You can always spy on your competitors to find links. But are they worth the effort? Most often not. Just ranking higher in Google does not mean that their backlinks are good. Some of them may be good and worth replicating but not all of them. Not all backlinks may be of good quality. It is sensible to analyze the link first and see if it will be good for your SEO. Do not build bad links which you will disavow later. Don’t waste your time and risk getting penalized.
Analyze the quality of the websites you associate your brand with. No matter what your niche is, there are billions of websites out there. Be picky and find the websites that are willing to link to you. Only choose the ones that are good and will leave a positive impact on your SEO. Here are some metrics to determine if a website is good.
Make sure that the website is indexed - All your backlinks must be indexed and should come from websites that are not penalized by search engines. Use a search engine query in Google domain.com to find out if it is indexed. Replace the site you are checking with the URL if you are not using domain.com. Also, check if any existing backlinks are coming from domains that are not indexed by Google. If the icon is red in Monitor Backlinks, it means that the site is not indexed. Always filter your backlinks by their index status.
Check if the website is ranking on its title - By searching the name of the domain in Google you can find out if a Google algorithm has penalized the website. There is a risk that the website is not reputable if it is not ranked in the first position when searched by its name. Only links from the first page will have a good impact on your SEO.
How often does the website publish fresh content - You are on the right track in case the website you are testing has passed the above two steps. Before taking a decision, check how frequently new content is published on the website. Posting once, twice or more in a week is a good sign. You might have found a good site to link with. Otherwise, if the website has not posted anything for months, it is probably abandoned and is not worth spending your precious time.
Does the website relate with your website - The content of the site you want to get a backlink from should relate with your website. You should check how active the website and its audience are before building a link by guest blogging. Quite often comments on their website may only be interacting with social media. Anyway, the active audience is a signal that the website is good and might even send some referring traffic.
Never forget to check SEO metrics - It is easy to analyse the quality of a website by checking the SEO metrics. Some important metrics to check include Trust & Citation Flow, Domain Authority &MozRank, status of Backlinks & Spam Score of the website.
In case the website passes all of these rigorous checks, be sure that you have found a good website to relate with. Try to get a backlink from it, but keep a watch, things can change over time.