Complex and evolving algorithms are what Search Engines are all about, and for sure SEO Agencies, Digital Marketers, and Freelancer SEOs consistently try to get better off such algorithms to stay afloat and stay ahead.
Links are a potential ranking signal for any website, yet it’s very often challenging to generate a positive ROI through Link Building, it’s the single most important factor that drives referral traffic, and pushes authority as well as trust, which in turn, be the basis for overall brand building for any business.
Gone are the times when the sites with more backlinks were supposed to have higher rankings, today it’s more about relevance, backlink health, and the impact that a backlink delivers to the overall website SEO.
Thus ‘Site Quality’ of the incoming link is paramount to getting the desired result from any link-building campaign. The inability to measure a website, you’re expecting a backlink from, on any of the parameters mentioned above can potentially be impactless and instead even have your website flagged off for manual penalties if you continue to build such backlinks.
We’ve broadly concluded 6 essential signals that will head you in the right direction with your link-building efforts.
Let’s get started:
While you review the website, understand these parameters seriously.
- Weigh each aspect (as some are more important while some with less important)
- Build a footprint for multiple parameters and not just one.
I really like the word relevance as this is something that has immense control over your choice of websites linking back to your website, content, or keyword anchor.
1. Industry Relevance
Let’s Suppose you’re building a link for a site for cosmetic products, the site of an automobile for the purpose would certainly be a mismatch and your backlink may turn out to be an utter failure for the users connecting with it and may appear to be pushy too.
Both the sites are grossly unrelated and it’s easier for algorithms to identify this mismatch as both the sites belong to different industries altogether, instead getting a link from a fashion blog would be a preferable choice.
Any further clarification would just be bragging without purpose, so I’d like to leave this for your consumption and understanding.
2. Niche Relevance
A cosmetic selling website getting a backlink from a makeup artist would fall in the niche relevant link generation and is expected to make even more impact than the example shared under industry relevance.
Since the audience of both the websites has a common interest that revolves around beautification, they are more likely to move to and fro a website resulting in better engagement and can potentially prompt action taking as well.
3. Content Relevance
A random Video Marketer thinks of sharing his/her secret to creating better quality video content and in the process shares detailed video content on ‘How To Use Makeup To Enhance your appearance on Camera”.
Now the video marketer neither relates to the Cosmetics industry nor does he/she identifies with the niche but the content that’s being generated very well goes with your prospective audience and a backlink to your cosmetic website to refer to your product catalog can prove out be a big catalyst in promoting your website.
The basic idea behind any link-building campaign is to extract maximum impact out from the linking website. But how can you judge the impact before building a link to your website? Here’s a subtle way to find out:
Doing basic research about the author can reveal a lot about the potential impact you’re going to generate with the link. The responsibility for the main content and support content lies with the Author/Blogger.
The web is full of ghost blogs with no influence and plain content, but you want to engage with a real person, does the information about the author look unreal, can you find him active on different platforms? Is the blogger targeting the same country as your target audience?
These are some of the basic questions that can ensure your link-building efforts generate maximum impact.
Influence & Engagement
To dig a little deeper, you can check the activity level of the blogger, how frequently one posts, and how much effort he/she puts to get maximum exposure for his content.
You can check the no. of shares, comments, or likes on his/her social media to understand how much influence a blogger commands and how much engagement you can expect on content with the backlink to your website.
Normally these things are often overlooked in pursuit of delivering with the least effort but if you’re serious about your business, this can work wonders with your off-page SEO.
Backlink Health Score
There are a number of factors to judge the over-health score of a website but remember it’s not always the only factor that would result in the worthiness of a backlink. However, one can use this as a basic parameter to filter websites out of a huge database.
It can help make your outreach less labor-intensive and yield better quality results in terms of website outreach. Some of the metrics to consider are:
I personally like to rate organic traffic of a domain to be the best signal to acquire a link from, once I’ve filtered the websites based on the Relevance criterion for it potentially can generate targeted traffic to the website in question.
Monthly organic traffic is a great measure to rely upon for a link to ensure maximum impact on your google rankings as well as overall authority.
Any seasoned marketer or an SEO would want to have a healthy link profile for the website, he/she is looking to outreach for backlink generation. Referring to Domains pointing to the website is a good way to judge the quality/authority of the website on the fly.
Also, cross-verifying the link profile of any domain for the factors discussed in the Relevance Section would give a fair idea if the domain has a clean link profile or if it looks too spammy.
We as SEOs love to use different tools to judge how effective the link is expected to be, based on a number of metrics shown by these tools. Although the importance of these metrics has diluted over time, these can still be used as a ready reckoner for choosing quality websites in huge numbers. Some of the metrics are:
– Ahrefs’ Domain Rating
One of the most widely used tools today, Ahrefs’ Domain Rating – DR, exhibits the power of a target website’s backlink profile. Like the DA the logarithmic scale goes from 0 – 100 (the latter being the strongest).
– SEMrush’s Authority Score
SEMrush uses an authority score for measuring the impact of a domain’s link or a web page. This compound domain score grades the overall quality of a website.
The same formula as others applies here also as the higher scores are directed towards the more assumed weight a webpages or domain’s backlinks could have.
– Moz’s Domain Authority
The use of MOZ has considerably gone downwards after Google’s update to cull the use of PBN. But still, DA – Domain Authority developed by MOZ remains a fair judge of link quality, especially for people relying on PBN.
DA is a search engine ranking score that is responsible for anticipating how likely a site will rank in SERPs – search engine result pages. The domain authority scores range from 1 – 100 and the higher the scores there is greater the probability of ranking.
– Moz’s Page Authority
Along with the DA, Page Authority (PA) is another score developed by MOZ which predicts the authority of a specific page, which one is planning to get a link from. The Page Authority scores range from 1 – 100.
Like others, the higher scores correspond to optimal ranking abilities.
With all these metrics you should not replace your manual research as parallel to this, you require a deeper analysis of your prospects too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How Can You Assess The Quality Of A Link Building Site?
Ans 1. Much has been discussed in the write-up above and for assessing the quality you should cover the undermentioned parameters:
- Niche/Industry relevance
- Content structure and engagement
- Geographical location
- Backlink profile analysis
- Top keywords that a site ranks for
- Website’s rating with a domain trust rate
- Search engine penalties, Spam content, etc.
Q2. Why Does It Remain Important To Have A Link From A Trusted Source?
Ans 2. Backlinks from websites that are trustworthy assists the search engines to figure out what the site is all about and helps you get rankings too. According to New York Times.com, any links based on authority and trust hold more importance than the less-trusted websites.
Q3. Are Outbound Links Important?
Ans 3. One of the ways by which search engines and people discover useful and valuable content is referred to as outbound links.
They hold much importance as they can improve:
- Organic traffic
- Build trust
- Facilitate relationships with other businesses
- All these three things if achieved relate to successful link building.
Q4. Can I Know At Least Five Types Of Backlinks?
Ans 4. Some commonest backlink types are:
- Editorial based backlinks
- Header, footer, and sidebar links
- Relationship-based backlinks
- Guest blogging
- Paid links
- Guest posting at scale and others…