How to Use Ahrefs Backlinks Checker for Link Building

Ahrefs is one of the most powerful backlink tools on the market that can instantly give your SEO strategy a boost. 

With Ahrefs’ Backlinks Checker, you can perform backlink research, conduct a competitive backlink analysis, and discover high-quality, replicable link building opportunities.

However, most people haven’t explored all the different ways to find link building opportunities in this SEO tool.

But don’t worry.

In this article, we will:

This Article Contains:

(Click on the links below to jump to a specific section):

Ahrefs Backlink Checker Overview

Most of the link building tactics we’ll be covering involve using Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and key metrics from the Backlink Profile reports.

So, sit back and relax while we give you a tour of Ahrefs’ SEO toolset!

Ahrefs’ Backlink Profile reports in Site Explorer can help you analyze the backlink strategy of any site and get access to domain and page-level metrics for the site.

ahrefs' backlink profile report for

Here’s how to get started:

site explorer in ahrefs

A. The Overview Report

Next, you’ll get an Overview report, which is like an Ahrefs dashboard with key SEO metrics of your target site:

ahrefs overview report

Let’s break this down:

  • Ahrefs Rank (AR): AR ranks all the websites in the Ahrefs database by the size and quality of their backlink profiles. The more and higher-quality backlinks a website has, the closer its AR is to #1.
  • Domain Rating (DR): A domain-level metric that shows the strength of a website’s backlink profile compared to the others in Ahrefs’ database on a 100-point scale. 
  • URL Rating (UR): A page-level metric that shows how strong a page’s link profile is. The bigger the number, the stronger the link profile.
  • Backlinks: The total number of links that point from one website to another. You can have multiple backlinks from a website or web page.
  • Referring Domains: The total number of websites from which the target website or web page has one or more backlinks. 

Please note that all SEO tools, including Ahrefs, will give you estimates. Most of the time, Ahrefs’ estimates are very reliable for guiding your content and SEO strategy.

B. Interactive Graphs

Ahrefs’ backlink tool also has interactive graphs that can help you monitor the growth and decline of backlink profiles.

backlink profile graphs in ahrefs

Here’s a breakdown of these three graphs:

  • Ahrefs rank: This graph shows how your target site’s Ahrefs rank has changed over the past three months.
  • Referring domains: This graph shows how the total number of unique domains linking to your target site has changed over time.
  • Referring pages: This graph shows how the total number of unique pages linking to your target site has changed over time.

These interactive views can help you understand what’s happening to a page or site and if that page or site has had consistent link growth.

C. The Backlinks and Referring Domains Report

Ahrefs’ Backlinks report and Referring Domains report is where you’ll get deeper insights into a page or domain’s backlink profile.

Note: Ahrefs also has an internal backlinks report that shows you a page’s internal links. This report can also help you fix minor technical SEO issues and gain insight into your competitors’ internal linking strategy without running a site audit.

Interested in finding internal linking opportunities?
Check out our guide to internal linking in Ahrefs.

Now, back to backlinks!
Here’s how the Backlinks report works:

The Backlink report gives you a granular view and lists the pages of external websites that link to the website, subsection, or URL that you’re analyzing.

For example, we added the URL to Ahrefs’ blog on backlink audits, and this is what we found:

backlinks report

As you can see, the report has given us some new data points that we didn’t see in the Overview report.

Here’s a breakdown of this new information:

  • Linked domains: Shows the number of unique root domains linked from the referring page at the time of the most recent crawl.
  • Ext: Shows the number of external links from the referring page. This is useful if you’re doing resource page link building. If the referring page has many external links, you might be able to secure a backlink there too. 
  • Traffic: See estimated organic search traffic to each linking page and referring domain.
  • KW: Shows the number of keywords that the referring page ranks for in the top 100 organic search results across the 171 countries in Ahrefs’ database.
  • Anchor and backlink: Shows the backlink’s anchor text, the surrounding text, and the URL where the backlink points to. 
  • This filter can help you understand how and why a page was linked to. Additionally, you can use this information to replicate competitor backlinks without visiting the page.

Lots of new info to work with, right?
But, that’s not all.

Let’s take a closer look at the referring page data.

referring page data

Here, we can see a few tags: “EN,” “WORDPRESS,” and “CONTENT. Here’s what these tags tell us about the referring page:

  • EN: The referring page is in English.
  • WordPress: The page runs on WordPress.
  • Content: The referring page is content-based.

