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How to analyze backlinks – Back-link analysis techniques

Backlinks are very important for better organic search ranking of a website and also for digital branding of a website. You should always look into how you can earn more fresh and relevant high quality backlinks pointing to your homepage as well as other important landing pages. Before we move to how to analyze backlinks, we will first know what is a backlink.

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks are links pointing to your website from other websites. In most cases backlinks to your website are very good things and are seen by search engines, such as Google, as “votes” for your website. The more “votes” you have the better you will rank.

However, bad backlinks are backlinks that may be coming from penalized websites, link farms, low-quality directories or other sources that search engines may not approve of. If you have any of these types of backlinks pointing to your website it is important to disavow or have them removed.

However, bad backlinks are backlinks that may be coming from penalized websites, link farms, low-quality directories or other sources that search engines may not approve of. If you have any of these types of backlinks pointing to your website it is important to disavow or have them removed.

How to find backlinks? – Analyze backlinks with tools

There are many backlink checker tools available. Here we will name a few good backlink analyzer tools.

  1. Ubersuggest backlink checker tool by Neil Patel
  2. Moz backlink checker tool
  3. Ahrefs Backlink checker tool
  4. SEMRush backlink checker tool
  5. Mangotools Link Miner
  6. TheHoth.com Backlink Checker
  7. Google Search Console
  8. MonitorBacklinks.com
  9. Rankwatch backlink checker tool
  10. Linkdetox backlink tool
  11. Alexa tool
  12. Seven Boats backlink checker tool

Make sure your backlinks are linking to the correct pages

Website pages come and go, so when you are deleting a page make sure to replace them with a 301 redirect page or build another page with the same URL as the page you have backlinks pointing to. If a backlink just points to a 404 Page error it does not properly carry link equity throughout your site.

A 301 redirect page is a page that takes place of the deleted page and redirects visitors to a new page will help remedy this situation. Similarly, restoring or creating a page with the same URL you have backlinks to will also do the trick.

A good example is if you have a popular article or product and then you update the article and change the URL i.e. news.com/bestcars2017 and you update it to be news.com/bestcars2018 and just delete the original URL you will lose all the original link power if that was a popular page that other websites are linking to.

We see this as well with products that are discontinued or out-of-stock. Just keep the page and mention that the product is out of stock and point visitors to a new product, or in the case of the article just point them to the updated page.

We see this happen a lot during website redesigns but it can also just occur as your website grows and products and content evolve. It is always good to address this quickly as website owners that link to your website are likely to remove any backlinks that no longer point to functioning pages.

Fix 404 error pages that have backlinks pointing to them.

Backlinks are an important part of why your website ranks (or doesn’t rank). Link reclamation is one way to ensure that you are not missing out on any of the hard earned links you’ve previously acquired.

As your website evolves and pages get added or removed it is possible that some of the pages you remove actually have valuable backlinks from other websites pointing to them. During website redesigns this can be an especially large problem if you don’t take steps to avoid it in the first place. To limit broken backlinks when doing a redesign try to keep as many of your existing URLs as possible and reuse them on your new website.

If you use dynamic URLs and are changing platforms this may not be an option so you will want to make 100% sure that all your old URLs have 301 redirects pointing to your new URLs. This can be time consuming but is worth it. If you just have a few links pointing to 404 pages follow the steps in this task and the next to quickly reclaim them and avoid losing them.

Steps to complete this task

  • Make a list of pages with 404 errors that have backlinks pointing to them
  • Determine if you have moved the page (i.e. during a redesign) or if the page was deleted on purpose or by accident
  • If you can restore/fix the page that is the best course of action. If it is due to outdated content or a product out of stock, the best solution is to restore the page and explain that the content is no longer up-to-date and provide a link to any new content. Do the same thing for products that have been removed or are out of stock.
  • If you can’t restore/fix the page do a 301 redirect to a relevant page that is working (this usually keeps some of the link power coming in and more important the website linking to you won’t remove the link as it redirects to something relevant).
  • Make sure that going forward you have customized 404 pages with navigational options that point users to the main areas of your website (until you find and fix 404 errors this at least improves visitor experience and internal linking).

Utilize 301 redirects when necessary.

A 301 redirect is a useful tool to let visitors and search engines alike know that you have moved a page. 301 redirects are considered permanent and as such tend to pass along some of the link juice coming into a redirected page to the new page.

Whenever you have a page that has links pointing at it or gets significant traffic you should utilize 301 redirects rather than just having a 404 error. Point the 301 redirect to the most relevant page possible not just your homepage. While the proper deployment of 301 redirects requires some research it is always worth it and easier than getting new backlinks!

Steps to complete this task

Correctly implementing 301 redirects requires an understanding of programming and is specific to the platform your website uses.

Investigate & analyze backlinks that may be harming your search engine rankings.

You may have good quality backlinks and you may have tried your best to earn relevant and fresh backlinks but it’s not always in your hand to control who is linking to your website. Your competitors may point spammy links to your website that can harm your website’s ranking and reputation. So you need to regularly monitor your bad backlinks and take action to disavow them .

