Link Research Tools Review
LinkResearchTools.com is one of the most comprehensive link data analysis toolsets I’ve ever used (and I’ve tested quite a few of them). I have to say that there isn’t any other similar service that even comes close to the amount of USEFUL data that this toolset gives you. One of the reasons that this is so powerful is that it’s not relying on any one set of data sources, but compiling ALL the major data sets available and mashing it all together to give you a more complete outlook. There are several reports you can run, and they are all very useful. I’ll be going over each one, to give you a better idea of what this toolset can really do…
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In the account settings, depending on the type of account you subscribed to, you can actually brand the reports and add your company logo to the top and export as PDF. This is very important if you are a SEO agency. You can choose to receive an email when the report(s) are finished. Here, you can also add various API keys. It’s important to note that LinkResearchTools accesses many external data sets and some of those require API keys (such as SEMRush, Sistrix, and SEOMoz). SEOMoz you can use a free API with limited access, and the others I believe you need to have an account with them. I also want to point out that it does not, by any means, require these metrics to get the most out of LinkResearchTools. It’s great if you have them, and be able to add additional data to these huge reports, however it’s not completely necessary (all the information I’ve writing about below was retrieved by only using a free SEOMoz API key and nothing else). Most of LinkResearchTools information is given to you without the need of those APIkeys. Here’s some information about each of the reports you can run:
The Backlink Profiler (BLP) report
What this tool does is analyze a domain/site, or a specific page on a domain – and gathers all the backlinks that point to that domain or that specific page, allowing you to analyze the backlink data in a number of ways (has numerous graphs, charts, lists, ranking measurements, etc). What’s great about this though – is that it’s not relying on any one source, but rather calling numerous resources (I think there’s about 20). For instance, Yahoo Site explorer – for one of my domains, shows about 5K backlinks, yet Google shows about 400, and Majestic SEO shows about 8K, and so on. It gathers all of them, and gives you enormous amounts of data about EACH backlink, including when it was found, the page rank, the dofollow status, how many backlinks that url itself has pointing to it (this is a huge factor in how strong that backlink is), the mozRank (from SeoMoz), ACRank (MajesticSEO), when the domain was created, what type of site it was (blog/article/forum/etc), the “Juice” factor (something unique with LinkResearchTools and it’s very cool – will go into more detail below), the cache date, if the url has any digg/reddit/fbshares/fblikes/tweets pointing to it, and a LOT more. When you run a backlink profile report – there’s several functions you can choose to include in the report (the more you add, the slower it will take to process – and some you just might not be interested in, so it’s good to only choose what’s necessary).
The “Juice” Indicator is a really interesting ranking metric. Basically, it’s telling you how good of a backlink source is. It can tell you if that page is ranking #1 for a unique phrase on that page, whether that page was found in numerous pages of the site (ie. archive pages, etc), it will tell you if it’s not indexed in Google, whether it’s not alive at all (404), and it will tell you if it’s DUPLICATE content (it found multiple copies of the content on several other sites in the index – such as a syndicated article/press release, etc), and it will also tell you if the page doesn’t really have much content, and might not be worth getting your link on. This is a very cool metric that can quickly identify good backlink sources.
Once the report has finished compiling, the first thing you see is “Link Profile by Metrics”. This is a great way to show large amounts of data. It uses bar graphs, and then shows you how the backlinks are showing up, related to Theme (it tells you the various overall themes of the backlink sites, such as whether they are personal blogs, or sites related to xyz niche, etc). This is fantastic when analyzing several competitors, because you can quickly see any trends regarding the top ranking sites for your chosen niche/keyword and try to similarly gather the same type of themed backlinks as they have, since it’s working for them. It quickly and easily shows you how many backlinks have the above-mentioned characteristics (pagerank,Fblikes,diggs,site type, ACrank,backlinks, MozRank, etc) and you can filter them by only showing the do-follow links, or no-follow links, or sites that just mention the url (instead of linking to it), and it also allows you to filter the backlinks that show up in the reports, but are not actually found on the page (it’s good to remove these when analyzing competitors, but when looking at the profile of one of your own sites, it’s good to find these links and figure out if you can get those links back!)
