Backlink Analysis - How to evaluate quality links (Ultimate Checklist)

Parnas Ghosh Parnas Ghosh
Jul 27, 2021 5 min read
Backlink Analysis - How to evaluate quality links (Ultimate Checklist)

How do you check the quality of your backlinks?

I have seen different approaches with different clients.

Somewhere, It may make sense. Because everyone has their own objective of building links.

It depends on the competition of that particular niche they are working in as well.

Whatever, a quality link is what everyone wants.

But, How do you determine the quality of your backlink?

The very first and most important step of Link building Campaign is, choosing the right websites from where you want to build the links.

If you go wrong in this step, your entire campaign will fail.

Thus, always make sure you are focusing on the right metrics while choosing websites to build backlinks.

But unfortunately, in most cases, lack of knowledge is a drawback in building links.

I have seen most people run after vague metrics and end up losing money and time.

Common mistakes while evaluating the quality of backlink:
What are toxic backlinks?
What makes a Backlink Toxic?
How to avoid it?
How to Remove Toxic Links?
List of my KPIs:
List of my Backlink Analysis Tools:
FAQ

Common mistakes while evaluating the quality of backlink:

  1. Focusing Only on DA and DR.
  2. Don’t consider the traffic.
  3. Don’t check the outbound links of the referring domain.
  4. Don’t check the Referring domain IPs.
  5. Don’t use the relevant anchor text.
  6. Don’t check the top keywords of the referring domain.
  7. Don’t check the Spam Score.

What are toxic backlinks?

Toxic backlinks are links that are unnatural on Google's eye. It can impact your SEO badly. It can happen naturally as well. Thus always keep an eye on your backlinks.

Here, I have listed a few parameters:

  • Low Domain Authority.
  • Mirror pages - Too many backlinks coming from the same anchor text.
  • Spam sites or the sites which are built for only link building purposes.
  • If the site is not indexed.
  • Links with unnatural anchor text.
  • Trust flow = Null.
  • Links those marked as sponsored.
  • Hidden links from the website’s footer.
  • Links that are forced into blog comments.
  • Free google links ( Ex: Google Maps Links).

How to avoid it?

  • Don’t build spammy and irrelevant profiles, directory and web2.0 links.
  • Don’t build reciprocal links.
  • Avoid Too many Keyword rich or exact match anchors.
  • If buying any links, always check relevancy, indexing status and referring IPs.
  • Avoid Links from spam comments on blogs or forums.

How to do Competitor Analysis for Website? | Analyze Competitor Website
Competitor analysis refers to identifying competitors and evaluating their strengths & weaknesses. Different competitor analysis tools can be used to analyze competitors like ispionage, adwords, etc.

How to Remove Toxic Links?

  • Contact Site owner, publisher or editor.
  • Disavow Links.

Here I have prepared a checklist of KPIs that people used to follow while determining the quality of a link.

  1. Domain Authority/Domain Rating.
  2. Organic Traffic.
  3. Link-type should be Do-follow only. No sponsor tag or no-follow links.
  4. Check if it is indexed on Google or not.
  5. The number of Unique Referring Domains.
  6. Relevant or natural anchor text.
  7. Alexa Rank.
  8. Trust Flow.
  9. Citation Flow.
  10. Spam score.
  11. The number of outbound links.
  12. The number of inbound links.
  13. Social shares
  14. Site and Page relevance - Similar niche or relevant sites.
  15. Referring IPs - to check PBN.
  16. Domain Age - Usually, Old domains have more authority.
  17. Link Location- Header, footer, left sidebar, right-sidebar, body.
  18. Quality of the keywords they are ranking.

But to be honest, I don’t follow all the KPIs mentioned above.

List of my KPIs:

DA/DR - Must be higher than my website. It should be 30+ at least.

Organic Traffic - Always Check the trend of organic traffic growth. Ensure the traffic is growing exponentially. Organic traffic should be a minimum of 5k on Ahrefs. Though, it may vary with the different niches.

Growth of traffic on Similarweb
Growth of traffic on Similarweb

Link Location - Ensure you are getting links from the body of the content.

Link Type - It should be Do-follow. A no-follow link does not add SEO value.

Spam Score - Always check the Spam Score on Moz. It should be under 5 %.

The number of outbound links - Always try to build links from the websites, which are providing very few and relevant outbound links. Avoid websites that are giving numerous outbound links to irrelevant websites.

Check Outgoing Links from Ahrefs
Check Outgoing Links from Ahrefs

Site and Page relevance - Build links only from the relevant niche websites. The link must look natural inside the body of the content.

Relevant or natural anchor text - Always use relevant anchor text. Don’t make your anchor text keyword rich.

Indexing Status - Always check the link you have acquired, if it’s indexed on Google or not.

Referring IPs - If you are buying links from cheap sellers who used to provide you with a list of 50 sites, then always check the referring IPs to check if those are PBN sites or not. Building PBN links is risky, Once Google identifies, you will get penalized.

Quality of the Top-Ranking Keywords - It is important to check the top-ranking keywords. It will give you an idea about the quality of the traffic that a particular website is driving.


What is Reputation Audit and How you can do a Reputation Audit For Your Brand?
Analyzing what people think about your brand is very important. A Reputation Audit can help you to skyrocket your sales and grow your business.

Ahrefs - To check referring domains, keywords, anchor text, traffic and Referring IPs.

Moz - To check DA and Spam Score.

Majestic - To check Trust flow and majestic.

Similarweb - Monthly Pageviews

Conclusion

According to myself, the value of quality links will always remain a key factor in SEO. Link is a fuel that helps to scale your traffic rapidly.

Once you implement On-page SEO, technical SEO well, then start focusing on building quality links only.

Link building takes time and money. So, always take help from professionals who can help you build a strong link profile on Google's eye.

FAQ

Yes, backlinks are a crucial part of SEO as they help your brand rank higher on search engines.

Dofollow links are the most valuable backlinks.

Nofollow links are least common and are less valuable backlinks.

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