Some of your backlinks may be hurting your search engine rankings rather than benefiting them. To identify bad backlinks we examine numerous factors on the websites that link to your website including:

  • Large number of poor external links
  • No contact information or links to social profiles
  • Large number of follow links compared to non-follow links
  • Small number of branded links
  • An over abundance of anchor text
  • As well as more than 10 other signals

The backlinks met our criteria of being potentially harmful with spam scores of 5 or higher. As a general rule a backlink with a spam score of 5 tends to be harmful 12% of the time, if the score is a 7 it increases to 30% likelihood of being spammy and at a score of 11 there is almost a 90% chance that the backlink is harmful.

That said, don’t rush out and remove/disavow all these backlinks. Backlinks can be very beneficial and it is worth taking a close look at each potentially harmful backlink before disavowing or removing it. Under this objective’s tasks we will walk you through how do this

Remember when Google, or any other search engine, detects a suspicious backlink or penalized site linking back to your site, it associates your website with the website linking to you.

If this website is penalized, or if the backlink is considered spammy Google may impose a penalty on your rankings. Even if you have never purposefully sought out backlinks it is still possible to end up with a few of them. Here are the most common ways we see bad backlinks being created:

Getting links from poor quality websites: 

You may have received an email from a website to trade backlinks or just added your website to a few free directories. Often these websites are low quality and the result is a bad backlink. Before you even consider asking another website owner for a backlink search for their URL in google with quotes around it, i.e. “ford.com”, if their website ranks lower than #1 for their own URL it may have a penalty.

It is also smart to take a minute to review websites and directories for quality and usefulness. Don’t ask to have your website added to websites that look sketchy or seem to offer very little value to visitors. Last, make sure any website that links to you has industry relevancy. For instance, if you sell cars online there is little value in having an ice cream blog link to you.

Low quality SEO tactics:

 If you’ve purchased a large number of backlinks from a website claiming you can receive hundreds of backlinks in 24 hours the probability of them being connected to spam is really high. Also, if you are working with an SEO company that says they will add 35 new backlinks a month for $300 they are probably not going to help your rankings much and if anything more likely to hurt them.

Old backlinks: 

You may have received a great backlink 5 years ago from a relevant and high-quality website but somewhere along the line they may have gone out of business. Expired domains are often picked up by buyers and the new owner may have turned that domain into a bad or penalized website. The result, by no fault of your own, is that you now have a bad backlink pointing towards your website.

Malicious Competitors: 

This one is terrible but we see it occasionally. Angry competitors can actually purchase bad backlinks (very inexpensively) to link to your website and hurt it.

  1. Analyze potentially harmful backlinks.
  2. Remove your bad backlinks.
  3. Disavow any remaining bad backlinks.

How to increase your Moz DA & PA?

Moz domain authority and page authority are the indicators of your website’s popularity, Trust score and digital branding. You need to try your best to increase you DA and PA at least more than 25/100

What is Moz Domain Authority?

Your Moz Domain Authority (DA) is a measure of your website’s power. Domain Authority is calculated by evaluating linking root domains, number of total links, MozRank, MozTrust, etc. — into a single DA score. This score can then be used when comparing websites or tracking the “ranking strength” of a website over time.

It’s important to remember that it is significantly easier to grow your score from 20 to 30 than it is to grow from 70 to 80.

Low Authority DA 0 to 20: 

Most websites that score between 0 and 20 are either new sites or older sites that have not accumulated very many backlinks. Smaller local businesses that have domain authorities in this range can rank well for very specific local keyword searches that have to do with their business or niche but website’s in this range are going to have a difficult time ranking for anything but the most specific local keywords.

Average Authority DA 20-40: 

This is a very typical domain authority score for a website that has existed for several years and acquired some backlinks. Usually at this stage you will start to see that if you add relevant content to your website your traffic and rankings will increase. If you target specific keywords and utilize content silos to maximize your website’s backlink power you can even rank for some more difficult terms.

Above Average Authority DA 40-60: 

At this stage you usually either have a website that is a few year old that you have actively been doing SEO on or a much older website that is relatively well known in your space and has naturally become an authoritative website.

We’d always recommend an aggressive content deployment schedule centered around the keywords you want to rank for and periodic checks of your backlinks to make sure none are going to ding you. As a Pro Plan member we will keep an eye on your backlinks and automatically notify you if we see any potential problems.

High Authority DA 60-80: 

A website with a domain authority above 60 is well on its way to becoming a nationally recognized brand! Typically a platform with this much Domain Authority is receiving a lot of “non-branded” organic traffic.

This means you are ranking for terms that don’t include your brand name. If you are not getting at least several thousand visitors a day you may want to schedule an SEO or content audit as the potential for significant organic traffic at a low cost certainly exists. (examples: Hitachi.us, Dog.com, Blueapron.com)

Extremely High Authority DA 80-96: 

A domain authority above 80 means your website is likely well recognized either nationally or internationally. If you haven’t deployed an aggressive content strategy yet you are most likely missing out on significant traffic from search engines. (examples: Chase.com, Ford.com, Vodafone.com)

World Class DA 96 to 100: 

Websites in this category tend to be associated with brands that are household names and often have a global presence (examples: Amazon.com, Wikipedia.org, Apple.com, bbc.co.uk).

Remember, increasing your domain authority takes time. There are no shortcuts and if you try to artificially increase it by engaging in activities like buying backlinks you will likely do more damage than good.

Keeping your visitors engaged with interesting and fresh content and building authoritative backlinks from relevant websites will always improve your Moz domain authority over time.

6 tasks to complete to increase DA & PA

  1. Get high quality backlinks.
  2. Audit potentially harmful backlinks.
  3. Remove your bad backlinks.
  4. Disavow any remaining bad backlinks.
  5. Write web content that your visitors will love.
  6. Build Brand Trust and Authority

How to build brand trust & authority digitally?

Establishing authority in your industry via your website is important not just to give your visitors peace of mind that they can trust your information, services and/or products but also to help you rank better in search engines.

In 2015, Google issued its content guidelines for manual review. The following is a quote from Google:

“High quality pages and websites need enough expertise to be authoritative and trustworthy on their topic. Remember that there are “expert” websites of all types, even gossip websites, fashion websites, humor websites, forum and Q&A pages, etc. In fact, some types of information are found almost exclusively on forums and discussions, where a community of experts can provide valuable perspectives on specific topics.”

Making sure that you have no spelling or grammar errors is a good start, but really thinking about what makes you an expert and thinking about how you can communicate that to visitors and Google is the next step.

If you have a relevant degree from a university make sure state that after your name when you are writing content. If you have a lot of followers on Facebook, include a link to your Facebook page, if you’ve published articles list them! Anything to make it clear you are an expert in your field.

Further down in Google’s guidelines they make it clear just how important authority is to your ranking. We see a lot of experts that deserve authority and truly are industry experts, they just haven’t done a good job of communicating it on their website. Take a minute to go review your own website. Is it clear within a few seconds that you are an industry expert? What you don’t want is for Google to conclude that:

“The author of the page or website does not have enough expertise for the topic of the page and/or the website is not trustworthy or authoritative for the topic.”

Steps to complete this task

Design a page where customers can leave their reviews/testimonials and make sure you add great testimonials on your homepage and checkout pages if appropriate. Social validation and good reviews always increase conversions!

Write social proof into your content (such as “Made in the USA,” “Same day shipping”, “10 years in Business”), most businesses do something unique that differentiates them. What types of things are you doing?

Visit top competitors websites. Are you lacking anything? Do they guarantee prices or have 24-hour support. Make your offer as good or better than your top competitors and make sure it is clearly communicated throughout your website.

If you are an expert or have experts in your company make sure you make that clear on your website. Even search engines look for authoritative signals around content. If you are a real estate expert writing content about the local market put all your credentials at the bottom of every piece of content and be sure to add links to all that person’s social media accounts (i.e. their LinkedIn account).

If your company does charitable work let people know.

Use trust authority logos, such as an SSL certificate and BBB accreditation on your website.

Test Live Chat and have a support forum where visitors can ask questions also make it easy for people to contact you and ask questions.

Read more about some useful link auditing tips & how to build back links?

Safe Link Partners: How to Choose them

The use of sophisticated algorithms and technology ensured that we bade a welcome goodbye to the old practice of linking with just about any website that showed any kind of interest! Link builders, as they were called in the SEO department, sent out tons of emails asking webmasters for web links.

It was such a coveted job once! All that has changed since, and how! All that matters today is that your website is associated with reputed and established names in the business. You cannot afford to set up links with sundry websites.

How to pick safe link partners on the internet? Here’s a quick guide:

  • Media Exposure: The website that you want to link with must have considerable exposure to media. Visibility is everything in the world of clutter and you have to place yourself ahead of the curve. A website that has excellent rapport in the media and does a swell PR job is the right kind of link associate that you are looking for. The media attention your link partner enjoys will surely rub off on your brand/website as well.
  • Authority Matters: Websites that have a lot of authoritative value, like .org or .gov sites have their premier value in the domain of link building. Any website that has links in such websites automatically get a value life in the regard of Google’s crawlers. Reputed educational institutions have websites and blogs. These can be your target areas if your website is thematically appropriate. You will not just get high quality incoming traffic from such sources, but also stamp your brand’s presence on the SEO scene.
  • Fewer Outgoing Links: This is harder to achieve than you think! There is little point in being a kind of online sieve where you attract quality traffic through link building and then have such a high number of outgoing links on your web page that your traffic simply filters out! This is a counter-productive measure that will bleed you dry. Try to place as few outgoing links in your web page as you possibly can. This will dispel distractions for your visitors and encourage them to concentrate on your web content.
  • Clean Past: Websites that you pick up to be your link partner must have a clean past. What does archive.org say about your potential link partner? Ask this question and let the answer determine if you should go ahead with the deal.