External links or backlinks are the mainstays of SEO even today. A healthy backlink profile is a sign of high-value website and qualifies for earning high ranks in search results. Links remain the backbone of SEO campaigns that thrive on the quality of links in the repository. This does not mean that a few good quality links would do much good to the campaign because Google treats links as votes of confidence earned by websites. A significant number of good backlinks is what you need to impress search engines, and this creates a new problem for marketers. What would be significant or optimal is hard to decide but from experience, you should get some idea about it. While the number of links might vary, the aspect of link quality remains a non – negotiable agenda.
Google pays more importance to link quality over quantity. Refrain from trying to impress search engines with the number of links and pay attention to the process of acquiring high-quality links organically. This is the view of the Houston PPC marketing team. Besides giving due emphasis to link quality during the acquisition process, you must maintain a healthy link profile. Despite your best intentions of acquiring good quality links, in reality, there would always be some subpar links in your inventory. Therefore, keeping a close watch on the quality of links is the duty of any marketer that you have to perform in the right earnest. It calls for scanning the list of acquired links and analyzing each to determine its quality so that there is no place for any poor-quality links in your inventory.
In this article, we will discuss the methods of measuring link quality and talk about how link audit can help to maintain a healthy backlink profile. We begin by looking at the metrics that help in ascertaining link quality.
Google uses a yardstick for measuring link quality and name it as Page Rank or PR. It uses a scale from zero to 10 to rank links according to its quality. As mentioned earlier, Google perceives the backlinks as votes, which means that every time your website acquires a link from some other site, it considers the gesture as a sign of casting a vote to express their trust for the post to which they link. It is a clear sign of the merit of the content that impressed the website and provided the reason to link with it. Moreover, they would like to share the valuable content with many others among their audience. The spreading fame of the post sends out a positive signal to Google that admits its value and considers it for better ranking.
The more popular is the website from where you earn the link more value it conveys to Google because these sites have a large following and the post would reach to a wider section of people and viewed more. The share or spread factor is quite crucial for Google. It represents the number of links on a single webpage. The more links there are on a page, the SEO benefits are shared among it and reduce its impact on any individual link. Therefore, if your link is one of three links in a page it would have better SEO gains than had it been one of ten links on that page.
Whether or not you should go for a link depends on the Domain Authority exhibited by it. Domain Authority is a ranking calculation that takes into consideration three factors – the authority wielded by the website in its niche, its relevance and the prospects of the website ranking for focus keywords. The metric emanates from the root domain of the site and not from the web pages. Therefore, paying attention to Domain Authority helps to identify the quality of links right at the time of acquiring it. In addition to evaluating Domain Authority, take note of the description and title tags to ascertain the relevance of the link. It does not pay to pursue links with high Domain Authority that does not have any relevance to your business or the content of the page. Both Domain Authority and relevance are essential for Google to judge the quality of the link.
Page authority of a website relates to the extent of influence you would likely receive in the event of acquiring a link from a page of that website. Page Authority is a heavyweight factor in determining link quality. Therefore, it is only natural that links with high Page Authority receive high sharing and in large quantities. Search engines look upon Page Authority as ascore that highlights the value of a specific page, and by getting the link, your search rankings could get a boost.
A wide range of tools is available for checking these factors that point to the quality of links.
The need for link audit
Besides creating an impressive stock of backlinks, review it periodically to ensure that it only contains useful and quality links. The process entails conducting a link audit that identifies unnatural links that you could delete from your link inventory. How you could initiate the process of link audit would become clear on going through the remaining part of this article.
The process of link audit consists of collecting link data and then analyzing it to identify unnatural links that you could remove from your list of backlinks. The Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools are useful for conducting a link audit. Here is a list of links that you must remove from your list.
- Links from a domain that Google has not yet indexed.
- Links that display malware or virus warning
- Links obtained from a web page that earns zero in Page Rank.
- Links that have any connection to other link networks.
- Paid links and sitewide links like footer and blogroll links.
Awareness about link quality helps to build a healthy backlink profile that gives the desired SEO returns.