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Five steps: How to outrank your competitors on Google

To get high rankings on Google, it is not necessary to have everything that Google expects from a great website. You just have to be better than your competitors.

If you have a website with optimized web pages, it is usually the quality of the links that make the difference. The following tips will help you to get better rankings than your competitors:

Step 1: Find out who your competitors are

Search for five of your main keywords on Google and write down the URLs of the websites that rank best across these keywords. These websites are your main competitors on Google.

Step 2: Check the anchor texts of these websites

The next step is to find out how many of the links to your competitors contain your target keywords. To do this, enter the URL of a competitor in IBP's link manager (IBP > Link > Add sites > Find websites that link to your competitors).

IBP will find all web pages that link to your competitors and it will also show you the anchor texts that are used in the links. IBP enables you to sort the found websites by link text so that you can quickly see which link texts are used.

Required action: Your website should have more inbound links that contain your target keywords than the websites of your competitors.

Step 3: Check the PageRank spread of these websites

Although the official PageRank number that Google displays in its toolbar is a flawed metric, it can still help you to find out why some websites rank higher than others.

If you've used IBP to find the web pages that link to your competitors ((IBP > Link > Add sites > Find websites that link to your competitors) then you also have the Google PageRank of each site that links to your competitors.

Click the PR column header in IBP to sort the found websites by PageRank to find out how many links from high PageRank pages your competitors get.

Required action: If your competitors have more inbound links from web pages with a high PageRank than your website then you should try to get more high PR links. IBP can help you with that.

Step 4: Check the top level domains of the inbound links

If you want to get high rankings on then it might be important to have many inbound links from websites.

Required action: If you target local Google versions (,, etc.) then your website should have more inbound links from websites that use the corresponding top level domain than your competitors.

Step 5: Check the content of the linking pages

Google prefer's websites that get links from related websites. If you sell shoes then a link from a fashion blog is much better than a link from a website about puppies.

Required action: Your website should have more inbound links from related websites than the websites of your competitors. IBP's link builder can help you to find web pages and blogs that are related to your site.

If you follow the five steps above, your website will get better rankings than the websites of your competitors. Another easy way to find out how exactly you have to change your web pages so that they can get top 10 rankings on Google is to analyze them with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer.

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October 2009 search engine articles