Protect Your Backlink Profile: Prevent Competitors From Stealing Your Links

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The web is chock full of articles claiming to teach readers how they can spy on and steal backlinks from their SEO competitors. SEO tools these days come with specialized features that enable this kind of spying and stealing.

What Does It Mean To Steal A Competitor’s Links? Is It Ethical?

As mentioned above, most leading SEO tools offer a feature that allows users to look at any website’s backlink profile. This information is available in great detail, covering data points like the URL of the website where the link is generated, the age of the link, the anchor text.

The SEO tools make this possible using website crawlers, similar to the ones used by search engines. You can learn more about website crawlers here.

By looking at this information, the users can then reach out to the same websites and build similar links as their competitors to beef up their backlink profile.

Whether or not doing this is ethical is a matter of great debate, primarily because stealing backlinks is a widely used technique, especially among SEO beginners. Having said that, from a website owner’s or SEO professional’s perspective, having your hard earned backlinks stolen is not a good feeling.

Preventing the website crawlers of SEO tools from accessing your website’s backlink profile is surprisingly easy for someone with the right technical expertise.

Don’t fret if you aren’t very tech savvy. Simply add these codes to your website’s Robot.txt

Robots.txt code

User-Agent: *
Disallow: /
User-Agent: Googlebot
Allow: /
User-Agent: Googlebot-Mobile
Allow: /
User-Agent: Googlebot-Image
Allow: /
User-Agent: Mediapartners-Google
Allow: /
User-Agent: Adsbot-Google
Allow: /
User-Agent: Slurp
Allow: /
User-Agent: msnbot
Allow: /
User-Agent: msnbot-media
Allow: /
User-Agent: Teoma
Allow: /

Once this code has been added, no tool will be able to obtain information about your website’s backlink profile.

If you are using a WordPress website, where it is very complex to make changes to the code, you can use WordPress plugins that are designed to block SEO tools’ website crawlers. Spyderspanker and Linkprivacy are two of the most popular options.


There you have it. A simple way to protect the privacy of your backlink profile from the prying eyes of competition.

If you need the help of an expert in implementing the code to your website, get in touch with our team at Digital Web Solutions without hesitation.


You need to practice the following measures to prevent bad backlinks:

  • Collect and analyze your backlink data.
  • Use tools like Google Search Console to identify bad backlinks.
  • Reach out to the blogger and ask them to remove the backlink.
  • Continue tracking and monitoring the backlinks for such anomalies.
  • Disavow the bad backlinks that are harming your website’s SEO.
  • Protect your best backlinks, as they are the most at risk of being stolen.

Backlinking is one of the major signals that tell Google that a particular website has some value to offer. It is basically the other site’s vote of confidence for your website. If several websites link to the same web page, search engines like Google identify the page’s content to be worth linking to. That is why a higher number of quality backlinks leads to a higher ranking on the search engine results page. In simpler words, earning backlinks has a positive impact on your website ranking as well as search visibility.