These tags can help you understand what kind of pages are linking to your target website or page. 

The Backlinks report also has some useful filters.

backlinks filters

Here’s a breakdown of each filter:

  • Group Similar: This view shows you unique backlinks only. Backlinks with the same anchor text and “surrounding text” will be grouped together.
  • One Link Per Domain: This view shows you only one backlink per referring domain. This filter is helpful if you want to avoid contacting the same domain multiple times.
  • All: This view shows all backlinks pointing at your target. This view is useful if you want to work with large data sets.
  • Link Type: This filter can apply to either a metric, the referring page, or the anchor and surrounding text. Here are some filters you can select: educational, governmental, content, nofollow, dofollow, etc.
  • Platform: This filter shows you what kind of platform the referring page is. For example, an Ecommerce site, blog, message board, etc.
  • Language: The language the referring page is written in. This filter is helpful if you’re planning on doing outreach for links in a specific language.
  • Traffic: This filter shows you how much organic search traffic the referring page is getting. This filter can help you prioritize pages that can send you referral traffic.
  • Include and Exclude: This filter lets you search for any text-based data (statistics, terms, etc). This way, you can work with smaller data sets.

Here’s how the Referring Domains report works:
The Referring Domains report gives you a more macro-level view of any site’s backlink profile.

To find backlink data on your competitors’ sites, simply enter their domain into Site Explorer.

And to find data on your own domain, add your own site in the search bar. 

For example, we entered into Site Explorer, hit the “Referring Domains” report, and this is what we found:

referring domains report

Here’s a breakdown of the filters we get in this report:

  • Link Type: This filter can help you see websites linking to your target site with at least one followed link.
  • TLDs: This filter can help you identify unnatural or spammy links.
  • Search in Results: By entering domains in this search box, you can find sites that haven’t linked to your site before. This is useful if you’re looking for new guest-posting opportunities.

Why’s the Referring Domains report useful?
You can use the report and its filters to see how strong a site’s backlink profile is, find replicable backlinks, get the context of each link, and even learn about your competitors’ serial linkers.

For example, we clicked on the carrot under the “Links to target” column, and this is what we found:

links to target

This data reveals all the backlinks from that particular site pointing to your target website. The “Anchor and backlink” filter also gives us some contextual information about the backlink.

However, you can also use Ahrefs’ backlink analytic tool to analyze your site’s referring domains.

To do this, simply enter your domain into Site Explorer. Next, search for a domain in the “Search in results” search bar. 
For example, we entered Ahrefs’ domain and found that we (Startup Voyager) don’t have any backlinks from them:

referring domains

However, if you know that a site has linked to your site before, you can check the “Link to target” filter to see how many backlinks you’ve gotten from them in the past.

links to target

Although you could reach out to the site that’s already linked to you four times, an additional backlink from them wouldn’t be as valuable as a backlink from a new referring domain, in our case – Ahrefs.

Gaining a backlink from a new referring domain will show Google that an additional resource finds your content valuable and should be displayed to search engine users. 

However, not all backlinks are created equal. 

The quality of the backlink depends on the authority of the referring domain and a few other factors.

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Next, we’ll show you how to use the Ahrefs tool to find high-quality link building opportunities.

4 Steps You Can Take to Find Link Building Opportunities in Ahrefs

Here are four steps you can take to find high-quality link building opportunities in Ahrefs:

Step 1: Identify Your Competitors

Identifying your competitors can help you figure out where they’re getting their links from. This way, you can figure out how and if you can replicate your competitors’ backlinks.

Not sure who your online competitors are? 
Your online competitors are sites that rank high in search engines for the same queries you want to rank for. 

Here are three ways you can find online competitors:

A. Plug Your Seed Keyword into Google

A seed keyword is a search term that’s directly related to your business. 

Most SEO tools like SEMRrush’s Keyword Magic Tool and Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer use seed keywords to generate keyword suggestions for you.

To find some seed keyword ideas, think about the following questions:

  • What’s my website about?
  • What do I sell?
  • What kind of keywords do I want to rank for?
  • What keyword ads would I buy?
  • What search terms would a customer use to search for my site?

