Best Practices with Link Research Tools
When it comes to link building I use a lot of different tools you’ve probably heard of. To manage links I use the Raven Link Manager and Buzzstream. To find backlinks I use Majesticseo, Linkscape, Sistrix and of course Yahoo Site Explorer. But there’s one other tool I tried about 6 months ago for the first time. I’m talking about Christoph Cemper’s Link Research Tools. To be honest with you I wasn’t convinced about the toolbox in that period. I was struck by the difficult abbreviations Cemper uses and the amount of data I got. But last month I decided to give the Link Research Tools another try, knowing Christoph made a lot of improvements. And I’ve to admit: now I love it. By the way, if you want to try the toolbox, grab your free day pass code from the comments!
The biggest problem with Christoph’s Toolbox is the information overload you sometimes get. But once you learn your way around, read the help text page of all the abbreviations the tool uses to display his result values (there are over 40) and use it in combination with Excel it’s really one of the best tools on the market. The unique tool combines the data from all those sources listed above (Majestic, Linkscape, Sistrix etc.) and then checks that data. So you are looking at accurate up to the minute information instead of sometimes pretty old and outdated data. Every link that you get reported as online was online in the minute before your report finished. Today I’ll show you some things you can do with LRT.
LRT consists of 5 modules:
- Common Back Links Tool (CBLT): CBLT is a hub finder. It will find the common back links for the domains (or pages if you chose to go down to really detailled analysis) you enter from various sources (Search Engines and commercial tools, but for example also your own list of back links that you exported from the Google webmaster console or your favorite link management tool)
- Common Outbound Links Tool (COLT): COLT is a tool to help you find authority link sources. Basically it checks to which sites the domains you entered commonly link too. This is useful to find domains that are not as popular but are heavily linked to from the sites that rank well for your topics. It’s also funny that you use it to try to actually get a link from a site that your competitors link to
- Back Link and Anchor Text Tool (BATT): BATT shows all links pointing to a domain or page you enter. Of course you can use known sources (Yahoo, Linkscape etc.) to get the data from or upload your own list. Like with all the separate modules BATT will check if the link still exists, so you will not waste time anymore looking for old deleted links! The tool can show you a lot of parameters, like Majestic’s ACRank, MozRank, Cemper’s own Juice Parameter and of course the good old Pagerank.
Tip: use the export function to create an Excel File, filter out all crap and sort by the value you trust most. Now you can easily compare the different Parameters and try to go after the best links you find! You can disable some of the columns later in the report also, which remains for your user. For example if you never look at the Pagerank, you can make it disappear completely.
- Link Juice Tool: “Juice” is Cemper’s inhouse Metric. You can compare it with MozRank, ACRank or of course Page Rank. The tool tells you if a page is juicy, in other words worth to get a link from. Of course in this tool you can combine the Juice parameter with other link analysis parameters too!
Tip: For your list of links make use of the combined sort feature of that table and sort by JUICE descending, and then for example hide all links that have a Mozrank below 1 to get the really nice ones.
- Strongest Subpages Tool (SSPT): SSPT analyzes up to 1000 subpages of a domain, combing internal and external link juice, to show you the strongest pages on a domain. This tool is great not only for finding the best page for a back link, but also for optimizing your internal link structure. The tool inspects up to 1000 subpages, so it will work for bigger websites too.
The 5 Best Practices
So now we’ve seen what the different modules of LRT are, I would like to give you some examples about how to use the tools. Like I said sometimes you get an information overload, especially when you want all link analysis parameters, but don’t let this information overload discourage you! LRT has some strong filters inside the tool, but make use of the Excel export function!
1. Optimizing anchor text for brand anchors or image links.
- Start BATT and get your report.
- Filter on anchor texts containing your brand or, if you want to optimize your image back links, in [IMG no alt-text]
- Find the strongest links comparing Juice, ACRank, MozRank and Yahoo Backlinks (Links to the found page)
- Contact the webmasters and ask them to change the anchor text or insert an alt text.
2. Finding the top back links of the top ranking sites
- Start CBLT
- Insert your keyword to retrieve the top 10 websites ranking for this keyword (or use the list of competitors you have)
- sort on column “common” in reverse order.
Tip: The tool supports analysis of up to 50 different URLs for common backlinks, but keep in mind, that the more URLs you enter, the longer it will run and the more output you will get. Start out slow, then press the “RE-Run Report” button and extend the report as you feel fit.
- then make sure you understand that the numbers on top of the table relate to the urls you entered, so for example all checked buttons in column 5 (sparkasse.de) mean that it has a backlink from the domain listed in the “Domain” column. And now the easter egg:
- for deeper research click on that little button as indicated below and you will be taken to the backlink research to Yahoo for that exact mention. This helps you find that exact link page or pages.
In that example we learn that that german bank is linked from the tech publication house Heise actually 12 times already.
Christoph showed another nice example at the Affiliate Tactixx Conference this year with the German word “Zuckerkrankheit” (which is german lingo for “diabetes” BTW). Doing a CBLT report for this keyword you’ll see that all 10 sites ranking on page one have a back link from Google. Sounds odd? Digging deeper into this using the above mentioned method you’ll find some nofollow, but also follow links from Google sites such as knol.google.com, sites.google.com etc.
3. Getting links that are powered by your competitors
- Start COLT
- Find pages your competitors are commonly linking too.
- Try get a link on this pages to get indirect link juice of your competitors
- To find the actual pages that links are on you can use the hidden trick I mentioned as “easter egg” above.
4. Build an archive on the state of your domains
- Start the Link Juice Tool
- Insert all your domains to get a lot of metrics
- Repeat this every month
- Compare the values and build your archive
5. Link Profiling
Backlink profiling is a tactic that was just recently written about on the SEOmoz blog and what they do with Page Authority and Domain Authorty makes absolute sense also with other values like ACrank MozRank, Page Rank, Country, CEMPER’s Juice or even the domain age or domain registrant’s name (for finding not-so-perfect link networks).
- Start BATT
- Extract link data from as many sources as possible for the domain to profile
- make sure you select additional packages i.e. for the Country or Registrant info
- Export all data as CSV and use an Excel sheet like SEOmoz suggested
- Repeat the process for multiple domains to profile and compare the results
As far as I know Christoph is planning to automate all this in the next version, so you might as well wait a couple days and then save the tediour Excel part
You want to try these things for yourself? No problem!
State of search offers you a free trial for 72 hours with their “Daypass” product to play around with the Link Research Tools.
We have codes for 25 day passes ready for you, and we know they are going REALLY fast, so we’ll post them in increments of 5 every couple hours. Please comment below if you want the next batch of codes.
Also we got a little competition running for other best practice write-ups, so if you can add to this list of best practices on your own blog, we can give away up to 5 of their free super hero accounts for a month. Just make sure you let us know in the comments below about your post.