| 3:47 pm on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
I just signed up for a subscription with Majestic SEO at the silver level this morning (like, 1:30 in the morning), since it APPEARS that they have many more links to my competitors indexed in their database than does Open Site Explorer.
So I will have to try building some reports and let everyone know.
I use scrapebox to try and find potential link partners, but scrapebox needs to use proxy servers so you don't get banned by google, and getting decent proxy servers is getting harder and harder.
SEO Spyglass used to rely on Yahoo Site Explorer for their database of links. Now they say they are using a new database. I don't know where they get their links from, but would love to hear if someone else has used it lately.
| 5:48 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|SEO Spyglass used to rely on Yahoo Site Explorer for their database of links. Now they say they are using a new database. |
They apparently now have their own database, recently launched, which they use in conjunction with other data they pull from "multiple link sources".
This is all fairly new. Eric Covino at SEObook gave it a thoughtful review, and I'm going to take the liberty of linking to it....
SEO Spyglass Review: A Brand New Link Source
|The launch of a third or fourth-ish link database (Majestic SEO, Open Site Explorer, A-Href's rounding out the others) is a win for link researchers. It still needs a bit of work, as we'll discuss below, but hopefully they plan on taking the some of the better features of the other tools and incorporating them into their tool. |
The tool is also mentioned in our Google SEO forum's current thread...
Favorite SEO Tools
Note that the subscription price for the SEO Spyglass tool is a bit complicated, and there's a slightly heated exchange on our thread about what it does cost.
I've been very impressed by what I've seen of the new interface on the Majestic tool. I say that, though, not yet having had time to try it myself.
| 3:55 pm on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Thank you for the link and update!
One thing that I have noticed with the Free version was pointed out:
It doesn't do much good if we want a quick, competitive report but a quarter or more of the report is from something like a subdomain of the site you are researching.
Since the free version has a 1,000 link limit, all 1,000 results were from the same domain for a competitor who had a run-of-site ad on a web site that has several thousand pages on it.
I don't know if there is a way to filter that site out using the free or paid versions.
| 5:23 pm on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|I don't know if there is a way to filter that site out using the free or paid versions. |
As the SEObook review notes at the end...
|In running a couple of comparisons against Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO it was clear that Spyglass has a decent database but needs more filtering options (sub-domains mainly). It's not as robust as OSE or Majestic yet, but it's to be expected. I still found a variety of unique links from its database that I did not see on other tools across the board. |
Most of the tools err by reporting too much data on large sites. If you can't filter out the ROS links, you don't have much of a shot (in a limited report) of seeing unique referring domains, which I feel is the data that's most valuable.
Blekko's data, btw, is free and it has some nice display options, but its index is extremely limited. One big limitation... Blekko doesn't include what it considers to be "spam" in its index, which makes it difficult to analyze sites that may have spammy backlinks, something that as an SEO you'd want to be able to see and at least diagnose, if not try to correct.
As far as finding domains to ask for backlinks, good arguments can be made that search information coupled with imagination is more valuable than competitive backlink information.
| 11:24 am on Jan 8, 2012 (gmt 0)|
For 2012 I will be continuing to use Raven Tools and SEOmoz. Raven gets link data from Majestic so provides good results. The only problem is that you are limited to the number of such queries you can run each month.
OSE is a good tool and generally SEOmoz provide good data that I am also using in presentations, director/management reviews, etc. Their crawling feature has been really helpful with complex websites and can save a great deal of time figuring out canonical problems and other SEO issues.
But apart from the cool features of Raven I don't see much real value in SEOmoz. They are great guys, provide a good service, but if you have a decade or even less experience with SEO I think you know where to find good links and how your on-page optimization should be.
Lately have been reviewing free tools again. I think some are really good at finding who links to your competitors. Maybe not all links but you don't really need to have an identical link profile as your competitors do.
| 6:37 pm on Jan 8, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|Maybe not all links but you don't really need to have an identical link profile as your competitors do. |
That is certainly true. Ideally, we want BETTER links than they have.
