For many years now, anybody looking to analyze their competitors’ backlinks simply had to launch Yahoo Site Explorer, type in a URL, and dig away at the mounds of free link data. Since YSE closed its doors in November, seasoned bloggers, amateur web masters, and professional SEOs have been scrambling to find a replacement for what was once such a pivotal tool in their link research arsenal.
There are a number of viable replacements on the market, some of which are free and others that require monthly subscriptions, namely Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO, and Link Research Tools. With each passing month, however, more and more people are starting to discover a nifty new search engine named Blekko, which, aside from its ambitious goal of bringing editorial curation back into the search engine world, offers an astounding amount of free SEO information to users.
What is Blekko?
Blekko is a new type of search engine, one that rejects the algorithmic approach that other search engines have relied upon for the last decade. Instead, Blekko looks to revive the idea of human curated, editorialized search engine results that place a greater emphasis on the source of content and less emphasis on link authority. Part of Blekko’s philosophy is remaining open and transparent, the product of which is an abundance of great SEO data – if you know how to access it.
Competitive Research with Blekko
Take a moment to type your blogs URL into Blekko, followed by the command /SEO. What you will find is an incredible amount of available data. Not only is Blekko able to output the same sort of inbound link data that we once relied on Yahoo Site Explorer for, but it offers much, much more. Inbound links are able to be sorted according to date, and users can pull up nifty graphs and pie charts showing all sorts of data including geographic sources of links.
And that’s just where Blekko gets started. The search engine is also able to show:
- Domains that have duplicated your content
- Detailed crawl stats
- Your landing pages ordered by strength
- Your outbound links on a page level.
There are some limitations. Blekko’s link index is not yet as strong as Yahoo Site Explorer’s was, nor does it yet match companies like Majestic SEO that have been indexing the web for years. This aside, Blekko is still a very good source for competitive link data, and certainly a useful tool for anybody starting a link building campaign for their blog or website. Moreover its data is offered completely free – a price that none of its competitors can match, given the extensive amount of data offered by Blekko.
As you retool and reboot your blogs’ link building campaign in 2012, Blekko is a great place to start looking for sneaky link opportunities and high quality, actionable metrics to track your campaign’s progress.
Image © rubysoho – Fotolia.com