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The search engines are analyzing link graphs to determine the relevance of a site to a particular query, and part of that analysis is to throw out sets of sites that raise certain flags. This process is generally referred to as earning trust, but Iíve been coming around to seeing it more as part of the process of identifying what niche bucket a site belongs in, with the spam bucket being one of several. Imagine these buckets as clouds of sites that are relevant for particular topics. Now here is the question that webmasters arenít considering. Is it possible to rank a site according to the relevancy cloud that a site belongs in? If itís possible to extract meaning from the clouds of ďmeaningĒ a site belongs to, then itís possible that a relevant site with low to zero PR regains importance as part of a link building project. This is something I refer to as determining the link clique.
Mostly I do it at the beginning of entering new marketsÖand mainly when trying to decide an entry point to the market. If you try to compete head on with limited resources that makes winning harder, but if you find an area where the competition is weak or you have a strong competitive advantage you give yourself a much better chance to succeed. Most of the backlink analysis I do is just an overview look at the market using SEO for Firefox.
backlink analysis of competitors as a way to analyze the competitor's strategy for weaknesses and discern if there is an entry point
Another added benefit from solid research is simply to see what pitfalls they have gotten into, thus avoiding said pitfalls yourself.
I think martinibuster(/you) mentioned something like that on here before - that finding the flaws of your competitors in the top10, and being better at those things (and not being worse at anything else) could help you get/steal(?) links from the competition.
Being better at something than your competitors' sites and actually finding a group of linkers who 'care' about your site being better at that?
'Sounds nice in theory, but most people Ive told about broken(!) links in the past didnt even remove them.
your success rate with it might be relatively high if you can be better at something that somebody truly cares about...
E.g. you could do a backlink check to a competitor, and out of the 10,000 sites that link to them, you could try to further drill down and only target those webmasters who edit their sites daily.
But what about obtaining links from the backlink analysis of non-competitors?