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The Offsite SEO Research Process Explained


So, you are about to start a new SEO campaign… a few research items probably come to mind: keywords; content; technical; backlinks. A majority of the items listed are considered on page seo factors, but the cost important SEO factor isn’t.

So, you are about to start a new SEO campaign… a few research items probably come to mind: keywords; content; technical; backlinks. A majority of the items listed are considered on page seo factors, but the cost important SEO factor isn’t. In fact, Google announced backlinks to be the number one ranking factor out of all of them.

If that is the case, doing some competitive backlink analysis might be a good idea. You can use a few tools to accomplish this task, including Ahrefs, OpenSite explorer, or majestic seo. If you are new to SEO, don't worry. Keep following along because this is the best way to learn SEO.

The Offsite SEO Process

The first place to start the process of analyzing the links on your competitor’s website is at competitorsdomain.com. You can run a link here and will find some of the links but not all. You will probably find only 5% to 6% of real links for your primary competitors. In fact a better option than Google is Yahoo, which displays a higher percentage of real links to your competitor’s website. But finding the number of links is not the only way of analyzing competition.

If you are wondering why the off page factors like finding real links are integral to a successful SEO campaign in the face of competition then the answer is that the factors will determine the value of the link. The number of links at your competitor’s website is the least important factor because a particular site can have 5000 incoming links and all of them can be from a single source/site with a low page ranking. In such a scenario, the number of links will hold no value.

If you have the information regarding the number of links that your competitor's site has and the different or single sites from where these are links are generated then you will be able to isolate their weakness as far as link counts are concerned. In SEO, if you have multiple links from one particular website then it doesn’t have much value in the face of multiple links from multiple websites.

Offsite Relevancy

Relevancy of incoming links is very important and has been gaining a lot of importance lately. The unfortunate part is that it is one of the toughest factors to gauge and hence you might end face to face with the question of what really constitutes relevancy.

One way to gauge relevancy is to look at the linking page and the page being linked to. If there is absolutely nothing relevant about the two articles, then the link really isn't of any use to readers or users. This is why Google spends so much time making sure their algorithm devalues low quality, irrelevant links.

In order to get started with this process, you will need a backlink analysis tool. I prefer AHREFS, but there are also solutions like Majestic SEO and Opensite Explorer.

Your first step will be to isolate the various domains from where the links are being sent. If there are a huge number of links coming from fewer domains then it means that the competition is lower. The next aspect to look at is the Domain Authority breakdown for these links. If the number of links with high Domain Authority is higher then it will mean that the competition is difficult.

Once you have all information on various links on your competitor’s site, the next step is to duplicate the information on your website so that you can get ahead of your competition. The important thing to remember here is that your competition might do the same with you and hence you need to do much more than duplicate their links to make your SEO campaign effective.



Author: Joshua Belland


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