How To Hide Backlinks From Competitors

The key to building up your position in the search engines is to get backlinks. Generally speaking, the more backlinks a site gets, the higher its position in the search engines will be.

There are a variety of ways to build backlinks. One of the most common methods is to look at the links that your competitors are receiving. After all, if a site is linking to one of your competitors, the chance is pretty high that they will link to you too. You may even be able to replace some of your competitor’s links with your own.

Of course, while it is all well and good snooping on your competitor’s links, you probably don’t want them to be doing the same to you. After all, if they steal your links, your position in the search engines will decrease. Theirs will increase.

So, how can you hide backlinks from competitors? Well, sadly, you won’t be able to hide backlinks fully. However, you can make it a little bit more difficult for them. There are two methods for this.

Know Which Companies Scan For Backlinks

Outside of the search engines, there are a few pieces of software that will scan for backlinks. If you use an SEO company, then the chances are that they will use one of these pieces of software. It is the easiest way to track the growth of a site online. These pieces of software also enable you to snoop on your competitor’s links. The most popular pieces of software are:

  • Moz (Bot name: Rogerbot)
  • Semrush (Bot name: Semrushbot)
  • Ahrefs (Bot name: Ahrefsbot)
  • MJ12bot (Bot name: Majestic)
  • Xenu (Both name: Xenu)

This isn’t a complete list of all of the SEO bots out there. There are dozens and dozens of them, and if you are serious about hiding your backlinks from competitors, we suggest that you put in a little bit of research. You will want to block as many of them as you possibly can. This is a good starter list, though.

Disable Access Using Robots.txt

The easiest method to hide backlinks from competitors is to create a robots.txt file. You will need to put this in the root folder of your server. The robots.txt file is simple. For each both you want to ban, you type the following line:

User-agent: BotName Disallow: /

So, if you wanted to ban the Semrush bot, then you would tap the following into your robots.txt file:

User-agent: SemrushBot Disallow: /

Of course, you can include as many bot names as you want. Although, do bear in mind that there are some bots that will ignore the robots.txt file. This means that you will have to do something else. This means editing the .htaccess file on your site.

Disable Access Using .htaccess

The .htaccess file can be found in the root directory for your site. We do not recommend that you change the .htaccess file unless you know what you are doing. In order to do this, you will want to add code such as the following to your .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} .*Rogerbot.* [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} .*Majestic.*
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ [L,R=301]

You can add as many ‘OR’ conditions as you want.

While this piece of code won’t explicitly ban a bot from your site when the bot does land on your site, they will be redirected somewhere else. You can change the domain given to a poor-quality site, for example. This will confuse your competitors.

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How To Hide Backlinks From Competitors
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