Q: I am a new affiliate manager and am working on recruiting affiliates to my niche. How do I use search to find qualified affiliates of my competition, or even if they are not promoting my competition?
A: There are a handful of software programs, such as Link Capture that purport enabling you to find the affiliates of your competition.
Essentially, these programs run queries in search engines and enable you to save some time in finding which sites are ranking well for various searches, as well as which sites are linking to your competitor’s site(s).
Presumably, those companies linking to your competitor(s) are affiliates, but this technique relies on affiliate programs having affiliates link directly to the company’s domain, as Amazon.com and other affiliate programs do.
Most affiliate programs use a redirected url with affiliate networks, so this method isn’t useful. You can do this sort of search on your own via Google Webmaster Central.
Also, search on the big search engines to see which sites rank well for your top keyword searches. Then contact these sites to see if they’d be willing to work with you.