Learn everything you need to know about your backlink profile.
If you've recently launched a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, you're probably anxious to find out how well your link-building is going. Not only is it important to keep up with your backlinks to satisfy your curiosity, but you also need to keep on top of your backlinks for SEO purposes.
If you've acquired a lot of spammy links pointing toward your website, then your optimization efforts could suffer. Alternatively, if you've gained a varied list of backlinks from authoritative websites, then your website should be well on its way up the SERP ladder.
But how do you check your current backlinks? A backlink profile analysis is how you determine your current ranking power in relation to backlinks.
In this guide, we'll take a look at what makes a good link profile and what makes a bad one.
How to Create a Backlink Profile
There are various means of creating a backlink profile for analysis. The best way is to register your website on Google Search Console. Here, you'll be able to clearly see where your inbound links are coming from, filter out any spam links, and see your current ranking status.
There are many other websites that are good for conducting a backlink analysis, including Ahrefs Site Explorer, SEMrush, and Moz.
What is a Backlink Profile, and Why is it Important?
A backlink profile is a single document that pulls together all your current backlinks and offers some analysis. Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors, so regularly reviewing their performance level is an essential SEO practice.
Specifically, conducting backlink profile analysis is important for the following reasons:
To set outreach targets
Backlink profile analysis is important for setting new outreach targets. If your current backlinks are underperforming, you can establish new targets to get your website to where you want it to be in terms of ranking.
To size up the competition
Many backlink analysis platforms come with a link gap analysis tool. This tool can be used to analyze the backlink profile of your main competitors and identify what sites they are receiving backlinks from. By doing this, you can determine how far away you are from their current backlink count and set an outreach target to overtake them.
Additionally, you could even see if there are any linking opportunities with the sites that currently provide backlinks to your competitors.
Generally, conducting a backlink profile analysis gives you a greater sense of how far you've got to go in terms of link building and SEO in general.
To clear out toxic links
Google Search Console makes it easy for you to identify and disavow spammy links. This makes it easy to make your link profile exclusively consist of inbound links from high-authority sites. Spam links could be what's preventing your web pages from reaching the search engine results pages (SERPs).
What Does a Backlink Profile Involve?
Whether you choose to build a backlink profile on SEMrush or Ahrefs, the content of the profile is going to be somewhat the same.
Mainly, backlink profiles display how many backlinks you've got. They also cover things like domain authority, organic traffic, and the topical relevance of the individual backlink in question.
The main components of most backlink profiles include:
Backlinks and referring domains
There are various components to a backlink profile. Two of the most important statistics are backlinks and referring domains. Backlinks count as the number of times your content has received an inbound link in total. Referring domains, on the other hand, are the number of individual websites that link to your website.
With referring domains, it doesn't matter if a website has linked to you several times - one domain counts for one referral. Getting a high number of good-quality referring domains is vital in scaling Google's ranking algorithm. Similarly, getting a high number of backlinks is also important, just as long as they come from a variety of websites.
Organic traffic refers to how much traffic a backlink is providing your web page. If the incoming links arrive from a popular website, then your organic traffic will definitely increase.
Organic traffic is a valuable metric for establishing the worth of a backlink, as it reflects the amount of natural exposure the incoming link brings. Establishing a steady flow of footfall through backlinks is essential to finding your audience.
Each referring domain will have its own domain authority (DA). This statistic reflects the domain's trustworthiness in the eyes of Google and other search engines. The higher the domain authority, the better this is for your website. Search engines want to see you interacting with trustworthy sites, not spam sites with low DA.
Anchor text refers to the word or selection of words that the hyperlink has been inserted onto. This is the crucial link between an external website and your own and helps Google contextualize your web page. Anchor texts can help influence your ranking, particularly if they contain your main keywords.
A backlink profile will show you the range of anchor texts used. This will give you an idea of how much influence the anchor text has on your rankings.
A good backlink profile will also be able to show you the link toxicity - also known as a 'spam score' - of the sites that are linking to you. A high spam score could reflect a website that is explicit, spammy, or just plain irrelevant to your webpage.
What a Good Link Profile Should Look Like
When analyzing your own link profile, you should be looking out for the following signs of a healthy backlink status:
Link type variety
In order to gain high rankings, your link profile needs to be as varied as possible. You need to mix nofollow links with dofollow links, acknowledgment links with editorial links, and image links with text-based links. The idea behind this is to make your link profile appear as natural as possible.
If all your links are dofollow links, Google will likely suspect that you've committed algorithm manipulation.
A healthy anchor text ratio
As we've mentioned, anchor text is important as it helps Google understand what your webpage is all about. In terms of anchor text distribution, a healthy backlink profile features a range of different anchor text types.
There are many different types of linking text you can receive, including the following:
- Exact match - This is when the anchor text features your exact keyword. For example, if your article was about backlink profiles, an exact match keyword would be 'backlink profile.'
- Partial match - Partial match anchor text will contain an element of your keyword in addition to other words, for example, 'what is a backlink profile.'
- Branded - Branded anchor text refers to an URL that is placed over your brand name.
- Natural - A natural anchor text is when the linked text isn't the main keyword or your brand name but still describes what the linked page is about.
- Generic - A generic anchor is an anchor that contains a generic invitation to click on the link, such as 'click here.'
A strong backlink profile should have a healthy mixture of each of these anchor types. Having a high number of exact match keywords and few generic keywords would come across as forced, and Google will most likely penalize your site because of it. Therefore, it's important to check that your anchor text distribution is mixed.
An ideal anchor mix would be 5% exact match, 80% natural and branded, and 15% partial match. When reviewing your backlinks, you may need to disavow some exact match keywords in order to create a natural backlink profile.
A high number of reputable referring domains
Gaining more reputable referring domains is arguably more important than gaining lots of backlinks. Having lots of referring domains suggest that many websites recommend you as a reputable source. While having a large number of backlinks from a small amount of referring domains may look suspicious.
Just as you need a range of anchor texts, you also need a range of backlinks. This includes comment links, acknowledgment backlinks, badge backlinks, comment backlinks, business profile links, niche edits, and guest posts. You want to avoid low-quality links at all costs!
When checking your backlink profile, you should ensure you've attained an even amount of each rather than receiving primarily text links and nothing else.
To diversify your backlink profile, buy the linkbuilding blueprint from Link City. We can guarantee you a prime guest post and top-notch niche edit to give your backlink profile the edge it needs to overtake your competitors.
Reviewing your backlink profile regularly is a necessary part of link building. Building links isn't enough: you need to check your website's backlink profile periodically to keep it clear of spam, create a healthy anchor text ratio, and even out your backlink types.
Attaining a high number of backlinks is important, but so is ensuring that each of them is doing good for your domain.