Have you ever wanted to know what your competitor’s overall link building strategy was without having to look link by link through their backlink profile? If so, then you’re in luck. The inBound Link Analysis tool allows you to take a quick snapshot of one website’s backlink profile along with a few competitors to see what kind of links have been obtained for each website. This is a great way to see what you need to do to catch up with competitors as well as give potential clients an overview of what types of link building strategies they need to pursue.

Last week, we published an analysis of anchor text used by the top ranking websites for highly competitive keywords on Search Engine Journal. In today’s post, we’re going to take those same examples to see what types of links they are obtaining and how you can do the same for your website while minimizing the risk of being hit by Google Panda or Penguin.

Keyword: Online College

What types of links do websites ranking on the first page of search results for online college obtain? Here is a quick analysis of types of main types of links obtained by these domains.

  • OnlineCollege.org: 85% links in blogs with 64% of links in a blog post or forum thread.
  • Devry.edu: 38% links in blogs, 21% in web directories, 14% in news sites, and 9% in aritcle directories with 43% of links in a group of links and 39% in a short paragraph of text.
  • Strayer.edu: 47% links in blogs and 22% in web directories with 53% links in a group of links and 32% in a short paragraph of text.

 

Keyword: Women’s Clothing

What types of links do websites ranking on the first page of search results for women’s clothing obtain? Here is a quick analysis of types of main types of links obtained by these domains.

  • Kohls.com: 58% links in blogs and 19% in Ecommerce sites with 33% in a blog post or forum thread, 30% in a group of links, and 29% in a short paragraph of text.
  • Overstock.com: 50% links in blogs and 19% in Ecommerce sites with 38% in a blog post or forum thread, 29% in a short paragraph of text, and 27% in a group of links.
  • ColdwaterCreek.com: 44% links in blogs and 28% in Ecommerce sites with 41% in a blog post or forum thread, 28% in a group of links, and 22% in a short paragraph of text.

 

Keyword: Real Estate

What types of links do websites ranking on the first page of search results for real estate obtain? Here is a quick analysis of types of main types of links obtained by these domains.

  • Realtor.com: 54% in blogs and 15% in Ecommerce sites with 35% in a group of links, 30% in a short paragraph of text, and 19% in a blog post or forum thread.
  • RealEstate.com: 35% in blogs, 21% in web directories, and 14% in news sites with 47% in a short paragraph of text and 39% in a group of links.
  • Zillow.com: 54% in blogs with 45% in a short paragraph of text, 25% in a group of links, and 24% in a blog post or forum thread.

 

Keyword: Mortgage

What types of links do websites ranking on the first page of search results for mortgage obtain? Here is a quick analysis of types of main types of links obtained by these domains.

  • BankRate.com: 54% in blogs with 45% in a short paragraph of text, 25% in a group of links, and 24% in a blog post or forum thread.
  • Zillow.com: 54% in blogs with 45% in a short paragraph of text, 25% in a group of links, and 24% in a blog post or forum thread.
  • MortgageCalculator.com: 75% in blogs with 51% in a blog post or forum thread, 24% in a short paragarph of text, and 18% in a group of links.

 

Keyword: Life Insurance

What types of links do websites ranking on the first page of search results for life insurance obtain? Here is a quick analysis of types of main types of links obtained by these domains.

  • Metlife.com: 50% in blogs and 19% in web directories with 42% in a short paragraph of text, 37% in a group of links, and 11% in a blog post or forum thread.
  • Geico.com: 51% in blogs with 43% in a group of links, 20% in a short paragraph of text, 19% in an image, and 14% in a blog post or forum thread.
  • Farmers.com: 46% in blogs and 25% in web directories with 52% in a group of links, 20% in an image, and 17% in a short paragraph of text.

 

Keyword: Payday Loan

What types of links do websites ranking on the first page of search results for payday loan obtain? Here is a quick analysis of types of main types of links obtained by these domains.

  • PaydayOne.com: 85% in blogs with 62% in a blog post or forum thread, 17% in a short paraphgra of text, and 11% in a group of links.
  • CashFairy.com: 98% in web directories with 76% in a group of links.
  • 1min-PaydayLoan.com: 84% in blogs with 97% in a blog post or forum thread.

 

Keyword: DUI Lawyer

What types of links do websites ranking on the first page of search results for dui lawyer obtain? Here is a quick analysis of types of main types of links obtained by these domains.

  • DUI-Lawyer.com: 75% in web directories with 57% in a group of links and 31% in a short paragraph of text.
  • Avvo.com: 64% in blogs with 29% in a short paragraph of text, 24% in a blog post or forum thread, 23% in a group of links, and 14% in an image.
  • TopgunDUI.com: 38% in blogs and 29% in web directories with 40% in a short paragraph of text, 38% in a group of links, and 13% in a blog post or forum thread.

 

Major Takeaway

While some domains are still maintaining the top spots in search results with a majority of links from web directories, the majority of these sites are obtaining links in blogs and news sites. You can also see from the charts that although the majority of links are spread out through two to three different link types, many of these industries are trying to build a diversified link portfolio through press releases, social networks, personal sites, wikis, and other website types.

Competing with Panda / Penguin Friendly Links

So if you or a client share a highly competitive keyword from similar industries as those listed above, how do you compete to get your website to the top spot without risking penalization by Google Panda, Penguin, or other algorithmic changes? Here are some ideas.

  • Create quality guest posts for blogs with strong traffic and communities vs. creating basic articles for blogs with little to no traffic. You’ll usually get a link back to your website in the author bio or author bio page. Use sites like Technorati and Alltop to find great blogs on a variety of topics.
  • Leave valuable comments on posts from blogs in your industry with strong traffic and communities vs. spamming blogs for links. Consider clicks as your only goal for links from blog comments.
  • Want links from major news and media sites? Try Help a Reporter Out (HARO). You can sign up to get free daily emails where reporters are asking for input from people in specific industries. Offer up your expert advice and you might end up with a valuable link from a trusted media outlet.
  • Participate in forums related to your industry and, if it is in good etiquette, include a link in your forum profile signature. Don’t post in forums unless you have something valuable to say.
  • Look for high quality web directories that are preferably industry specific. Make sure that they do not have categories where they accept links to adult, casino, or pharmacy websites.
  • Look for high quality article directories that have traffic from actual readers (notable by the number of comments / social shares per article) and not just marketers posting links. Industry-specific or related article directories would be a plus.
  • Aim for variety in your link building. Don’t just rely on blogs, forums, web directories, and article directories. Social should be a major component of your strategy, regardless of whether the links are dofollow or nofollow.

What other link building strategies would you suggest if your competitors had similar backlink profiles as the websites above? Please share in the comments!

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