The next main part of the report is the Anchor Text Breakdown. It will show you the percentages of various anchor texts used, and whether they are do-follow, no-follow, or not found. This is shown by default as pie graphs, but you can also have it show a table of data (everything, by the way, is exportable to CSV/XLS and even PNG/IMAGES).
The last portion of the backlink profile report is the actual dataset listing. Here, it will show all the backlink urls in a sortable table – so you can sort via various metrics (age/pagerank/mozrank/etc) – so you can find out the best backlinks (according to whatever metric you choose). You can also easily filter this list – to show very specific lists, such as: show only the backlinks that have at least 50 backlinks (from Yahoo Site Explorer) pointing to that url, or show links that have Page Rank greater than 1, or show only DOFOLLOW links with a page rank greater than 2, that have at least 1 Digg bookmark. There’s many ways to view this data and this service makes it extremely easy to pull only the data you want to see.
The Competitive Landscape Analyzer (CLA) report
What this does is compare your site (or any site) to a list of competing sites (or pages) in regards to their backlink profile – using several metrics that you can choose to utilize. You start by adding your url, and then a list of competing urls. You can even just enter a keyword and it will grab the top ten urls and add them to the competing pages list for you. Then you can decide to compare various aspects of them, via various metrics, such as link status and anchor text, Yahoo backlinks, SEOMoz and Majestic Rankings, themes of a domain, type of site, traffic stats, social votes, and more. This is really useful if you want to outrank your competition by outdoing what shows up most prevalent in their linking profiles. For example, one of the main features of this report is that you can classify the list of anchor text keywords that show up repeatedly in the backlinks of your list of sites you entered, by choosing Brand, Money, or Other as a classification. So you can see if your competition is mainly using targeted money keywords, or brand names mainly, or other random anchor text. If most of your competition is using brand names for keywords, chances are it would benefit you to do the same. Let’s say your competitor is showing that they use brands in 65% of their backlinks, and you are only using 30%. If you want to outrank them, one thing you should consider is raising your branding anchor text ratio beyond 65%. It takes a bit of setup on your part, but it’s well worth it. Another useful feature is that it will show you whether your competition has a lot of people (or themselves) tweeting and/or FB sharing/liking.. Whether their links are mostly Do-follow or not, whether most of their backlinks have more backlinks pointed to them, what their authority ranking is (for example – if most of the competition’s backlinks aren’t high quality authority backlinks – that means that it won’t take many “good” links to beat them – or that you can just concentrate on getting more “regular/sub-standard” links and you’ll probably do fine with just getting “more of them”). Just keep in mind that what it’s showing you is what their BACKLINKS are showing (not what their main urls are utilizing). So if you’re seeing a lot of tweeting showing up – it means there’s people tweeting their backlinks, not their sites themselves.
The Common Backlink Tool (CBLT) report
This allows you to enter a group of competing URLS (up to 50) and find which backlinks are most common (at least 2 of them having the same backlink) among your competitors – allowing you to target new backlink sources. It’s a great way to find out where your competition is choosing to get most of their backlinks. I like to put a list of 10 competitors (the more the merrier) – and then sort the urls that show up by Juice rating (this is going to point out the best backlink sources that are actually easy to obtain for yourself) and then make sure it shows up on at least 25% of the list of the urls you added, so I’d make it show only backlinks that were common across 3 or more competing urls. This will give you a great list of good backlink sources that you should try to target. This report will also show you the common themes of your competitions backlink profiles, such as whether they are choosing blogs as the most common backlink source, or forums, or sites related to certain themes (niches).
