Secrets of SEO
Find Out: Who Links to Your Site.
Who Links to Your Competitor's Site.
And Why It's Important.
The object of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to boost the position of your website in Google or other search engine results. Ideally, a well executed SEO campaign results in your website ranking at the top in the #1 position of search results whenever anyone enters one of the keywords or phrases for your site in a Google search engine.
Let’s take a brief look at why your page rank is important. We all intuitively know that if your website shows up in the #1 position for a keyword search on Google (or other search engine), that it’s much more likely that the searcher will click your site first. In 2006, AOL leaked millions of search records to the public. After scouring the results, based on 9,038,794 searches and 4,926,623 clicks, the chart below[i] shows the click distribution based on where sites ranked in Google.
A proper campaign leverages what is known about Google’s ranking algorithms which are based primarily on the number and authority of backlinks,[ii] meaning links on other sites to your site.
A useful tool, not widely publicized in Google, is the backlinks function. You can quickly see both the number and the actual backlinks for any site by entering: backlinks:www.nameofanysite.com in a Google search. Be sure that your search does NOT have quotation marks around it. For any site you enter, the results from this search will list the number of backlinks at the top of the page and then, just like a regular Google search, all of the individual sites linking back to the site you entered. Particularly if you're interested in monitoring your competitive environment on a long-term basis, you can take 5-10 minutes to quickly chart the number of backlinks on your competitors site each month. This will quickly inform you of any competitive initiatives, for example, and what if any activity your competitors are devoting to their online marketing effort.You can also click through and see when the backlink was established and determine how current your site's (or a competitor's) backlinks are.
You can also go to www.Alexa.com, enter the website of interest, and determine a number of useful metrics including a "Sites Linking In" which will likely be less than the Google "backlink:" tool described above. Reason appears to be that the "backlink:" search results report internal links between different sites for the same company, but that's my best guess. Alexa provides more useful competitive data.
[i] Chart from “Click Distribution Profile” section on the “What is a #1 Google Ranking Worth?” page at: http://training.seobook.com/google-ranking-value - - 2
[ii] For an excellent discussion of Google’s PageRank Algorithm, see Wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank