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Brighton SEO: How To Identify Your Competitor's Paid and Sponsored Backlinks

Chris B
September 06, 2023

Brighton SEO: How To Identify Your Competitor's Paid and Sponsored Backlinks

BrightonSEO talk on How To Identify Your Competitors' Paid and Sponsored Backlinks from Freelance SEO Consultant .

View video of this talk from
Brighton SEO .

Chris B

September 06, 2023
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  1. Chris Byrne
    www.seolondonsurrey.co.uk

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  2. Sites that rank well on Google in my
    experience often buy or sponsor links to
    their sites as the number / quality of links
    to a site is widely considered to be one of
    Google's three major ranking factors:
    http://bit.ly/3oZhoEF

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  3. 2012 – Google ‘Penguin’ Update

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  4. Google states that “buying or selling
    links that pass PageRank can dilute
    the quality of search results.
    Participating in link schemes
    violates the Google Webmaster
    Guidelines and can negatively
    impact a site's ranking in search
    results.”

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  5. Link schemes

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  6. ”Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a
    site's ranking in Google search results may be
    considered part of a link scheme and a violation
    of Google's Webmaster Guidelines. This includes
    any behavior that manipulates links to your site or
    outgoing links from your site.”

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  7. Based on my experience since 2012 working
    on various sites with ranking drops and one
    with a formal ‘unnatural link penalty’ from
    Google:
    Google isn’t good at detection of all paid
    links, often only detecting the egregious link
    networks with widespread ‘money keyword’
    anchor text abuse (with multiple websites
    possibly on the same IP address).

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  8. Why Identify Your Competitors’ Sponsored /
    Paid Links?

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  9. As part of competitor analysis, to potentially
    copy their link building strategy

    To do unpaid work for GOOG by reporting these
    links to undermine your competitiors

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  10. Note if you are buying or selling links for
    your client or own site, reporting your
    competitors’ paid and sponsored links to
    Google may cause your (client’s)
    backlink profile to be scrutinised by
    GOOG as well .

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  11. Google SEO is in my experience working to
    create multiple incremental (sometimes
    marginal) improvements, and the basis of
    this is understanding implementing the
    Google Webmaster guidelines especially in
    relation to user experience, the fundamental
    aspect of which being quality information.
    This same knowledge will help you
    scrutinise & undermine the competition.

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  12. How To Buy / Sponsor Links in A
    Google-Compliant Way

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  13. “You can prevent PageRank from passing in
    several ways, such as:
    1. Indicating the link is sponsored adding a
    qualifying attribute to the tag
    2. Redirecting the links to an intermediate
    page that is blocked from search engines
    with a robots.txt file”

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  14. How to Identify Some of your
    Competitors' Paid / Sponsored
    Links*
    * This will only include the links
    indexed by backlink checker tools

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  15. These posts sometimes have some or all of
    the following characteristics:
    1. they look out of place e.g. a post on
    “Digital Marketing Tips” on a Weddings blog
    2. do not have an author name / byline /
    bio . The article may be labelled as a guest
    blog, “paid promotion” or similar

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  16. 3. have ‘money’ keyword-rich anchor text
    for the external links like 'best seo
    consultants london'
    4. selectively 'nofollow' certain external
    links on the page for no apparent reason

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  17. To identify
    your competitors' paid /
    sponsored links:
    1. Review / export a list of their
    backlinks using your backlink
    checker of choice.

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  18. 2. Sort the list by 'nofollow' tag and
    / or anchor text if the export allows,
    or you can check this manually in
    your browser with a plugin like
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-
    GB/firefox/addon/nofollow-
    advanced/ .

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  19. 3. Check the pages are still live
    with a tool like https://httpstatus.io/
    4. Manually review the pages in
    question with Linkrr.com (a tool to
    open backlinks in bulk – you may
    need to adjust your browser settings
    -it works in Firefox) and revise your
    list as appropriate!

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  20. Google asks if you believe a site is engaged
    in buying or selling links that pass PageRank
    to tell them about it :
    https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/p
    aidlinks?pli=1

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  21. TLDROL
    As well as the GOOG, Bing and
    Yahoo guidelines there are the rules
    / laws of e.g.
    ICANN
    UK Advertising Standards Authority
    UK Competition and Markets
    Authority etc

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  22. The basis of Google SEO is understanding
    & implementing the Google Webmaster
    Guidelines especially in relation to user
    experience, the fundamental aspect of which
    being supplying quality information for the
    user. This same knowledge will help you
    scrutinise the competition. Google
    encourages us to report violations of it’s
    guidelines.

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  23. For these slides and further
    guidance r.e. Bing & Yahoo
    www.seolondonsurrey.co.uk/blog

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  24. Sign up to my newsletter at
    www.seolondonsurrey.co.uk/blog
    twitter.com/SEOTipsnTricks

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