What is a backlink
A backlink is a link that points back to your website. It is a simple concept but something people struggle with. Essentially, it is a vote of confidence for your website in the eyes of search engines. You will find those websites that are ranking have more backlinks. Those pages or posts on the first page will have more links than the website’s on page 5.
More backlinks usually equate to higher rankings.
What makes a backlink high quality
There are a few metrics that you could look at regarding link quality. One important thing that makes the link high quality is the amount of traffic coming to a web page. If a website is getting 300000 page views per month, it means that either it is a very large site that ranks “okay” or just a very good website with great rankings. This is usually the first metric that I look at when deciding on a backlink. The next thing I look at is the backlink profile of the specific website. If the website’s link profile comprises 99% spammy links, then I am going to pass on the opportunity. The reason for this is that Google doesn’t like spammy links. At any moment, they may give that site a penalty for building spammy links.
Also, note that the second point is only about the actual act of building spammy links. Not naturally getting spammy links from websites.
What makes a backlink spammy
You could say that a backlink’s spam score could be measured by the MOZ spam score metric on their MOZ bar tool. It is worth noting that MOZ is not Google! I do think that whilst it could be a guide, it requires further investigation.
One of the spammy things Google looks at is purchased links or link schemes.
A link scheme is when a website has many links pointing to and from it that the webmaster owns. This is sometimes called a PBN network. Purchased links can include numerous links on a specific page that are sold to buyers. For example, a website about digital marketing would write a post about SEO agencies. They would “sell” the links to agencies to place their information on the blog post like a directory almost.
Tools to check backlinks
There are many tools to help check backlinks. Some tools a either free, inexpensive or expensive.
A free example of a backlink tool, although limited, is the MOZ Bar extension. Although, you can only see a few links per website it can be helpful.
If you are looking for an inexpensive tool, then you might try Ubersuggest. This tool isn’t the best in the world but is inexpensive for people on a tight budget or just starting out.
Now for the best tools out there, SEMrush and Ahrefs! These are tools that are widely considered the best in SEO for auditing backlinks. They also are used for checking the backlink profile of competitors’ websites. I am a huge fan of SEMrush but do compare the information with Ahrefs from time to time.
Do the tools help check the quality
The tools usually provide you with a starting point before you start your in-depth analysis of the links. The tools can give you more information all at once. If you take that link to the website and run it through the tool, you can determine the links pointing to it, the amount of traffic it gets as well as how many keywords it currently ranks for. These are important in the overall analysis of a backlink.
High-quality link evaluation – 4 factors for quality backlinks
This is usually my “go-to” metric when choosing a website. I usually like to see 10000 page views per month from a website before going any further. As mentioned earlier, it would mean it is a good website with good rankings. It would, more than likely have a good following on social media sites and such.
Website traffic is also the only metric that is based on analytics and not a random metric.
Whilst this metric and the next two are third-party metrics, they do tend to help the decision-making process. The spam score calculates the amount of what it considers spammy backlinks that are pointing to a domain. Again, note that this does not mean that Google thinks it is spammy, just the tool itself.
You would always do further investigations into the links before proceeding with link building.
The PA stands for Page Authority. It is a 0-100 point score on a logarithmic scale that MOZ uses. In other words, it is significantly easier to grow from 20-30 than from 70-80. There isn’t a “good” PA score but can be used to compare against other websites for that query. The best way to improve the authority is to increase the number of external links pointing to your website.
The Domain Authority metric was developed by MOZ. It is a search engine ranking score that predicts how likely a website could rank in the search results. It correlates data in the search results with each website’s link profile.
A word about these metrics above:
Tools like MOZ, Ahrefs and SEMRush all have their versions of the above tools. So if you were using another tool, you would look for the alternative name.
How to build high-quality links
There are many ways to build backlinks to a website. Two of the most popular ways are using guest post outreach and building backlinks identical to your competitors. With some luck, the payoff would be virtually immediate.
Guest Post Outreach
Guest post outreach is when you search for guest post opportunities in the industry you are in. How you do this by typing into Google “your industry and guest posting”. What happens is the results that are reflected in the search results are going to show you a list of possible blogs that you can guest post on and write your blog post about and then link back to your website.
This process is time-consuming but it is certainly worth the effort. In my testing, I have found that 10 guest post links can have better results for a webpage than 10000 ordinary links.
Auditing competitor’s backlinks for your website
Whilst this technique can have good results, it is usually not as good as guest posting. You would want to use this with guest posting though. The idea is to run your website through a tool like SEMrush and audit all your competitor’s backlinks and replicate their link profiles. This is time-consuming but if you are having trouble finding guest post opportunities this may be a good opportunity because they have already built these links and they are ranking. It is sometimes called stealing your competitor’s backlinks. Go ahead, and steal them!
Results from high-quality backlinks
The results from building high-quality backlinks can be staggering. It can mean the difference between not ranking on Google at all or being in the top spot of Google. I have found that when building a section of links either from high-quality guest post outreach link-building methods or reverse engineering competitors’ backlinks, the jump in rankings is significant.
Please remember though that link building is one piece in a large puzzle. You cannot rely on link building alone if your website isn’t up to standard and have no topical authority on the subject.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you would like BIAS SEO to help improve your SEO rankings please contact us today to discuss your website and goals.