Ahrefs is probably one of my favorite tools to use for link building. It provides great data and has some of the freshest information available. I use this tool, as well as some others when auditing clients and their competition. One aspect of the tool, which I’m covering today is the “Link Intersect”. This section of Ahrefs allows you to see the links that a list of sites have in common, that one does not.
The results allow you to sort by the Domain Rating (DR) as well as by Ahrefs Rank. You’re also able to see how many times these sites have links from the given sites as well as the URLs the links are coming from. One word of caution, though, free blogging platforms that generate URLs like sample.wordpress.com or example.blogspot.com will always be at the top of the list when you sort by DR.
While you can get some pretty good data from comparing a group of domains, I’ve found it better to compare one against one to not only find linking differences but great ideas as well. Below is a look at the three competitor’s top links individually. This tool does allow you to switch to “Any of the below targets”, but I prefer to do that one at a time so I have a cleaner look:
The Apple.com links are going to apps in the app store. While it would be fine to create an “app” for the sake of just getting a link here; a better idea would be to develop a useful application that does what the competition apps don’t. The promotion and outreach on this would generate more than just a link from the Apple store.
Huffington Post, Forbes, and WSJ will take quite a bit more effort than others listed but not outside the realm of impossible. As with the app, you’ll have to work with the client to come up with something that newsworthy enough for the publications to link to.
Reddit, Slideshare, and Dribbble are sites that the client could get links from that moment. You’ll just need to create an account and place the link. Reddit and Slideshare can get used when there’s something to share or a presentation needs a place to be hosted online. Dribbble is more of a design community, still a decent link, but I’d consider sending that over to the graphic design team to build out if they don’t have an account already.
I hesitated to highlight Wikipedia, but the fact is people still try to get listed there. The key here is making sure the page is WELL put together. A better option would be to aim for a reference link. Since this site is monitored quite a bit, make sure whatever link you’re going to use is extremely valuable. I would even consider updating a few other pages that need some help instead of just placing the one link for your client.
This competitor has some similar links as the first one, but we see another easy opportunity at Behance.net (similar to Dribbble). We also see a sponsored link coming from Berkeley.edu. Sponsoring events might be something the client has considered in the past, but decided not to do. Showing them that the competition is doing this could help persuade them to move forward with opportunities like this.
The information you get from this tool is really valuable and insightful when it comes to planning out a strategy for your client. The best parts about this are the competition’s links. This provides great leverage to get your client on board with the plan you want to get in place for them.