive limited results. You have been on a major linkbuilding campaign and have tried everything you can do to get the most valuable links for your site. So why haven’t you overtaken your competitors in the SERPs? If you’re in this situation it’s time to check to see what your competitors have been doing, who links to them and then go get links from the same domains.
There are many tools that will automate the process of checking competitors’ links and I’d like to focus on one that I use, SEO Spyglass from link-assistant.com. No I am not an affiliate. This is honestly a tool I use and I am receiving no compensation for the post.
To start with, when you run the program, you have the option to choose the specific website that you want to spy on, or you can choose a keyword and then choose the Search Engine that you want the program to find a competitor from. The default is Google. The software will find the site that ranks highest and give you a report based on it.
With SEO Spyglass you can see information about each link including
- Which search engine listed the link
- What page it is linked from
- The page title
- Is there a reciprocal link
- What anchor text was used (if any)
- What URL is being linked to
- The PageRank (though there is debate as to what that is worth these days)
- How many external links are on the page
- Total number of links on the page
- An approximate value for the link
- The domain linked from
- The server’s IP address
- Domain PageRank
- Does the domain have a DMOZ listing
- What country is the server located in
- Does the domain have a Yahoo Directory listing
- Alexa Rank
- The domain age
- And much more. There are probably 25 different factors available to check.
One search recovers all those factors for thousands of different links and you can sort based on any of them.
What are you looking for, high PR sites that link to your competitors? Rank them from highest to lowest. Are you wondering which domains didn’t require a reciprocal link? That’s easy. Do you want to know what anchor text they use? You can even sort by that.
This software creates a road map for your domination of the SERPs over your competitors.
There are 2 versions, free and paid. I personally use the paid version because I bought the entire SEO Suite, but for most people reading this, it isn’t necessary. Having the paid version may help you if you want to create a PDF or HTML report. Otherwise you can just open the program and start running down the list. The vast majority of the paid report is completely unnecessary for most of the people who would be reading this article but gives exact instructions for the n00b in SEO. It is made up of sections telling where to get links from, describing what a link and anchor text is, a list of press release sites, telling you what PageRank is, and well, you get the picture.
So get the free version of SEO Spyglass to spy on your competitors’ strategy and beat them in the SERPs.