The Lost Art Of Reverse Engineering Competitors
Think about it, SEO really isn’t difficult.
It’s one of the easiest traffic generation strategies out there, it’s also one of the cheapest when done right.
In my last post I talked about two SEO Tactics and how you can use them alone to rank for outrageously competitive keywords. The sort of keywords people think take years to rank for or are simply impossible.
Here’s the truth.
You can rank for absolutely any keyword imaginable as long as you obtain relevant high Page Rank backlinks. In the last post I talked about buying high PR relevant links on your competitor’s sites.
While that is an excellent strategy, you will often run out of sites to by links from. I also talked about building your own high PR network of domains. Which as I’ve said before, is the best way to do SEO.
With that said, if you use those two strategies together in conjunction with this ‘reverse engineering strategy’, you can jump up the rankings like a rocket ship.
What Is ‘Reverse Engineering’?
Reverse engineering is the process of breaking down a competitors site, analyzing its link profile and building the same links. Obviously you don’t want to build every single link they have, that would be near impossible, and pointless.
Instead, you want to reverse engineer their most powerful links as well as the easiest links to build. When you reverse engineer a link profile, you want to look for 2 types of links:
1. Easy To Build
First of all you want to look for the links they have that you can most easily replicate. These are links like web2.0′s, blog comments, wikis and other free or cheap links.
You’ll always find a lot of blog comments that fall into this section. SEOs like posting blog comments on high Page Rank pages. It’s a somewhat effective link building strategy. It can take a long time to find high PR blog posts to comment on. That’s why with this strategy you can instantly zoom in on a competitor’s link profile and get a list of these pages they worked so hard to find.
2. High PR Authority Links
The second type of links you want to look for are the links that are responsible for the majority of their rankings. Normally less than 20% of a site’s link profile will be responsible for 80% of its rankings.
The 20% are usually relevant high Page Rank backlinks. These are the killer links that make rankings surge.
How To Analyze A Competitor Link Profile
Fortunately, there are tools that allow you to analyze a link profile at the push of a button. The most popular tool, and most effective is SEO Spy Glass.
SEO Spy Glass allows you to instantly pull your competitor’s link profile of any URL or domain. To start, take the domain of one of your competitors and run it through SpyGlass. When you run a domain through SEO Spy Glass, you want to pay attention to the following metrics:
- URL Page Rank
- Anchor Text
- Out Bound Links
- Domain PR
All of the other metrics aren’t nearly as important. You could look at the age of the backlinks, as the older the age of the domains, the better the links – but age isn’t comparable in importance or effectiveness compared to relevanfce + page rank.
Page Rank is the main metric you want to filter by. After you run a check on the link profile, you can click the URL Page Rank column to sort the backlinks by PR. This will show all of the results by URL PR, from highest to lowest.
Domain PR isn’t important, you only want backlinks from pages with PR. Now starting from the top of the list (the highest Page Rank backlinks), look for backlinks that you think you can get links from. You can usually tell a lot about a site by its domain.