How to Evaluate Link Quality
26 Jun, 2020 Branding Through SEO
Acquiring backlinks from websites serve as endorsements and trust signals to the Google bot, making link-building a critical aspect of search engine optimization (SEO). Effective link building can directly help rank your site higher on the search engine results page (SERP), gaining your site greater visibility and ultimately increasing leads for your business. Many factors influence the quality of a link such as, but not limited to:
- topic relevance of the page or website you’re gaining a link from
- anchor text (the actual words that are hyperlinked on the website)
- the overall quality of the website in Google’s eyes
- how many other backlinks are on the website
Evaluating the quality of a link will help strengthen your link building strategy and improve your overall digital presence.
One way to initially evaluate the benefit of a link is to consider how Google will perceive the two websites being connected. Are the two websites related? Is the content on the site linking to you speaking directly about something that concerns your business?
Overall Quality of Website
Evaluating the overall quality of a website is important as you want to be sure you’re obtaining endorsements from stand-up websites. Your link is only as good as the reputation of the website that endorses you. One way to evaluate overall quality of a website is by looking at the site’s Domain Authority – a score from 0 to 100 given by Google based on a number of factors. This number explains how recognized by Google and built out a website is. An evaluation could be conducted using a domain authority or page rank examiner tool such as Moz’s Free Domain SEO Analysis Tool.
Note: Evaluating websites solely on a domain authority will exclude many valuable link opportunities. For example, getting a link from the local coffee shop will have great value as it is a local endorsement, which can help with your local rankings. The local coffee shop would likely have a very low domain authority, not because it is a spammy site, but because it is naturally not going to have a ton of traffic and is likely not spending a ton of money to optimize their website.
Building an Effective Link Portfolio
Having a diverse link portfolio including .edu, .org, .com, and .gov websites will have a positive impact on your website and online visibility. Just as good links can help build the credibility of your website, links from untrustworthy websites can hurt. According to Google’s Quality Guidelines, links from websites designed to manipulate rankings may be a violation of Webmaster Guidelines. Avoid certain “black-hat” practices such as building links from untrustworthy domains or mass-purchasing links to stay in Google’s good graces.
Building and maintaining a diverse and high-quality link profile will have you on the right path to enhancing the SEO of your website. Following best practices related to earning and retaining links from credible and relevant sources can produce high-quality and long-term benefits to your business. Link-building is not a fast-track overnight aspect of SEO, but it is a very powerful tool when done properly.