However, I am finding that by analyzing competitors' backlinks, it is easier to discover the "low hanging fruit," as well as discovering where they advertise, which for me, is equally valuable.
| 8:14 pm on Jan 8, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|However, I am finding that by analyzing competitors' backlinks, it is easier to discover the "low hanging fruit," as well as discovering where they advertise, which for me, is equally valuable. |
Of course. I am not saying they don't provide value. It is just that I am not sure if the cost is worth it. There are free tools that can give a good sample of competitor backlinks (minus the SEO parameters like mozrank or unique domain links).
| 10:26 pm on Jan 8, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|It is just that I am not sure if the cost is worth it. There are free tools that can give a good sample of competitor backlinks (minus the SEO parameters like mozrank or unique domain links). |
I would add that it APPEARS that one of the paid tools (one I just signed up for) seems to have a much more complete list of links. I haven't gone through them all, so it might be that those links are on domains / sites that don't exist anymore, like geocities, or they are mistakes, or...?
So we will see. Again, it might be as you said that the free tools would list those links as well. However, I have tried open site explorer in the past (both paid and free versions), and the free version of link assistant, and I was a bit underwhelmed.
But that is just one person's opinion, and as always, your mileage might vary.
| 5:04 am on Jan 9, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Custom Query crawler (similar to Ontolo)
Using Majestic build rate and OSE linking c blocks you can begin to piece together build rates quite well for competitors and establish an aggregate rate to consider when entering a new vertical.
| 1:09 pm on Jan 11, 2012 (gmt 0)|
CainIV, what kind of techniques do you use to leverage excel's full capability?
...much to catch up on this thread!
| 3:42 pm on Jan 11, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Since I use excel / access, I will pipe in here first, but I hope CainIV comes back and chimes in too.
I set up columns for:
- Link URL
- Any Page Rank / Moz Rank / AC Rank value
- Date I First Contacted them
- A future date to follow up with them
- email address / contact form URL
- phone number
- list of broken links on their site (separated by coma or a space), found with xenu
- various on page SEO suggestions they can use to improve their site's rankings
The last one is important, too. If they links to my site, I want to thank them, and help them rank well, too. After all, if they link to my site, the better they rank, then the more likely they are to get more natural links, and the more likely that link juice will flow to my site, too.
Note: This takes a lot of time and energy and PATIENCE to do. And I am sure there are many SEO who, if they read this, would say, "Oh, that's so CUTE! Do you still believe in Santa Claus, too?"
| 11:34 pm on Jan 13, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Can't believe nobody mentioned Linkresearchtools. The new QBL tool in particular is excellent. Digs up far more links than OSE. Majestic I'm not sure about (I only have the basic membership - but will be trialing it soon).
| 5:13 pm on Jan 16, 2012 (gmt 0)|
I think the tools listed are great tools, but surely we're all missing the point..
Surely the environment is changing so much that 'link development' and 'seo' as we know it is on the decline. That's why terms such as 'inbound marketer' and others are appearing as actual optimisation is being replaced.
Having said that, we've in fact cancelled Raven and are considering cancelling SEO MOZ because their self defined metrics for tools such as OSE and diluting the fact that times are changing.
I've been saying for months myself, let's really start to think about what version 2.0 of 'SEO' actually is. Is it inforgaphics? No. That's v 1.1. It's still doing the same thing, which is attracting links (traditional SEO) but a slightly different method.
Either way, I don't enjoy being a stick in the mud, so this comment comes from a very relaxed guy enjoying his day and calm and polite conversation :)
| 8:29 am on Jan 17, 2012 (gmt 0)|
CognitiveSEO is new but I like the link analysis tool. Also good link management options if you need to monitor your links.
And Excel is the king of all.
| 2:37 pm on Jan 18, 2012 (gmt 0)|
If it's something that is going to be used frequently it's worthing putting in the extra effort to identify the perfect tool. Thank you.
