SEO Myth: Are Competitors Backlinks Not Counted?

Aug 12, 2010 • 9:08 am | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO

I always wonder how certain SEO myths get started. A new one I spotted today at WebmasterWorld is saying that if you have some of the same links of your competitors, Google will discount them for you, since your competitors already have those links.

In other words, if you have a link from the Yahoo Directory category page after your competitor, Google would only count the link to your competitor and not you.


He phrased his question as, "Is is true that it's not possible Google count same back links for your website which your competitor have."

No it is not true! A link is a link, of course some links are not counted at all, due to them not passing PageRank or having a nofollow attribute. But if you and your competitor both have a link on the same page, Google should count them both.

So where the heck did this theory come from? martinibuster thinks it came from the concept of link cliques. He explains and I love how he said it, so here is a full quote:

The idea underlying link cliques is that poaching the competition creates a backlink profile for your site that is derivative of established sites, creating a situation of diminishing returns because you cannot exactly duplicate the competitions backlinks and jump ahead with a partial set of duplicate links. The answer that link cliques suggests is to develop a set of backlinks that are entirely relevant but completely different than the established websites. If you study the top five you will see that many times the backlinks of even the established sites come from unique directions that are exclusive of other sites ranking in the top five or even the top five.

It is amazing how we go from this to the above question. Can you imagine that? First come first serve, for a link on a specific page.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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08/12/2010 01:38 pm

I would have thought it more likely that this originates from the idea that only the first link to the same URL on a page is counted, proved by SEOmoz. It's a small leap (but faulty) leap of imagination to think this applies to links to different URLs on the same page.

Barry Schwartz

08/12/2010 01:45 pm

I was thinking that also Chris.

Michael Martinez

08/12/2010 03:18 pm

I don't understand what makes these resources cliquish. I've been advising people NOT to copy their competitor's backlink profiles for YEARS, so martinibuster's advice is nothing new or revolutionary.

Michael Martinez

08/12/2010 03:19 pm

"I would have thought it more likely that this originates from the idea that only the first link to the same URL on a page is counted, proved by SEOmoz." SEOmoz proved no such thing. The idea that only the first link counts is yet another myth based on bad testing methodologies.


08/12/2010 10:18 pm

I agree that only the first link counts. This is coming from my experience in extensive hours of link building.


08/13/2010 04:07 am

I created a lot of backlinks in one hours.. I wait for bl for 2 weeks but they have not been count yet.


08/14/2010 12:46 pm

Well i disagree with the thing that only first link gets counted. It is true for the same url but for different url its still gets counted.


08/17/2010 12:23 am

All links will be counted it just depends on what they’re worth t the search engine. I could be wrong because I'm still learning backlink/link building techniques. Has anyone used to find white hat link building opportunities? I came across it a couple weeks ago and am wondering if other people are using it for SEO.


10/29/2010 11:41 am

I always thought a backlink was a backlink with no matter who else in front of you on the page had the same link ie Yahoo etc.. Very useful info thanks. <a href=""> Internet Marketing Software Tools, PLR and MRR Products </a>

Call Pakistan

01/16/2011 02:41 am

Those region additions are great. Keep up the good writing and research!

SEO Professionals

08/22/2011 06:31 am

A way to find good backlinks is first by finding good competitors. As you are most likely a young website starting up, you may want to find young and successful websites. Using different search engines explore what searches bring up what competitors, and once you've found a competitor that you want to explore further, search their website to see what links come up. Also, it's essential that for every Search Engine Optimization campaign that you or your SEO Consultant use the tools available, as they will assist you in organizing your findings.

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