Steal Your Competitor’s Link Building Strategies In 3…2…1…

By jameszol
Published on December 26, 2007

Ok, I’m not a huge SEO buff but I like to engage in an SEO debate occasionally and I LOVE finding a new way to utilize some of the coolest SEO Firefox Add-ons out there…so here is how I use SEO Quake to quickly steal a competitor’s link building strategy:

(You will need to install/enable the most recent version of the SEO Quake Firefox Add-on, then follow these instructions.)

1. Visit (DO NOT SIGN IN – Signing in, oddly enough, doesn’t let the SEO Quake tool operate like we want it to for this activity…)

2. Type in a competitor’s url and click Explore URL.

3. Click on your competitors Inlinks to view them. Yahoo! will return 100 Inlinks on the first “inlinks results page”.

4. Use the drop down menu’s directly underneath the Inlinks to Show Inlinks Except from this domain to: Entire site…and it will take a moment for your SEO Quake tool to load.

5. Click Request Parameters.

6. Sort the 100 inlinks using any parameter that portrays the most authority for your industry.

Use the arrows underneath the Request Parameters button to sort the links:

You can sort by PageRank, Google Index, Yahoo! Links, Yahoo! Link Domain, MSN Index, Alexa Rank, Age (YES!), and


Site Explorer Natural Results for my research on -

Judging by these inlinks, I could safely bet that is engaged in some link buying and regular blog comments.

Site Explorer Results After Sorting by Alexa Rank -

They are also using press releases (something I need to start doing) and consistently posting blog comments.

Site Explorer Results After Sorting By Site Age -

After sorting by age we notice the consistent use of press coverage, we see some sponsorship back links here too, and more blog participation/comments.

Note how the SEO Quake add-on sorted the results by the parameter I chose and the ranking changed. You can actually do this on a regular search engine with SEO Quake too! I use it on Google results all the time. :)

7. Start analyzing your competitor’s back links to determine their linking strategies – it is easy to find the % of their back links that are blog comments, PAID LINKS, naturally requested links, link bait links, etc!

8. Export Yahoo!’s back links report into a TSV file (using the export function in the upper right) and start color coding your spreadsheet when you get the links/request the links/pay for the links/review the links/etc!

That’s how you can quickly steal your competitor’s link building strategies. :)

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6 Responses to “Steal Your Competitor’s Link Building Strategies In 3…2…1…”

  1. Seo Design Solutions (1 comments.) says:


    Who let you in to our TOP secret Link snagging tutorial?

    Just kidding, SEO Quake is an awesome tool, gotta love it, but I admit you hit pay dirt on the methodology for finding the sweet spot.

    Very nice post, although Pepperjam may not be as excited as the rest of us (as the stand in frog for biology prop). From my summation that strategy is an SEO Defense / Insulation Technique to defend position as opposed to improve it.

  2. jameszol says:

    Pepperjam can handle it. They’re a great company.

    Thanks for your comment/compliment! :)

  3. Gab Goldenberg (3 comments.) says:

    I posted about this technique a while back, but I like this update you’ve given on it with SEO Quake. Seems the tool gives you an ability to manipulate the data to make it more useful.

    That said, most intermediate+ SEOs are familiar with this technique. When you want to get advanced you take the next logical step and hide your backlinks with a network. So you don’t buy links directly to your money site or link comments to it. You send those to your supporting cast of sites. They pass the link juice on, and make it damn difficult for others to replicate your links, short of analyzing your various tier 2 sites as well.

  4. jameszol says:

    Gab, that was a very valuable comment! Thank you!

    I would submit that finding a competitor’s network takes a little bit of work but it can be done – if it is a big enough network and they Privatize their domain registrations then it would be very difficult. Thoughts?

  5. Doug Heil (1 comments.) says:

    Of course; this is assuming you really care about link building and such things like that. I do to a certain point.

    What I don’t agree with is the notion that you have a client who follows all rules of search engines, and that client has a competitor who is spamming the se’s, and the idea that you should not OUT that website. That is absurd thinking.

    That debra person from that link building firm seems to not want to help her own clients as much as possible, so she never OUTS anyone? That’s nutty stuff. If you are playing fair, and you see another site not playing fair; why the hell would you not out that website? Sheesh.

    It amazes me the people who claim they are whitehat, but yet fail to do the most basic of things for their clients. Any client would be appalled at the idea of not outing a competitor who spams the search engines.

    If you knew a person was cheating at playing cards for money and you did not tell anyone about it; what do you think others would think of you for not telling everyone about that person? My goodness; the absurdity of our industry is astounding.

    my 2 cents.

  6. Doodee (3 comments.) says:

    Thanks for sharing

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