I apologise if this is a dumb question, I'm new to this but I'm trying to learn.
I found a competitor pop up on Google as no. 1 for a term that generates about 1,000,000 results
I was checking backlinks to their site and found they had about 2500 inbound links (I was using the link popularity checker at Marketleap site)
But when I click through to some of those sites that were supposed to have a backlink I couldn't find the competitors url anywhere on the page or in the source code. And the pages weren't even vaguely related to the competitors site.
Is this normal? Can anyone explain the lack of actual inbound links?
There could be several reasons why those backlinks are not showing up when you look at the pages.
If you cannot find the actual URL on the pages, then it could be that they own another domain and have redirected that domain to their new site--so they're taking advantage of that other domain's backlinks.
Another reason could be that they had bought those backlinks and they've been removed.
yes cloaking could very well be the reason or these could be rotating links from a network like digital point's co-op network. Make sure you are looking at the cached version of the page so you know you are seeing what the search engine saw.
Could very well be cloaking. There is a very successful company out there that sells links on cloaked pages, and delivers right about that amount of links to advertisers in about a week. (A cloaked linkfarm, if you will.) I ran into this a few weeks ago - thousands of links, none to be seen by my eye. I was able to get the URLS with a spider. They were not effective at all at G, but Y and M - well, they kicked my butt in link pop.
So if I understand correctly there could be four reasons why the site has 2500 backlinks and I can't find them
1. they could be redirecting from another domain. 2. they may have bought ther backlinks and those links are now removed 3. It may be ads that were linking generated with 'static' html 4. The 'real' page might be cloaked
Do you know how I can investigate each these further to try and better understand the situation?