Making competitor analysis useful - Wiep Knol at SearchLove London 2011

Posted by Paul Rogers on 26 October 2011

Wiep Knol is a professional link builder who owns Gila Media and is a co-founder of

Wiep's presentation was definitely one of the best in my opinion, as it was almost all actionable content and tips designed to aid the improvement of link building processes. Wiep demonstrated how he uses an inutitive Excel spreadsheet for analysing link profiles - which was able to provide digestible yet comprehensive content simply by adding in data from an open site explorer CSV download.

The spreadsheet that Wiep was using also used additional SEOmoz and Majestic SEO data from their API's.

Key takeaways from this presentation:

  • Someone can buy hundreds of links and get away with it – but you could buy one and still get penalised
  • Link analysis is great for finding competitors, link networks, coming up with ideas etc
  • Recommendation: Create your own tools – only you know what you want
  • Potential over visibility – a lot of competitors are out there but you don't see them yet
  • Competitors may not rank yet due to restrictions, but they could be your biggest competitors in a few weeks
  • Create a tool to automate keyword and competitor discovery
  • Data analysis is not about charts – it's about what you do with the charts (turn into actions)
  • Look for anomalies within historic link data
  • Look at the types of links your competitors have and review spikes in certain types
  • Look at the average link quality (use SEOmoz data)
  • Look at social activity for information purposes only
  • Use link growth data and charts from Majestic SEO
  • Create one action point for every chart within your analysis
  • Action points = better than pretty charts

Find new competitors by using:

  • PPC
  • Client input
  • Alexa related
  • Social sites
  • Industry publications
  • Related searches in Google

You can also follow Paul on Twitter or Google Plus.


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