Finding and Acquiring Competitor Backlinks

Author bio:
Alex Petrovic, Advanced SEO strategist – Dejan SEO company
Main activity – Link building team leader.
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Competitor Backlinks

Acquiring competitor backlinks should be one of the top priorities in your search engine optimisation campaign. One-way backlinks are one of the major factors in determining your search engine ranking.

The backlinks that your competitors currently have may hold clues as to who you can contact for backlinks. Even if those particular competitor backlinks do not give you direct dofollow links, they still provide valuable insight as to what types of links your business will need in order to do well in the search engines.

How to Find Competitor Backlinks

A simple search of backlinks using any number of free available tools can easily show you the backlinks of your competitors. The problem is that many of these links are unique to your competitor, and may include clients, or some other personal relationship that may be difficult for you to break into.

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The secret to finding competitor backlinks that are relevant and have value for your company is to study the trends of the top ranking backlinks of many of your competitors. Chances are that if a backlink appears on many of your competitor’s lists, then it is a backlink that you should and can also have.

You can simply perform a background check on the top URLs that show up for your target keyword. You can then export these results into a spreadsheet of your choice in order to sort and do some trendspotting.

Some advanced operators in Google also have the ability to give you this type of backlink research. However, the secret is, not simply to copy your competitors, but to do better than they have.

When you search for backlinks using Google, try searching for the keywords for which your competitors were trying to get ranked, and the ones in which they actually did. This “spread” represents where you can step in and get ranked higher for valued keywords.

Analyzing Link Priorities

As stated before, you want to go for the backlinks that show up in a number of your competitor’s profiles.

The first step is to really analyze and hone the keywords that you need for your business. This may best be done by a carefully monitored PPC campaign.

After this, your top priority should be to analyze the newest tactics that have worked. Therefore, hone in on your youngest, yet most recently successful competitor. Their tactics are the most likely to still be valid.

After this, hone in on the aforementioned “spread” between the on page and off page keyword targeting that your competition is doing. If your competition is not ranking highly for a keyword that is relevant to your business, and they obviously wanted to, this is your opportunity and should be your top priority for keyword competition.

Acquiring Competitor Backlinks

Once you have analyzed the backlinks of your competitors, it is time to start grabbing some.

The first and easiest method is simply to analyze the broken link pages that your competitors still have up. This may be a disgruntled client or a broken relationship upon which you can capitalize. Check all of the 404 pages on the web sites of your competitors.

Check your competitor’s web sites with old links that are broken. If they are going to advertise their past relationships, it is worth it for you to explore.

The Bottom Line

Proper backlink research and execution requires adding something to what your competitor has done. If you simply copy what they do, you not be able to top them. Your content, your relationship building, and your research should allow you to leapfrog your competitors and create an even stronger backlink web.

In addition to finding and acquiring competitor backlinks, you may want to build some links to your website using Linxboss and at the same time get 125-150 FREE LINKS to your website. See our Linxboss Review for further information.

Move from Free to Paid Hosting

Bessie Knows Best Website

Bessie Knows Best ( is a caravan review website for Northern Ireland and up until yesterday it had been hosted at no cost by 000webhost.

I have hosted a few personal websites on 000webhost in the past, and while it is great to avail of free hosting, I decided to move Bessie to paid for hosting for a number of reasons:

  • Reliability was noticeably worse than my paid hosting. For example, quite often my email client failed to retrieve email when it was asked.
  • Certain functionality in the CPanel, for example, backing up the website failed regularly.
  • It was not possible to update my WordPress Blog to the latest version of WordPress automatically as there is a 2MB upload_max_filesize limit imposed by 000webhost. This meant i had to do it manually.

It is very easy to move a WordPress Blog from one host to another where the domain name will not be changing.

  • Copy all files from the old host to the new host.
  • Backup the database from the old host
  • Create a new database on the new host. Create a database user and give that user the appropriate privileges for the database.
  • Import the database to the new host.
  • Modify the ‘DB_NAME’, ‘DB_USER’, ‘DB_PASSWORD’ and ‘DB_HOST’ in the wp-config.php to reflect the new host’s database.

Import a Drupal Website from a Server and run it locally on an Acquia Drupal AMP Stack

It is possible that you have created and edited a Drupal website on a server and now find that you want to work on this Drupal installation locally instead to speed up development time. To do this you need to import the Core Drupal website to your local Acquia Drupal AMP stack and make some local modifications. Here are the step by step instructions:

  1. FTP the entire Drupal folder from the server down to a local directory on your computer.
  2. Export the Drupal database from the server to your local computer.
  3. On the Acquia Dev Desktop Control Panel, select the ‘Localhost’ dropdown menu and choose ‘more’.
  4. Click the ‘Import’ button and fill in the details as in the following screenshot.
    • Set the ‘site path’ folder to the location where the source code resides (see Step 1.)
    • Select the ‘I have a MySql database dump file for my site’ radio button and give the database a new name.
    • Choose a local server name to run your core Drupal installation from. Note that it is not possible to use ‘localhost’.

    Import Site Settings

  5. After clicking the ‘Import’ button, the code and database are imported to the local Acquia Drupal AMP Stack.
  6. If you have multiple setting.php files (i.e. one under the ‘sites/default’ folder and one under the ‘sites/’ folder), to aid troubleshooting you can remove one of these. In this case, I have removed the settings.php under the ‘sites/’ folder.Web-Design-One-Settings[/caption]

  7. The Core Drupal settings.php file you have imported may be structured differently to the Acquia AMP settings.php. You can standardise it by making a couple of modifications:
    • Remove the contents of $databases = array ();
    • Web-Design-Settings-Mod1

      Remove Contents of $databases Array

    • Remove the salt string also.
    • Web-Design-Settings-Mod2

      Remove Contents of Salt String

  8. Add the following code and note that when you try to run the website locally an error occurs:
  9. Web-Design-Settings-Mod3


  10. A closer investigation of the imported database reveals the problem. The database table prefix ‘dr_’ has been imported to the local database from the server and the Acquia Drupal AMP stack was not expecting this.
  11. Web-Design-Settings-Mod4


  12. To remedy the problem, add the table prefix ‘dr_’ to the settings.php. Once this has been added the imported website runs locally.
  13. Web-Design-Settings-Mod5

    Table Prefix

  14. The bottom of the settings.php should now look like the right hand side of the following snapshot:
  15. Web-Design-Settings-Mod6

    Bottom of settings.php File

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