Low Quality VS High Quality Back-Links

By Rank Jacker on November 1, 2021

types of links

Being in SEO requires a good amount of time hunting down links.

Certainly, link building still remains the most effective of strategies, to push organic rankings and in the process maximize chances for online visibility of a website in the SERPs but when it is about SEO link building….low quality vs high quality backlinks what undeniable difference between both makes the latter worthy? needs good attention.

Progressively the search engines have habituated their algorithms to explain links in different ways thereby shrinking their use for a web page suitability as an answer to search queries. Furthermore, Google is smart and vigilant enough when it is to discriminate against quality backlinks.

However, not all of them are equal.

In this write-up, I will give a clearer picture of what a healthy backlink profile looks like and what are the benchmarks to follow to separate good backlinks from an average-looking link, which complements your SEO with time.

backlink quality

Quality Backlinks Are Vital!!

In the early SEO days, Google used to judge the best pages on the basis of the number of backlinks or the number of links that pointed to a page.

In short, the number of backlinks pointing to a website was a signal enough for search engines to calculate a website’s reliability and offer prominence in the search engines. But over time, it led to backlink manipulation/Blackhat tactics by SEOs who used to fabricate links to push a website’s rankings.

Not to wonder, Google was quick to update its algorithm to start penalizing sites that indulged in such blackhat backlinks.

Now the whole scenario has changed as Google’s new algorithms put the quality of backlinks in the first place along with Link relevance to hold authenticity.

What Defines A Quality BackLink?

The ultimate benchmark for quality has to be a backlink’s potential to push relevant traffic but in addition to it, there are quite a few other pointers that one needs to consider to maintain a healthy backlink profile.

So here we discuss a detailed analysis to judge the quality of a backlink. Let’s read on

quality of backlinks

Domain & Hosting Details

  • A Records & DNS

You need to check whether the site is sharing its IP address with sites that are of low quality or high quality. As unnatural link sources or blog farms could have just one IP address or host.

  • Uses SSL / https

Low-quality sites are filtered by this. If any owner doesn’t bother much about the site then the result is an unsecured site. And in this case, you will not appreciate a link from them.

Even this was declared by Google too in 2014, that it makes use of SSL/HTTPS as a ranking factor. The sites with SSL are more secure and HTTPS could have some issues. Above all SSL has more weightage.

  • Hosting Country

As this points to the domain location so checking this will help you sift out low-quality sites. If my site is US based and I am getting a link from India then the backlink won’t be of use. The hosting country should match the target country and this will always have an added advantage.

  • English TLD And Language

By this, we are referring to the dominant language the site uses. Check the top-level domain (.com, .in) as it should match your target country and if there is a mismatch (from other countries) then it may be spam or a negative factor. You can cut down the no. of low-quality sites or spam sites this way.

  • No Pills, Poker, Or Adult Sites

Checking external links to any pills, poker, and adult sites needs to be checked seriously. Even any related keywords also. Yes! You need to keep your site completely clean from any suspicious SEO.

backlink quality

Key Metrics

  • Indexed pages: >20

When you link you need to check whether the pages are indexed by Google or not. At least 20 or more pages need to fall into the category of being indexed.

  • Organic Traffic – 500/month + (minimum)

It’s really good if the site you want to link from has a good flow of organic traffic. The site is good and you also have fair chances of traffic coming your way from such sites. The website should have 200+ traffic and that too from the target country.

Also Check: 6 Digital Age Ways To Draw Traffic To Your Business

  • Ref. Domains: >50

The no. of links pointing to a site holds importance and makes us know that the site is a seasoned one. But this is not the primary factor, again it’s about the quality of links from different sites as discussed above.

For e.g. It’s always better to have 15 links from 15 sites rather than just 30 links from one website.

  • DR – 20+ Or DA – 20+

As DR (Ahref’s metrics tool) represents the site strength, so to know the domain’s quality is a good way to assess it.

Don’t get trapped by metrics from third-party tools. DA (Moz metrics tool) is another way to check the site’s rankings and authority.

You can check either of the metrics or both of them.

backlink quality

History Of The Site And Its Growth Trends

  • Check any Penalty/Expiry or Wild Swings in Links/Traffic

You need to check any penalty or expiry of the site as any of these could lead to dubious things such as spam, keyword stuffing, unnatural links, hacked or spammed sites, and more.

SEO takes time, and this is probably what each one of us knows if there is a sudden growth shown in any site this could point to something sinister.

  • Trending-up Traffic & Referring Domain

Any site that is showing a gradual increase in traffic points to natural or organic growth. Surely you will like to link from such sites that show improvement trends this way.

If any website is also on the go of increasing ref. domains then it clarifies that either they are creating great articles or actively building links with decent content marketing thereby attracting backlinks.

  • Referring Domain Anchors & Types

Anchor texts and their relevance with the site are extremely important and this makes Google understand the quality of the site.

This carries equal importance if any site is getting numerous anchor texts that are weird or suspicious then this could be a sign of inferior links or Black Hat SEO tactics.

You also need to check one more thing, the sites you are linking to do not have just the automatically generated junk and are real websites. As you need to link up to sites that get genuine traffic from humans and not any bots.

quality of backlinks

Content Analysis

  • Last Update of the Site

Just ensure that the site you are in the process of linking with should show recent updates (at least a month or less). As old sites which are untouched for years are worthless and should be avoided.

  • Paid Posts – 50% or Less

If any site owner has accumulated most of the links by purely paying for them then their quality surely comes under doubt. Few paid posts are fine as buying backlinks is common, but they shouldn’t be in excess and should be avoided if found.

  • Vague PBN Links

If we look at the technical aspect all linking is something Google is against and PBNs top them. You could face penalties too, losing your SEO significance, so just avoid PBN links that are unclear.

  • Relevance + Readability

Whenever you link, it should make sense and without relevance, this isn’t possible. Backlinks should only be placed after assessing the relevance of the website’s content as this is how Google will help you get SERPs.

Thin content with poor readability is something again you would like to avoid. Getting links from a site with poor quality content will prove of no use to you.

  • Verify the Author

As per the search quality guidelines by Google – EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) needs to be checked. Knowing about the person who is writing or has written the post is essential. As this will also give you the assurance that the person who will be doing a job for you will create something good.

Bottom Line: “Backlinks will not backfire” If you go for some unrelated and easy links from some low-quality sites.

A varied and wide link profile works great for SEO but it’s quite imperative as to how you generate high-quality links and the traffic generated in an organic manner for your website proves the best always.

So, don’t waste your time on low-quality links and channel your energy and budget on content that’s relevant, trustworthy, and links that have quality rather than just quantity and low-quality.

From The author

Amit Kumar, Marketing Lead & Co-Founder at RankJacker SEO is an MBA & A former Sales Professional with a knack for experimenting with Content & Copywriting. He loves to keep a tab on the latest updates in Content Marketing & SEO applications.

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