How to measure or evaluate the quality of the backlinks? Which links are useful to have or dangerous to wipe out? If you are unclear, here is an article for you. So, how to assess backlink quality?
Always we come across a statement that “quality of the backlinks is crucial than the volume”. It’s true. What does quality backlinks mean?
What is Quality Backlink?
In SEO, the quality backlink refers to the natural links having relevant content around it, especially on a high-quality website. The link must have the most appropriate anchor text.
The backlink quality is not something assessed in binary, though. It’s fuzzy. Without even meeting these aspects, a link can be of high quality. Indeed, it’s tough to gain a link that meets the above criteria. So, assess backlink quality often to get rid of it then and there.
Why Does the quality of a backlink matters?
Earlier, it was about the number of links pointing to your page decides the page rank and authority.
Google was considering those pages the authoritative and displays in the SERP results. As days pass on, the system gets vulnerable by the SEO spoofs manipulating the link schemes. It includes buying backlinks, hidden links from widget areas, bots to spam comment automatically, link wheels, etc.
To prevent such manipulation, Google introduces Penguin Update to devalue the low-quality backlinks. Ultimately, the natural backlinks (not that appears to be natural) are the significant ranking signals.
Still, backlinks are one of the most crucial ranking factors. So, focusing on the quality of the number of backlinks is imperative. There is no point to take it as “build as many as links as possible”. First of all, building backlinks is itself a wrong term, as far as I believe. It’s likely to be ‘attracting backlinks’. So, the backlinks will be natural.
It’s clear-cut that we must be active in conducting comprehensive backlinks analysis to separate the wheat from the chaffs.
Things to look out while Evaluating the Backlink Quality
It’s always a great practice to run through a comprehensive analysis on your link profile often.
Anyways, you might be using some useful SEO tool or backlink checkers. These days, the tools are smarter enough to handle any SEO related tasks strategically. Backlink auditing is never exceptional.
Besides all, this article aims to get you some ideas to assess backlink quality. Explore it and empower your link profile.
Here are the quick links to navigate –
- Authority & Relevance of the linking domain
- The naturalness of the linking page
- Link Location
- Anchor Texts
- Social Media Influence
How to Assess Backlink Quality, now and then? Let’s get into the details.
#1 Authority & Relevance of the Linking Domain
Those days are gone handling more and large spreadsheets listing the backlinks. SEO tools make it easy listing all your entire backlinks along with more metrics. Using multiple backlink auditing tools and comparing the results would be great if having big league sites with massive backlinks like NeilPatel.
Getting links from different referring domains are more valuable than many links from the same domain. So, identify as much as root domains to gain unique backlinks.
Google is even smarter to identify if your backlinks are from the same IP. That means the vast backlinks from the same IP address denotes the possibilities for links from PBN networks. Here are some of the considerations while analyzing the referring domains of your backlinks.
- Make sure to have each unique backlink from different referring domain
- Verify that your links are not associated with any harmful or spammy domains
- Check the backlinks that are from link exchanges
- Links from the same IP may be resulting in PBN’s links
- Sort out the links from the irrelevant source (domain)
- Backlinks from fresh domains that are not even six months old
Indeed, the referring domains are one of the most crucial things that determine the value of your link. Better to get backlinks from authoritative, natural and quality websites that publish valuable content. Indeed, the site must be offering solutions to its audience base.
#2 Naturalness of the Linking Page
Links that don’t have some degree of relevancy aren’t the proper signs of SEO. You can examine the relevancy in multiple ways: domain to domain or page to page or link to the page. Ultimately, if you couldn’t explain the exact things to the audience (how obvious your link on another site), then likely the relevancy isn’t there.
So the backlinks must be between the pages from the same niche. For an instant, if a page is about ‘pet care’ linking to the domain that talks about ‘yoga’ are meaningless.
Digging the details of the web page that is linking to you can help you better to assess the quality of your every backlink. Check the number of outbound links on the page. More the number of outbound links, lower the power of link will be. Do not lose your link value among the flood of links (link crowd).
Likewise, check out how natural your link appears on the specific page, link depth, HTTP status of the page, etc. Notably, the content type, quality of the content, and relevancy decide the value of your link.
Similar to the authority of the linking domain, the linking pages are also worth analyzing.
#3 Link Locations or Placement
Every link on a page passes some proportion of link juice to other pages. Keep in mind that not all the links will pass the same value to the others. The placement of a link impacts the flow of link juice and hence, the link power.
Better to have the links in the body of the content will be considered more valuable and passes more link juice. Notably, the link that appears at the top claims more click and value than the link that occurs lower in the content. Guest blogging is best to acquire dofollow links (surrounded by valuable content) from the niche relevant authoritative sites (as below).
Probably, to reduce the link depths, people would place links on the header, footer and sidebar widgets. Also, these links are highly visible to get more clicks. Exceptionally, that doesn’t offer much value to your SEO.
By the way, don’t underestimate the value of the links via blog commenting. Google weighs those links from user-generated content higher than other links. Even though it is nofollow, it has its value.
#4 Anchor Texts Distribution
You may use tools like CognitiveSEO, Woorank, etc., to understand the anchor text distribution of your backlinks. In terms of anchor texts, the average anchor text ratio decides the quality of your link profile.
Google considers each backlink quality as well as the wholesome quality of your link profile. You must have proper anchor text distribution between different anchor text types. Here are some of the most often used anchor text types.
- Exact keyword – same as your primary keyword exactly
- Partial match keyword – Partially matches your primary keyword
- Brand anchors – your brand names used as anchor texts
- LSI Anchor text – related keywords used as anchor texts
- Image anchor text (nothing but the image alt attribute)
- Generic Anchors – more generic words like ‘click here.’
- Naked anchor texts – directly having the URL as anchors
It is better to keep your anchor texts random, non-optimized. Just go with the content flow. Don’t manipulate anchor texts to fit it to the content. In case, you try to have all your anchor texts of backlinks; then it falls under anchor text over-optimization.
Moreover, the backlink will lose its value; even you will hit by Google Penguin.
#5 Social Media Influence of the Page
Analyze the quality of your backlink evaluating the social magnitude of the linking page: more the social shares and engagement it receives, higher the quality of your link. There are higher possibilities for readers to click-through your link. Indeed, they are the prospects interested in your niche.
Social shares contribute greater to drive referral traffic to any website. If the linking page has high social influence, then leverage it to empower your link. Those backlinks are worth to have.
Final Take Away on Backlink Quality Assessment
To perform a comprehensive backlink analysis assessing the quality of your backlinks, hope the above tips would be of more help. Identify as many as referring domains, analyze its authority, social influence, strategize anchor texts, and verify the exact page you are linking.
Indeed, don’t break your mind to build backlinks. Make sure to create cornerstone content that attracts natural backlinks. So, let it get you more authoritative backlinks.
So, your efforts towards analyzing the link profile and disavowing the bad backlinks will be low. Also, to ensure you are safe from Google penalties.