Not sure how to do keyword research?
Check out our guide on 5 ways to do keyword research in Ahrefs to get some keyword ideas!

For example, if we had a hypothetical weight-loss/health company, we’d come up with seed keywords like “diet,” low carb diet,” “fitness,” how to lose weight,” and “lose weight.”

Next, we’d enter our list of keywords into Google (one at a time).

For example, we entered “how to lose weight,” and here are the top-ranking pages in the search result. (our competitors):

google search results for how to lose wieght

Don’t be intimidated if you come across popular sites like Amazon, Men’s Health, Capterra, or Forbes in the top results. If your content strategy and execution are solid, you can outrank them within weeks.

We regularly outrank top sites for all our clients without acquiring backlinks, and you can do the same!

Now, let’s take a look at two ways you can use the Ahrefs tool to find some competitor sites:

B. Use Ahrefs’ Traffic Share by Domains report to Find Sites Ranking for Valuable Keywords

Who is this method for?
This method is useful if your site is still new and you don’t rank for any organic keywords yet.

To get started, you’ll need to plug a few of your target keywords into Ahrefs’ keyword research tool, Keyword Explorer, and check the “Traffic Share by Domains” report. This report shows you the sites with the most estimated organic search traffic from your target keyword.

For example, we added our hypothetical weight loss seed keywords into Keyword Explorer:

seed keywords in ahrefs' keywords explorer

And once we clicked the search icon, we got this Overview report with keyword difficulty scores, search volume data, keyword suggestions, and more:

overview report

Next, we hit the Traffic Share by Domains report in the left sidebar, and this is what we found:

traffic share by domains report

This report tells us that sites like Healthline, WebMD, and Diet Doctor compete for the same organic keywords as our hypothetical weight loss business.

C. Use Ahrefs’ Competing Domains report to Find Websites with Overlapping Keywords

Who is this method for?
Since the Competing Domains report identifies websites with overlapping or common keywords, you need to have a site that’s already ranking for some keywords.

To get started, simply enter your domain into Ahrefs Site Explorer and hit the “Competing Domains” report.

For example, we added Diet Doctor’s domain to Site Explorer.

dietdoctor domain report

Next, we hit the “Competing Domains” report in the left sidebar, and this is what we found:

competing domains

The list of websites in the “Competing domains” column rank in the top 10 for some of the same keywords as (the ones at the top have more overlap).

Now we have even more competitors we can add to our list like:

  • Atkins
  • Virta health
  • Perfect Keto 

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Step 2: Find Link-Building Prospects

Ahrefs’ Site Explorer can also help you find and build backlinks; however, it depends on your website’s stage and goals:

First, we’ll cover how you can use Ahrefs to find potential link opportunities without having any content:

A. Find a Relevant Page with a lot of Backlinks

To find link-building opportunities, we need to first find a piece of content with lots of backlinks.

Once you’ve found the right page with many backlinks, you can use this page as inspiration and create superior content. Additionally, you can use your newly-created, high-quality content to replicate some of the links to the original page.

To start, you need to see which pages attracted the most backlinks for one of your competitors.
Fortunately, the Best by Links report in Site Explorer tells you just that.

For example, we entered one of our hypothetical competitors, Healthline, in Site Explorer:

healthline domain site explorer report

Next, we hit the “Best by Links” report.

best by links report

And this is what we found:

best pages by incoming links report in ahrefs

Here’s one of the blog posts that popped up:

a blog post in ahrefs' best pages report

The topic is relevant to our niche, and the page has over 4,000 referring domains and over 34,000 backlinks.

Additionally, if you click on the link, you can get some ideas on how you should write about this topic and replicate your competitor’s content strategy.

For example, we clicked on the link above, and here’s Healthline’s page on how to lose weight:

healthline page

Now, we can replicate that page and get similar competitor backlinks.

However, you can also use the Best by links report to find out what type of content is likely to attract backlinks and then create something slightly different.

For example, many of the most linked-to pages on are list-based articles that focus on tips, benefits, and the effects of something.

top linked to pages for

So, if we were trying to create an SEO campaign and content marketing strategy that will attract backlinks for our hypothetical health and wellness site, creating list-based articles and benefits-based articles would be practical approaches that we should add to our link building campaign.

Additionally, you can create note-worthy content that adds value to the pages you see in the above report.

