Copycat Technique - A Proven Link Building Strategy

Updated: Mar 14

Copycat Technique is the art of mimicking your competition’s backlinking strategy.

It is a proactive approach that involves using Internet research tools to identify potential linking partners and then reaching out to them as part of a link-building campaign.

In this article, we'll cover:

  • How to use Copycat Technique to improve your backlink profile

  • How to use Copycat Technique to design winning content

  • The basics of manual outreach

Table of Contents


#1. Research – The Foundation of Copycat Technique

Backlink Checker

#2. Modeling – The Hardest Part of Copycat Technique

Google Autocomplete

Keyword Difficulty Checker

#3. Outreach – The Final Phase of Copycat Technique




I coined the term “Copycat Technique” during an expert round-up I organized in which I asked over 100 SEO experts to reveal their preferred tactics for earning quality backlinks.

The round-up results were incredible.

In total, our experts recommended over 45 different tactics and tools for building high-quality backlinks, and I came away from the experience with so much knowledge that I didn’t have before.

You can read the full article here: 100 SEO Experts Discuss How to Get High-Quality Backlinks and Share Their Best Link Building Methods.

The five most popular techniques among our panel of experts were:

  1. Create Pillar Content (Read the article to learn more about “Pillar” content)

  2. Write guest posts on other sites

  3. Conduct manual outreach

  4. Answer media inquiries

  5. Sign-up with local directories and resource sites

But the 6th most popular answer was a little harder to put in one sentence.

One participant tried to summarize his favorite technique by saying, “Reverse-engineer your competition’s link-building strategy,” but such a phrase raises more questions than it answers.

First and foremost: How?

What tools and resources does that entail? What skills are required? Most importantly: what is the procedure?

I came up with a basic strategy, and then I went about finding the best tools and resources to complete every step in the process.

I decided to name this strategy Copycat Technique.

The logic behind Copycat Technique is simple: By matching your biggest competitor’s linking profile, you can potentially catch up to them in search results placements.

The best part is that executing Copycat Technique is easier than you might think.

Copycat Technique consists of three straightforward steps:

#1. Research – The Foundation of Copycat Technique

Copycat Technique relies heavily on a suite of free Internet research tools that will reveal who is already linking to your biggest competitor. hosts most of these tools.

Ahrefs has the second-most active web crawler globally, which means they have the largest backlink database on Earth.

Their database contains over 27 Trillion known links between 170 million unique domains, and their bot indexes just under 7 billion pages every day.

Ahrefs is are considered by many to be the foremost experts on backlink analysis.

They also maintain several free research tools that are critically importa