I’ve been doing a lot of “backlink fishing” for the past few days and have been surprised at many of the results I’ve found. My recent thoughts for what to change in my SEO efforts have been solidified by these findings. I believe that it is beneficial to share this information with everyone. Take a good look and I encourage you to see how these findings can help you with your link building/acquiring campaigns.

Backlink Fishing

Top 7 Right Hat Findings

  1. Since February 2012, most websites have lost massive amounts of links
  2. “Paid links” can be hidden when bought from ‘legit’ sources – Mcafee Secure
  3. Great content is still top priority – Marketable Content – MozCon 2012, Ian Lurie
  4. Running contests can provide a huge boost – Ego Bait, Guest post by James Agate
  5. Guest blogging is powerful – Guide to Guest Blogging
  6. There are sneaky ways of obtaining links – Black Hat SEO
  7. The amazing resources resource is powerful – Creating Resource Pages

The #1 takeaway from all of this though, is that creating valuable, marketable, linkable content is still the best SEO tactic. The resource pages were huge for the sites I analyzed. I could tell that very few, if any, forced links were pointing to them, yet they were powerful as a means of acquiring backlinks.

The second thing that really stood out to me was that doing this backlink analysis of my top competitors provided a lot of insight into the type of content that was rewarded the highest amount of links.

Each market/niche is different, so Google treats rankings differently in each. I’ve seen some sites rank solely with resource pages. Some solely with ego bait. As you do your competitive research, pay attention to the dominating similarities in backlink types of those competitors. Your findings will probably be different from mine but exactly what you’ll need for your niche.

Tip: A simple, but effective way to do competitive backlink analysis

  • Grab URL of top competitor for a keyword
  • Drop into a link intelligence tool, such as ahrefs [aff link] – SEOBook Review of ahrefs
  • Filter the results by Link URL in Excel
  • Rinse and repeat for top 5-7 competitors

Another way to see the competitive landscape is to use Link Detective [not an aff link]. They’ll show you the percentages of backlink type and anchor text with easy to read visualizations. These will help you know what types of backlinks you need in order to be competitive.

Has this technique worked well for you? Does it need further explanation?

I’d love to hear your findings. Comment below to let me know.

Good luck!

Tyson Stevens