Getting quality, relevant backlinks builds your SEO power. The problem is that many people rely on the tactic of looking for their competitor's backlinks and then spending their time chasing those same sites. There's nothing wrong SEO-wise with that approach, but we suggest something that cuts to the chase.
If you want to rank on specific keywords, then your backlinks should be focused on the same goal.
SpyFu's Backlink Builder is not made for audits. It’s made for discovery.
Its purpose is to find the most powerful backlinks that will help you rank on the keywords you target. Other tools assign metrics and help you organize your links, but we suggest you focus on finding the best backlink opportunities that are tied to the keyword itself--not the competitor that ranks for it.
Skip Tedious Steps: Start with a Keyword
Using the Backlink Builder, you can search for the best backlinks simply by telling us the keyword you want to rank on. We’ll look at the top domains ranking for this keyword and find the strongest backlinks they have in common.
If you prefer to search a single domain’s profile, though, you have that option, too.
This will show you the domain’s Google-indexed inbound links, and you can filter that list down to just the backlinks that rank for your targeted keywords.
How to Search a Competitor's Backlinks
In that case, you would enter a domain name and then select "Backlinks" under the SEO Research tab.
Keep in mind that this is not for audit purposes. It's intended to help you find the domain's valuable, Google-approved inbound links.
Either approach lets you focus on finding the most valuable ones to help grow your rankings.
Focus by Filtering
We recognize that finding a competitor’s backlink profile isn’t often the final solution.
Your data is more valuable if you can narrow your focus to links that are going to work better for you. This might be the backlinks that come from .gov/.edu sites or just the backlinks that rank on the keywords you’re after.
You’ll find a few different filters in the Backlink Builder that help you find the most fitting links for the project in front of you.
Filter by Keyword
If you started with a domain’s backlink list, you can look at just the pages that rank on the keyword you’re focusing on. As we mentioned earlier, Google sees these inbound links as signs that you have a topical, quality site.
If you focus on a few related keywords at a time, you can craft a more qualified pitch to those site owners when you’re asking them to link to a particular piece of related content. Overall, that kind of focus is going to help drive your rankings up.
Filter by Page Type
We love this flexible feature for help with a twist on building up your affiliates. It also helps with sorting your links based on which ones will take more (or less) effort.
Some links are easier to get than others, but there’s a link juice trade off. .Gov /.Edu pages are powerful authorities, but tracking down the right person to pitch your site to might be a major task. You can choose links by page type to limit those results.
This is a good opportunity to review the types of backlinks that are more reachable or go further in your SEO.
We see the other end of the difficulty scale, too. It’s not too hard to get a forum link, but for that reason alone, forums have lost a lot of Google confidence when it comes to being a quality indicator. Some people avoid them altogether. If that's you, cut them out of your results. Here's how.
You can check the forum page filter and “x out” the results before you dive in. Not that forums themselves are harmful. Some people like Dave Davies (Search Engine Watch) turn the anti-forum sentiment on its head. He argues in favor of embracing older (and shunned) methods as part of your greater link profile strategy.
This is a hat tip to a long-time SpyFu user favorite, SpyFu Kombat: by comparing competitor sites and backing out the keywords that you already get, you can uncover the most important and valuable keywords that you’re missing.
We carried that same idea over to the Backlink Builder so that you can zoom in on pages that are ultra-relevant AND they’re not linking to you already.
Quick example. This adorable* doggie treat bakery “Three Dog Bakery” creates fresh dog food and treats and delivers it to your door.
If they’re trying to capitalize on the backlinks that will help them climb up the SERPs alongside similar businesses, they can start with a search for BarkBox.com’s backlinks and add PetFlow.com. That filters the results so that we see the pages that link to both of those sites.
Then, threedog.com removes itself to ensure that we’re showing them only new pages that they don’t already get links from.
And of course, export and sort.
The results that we show you are listed in an interactive grid. You can sort by stats like “number of ranked keywords” and “number of organic clicks.” All of these details – along with URL and social stats – are included when you export the data so that you can sort it in any custom way that matches the way you work.
Get context about the linking pages
With every backlink suggestion in the list that we show you, we also include metrics like:
Domain Monthly Organic Clicks: The estimated traffic that the full page gets from Google searches.
Page Monthly Organic Clicks: A subset of the domain's traffic, this is the estimated number of clicks that the listed page gets from ranking in Google searches.
Domain Strength: This at-a-glance metric helps you make quick assessments about how strong this domain's SEO presence is because of its rankings.
Ranked Keywords: The page itself ranks for this number of keywords. Click the link, and it will open an overview specifically for this page, so you can see the exact keywords it ranks for.
Outbound Links: Remember that the backlink itself is a separate page that links out to other outbound links (including the one for the original domain that you searched). The outbound link count shows how many links are on the page, and if you hover, you can see which domains it links to.
Our focus is on Backlink Opportunities
Where other tools bog you down with duplicates and extra steps, SpyFu helps you cut through that and go directly to the very links that will help you rank on the keywords you are aiming for.
Most available tools are really good for auditing your site, and we don’t suggest you drop them. Our tool is not a replacement for those “site-checker” tools. Instead, add this to your tool box as the best way to uncover the most powerful backlinks that you’re missing.
Follow through here to get started on your own backlink ideas.
Need a refresher on how backlinks work? Here's how we find them at SpyFu.