Video 26: Keeping an Eye on Your Competition Part I – Tracking Backlinks

March 7, 2011 . 4 minute read | Posted by akassover BusinessCompetitionGoogleInsurance Agent WebsitesVideos


Hi, it’s Aaron Kassover from AgentMethods talking about insurance agent websites.  Now, I thought I would spend the next couple of days going over some tools and some techniques you can use to research your competition, to learn about their sites, or about how they’re driving traffic and about their SEO, what keywords they’re targeting, and really just how much traffic they’re getting.  This is a useful technique when you’re thinking about putting your site just to kind of look at your competitors and see how successful they are, what they’re doing, what’s working, and what’s not, to give you some ideas about what strategies you can employ.

*Let’s go into Google.  Let’s just do a search in Google for Colorado Health Insurance.  Now, let’s pretend we’re in Colorado and we want to target Colorado Health Insurance as sort of a keyword or a branch of the keyword pyramid that we want to drive traffic from.  So we’re going to do this search and the first thing we’re going to see is that this site,, is at the top.  This might be our most powerful competitor that we’re kind of looking at catching up with. *

There are a few things that we can do to learn about, and the first of which is we can look at is how many backlinks they’ve developed.  You can do this by going into search engines like Google and you do a search using the link qualifier.  I’m just typing in Link and then colon and then the domain,

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*We’ll do this search, and what it’s going to do is it’s going to show us 16 links that is colohealth that has backlinks.  So for example, this, Colorado health insurance companies, we look at this page; somewhere on here is – here it is right here – is a link back to colohealth. *

*So we can use Google to get a sense of how many links there are.  Now, the reality is that there are probably more than 16 results and I’ll show you a trick to look at more.  Google tends to cloud or mask main links they use.  They do this because they don’t want to reveal too much of their algorithm, too much to the competition.  They tend to show really the best links or the most high quality links and not all of the links. *

If you want to see more in-depth, you can go over to Yahoo.  If you do the same thing, type in “link” and then the domain name, Yahoo will launch the Yahoo site explorer.  This allows you to go and look at all of the inlinks and you can do some filters like “from all pages” or “for all pages, except this domain,” you can specify the URL of the entire site.  So we can see that while Google only shows 16 links, Yahoo shows 8,647 links to the home page of this site.  Now, if we go to the entire site, you can see that there are probably more than 8,785 links.  We can go through each of these and we should find a link back to the website.  It’s probably somewhere on this page, I’m not exactly sure, but that gives you a sense of how the Yahoo and Google links are different.

I recommend starting with Google because they are usually the higher quality links.  They are the more content-rich, higher page link, more Linkjuice getting passed through, and then you can go to Yahoo and look at really get a sense of what the bulk is.  So eight-thousand-six-hundred-and-something links back to this site, if you’re looking to compete with, you’ve got some work to do.

Hope this is helpful.  I’m going to go over a few more tools this week of ways to look at the competition and so come back tomorrow.  Thank you.