I’d rather not have my web page support and reaffirm the top ranked site. I think it’s best to have one’s own clique of relevant links to challenge the top ranked sites. I in no way want to help my competition.
There’s nothing wrong with picking up some low lying fruits, links, that a competitor already has. But do it during the course of building your own set of links that you feel are superior. If during the course of your strategy you pick up some shared links, that’s OK.
Build Better Link Cliques
The SERPs are pretty much composed of sites with their own backlink cliques. In my years of analyzing search engine results pages (SERPs) and backlinks I’ve noticed that I could sometimes bypass existing cliques and build my own more relevant set of links. The backlinks of high ranking competitors do not necessarily represent the best.
The difference between my backlink clique and those of others is, I hope, that my backlinks will be from pages that are more relevant to the pages on my site they’re linking to, will point to relevant pages (not home page), will come from more relevant neighborhoods and will not be mixed up with irrelevant neighborhoods.
Don’t Join, Build
Instead of joining existing link cliques and linking out to and becoming a part of someone else’s link neighborhood, I prefer to build my own network of relevant sites outside of established networks. This, in my opinion, makes my pages stand out with a better backlink neighborhood if it is more relevant and a better quality.
Sometimes, existing competitor backlinks are not that great. why duplicate that? I think it’s better to do better. That’s the idea that should form the foundation of the planning stage of a backlink strategy.
Cultivate a link graph of relevance. This is why a page with only a few hundred inbounds can rank as well as or better than a site with thousands of inbound links. At a certain point, it’s not the amount of links that decides, there are other factors, like on-page ranking signals, that can decide.
If you have to check backlinks, then instead of checking the backlinks of the top ten, check the backlinks of the major sites that are advertising on the top ten. Check the backlinks of non-competitors whose customers overlap with your customers.
Are You a Leader or a Follower?
It’s time to challenge the conventional thinking that following the leader is a way to pass up the leader. How does that make any sense?
Following the leader is not leading. To be the leader is to find better ways of doing things.
So if you want to be the leader in your space, that means rising above what competitors are doing and figuring out ways to bring something new and better into the conversation. And that includes links.
Don’t plan your link strategy like a follower by following what competitors are doing. Try to see what alternatives may exist. In my experience, this is how I’ve discovered great ways to obtain links that help put me at the top.
It’s no longer necessarily about who has the most links. But having the most relevant links is very helpful.
Content and relevant links are important in ways they hadn’t been in the past. This is the new reality.