A review of the fundamentals of detecting link building opportunities in Ahrefs

Ahrefs site explorer is a subscription-oriented tool for optimizing search engine, controlling, and checking backlinks and page metrics. Ahrefs is used besides other tools for analyzing backlink profiles, anchors, link quality, and content metrics. Ahrefs was considered as a pioneering tool due to its capacity of extracting a great deal of information about a website’s backlink profile and the backlinks which have been recently detected or lost.

In the following, there is a guide to check your rivals’ performance in order to reveal the situations liable of following aimed at providing you with the opportunity of generating more relevant content and building backlinks in a more efficient manner.

Starting

Go to this address: https://ahrefs.com/site-explorer

If you are using our SEO tool group buy service, then you can easily open this page by clicking on the extension.

In the URL or domain, type your intention of analysis. In this way, you will be provided with a high level view of the websites.

For example, here we use bbc.co.uk

Now, we check the tabs for: backlinks, referring domains

‘Live’ index presents all the links that were live at the time of Ahrefs’ last creeping in the site.

There are two further figures as the following under the main metrics:

  • Last domains
  • History of backlinks and referring domains


You can make a more detailed search for these items from dropdown menu.

Recent

This part includes all the live links in addition to lost backlinks deleted in the last 90-day period. It may occur as a result of temporary downtime of the website at the time of Ahref’s last crawling and due to their permanent deletion.


Historical

In this part, the history of all removed or live links exist. The following interactive diagrams present the motions of link acquisition over a period of time for direction of domains and pages.


Also, it is possible to limit the exploration to time period, for example all time, the last year, the last 30 days, etc.

These diagrams can be so efficient when using them for comparing websites with each other and this comparison shows the website which has earned more backlinks.

Added or removed referring domains and backlinks

These diagrams provide you with the information of the increase of a website’s URL’s backlinks. Also, they help you to detect the spikes by which you can recognize new pages which worth link created by your competitors, and also to use reverse engineering techniques for link building strategies and companies implemented over a specific time period.


Backlinks report

It provides you with the opportunity of recognizing the backlinks directing to your selected rival’s website or webpage which include the following:

  • Referring page: it presents the sum of single pages directing to a target website or URL.
  • Anchor text and backlink: in reveals the anchor text of the backlink (with a brief part of the text before and after that) and the URL to which the backlink targets.
  • Traffic: the net search traffic which get into the referring page over a month in an estimated amount.
  • First seen: the date of time when Ahrefs‘ crawler detects a backlink to the pointed website or URL on a specific referring domain for the first time.


Detection of duplicatable backlink chances

First, you should determine your goal as one of the following:

  • Detecting valuable topics for links and generating new content on them
  • Recognizing the origin of the competitors’ links

Finding favorable materials by backlink volume

In order to do this, you should detect rival pages with a large number of backlinks or traffic (all the time, you are seeking for tracing the backlinks to the rival’s pages, not the website generally).

This information can be used for recognizing the rivals’ information resource which reveals the content creation strategy you want to use in the future and also the topics which attract more backlinks and are more favorable.

Suppose that you have an online meal-kit delivery service while hellofresh.co.uk is competing with you. Your first action will be detecting the pages with more links and reviewing their contents.

Recognizing the competitor pages which create the most backlinks

You can do this by going to pages ˃ best following the links. After that, in order to make sure of proper function of the pages, you can use HTTP code 200 filter in the top of dropdown menu.


The next filter is used for detecting the pages with the most ‘dofollow’ links (the links passing link equity).

As it is observed, the homepage has the highest number of backlinks. This is a frequently occurring result. However, homepage may contain contents which are specifically related to the website and no replicable contents.

The other page receiving the most links is a flavor-generator on the host of Hello Fresh’s blog. It reveals that interactive content has a good performance in link attraction.

Link filtering in terms of the type of content

Suppose that you are searching for blog post topics. You can do this by typing blog.hellofresh in the prefix mode at the top of the page.


Its function for your own content strategy

Reviewing the common content topics, you will see that for food service site, most of the top Hello Fresh pages whose links are followed are related to recipes and some specific ones are related to special occasions such as Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day.

  • Are you able to generate contents orienting specific topics?
  • Are you able to generate contents with the same topics but with a higher efficiency through making that more useful? In other words, can you develop the topics existing on your competitor pages?

You may conclude that there is no need to generate new and novel contents; rather, you can modify the existing ones by making some changes in them.

  • Can you mix frequently visited topics with appropriate patterns in order to generate contents to which relevant websites would like to link? As an example, you can create a recipe post which can be appropriate for this purpose.

Detection of directing domains to targets

Here, it is aimed to copy a rival’s linking strategy through checking the referring domains and backlinks.

In order to do this, you should find the sites linking to your competitor contents in order to recognize the target potential backlink origins (although it might be a deceitful trick, but it will have good results).

Referring domains report

It will provide you with all the single linking websites to a target domain. In the case of existence of many referring domains in a site, checking the site in a manual manner can be so exhausting. However, there are some filters by using which you can limit the results.

In the case of using the filter of ‘dofollow’, the result will include only the domains passing the link equity. All the columns can be sorted. When sorting them in terms of the number of dofollow links in a descending order, the result reveals that the sites which have the highest number of domain linking back are national press e.g. theguardian.co.uk, wsj.com and telegraph.co.uk. This is a guide for you which directs you to arrange your efforts for prospecting links.

Backlinks report

By going back to backlinks report, you will observe all of your competitors’ backlinks. This repot may be stunning, but it is possible to exclude non-English and non-followed link. In this example, in order to decrease the other irrelevant results from other Hello Fresh sites including hellofresh.com and hellofresh.co.au, I have chosen ‘group similar links’.

In this way, there will be more management possibility and higher backlink quality.


Our future blog post topic will be the strategies of using these backlinks to make them direct back to your content.

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