27 September 2022
How to measure the value of a backlink to your site
When it comes to building a strong SEO strategy for your website, it is no secret that a key component is the backlink profile of your site. Although you might think ‘the more the merrier’ when it comes to the number of backlinks your site is getting, it is actually more important that the links are coming from reliable and reputable sites.
In fact, loading up your backlink profile with lots of low quality links could even have a negative effect on the SEO. So how can you best measure the value of a backlink to your site?
Metrics to measure
When it comes to identifying a strong link from a lower quality one, there can be a bit of a grey area around determining the good from the bad and the ugly. To get a broad overview on the trustworthiness of a backlink and the SEO value that it may place on any website it links to, there are a few metrics that you can look at. These are Trust Flow, Citation Flow and Domain Authority.
The Citation Flow score of a website is a metric that predicts how influential a URL might be based on the volume of other websites that are linking to it.
Similar to Citation Flow, the Trust Flow score of a website also relates to the backlinks of a site but instead of quantity, looks at the quality of these other sites. As reliable sites tend to link to other reliable sites, it is a good indication that your site is trustworthy if you get a backlink from a website with a strong Trust Flow.
Domain Authority, also known as Authority Score in SEMrush, is the overall score given to a website that can be used to indicate the overall quality and likelihood of it appearing within the SERPs (search engine result pages). The score is placed out of 100 and the higher the better.
Other things to consider
These metrics help link-building services identify strong links from lower-quality ones and make informed decisions to enhance a website’s SEO performance.
Aside from metrics, there are other factors that you can look at to determine how useful a backlink will be for your offsite SEO strategy:
Link anchor text
Anchor text refers to the text that is clickable within a hyperlink, it is commonly identifiable by being underlined or blue in contrast to the rest of the sentence. For best practice, you ideally want the anchor text in the linking site to be very specific to your website’s page that is being linked to. Very generic anchor text is less desirable, this includes anchor text like “click here”.
As an example for Varn, we appreciate backlinks that include “SEO agency in Bristol” as the anchor text which then links to our SEO Bristol page.
The placement and position of a link on a referring webpage is another factor to consider when determining a good backlink. In an ideal world, the link will appear within the main body of text and as high up as possible. Links that have been added into side columns, comment sections etc. tend to be less valuable.
What to do if you get a bad backlink
Once you know how to identify a good backlink, in theory you also know how to identify a “toxic backlink”. Although a site having lower SEO metrics scores, doesn’t automatically mean that they are toxic and detrimental to your SEO strategy, they should be kept an eye on. Aside from Trust flow, Citation flow and Domain Authority you can also identify a toxic backlink by looking at:
- Sites that have been set up for the only purpose of linking
- Sites that aren’t indexed by Google
- Sites hiding links in footers on a webpage
- Links from irrelevant sites
- Links being forced into blog comments
- Links using constant exact match keyword terms
If you get a toxic backlink:
- Identify why the link is a toxic backlink
- Use a tool that can identify all the bad links pointing to your site such as Majestic
- Directly contact the webmaster and request the link is removed
- Create a ‘disavow’ file and submit to Google so the links can be ignored