Manage your backlinks successfully with our guide.
You need more than high-grade backlinks to catapult your website to the top of SERPs - you have to actively manage links once you attain them.
Although quality backlinks are vital to climb search engine results pages, securing them doesn't guarantee you immediate entry into the first page of Google.
You must keep your high-quality backlinks polished and stay vigilant for incoming links that don't add value to your site.
These could be links from irrelevant websites or, worse, links from gambling, pharmaceutical, or any other type of spammy websites. Not only do these links do nothing for your domain authority, but they also reduce your credibility.
Clearly, as a webmaster, you need to develop a backlink management process that allows you to keep on top of your link gains. To help you establish a system, here's everything you need to know about backlink management:
Tools You Need For Backlink Management
To monitor backlinks efficiently, we'd recommend getting proficient with the following SEO tools:
Google Search Console
Google Search Console provides essential data and is a must-have for all web admins. Registering your site on this platform allows you to access valuable backlink data, such as organic traffic, conversion rate, and bounce rate. GSC is also great for keeping tabs on your competitors.
Google Analytics can help you monitor backlinks by presenting you with data regarding the origin of your site traffic. With Analytics, you can pinpoint what links are providing you with the most site visits. With this, you can judge how well your link building strategies are working.
Disavow is a free online platform that allows you to "disavow" (reject or remove) backlinks, causing damage to your site. For example, if you receive several backlinks from spammy sites, you can use Google's Disavow to delete them from your backlink report.
To monitor backlinks effectively, you need to know where they originate. Ahrefs works as a backlink database, where you can see the origin of your backlinks and detailed reports about the site they arrive from.
If you randomly lose a link, you can check Ahrefs to find out why.
How To Manage Backlinks: A Step-By-Step Guide
As we've already stressed, a backlink isn't something that can be gained and immediately forgotten. The link building grind never stops, and you've got to keep on top of your backlinks even once you've attained them. Although you may have put serious effort into getting a high-grade backlink, the referring domain could unlink you at random.
To reduce the risk associated with randomly losing your link assets, here's a step-by-step guide on how to properly maintain your backlinks:
- Look after your existing links
Unfortunately, you can randomly lose backlinks. No matter how trustworthy the linking URL is, links can become broken, which could cause you to temporarily or even permanently lose your backlink.
In many instances, losing existing links is out of your control: but you can control how you prepare for it.
Firstly, set up backlink alerts to notify you whenever you lose a link. This type of feature should be available on all good link management platforms, including the likes of Ahrefs.
By setting up link notifications, you'll be able to respond to a valued link going missing immediately.
In the case of a broken link, you may be able to contact the webmaster of the external website and request them to fix the problem. Links frequently break for random reasons without web admins or website owners realizing it.
- Check new inbound links for spam
You can also set up notifications to alert you whenever you receive a new backlink. This way, you'll be able to review all new backlinks immediately.
Checking inbound links as soon as they arrive is crucial in protecting the integrity of your established quality links. A build-up of links from spammy sites could bring your whole website's credibility down and even lead you to lose your current ranking position.
Most of the time, you should be able to judge the link quality yourself. Check the article's subject, the anchor text used, and how many other external links they have.
Some link analysis sites, such as Moz, will also be able to calculate a spam score for the link.
- Calculate the link quality score
In addition to checking for spam, it's worth regularly reviewing the quality score of the links pointing to your site.
To calculate the link quality score, you need to combine the following components:
- Site quality
- Domain authority (DA)
By combining the individual scores of these four components, you can determine how much influence one link has relative to another in terms of increasing site visibility on search engines, providing link juice, increasing organic traffic, etc.
- Disavow links as necessary
As soon as you identify a link causing harm to your site's credibility, remove it. This can easily be done on Google's disavow tool. Once you have registered your site to this platform, you can select the links you want to remove from your link building portfolio.
Use this tool to compile all the links you wish to be removed into a single list and save them in .txt format.
Once you upload this list, check the linking websites to ensure all external links to your site have been disavowed.
Before uploading the list, double check all the links you've selected are harmful to your site. Once you upload a file to Google's disavow tool, you lose the link for good.
3 Tips For Backlink Management
To help you out even further, here are our ultimate three tips for managing your backlink profile:
Keep your link profile varied
You can acquire a range of links for your site, including badge backlinks, acknowledgment backlinks, and image links. The best link profiles consist of a random mixture of all backlink types, with at least a few of each category. The aim is to make your backlink profile appear natural and not overly organized.
It can be hard to achieve this delicate balance when the backlinks you receive are mainly out of your control. However, if you have many image links but not a single guest post link, you should reorganize your link building efforts to achieve a more varied profile.
To add variety to your backlink profile, Link City can deliver unparalleled niche edits and blog post spots. If you'd like us to help you with your link building strategy, let us perform a link audit to understand where your SEO campaign is going wrong. From here, we can create solutions in the form of blog posts and niche edits with some of the biggest sites in your field.
Maintain a steady nofollow/dofollow backlinks ratio
Although you can acquire a broad range of links, all links can be split into two categories: dofollow and nofollow. Dofollow links are most valuable, as they tell search engines to follow the link to your website. These links are also necessary for giving your webpage domain authority and ranking power.
Nofollow links, on the other hand, do not grant your website any real form of optimization, although they still increase your number of site visitors.
Both are useful in their way, and getting the balance right between them is crucial. When checking your backlink profile, ensure you don't have too many nofollow links, which means no link juice will be passed on to your site. Conversely, don't have loads of dofollow links and no nofollow links, as this will look unnatural.
Monitor your competitor's backlink profile
Although this article is meant to be about how to monitor your backlink profile, keeping an eye on the competition won't do you any harm. Checking on your competitors' websites and how they're performing also provides the insight you need to overtake them for good.
A backlink analysis platform such as Google Search Console will have a gap analysis feature showing you what authoritative sites link to your competitors' sites but not yours. By running this feature, you can find out what sites you must link from to climb up the search rankings.
Taking it a step further, we recommend using Google Alerts to stay up-to-date with your competitor's backlink activity.
Keeping on top of the competition gives you a better idea of how to manage your own backlinks.
How many backlinks does a website need?
There is no fixed number of backlinks a website requires. Every webpage is different, and therefore needs to receive a different level of DA in order to rank higher in SERPs.
How many new backlinks should you receive per month?
In order to make your backlink building look as natural as possible, we'd recommend receiving only around ten backlinks per month.
To monitor backlinks successfully, you must first have the right tools - Google Search Console, Analytics, Disavow, and Ahrefs. You must also set up alerts to know whenever you gain or lose a link, providing you with real-time feedback on all your link building campaigns.
You should also periodically monitor backlinks on a platform like GSC to keep an eye on organic traffic and link type ratio.