There are some jobs that have to be done, no matter how boring and time consuming they are and data mining is one of them.
There is plenty of software out there which can help you, but nothing is ever as good as your own instinct and common sense.
However, it’s not always as boring as it seems, finding the kind of links that are pointing to a specific site can get quite interesting particularly if you discover a certain pattern.
But it does get disheartening when you are following all the rules and creating great content, building relationships with other authoritative sites in your niche etc and you see other people building nasty, spammy links and ranking above you – but for how much longer you ask? Surely sooner or later Google will catch up with them!
It’s amazing the tricks that people are still getting up to, links in the page title, keyword stuffing, crappy blogs, links in forum comments that specifically tell you not to add a link!!!
I always say that you should take every negative experience and try to make something positive from it, so I can use this data to warn people to check their backlink profile on a regular basis. Particularly if you have been paying ‘best seo company in world’, (thanks Carl Heaton for the voice that is now stuck in my head) to build links for you.
Every three months, download your latest links from Webmaster Tools and take a look at who is linking to your content. If you don’t have access to Webmaster Tools you can use tools such as SEO Spyglass or Opensite Explorer by Moz.
The quickest way to take a sneaky peak at your backlinks is by typing links: domainname.com into your browser and viewing the results – you may be surprised!
Make sure that you do replace domain name with your own actual domain name though!