One of the methods I use when link building is based on the philosophy that if a site is willing to link to two or more of your competitors, they will be more than likely to add a link to your website. Although this approach is unlikely to result in the nice gems of unique links, it will enable you to make a quick start at building links to your site.
I find this method especially helpful for new sites. It’s easy to find a fair number of sites quickly and the links will get your newly launched site out there.
So how do you find websites that link to your competitors? The first thing you need is a list of the domain names used by your competitors. By doing a search for all the possible combinations of two of those competitors you will end up with a long list of potential link building sites.
Let's look at an example. Say you're launching a new site selling DVDs online. Some of your competitors would be Play.com, BlahDVD.com, amazon.co.uk and HMV.com (there are a loads and loads of other competitors, but let's keep it simple for this example). Yahoo! can provide us a list of webpages that link to both Play.com and BlahDVD.com using the linkdomain: advanced operator. You can now simply run through all the search results which will provide a list of potential link building websites. All you need to do is contact the webmasters with your request if the site is appropriate for your site.
The linkdomain operator limits the search to pages linking to those domains. Unfortunately the corresponding operator is broken in Google. Searching for the sites domain names - “play.com” “blahdvd.com”; will provide limited results. The query will only show sites that mention the domain on their pages, leaving out pages that use different anchor text. Also, it includes pages that mention the domain without actually linking to the page. Even with these drawbacks a quick scan through the results is often worth it.
I tend to create a cross table in a Excel which generates HTML code for all combinations possible, which I then copied to a HTML file and off I go. As I realise not everyone has access to or is as familiar with Excel, I’ve created a link building tool to create the cross table with links for you:
|blahdvd.com||Y! / G||Y! / G||Y! / G|
|play.com||-||Y! / G||Y! / G|
|amazon.co.uk||-||-||Y! / G|
Simply enter the domains in the link building tool, select the search engines (Yahoo, Google or Live Search) you want to query and it will provide links for all the possible combinations.
The search engines currently included in the tool are: Yahoo! using linkdomain: and without using linkdomain, Google and Live Search.
Some additional features are provided to make things as easy as possible. You can disable the automatic stripping of the www. subdomain, or remove quotes around the domain search. For a more compact view, you can show the results without headings, or add additional (negative) keywords to limit all the generated search queries.
Happy link building!