Personally I'm going to list the benefits that I am looking for and work backwards to finding the right solution from those. I am trying to identify a tool which can provide data "within" the search results of google... Any idea?
great strategy you have...all be it a long term one.
What evidence do you have for this? If I look in Google insights for the words "SEO" or "link building" - both have been on a consist uphill trajectory since 2004...
| 2:53 pm on Jan 18, 2012 (gmt 0)|
@philipjterry As Sean Parker said, don't build for now, build for 3 years from now.
| 7:26 am on Jan 21, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|I've been saying for months myself, let's really start to think about what version 2.0 of 'SEO' actually is. |
Yes, it is important to try to be ahead of the curve, but we don't know what exactly that is going to be. I am sure that google doesn't know what that is going to be either.
Remember that Panda was a reaction to content farms. It wasn't google being ahead of the curve. Same with Mayday. Same with Florida.
I think that to a certain extent google is trying to be more proactive with it's plus 1 and all of it's google social.
I think that social connectedness is going to be a major factor, but I think that building links will still be a significant part of that.
Just my 2 cents.
| 6:37 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|CainIV, what kind of techniques do you use to leverage excel's full capability? |
I use an excel that takes competitive link data input and compares that data in charts, determines and compares singular and aggregate percentages of inbound anchor text phrases, estimates link build rate based on unique c class links and determines (estimates) a proper build, link anchor percentage and plan that is coherent with what the top 10 websites are doing - minus any spam, crap or low quality backlinks.
| 1:06 am on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)|
There are a amazing tool that I knew a couple days ago.
The name is ahrefs.
I really recomend that tool if you want a good and fresh link report.
| 2:50 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)|
< moved from another location >
I want to check the number of backlinks for some websites and generally there is a lot of tools / websites / programs available, but the most popular would be:
- Majestic SEO (paid)
- SEOmoz's Open Site Explorer (paid)
- ahrefs.com (paid)
- backlinkwatch.com (this one is free, but it looks like you get what you pay for in this case)
- Seospyglass (software, looks good, but I am not sure if it is not to advanced for what I need etc)
I looked at all the programs above, and at the end I installed Webrank Toolbar for Firefox. It is showing the number of backlings for Google, and Bing (also Yahoo, but it is always 0, because they are merged), and Google infromation is not available for the most part (it is showing 0, while Bing might have 120,000 for particular website etc; sometimes Google shows like 42, 60 links, and Bing has always a lot more and this info seems to be the most reliable). Information comes directly from what's available in search engines after entering "link:website_name. I think)
Since there is no info from Google available on their own website and through Webrank Toolbar, how do all the companies that I mentioned above get that information? Is it coming from their own databases etc (like they would have their own bots crawling the Internet and indexing that information in the same way the search engines do)? Are there any other good sources of free backlink information out there (not necessarily addresses, but just the number)?
[edited by: tedster at 5:25 pm (utc) on Feb 21, 2012]
| 10:39 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|Is it coming from their own databases etc (like they would have their own bots crawling the Internet and indexing that information in the same way the search engines do)? |
I don't know about ALL the companies you mentioned, but SEOMajestic and SEOMoz do have their own crawlers.
I prefer majestic over SEOMoz, but others prefer the other way around. Neither of them is perfect.
Linkassist used to use yahoo site explorer, but now that they have merged, I don't know what they use.
Hope this helps.
| 10:25 am on Mar 3, 2012 (gmt 0)|
I use Link Research Tools for competitor analysis as they aggregate data from loads of link data sources. Then we also use scrapebox for link prospecting (not mass commenting)! Then it's just a case of firing up boomerang for gmail and getting down and dirty with outreach :-)
| 10:14 pm on Mar 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
SEOmoz tools for competitor analysis as well as for competition analysis.
Ahrefs for finding back links of competitors as well as its SERP checker is helpful for getting the keywords those have already rank in search engines.