The Juice report
This allows you to see a list of competing sites – and a general overview of their backlink profiles, not in detail, but more to compare to one another. It’s a way to see how competitive a keyword is (you can enter a keyword and have it compare the top 10) or you can just add your own list of urls. For instance, when I look up one of the keywords that I’ve targeted, I can immediately see that more than half of them have more than 1,000 FB votes, so naturally – facebook is an important aspect of this niche. I can see that most in the top ten have at between 11-100 re-tweets pointing to their urls, that 40% are PR0, 40% are PR6, and 20% are PR5 domains. That half of them have between 100 and 1000 backlinks, and that most are ranked pretty high according to SeoMoz ratings. I can also see that 90% have more than 100K indexed pages so if I want to rank in the top ten, my site will most likely have to be big
Strongest Sub-Pages Tool
This report analyzes one domain at a time. It’s here to tell us the strongest pages of that site. Why would you want to know that? Well – there’s a few reasons that come to mind. First – it’s a good method to analyze a large site that you can get backlinks from, in your niche. Let’s take forums and blogs for example… Forums and blogs are great places to get good backlinks. I would take my keyword, and add Forum or Blog to the keyword and see what forums/blogs are in the niche. Pick a top ranking forum/blog, and get it analyzed. Now you will know the best pages to try and get a link from. For forums, it will most likely show you sub-forum urls near the top, since those are always linked to the most, and that tells you it’s good to start a thread in those particular categories if possible. But it also shows you individual threads that would be good to join in the conversation – with your link in the signature. Same with blogs – it will tell you the posts that are ranked the highest – and would be best to comment on those first. Another reason to use this report is for your own sites – in regards to pushing link juice to other pages that aren’t doing so well. So let’s say you have a very high ranked page according to this report. And you just created a new post and you want that to get more traffic and rankings. You can easily add a link somewhere on the strongest page of your site, and that will take some of that authority and trust that that page has, and pass it along to your new page that you want to do rank better. You can also take these urls and quickly create a backlink profile on them, by just clicking the links in the list.
The Link Juice Thief
This is a very unique tool – something I’ve never really even thought of to look for in this way. What this does is analyze your competitors outbound urls – meaning it scans the pages on the domains you enter in the list (or scraped from the keyword you enter) – and looks for where those sites are linking TO. If they are linking to a page ALREADY, and you can actually get a link on THAT page – you are in a sense, getting your competition to link to YOU (indirectly). This is very cool. Many sites, obviously you won’t be able to get links on, but there’s definitely going to be some that you can perhaps comment on or in some other way, get your links on. For example, if your competition links to a blog post in your niche, and you go and post a comment on that post they linked to, they’re then linking to a page that you are already on – thus linking to you. This tool makes it extremely easy to do your own link juice thievery!
The Link Juice Recovery Tool
This tool will analyze a domain and let you know if any of your backlinks are pointing to a page that doesn’t exist. This is very useful – especially when outsourcing, as they may make typos when linking to your site(s). Another very nice use for this is when you are buying domains. You want to make sure any backlinks pointing to the domain you are buying, are pointing to a page that either exists or is redirected to a page that exists. This will let you know of any sites linking to pages that you should updatec/create/redirect.
The Missing Links Tool
The missing links tool will compare the backlinks of your site, and the backlinks of your competitors, and then will give you a list of domains where your competitors have links but you don’t. Naturally, you’ll want to get as many backlinks that they have, as possible.
Over-all, this set of backlink research tools is my favorite, out of all that I’ve tried so far. It utilizes numerous data sources to compile these reports – which is great because any one service, by itself, generally misses a lot! The reports are completed in a very timely manner (doesn’t take hours, usually less than a couple minutes actually), and presented to you in a very precise, and easy to read information – with very helpful graphs, charts, and tables full of sortable, filterable information – so you can gleam out exactly what you need, and get rid of the info that you don’t need. Another useful feature is that you can save these reports as spreadsheets, images (all the charts, graphs, etc – you can actually save them as images to import into your own reporting if needed), or brandable PDFs (great if you’re a SEO agency). The support has been quick to respond and I am confident that the reporting and services will only get better. Definitely a good investment if you are interested in researching your competitors’ backlink profiles, and/or examining your own sites to find areas needing improvement.
To learn more about Link Research Tools, visit http://www.linkresearchtools.com
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