How to Spy on Your Competitors to Capture Similar Links

  • 702
  • 4.6K
How to Spy on Your Competitors to Capture Similar Links

I’d easily cough up a paycheck to get featured in the latest trending article on The New York Times or the newest Girlboss Radio podcast.

But when it comes to gaining the same links as my competitors? I’m wise to the game.

The links my competitors have are just as good (or at times, better) than starting a new high-profile relationship.

The biggest challenge is figuring out which links are worth pursuing from my Moz backlink report.

To decide what links to target first from my competitors backlink report, I create a graph per competitor that features link analysis data.

Competitor link data

After creating a graph for each competitor, I’ll see how I stack up to their link profile and begin to target the most similar link profile.

After I’ve pulled the data and pick my competitor, I’ll manually go through each competitor backlink to determine whether I should outreach to them.

Here’s what my spreadsheet looks like:

Outreach spreadsheet

Next, I’ll use my stealthy tactics for manually bootlegging competitors links by emailing every individual site.

Finally, I’ll share a breakdown with my client of the outreach performance:

Outreach snapshot

Want to take a deeper dive into the world of spying on your competitors’ links?

Check out this Search Engine Journal post by Kristopher Jones: Competitive Link Analysis: How to Audit Your Competitors’ Link Presence.


Timeframe: Every month

Results detected: 4-12 months

Average links per month: 10


  • Moz
  • Ahrefs
  • Magestic
  • Buzzstream (or Pitchbox)
  • Banana Tag (or Yesware)


  • Capturing similar links as your competitors allows you to gain pace on their search engine ranking. You’ll have deeper insight into their marketing strategy and main keyword terms.
  • By outreaching to sites that already link to your competitors, you already know the site links to similar content so you have a better chance at building a relationship.

Download SEJ's Illustrated Guide to Link Building


Anna Crowe

Assistant Editor & Director of Outreach & PR at Jason Hennessey Consulting

Anna is the Assistant Editor for Search Engine Journal and Director of Outreach & PR for Jason Hennessey Consulting. Over ... [Read full bio]

Next Chapter
Read the Next