November 21, 2011 was a sad day for me. That was when Yahoo Site Explorer permanently went away. Now I hardly ever use Yahoo for anything, but I thought its Site Explorer was far-and-away the best free competitor backlink checker around. Losing this site left a size-able void in my array of free marketing tools.
When you write quality content, optimize on page SEO factors and you still lag behind in organic rankings, spending some time link building is the next logical step to get a boost in your search engine rankings. Sure you can find original sites to try and get backlinks from, but the sites ranking above you for your keywords are probably doing something right. Why not see where they are getting their links from? You’ll probably find some directories, wikis and other sites where you can get quick, free links from.
I hadn’t spent much time looking for a Site Explorer alternative until this week. I thought I could kill two birds with one stone by finding a new tool as well as finding a great topic for this month’s Marketing Mojo. My criteria was pretty simple. It had to be free, it had to actually work, it had to be accurate and it definitely had to let me search a specific page (deep link) on a website. After searching around for quite awhile and downloading a few tools, I realized I probably should choose another Marketing Mojo topic.
Fear not! I finally came across a site called Blekko. Now I’m not going to claim that this search engine is perfect, but it was far and away the best free backlink search I could find. To access the SEO tools, you will need to sign up for an account, but I just logged right in with my Facebook info.
(Please note that as of 8/16/12, Blekko SEO tools are no longer a free service)
Blekko is very easy to use. Just type a link you’d like to research into the search box and click the search button. When the results come up, click the SEO link below the result. You’ll see a lot of interesting information, but since we’re most concerned with deep links, I clicked “inbound links” on the right-hand side under URL SEO. Here is where you’ll find a list of the places your competitor(s) are linked from. Don’t click inbound links under Domain SEO or you won’t get page specific backlinks. As I said the list isn’t perfect, but it’s a great starting point!
So what are you waiting for? Get link building!