How to steal competitors’ backlinks: The sneakiest link-building strategy of them all

Have you ever wanted to get some really solid links to your site quickly, but had no idea where or how to start? I mean, where do you even find decent linking opportunities these days?

And with all of the changes going on with Google’s algorithm, which links are even really working today? Yes, being a linkbuilder today isn’t as easy as it was only a few years ago.

But hey, that’s ok. We just need to work smarter than the average SEO.

And not only work smarter, but even “borrow” some of their best work?

Pablo Picasso stated, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.”

Although this isn’t exactly an SEO heist, it does involve using some sneaky tricks to help us find the best backlinking opportunities in the shortest amount of time. And best of all, we will know for sure that the links do work and are still working.

Finding your competition

And the way to do all of this is simply add a keyword to Google search that you want to rank for, and then look at the top five search results for that term. These are your direct competition.

Now this may not work on all keywords, especially when sites like Amazon and Walmart are the top of the results for all of the inquiries, but it’s especially useful when digging into informational keywords.

Once you have at least the top five sites, you want to copy the URL of each site exactly the way it is in the search results. We want to know the exact page URL that is ranking.

Next, I run the URLs through Linkody so I can get an idea of the amount of links my competitor has, as well as the quality. But most importantly, I want to see where their best links are coming from, and figure out how I can get those links too. And maybe even get them to link to my site and take off my competitors link.

So in the Linkody dashboard, you’ll see they have a “View All Competitors Links” tab that allows you to do just that, see all the links to any specific page or URL you add to the tool.


Hopefully there are a lot of backlinks, and if these links are helping your competitor rank, then they can help you too. But how do you get them exactly?

If you look up in the right hand top corner of your screen when you’re in the Linkody tool, you’ll see you’re able to do a search using whatever words you want in order to narrow down your search a bit.

And this is just one of the features Linkody offers to analyze competitor’s backlinks – if you play around with the tool you will find a lot more.

Now, let’s exploit competitors and their links.

Finding Guest Post Opportunities

So for example, you can search for “blog” +follow and this will give you sites in your competitor’s backlink profile that allow guest posts. And if they linked to your competitor’s content, there is a pretty good chance they’ll link to yours too. Especially if it is better than everyone else’s and you create a nice guest post for their blog as well.


Using Roundups for Links

Another way we can scope out some more backlinks is to use the search term “roundup” +Follow -Not Shared. This will give you all the links that have a roundup that you are not a part of. What’s great is often for roundups you only need to have great content on your own blog and writing a guest post is often not necessary.

In addition to searches, you can also sort links by do-follow and by the highest metrics so you don’t waste time looking at sites that just are not worth your time to get a link from. This is a real time saver.

Using Reviews of Your Products for Links

Another way to find some great backlinking opportunities is through a search using the words “review” or “reviews”. This is especially helpful if you or your client are selling a product and you are not just an affiliate.

This search feature allows you to see all the sites that write reviews for your item. Chances are if your competitors sell a specific item, they have already looked for sites they could offer their items for reviews. So grab those domains, email the webmasters of these sites and also offer them your product for review (if it isn’t too expensive). Everyone loves free stuff.


Okay, we have some great backlinking opportunities, now what?

Now we need to take the data we got and make it useful for us. In other words we need to convert the URLs we pulled and convert them into actual live links for us. And the way to do that is through outreach.

And the easiest way to do outreach is to use NinjaOutreach, a tool that will really speed up the entire process of using outreach for backlinks.

But if you just want to contact a few sites, then you can do it all manually. All you need to do is to go to each website and find how to contact the webmaster.

Pretty much every website has a “Contact Us” page somewhere on their site. You can look at the top menu navigation, or if it’s not there, check in the footer or on the sidebar.

Then simply write to the webmaster asking them (VERY nicely) to take a look at your article. Hopefully they’ll be impressed enough to link back to it.

But just to be sure, here are a few quick tips for success;

Talk to the webmaster as a person. NO one likes to get an email that looks like it was spammed to 500 other sites.

NO “Hey Bro”! A pet peeve of mine. Speak to the person with respect. Address them correctly as if this was your fiancée’s grandfather. Everyone likes to be treated special.

Explain clearly how and why your article is important for their readers and the benefits that the webmaster’s readers will get by reading your article.

Talk a little about their blog so it sounds like you know who they are and what they are trying to achieve with their site. Don’t sound like you’re just passing through for a quick link then “see ya!”

Lastly, don’t get discouraged if a few bloggers don’t reply back. Or they are not thrilled to receive your email. Rather, try and build a relationship. Many bloggers in the same niches are often friends. Win over one person and they may invite you into their inner sanctum and circle of (links), I mean friends.

Now you are ready, go get those backlinks.

Helvis is an SEO-mastering, content-smithing marketer who spends his days atLinkodyhelping SEOs monitor their backlink data.

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