For example, Healthline mentions cutting back on refined carbs in their weight loss article.
As a business in the health niche, we could write a detailed guide on the effects of refined carbs on your body. 

Now, let’s see how you can find backlink opportunities for an existing page with Ahrefs:

B. Use Ahrefs’ SERP Overview in Keyword Explorer

Since we’re trying to find backlink opportunities for an existing content page, we’ll need to research similar pages that already have the backlinks we want.

To do this, you’ll need to enter your page’s topic into Ahrefs’ keyword research tool, Keywords Explorer, and check out its SERP data.

For example, we entered our hypothetical topic “how to lose weight” and scrolled down to the SERP overview:

serp overview for "how to lose weight"

The above report shows us that Healthline (our competitor) has around 37,000 backlinks, and as a result, we should try to figure out how they got those links and how we can replicate them.

C. Use Ahrefs’ Content Explorer

We can also find fitting pages with lots of links using Content Explorer.

When you search for a term in Content Explorer, the tool will show you all the pages that mention that phrase in their content.
For example, we entered “how to lose weight” and selected “in title” in the dropdown filter.

content explorer in ahrefs

Once we clicked the search icon, we got an interactive chart that shows the changes in the number of published pages every month:

interactive chart in ahrefs' content explorer tool

As you can see, in June 2020, the number of pages on “how to lose weight” shot up. This makes sense since back in June 2020, most of the world was under lockdown. As a result, most people didn’t have access to gyms or any form of proper exercise.

Additionally, a study that was published in March 2021 proves our hypothesis. The study analyzed weight fluctuations for 269 people from February to June 2020. The researchers found, on average, that people gained a steady 1.5 pounds per month.

Next, we scrolled down to the data table and saw our competitor’s (Healthline) page again.

ahrefs' content explorer report for "how to lose weight"

Since we’ve found a page from which we want to replicate backlinks, we entered the URL to “how to lose weight fast in 3 simple steps” into Site Explorer.

site explorer in ahrefs

Next, we hit the “Backlinks” report in the left sidebar.

backlinks report in ahrefs

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We’re now going to examine the backlinks for this page. But don’t worry, we’re not going to examine all 38K backlinks.

We’re going to filter down our list of backlinks first so that we can analyze backlinks that:

Let’s get started.

Step 3: Filter Out Low-Quality Backlink Opportunities

Separating bad links from profitable ones requires a little manual vetting.

But what do you do when a page just has too many backlinks to vet?

For example, once we hit the Backlinks report, we found that the page has over 17,000 unique backlinks.

similar links

To speed up the process, we can use the Backlink report’s filters to get rid of:

  • Low-quality links: Low-quality links are irrelevant backlinks and come from low-authority pages. For example, links from sites that aren’t related to your industry or spammy links.
  • Nofollowed links: These links have a rel=”nofollow” attribute. They’re usually used to link to the pages you don’t want to be crawled or indexed by Google. As a result, they don’t impact your SEO rankings.
  • Links from foreign-language pages: Links from foreign language sites should be avoided (at least initially) since your main source of backlinks should come from the language you want to rank for. 

For example, we applied the following filters:

  • Dofollow
  • Blogs
  • English

Here’s a breakdown of why we chose the above filters:

  • Dofollow: A dofollow link lets search engine bots follow the link and see where it leads. Dofollow links can boost your page rank since they pass on link authority from the referring site to the linked website.
  • Blogs: This filter looks for links that appear on blogs, which are almost always in-content editorial links.
  • English: This filter is useful If you’re planning on doing your email outreach in English.

Once we applied these filters, we were left with around 4,800 unique, decent links, which is more manageable than 17,000:

similar dofollow links

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Step 4: Find Replicable Backlink Opportunities 

Now that we have a list of high-quality links that we want to replicate, we need to figure out which of those links are actually replicable.

To do this, we’ll need to:

  • Understand why the link was given.
  • Determine if and how your link will add value to the linking page.

Here are some different kinds of links:

Once you understand why the link was given, you can figure out if and how you can replicate it. 

Fortunately, with Ahrefs, you use the “anchor and backlink” column to spot these links. 

Here’s a detailed look at these different types of links:

1. Recommendation Links

Recommendation links recommend resources naturally and are found within a sentence.

