If you are doing any kind of linkbuilding then you know the importance of checking what kind of backlinks your competitors have. This is a must since you should try to match the same type of backlinks your competitors have in order to “fit in” in the SERPs. This means that you should aim for getting the same kind of backlinks as the top 10 but even more. If you see that your competitors mostly are using guest posts, then you should aim to do the same thing, but mix in even more platforms in order to outperform them.
There are a few tools you can use to find backlinks from your competitors for you to use and I will post them here and show you some of the features and diffierent options.
This was my “go-to” resource for checking backlinks after Yahoo Site Explorer closed down. In the beginning of the launch of ahrefs you were able to see up to 3 pages of backlinks for free, but they have changed this now for free users. This is in my opinion the best site for checking backlinks since they update their index daily. If you build a lot of backlinks and want to see how they are picked up by the spiders then use this site.
You can find all kinds of useful information here. If you sign up for a free account you can see 10 external links for free for one of your competitors.
You will of course get a lot more out of this tool with a paid account. I many use it too see the progress of my own link-building campagins, but also to check out what kind of backlinks my competitors use.
#2 MOZ Open Site Explorer
This is currently the service offering the best statistics and reports for free. However, you are very limited in terms of how many reports you can get per day. One way to get around this limitation is to visit the site again with a different IP and browser session (maybe a bit unethical, but it works if you want to get your free reports). You should also take in to consideration that their index is not very fresh compared to ahrefs and you will most likely see old data for your domains. This is the biggest negative aspect of this service.
#3 Backlink Watch
This is another totaly free service to use if you want to check your competitors. This site lets you check the highest amount of backlinks for free, but you will not get any fancy statistics and graphs.
#4 Majestic SEO
Majestic SEO only lets you check your own backlinks for free. This is not really useful if you plan to spy on your competitors. If you do plan to signup for their service then you can expect to be able to see all sorts of fancy graphs.
If you plan to buy a membership on one of the paid backlink checking services then you need to make sure that they have a fresh index and are able to scan most of the backlinks you build. The only service with a fresh index is ahrefs and that is why i strong recommened using them both for free and for paid memberships.
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