Operator to Explore Your Competitor’s Backlinks

I for one do backlink research almost daily. Why is that so essential in SEO to know how to properly analyze backlinks?

  • It educates. The established sites in your niche set an example to follow and give you an idea of how link building is done.
  • It inspires. The more you know about pages linking to your competitor, the more ideas you get for link building for your own website. That shouldn’t be copying the competitor’s strategies – but this analysis gives you an idea in which direction to move forward.
  • It keeps you up-to-date. Who’s my friend? (Learn who your partners are and do them a favor in return.) Where am I discussed? (Reputation management: participate in threads discussing you site.) And plenty of more important questions the analysis will be able to answer.


Thus this time I will be looking into the ways to explore the site’s backlinks using link: operator in Yahoo:

  • Find most relevant pages linking to a site/page: [linkdomain:http://www.domain.com/ -site:domain.com keyword]

Sample search: [jewelry related sites linking to Amazon.com]

  • Find pages containing your keyword in the URL (another relevance-focused search): [link:http://www.domain.com/ -site:domain.com inurl:keyword]

Sample search: [jewelry related sites linking to Amazon.com]

  • More variations of the above one (blog and social media specific): [link:http://www.domain.com -site:domain.com inurl:keyword inurl:tag]

Sample search: [jewelry related blogs linking to Amazon.com]

  • More variations of the above one (to find discussion boards and forums): [link:http://www.domain.com -site:domain.com inurl:keyword inurl:forum OR inurl:forums]

Sample search: [jewelry related forums linking to Amazon.com]

  • Find pages containing your keyword in the page title [link:http://www.domain.com -site:domain.com intitle:keyword]

Sample search: [jewelry related sites linking to Amazon.com]

  • Find .edu or .gov sites linking to the page [link:http://www.domain.com site:.edu OR site:.gov]

Sample search: [.edu or .gov sites linking to Amazon.com]

  • Find pages of various file types [link:http://www.domain.com originurlextension:xml] (file types: HTML, PDF, Excel (.xls), PowerPoint (.ppt), Word (.doc), RSS/XML (.xml), and text format (.txt))

Sample search: [.xml pages linking to Amazon.com]

  • Find pages of different geographic location [link:http://www.domain.com region:europe]

Sample search: [European based sites linking to Amazon.com]

Available country options:

  • region:europe
  • region:africa
  • region:asia
  • region:centralamerica
  • region:downunder
  • region:mediterranean
  • region:mideast
  • region:northamerica
  • region:southamerica
  • region:southeastasia