It’s not uncommon for a Web site to suddenly appear that (and there’s no delicate way to put this) freaks out a client of ours. Maybe it’s a new competitor coming out of nowhere or entering from an adjacent market. Maybe it’s a big, long-standing competitor launching a new initiative. In any case, it’s important to know how much traction it’s getting.
The first place to go is probably a site such as compete.com that can tell you roughly the amount of traffic it’s getting. But we’ve found that other really important metrics are who’s linking to the site and how many inbound links it’s getting. The tool for this used to be Yahoo! Site Explorer, but that’s been shut down. The new way to do it is with blekko.com.
You simply enter the site URL in the search box and add /inbound, as shown below (click image for a larger version):
Over time, you get a sense of what constitutes “a lot” of inbound links versus hardly any (as a rough guideline hundreds or thousands is a lot, tens isn’t, but this can vary significantly). This also lets you dig into who’s linking to a site, which often provides high competitive intelligence value.
By Sean Campbell
By Scott Swigart