Here’s an example of a recommendation link:

recommendation link example

However, these links can be quite challenging to get since the journalist, publisher, or blogger has linked to that website because they consider it to be a credible source. 

Here are a few things you should check before you consider reaching out to the author via email:

By answering these questions, you’ll know how and if you can pitch your article to the author.
Additionally, introducing your content to the author might form a relationship between your two sites. 

As a result, they might link to you in the future!

2. Source Links

Source links are articles with graphics, facts, ideas, definitions, or statistics.

Here’s an example of a source link:

source link example

The anchor and surrounding link text usually have a quote from the article. 

Here are a few things you should check before reaching out to the author via email:

  • Do you have a more up-to-date statistic or fact in your article?
  • Do you offer better, high-quality graphics?
  • Do you offer more concise definitions?

However, you can also use source links to spot trends.

For example, if a competitor has a ton of source links because of a statistic, do some of your own research and come up with similar unique statistics to your blog post too. 

In fact, you can use Ahrefs’ Include or Exclude filter to find all the referring pages that link to a page because of a particular statistic. To use it, simply type in a phrase and hit “include” in the dropdown menu.

hit include

For example, we typed in “cucumbers” to see if a lot of pages were linking to Healthline’s article because of their statistic on cucumbers:

cucumbers backlinks

3. Relationship-Based Links

These backlinks exist because of a personal relationship between the author and the site being linked to.

So how do you know if a link is relationship-based?
Simple: by using Ahrefs’ Referring Domains report.

This report will show you all the unique sites that are linking to your target website. Additionally, it’ll show you how many times they’ve linked to the site.

To do this, you’ll need to enter your competitor’s domain into Site Explorer and hit the “Referring Domains” report.

Next, you’ll need to change the Link Type filter to “Dofollow” and sort the table by “Links to Target.”

For example, we entered Healthline’s domain, checked the Referring Domains report, added the filters, and this is what we found:

referring domain report

To get accurate insights from this report, you should only take relevant sites into consideration. 

For example, the first thing we noticed here is that has linked to our competitor over 120,000 times:

medicalnewstoday backlinks

How does this data help you? 
This data tells you that medicalnewstoday is a site you should be building a relationship with since they link to the same sites repeatedly. 

As a result, landing a link from them could probably get your site a lot of referral traffic.

4. Paid links

When you buy a link from a blogger, that link is known as a paid link.

But how can you tell when someone has paid for a link?
Paid links usually have an exact-match anchor text, and they’re placed unnaturally.

However, you shouldn’t try to replicate these links.

Apart from being an expensive link building strategy, Google also penalizes sites that buy links to manipulate the search result. 

However, looking at why links were given isn’t the only way to find replicable link opportunities.

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Next, we’ll look at a few other ways you can find replicable link building strategies by analyzing your competitors’ backlink profiles.

5 Actionable Ways to Replicate Your Competitors’ Backlink Strategies with Ahrefs

If sites link to your competitors, they’ll likely link to your site, too, especially if your content is better.

But how do you know which sites are linking to your competitors?
Simple: by doing competitor backlink analysis.

Running a competitive backlink analysis can give you a deeper understanding of your competitors’ backlinks strategies so that you can reverse engineer their backlinks.

Here are five ways you can use your competitor’s backlinks to find replicable link building strategies for your own website:

Method 1: Research Your Competitors’ Homepage Links

Researching your competitors’ homepage links can show you where their brand name is being mentioned. This way, you can figure out why their brand is being mentioned and not yours. 

Who’s this method for?
This method is useful for anyone who wants to learn why and where their competitors are being mentioned, so they can replicate those strategies.

Here’s how you can find your competitors’ homepage links using Ahrefs:

Step 1: Enter One of Your Competitors into Site Explorer

First, you’ll need to enter one of your competitors into Site Explorer and select the “URL” mode from the drop-down menu.

Selecting this option ensures that the report only shows you links to your target site’s homepage.

For example, we entered one of our hypothetical competitors that we discovered earlier,

webmd domain site explorer report

Once we clicked search, we got this Overview report that shows that WebMD has been mentioned on 160K+ websites.

webmd overview report

So now the question is: 
Why did over 160K sites link to WebMDbut not to our hypothetical website that’s also in the health and wellness niche?

The next step will help us get some answers.

Step 2: Check the Backlinks Report and Add a Dofollow Filter

Next, you’ll need to check the Backlinks report and add a dofollow filter.

For example, here’s what we found when we checked the Backlinks report for

similar dofollow links

To determine why WebMD’s homepage has over 33,000 unique dofollow links, we’ll need to understand why those links were given. You can figure this out by looking at anchor text, surrounding link text, and the page title.

For example, linked to WebMD because the site has actually been acquired by WebMD:

webmd dofollow links

As a result, this is probably not a homepage link that we can replicate.

On the other hand, it looks like we can replicate the link from to WebMD:

replicate link

We visited their page and saw that WebMD was mentioned because they offer a resource on magnesium.

webmd page

Why’s this information useful?
We could probably get a link from this exact page by reaching out to and mentioning that we have some valuable tips and facts on foods high in magnesium that their current article doesn’t mention.

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Method 2: Steal Links From Page-Level Competitors

Page-level competitors are sites that compete with you on a page-level for specific keywords. However, they’re not necessarily sitewide competitors.

Who’s this method for?
This method is useful if you’re looking to create new content and if you’ve got content that’s about to live.

Once your content is ready, simply build backlinks by reaching out to the list of sites you’ve put together from this method.

Here’s how you can steal competitor links from your page-level competitors using Ahrefs:

Step 1: Enter a Competing Domain into Site Explorer

First, you’ll need to enter a competing domain into Site Explorer.

For example, we entered our hypothetical competitor, WebMD:

site explorer page in ahrefs

And once we hit search, we got this Overview report:

webmd overview report

Step 2: Hit the “Best by Links” Report in the Left Sidebar

Next, you’ll need to check out the “Best by links” report under “Pages” in the left sidebar.

best by links report

For example, here’s what we found once we clicked on the Best by Links report:

301 moved report

Next, we added an HTTP status 200 filter.

This filter is important because a page needs to be accessible to search engine crawlers for that page to generate traffic.

When crawlers request your content, you want HTTP status 200 OKs to be returned, which indicates that your page is properly displayed and has no server-related issues.

Once we applied the filter, we got a clean list of replicable page ideas:

HTTP 200 ok filter

Step 3: Find a Few Pages That You Can Replicate 

In this next step, you’ll need to:

  • Identify pages where you already have a similar piece of content that’s even better than your competitors’.
  • Look for pages that you can easily replicate.

For example, we found two pages that our hypothetical website in the health niche could replicate:

similar websites

And since we want to make something even better, we could add even more benefits, throw in some more recent facts, add graphics, etc.

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Method 3: Find Your Competitors Guest Posts 

This method involves finding your competitors’ guest posts so you can write for the same sites.

If your competitor has already had a guest post accepted on a specific site, then there’s a good chance you can get published there too.

Who’s this method for?
This method is helpful for both beginner guest bloggers and experts.

But how do guest posts lead to more links to your site?
Guest blogging is when you write blogs for another website. And in exchange for the article, you can add links to your site within the blog post.

Here’s how you can find your competitors’ guest articles with Ahrefs:

Step 1: Go to Content Explorer and Add the Search Query: “author:“Author name””

Ahrefs SEO toolset also has a Content Explorer tool – a searchable database of hundreds of millions of web pages.

Once you search for a word or phrase, you’ll get a list of popular content, relevant pages, and other useful SEO metrics.

However, since we’re looking for our competitors’ guest articles, we’ll need to limit our content search to a specific author, and we’ll need to add a “one page per domain” filter so we can only see unique pages.

For example, we did a Google search for WebMD’s team, and we came across John Whyte, one of the chief medical officers at WebMD.

google search results for webmd team
webmd search

To find John’s guest posts, we entered “author:“John Whyte” into Ahrefs Content Explorer, added the “one page per domain” filter, and this is what we found.

find guest posts
one page per domain filter

Since one of our competitors has already had their guest posts accepted on sites like, we should send their blog owners a guest post email request.

However, if you’re new to guest blogging and don’t have much experience, you can set the Domain Rating (DR) filter to a maximum of 30. This way, you can find sites that are more likely to accept your guest post.

And once you gain more experience, you can target a high-authority page.

To do this, go to the “+ Add filter” option and select “Domain Rating” in the dropdown menu.

add filter drop down menu

Next, select a maximum DR score of 30.

DR score

For example, we applied the Domain Rating filter, and this is what we found:

DR filter

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Method 4: Find Sites That Link to More Than One Competitor

If a site is linking to more than one of your competitors, it’d be a good idea for you to reach out to them too.

Who’s this method for?
This method is excellent for anyone who’s looking to find all the amazing link-building opportunities they’ve been missing out on.

Whether your site is new or established, this technique can help you find thousands of link building opportunities.

Here’s are a few steps you can to find sites that are linking to more than one competitor with Ahrefs:

Step 1: Go to Ahrefs’ Link Intersect Tool, Add a Few Competitors, and Your Own Domain

Ahrefs’ backlink tool also has a Link Intersect feature that helps you find the sites that link to your competitors’ sites but not to yours (yet).

To use this tool, we need to enter a few direct competitors. 

Fortunately, we already generated a list of competitors in one of the previous steps.

Here they are:

  • Healthline
  • WebMD
  • Diet Doctor

Next, we entered our three competitors and our hypothetical site into Link Intersect:

link intersect tool

Once we hit “Show link opportunities,” we found that over 710,000 domains are linking to our competitors, but not to us:

show link opportunities report in ahrefs

If you want to see individual links, simply click on the numbers. 
For example, we clicked on ‘88” to view Healthline’s individual links from The New York Times:

individual links to from

You can analyze the results to determine why these sites are linking to your competitors but not you. 

Additionally, you might discover new sites or blogs covering your niche and industry communities like forums where your potential customers are looking for information. 

And since your customers and competitors are there, you should be promoting your business there too!

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Method 5: Take Advantage of Your Competitors’ Broken Links

Broken link building involves checking for any broken links that are pointing to your competitors. 

Once you find some, you can replicate your competitors’ broken page content (if you don’t have something similar) and pitch it to the sites that link to those pages.

Who’s this method for?
This method is useful for sites with a ton of ready-made content. However, it’s also super useful if your site is still new and you’re looking for a new content idea.

Here’s how Ahrefs can help you find your competitors’ broken links:

Step 1: Enter a Competitor’s Domain into Site Explorer

We decided to enter WebMD into Site Explorer so we could nab some of their broken links.

site explorer page in ahrefs

Step 2: Hit the “Best by Links” Report and Add a 404 Filter

After we clicked search, we hit the “Best by links report” in the left sidebar.

best by links report in ahrefs

Next, we applied the “404 not found” filter, and here’s the report we got:

404 filter report in ahrefs

The report shows us that WebMD has over 650 broken links.

However, the broken page on the health benefits of matcha tea stood out to us since it’s a piece of content that we can replicate, and over 50 domains are currently linking to that broken link!

If you want to see which specific domains link to the broken page, simply click on the number in the “Referring domains” column.

For example, we clicked on “51,” and here are all the domains that are currently linking to the WebMD’s matcha tea page:

referring domain results

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Is Backlink Building Worth it?

Although high-quality backlinks can boost your site’s ranking position, the link building process can be incredibly challenging and time-consuming, and on most occasions, it isn’t worthwhile when you consider the ROI.

Fortunately, we regularly outrank popular blogs without relying on backlinks!

And the reason for this is simple: SEO is more than just backlinks – it’s about crafting value-based content that answers all your customers’ questions.

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Key Takeaways

Finding and building backlinks can boost your visibility in the SERP, drive referral traffic to your site, and improve your relationship with other sites.

But there’s a lot that goes into link building and a lot of things you need to consider along the way. Fortunately, with Ahrefs Backlink Checker and other link building tools, you’ll have everything you need to build high-quality, powerful backlinks.

However, remember that backlinks aren’t a surefire SEO solution, they can help on occasion, but don’t rely on them entirely for your SEO strategy.

And when it comes to creating a foolproof SEO strategy, it’s best to leave it to the experts.

If you need help with your SEO and content marketing strategy, connect with the SEO experts at Startup Voyager. We can help you create and implement a successful SEO strategy, and drive traffic to your site organically!

About the author

Startup Voyager is a content and SEO agency helping startups in North America and Europe acquire customers with organic traffic. Our founders have appeared in top publications like Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Inc, Huffpost, Lifehacker, etc.

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