If you want to know if your website is in excellent SEO form, you should look at your backlink.
Backlink analysis is a critical component of any SEO plan.
This is because search engines like Google analyze external links (also known as backlinks) from other websites to assess whether or not a website ranks for a specific keyword.
In this post, you’ll learn how to utilize Ahrefs, a backlink audit tool that generates a backlinks report with key metrics and information about all the links leading to your website.
You’ll also learn how to examine such links in your backlink profile so you can spot any poor links to your site that are preventing it from ranking as well as it might.
After you’ve finished your link audit, the following stage is to continue building authority through link acquisition.
As a result, in the last chapter, you’ll learn how to construct a Link Requirement Estimate Plan for your website – a study that examines how many backlinks/referring domains you’ll need to outrank your competition.
A backlink audit is a process of examining the quality of links pointing to your website from other sites to ensure that there are no unnatural or spammy connections that might harm your site’s SEO performance or result in a Google Manual Penalty.
There’s no doubting the impact that links and, by extension, the art of link building have on the potential of your website to rank.
After all, links are one of Google’s most effective and crucial ranking criteria.
Backlinks linked with ranks more than any other ranking criteria, according to a Backlinko analysis of one million search results.
Given this, it’s no surprise that links can be one of the most troublesome aspects of your site’s SEO health.
When you buy a car, you must put the proper gasoline in it for it to run.
Similarly, backlinks are like a website’s fuel, with the correct links providing the boost it requires to continue forward (rank).
A link audit not only helps you uncover potentially problematic connections, but also provides insight into your backlink profile and how you might want to prepare for a future link-building effort.
This relates to the portion of this page on Link Requirement Plans.
Before we get started, here’s a rundown of the backlink audit tools you’ll need to discover potentially harmful backlinks to your site.
Ahrefs – A wonderful tool for examining and analyzing your backlinks.
Google Search Console (GSC) –
Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, provides a “download latest links” report that allows you to get a sample of your backlinks and is also where you will check for link-based manual penalties.
Get a Snapshot of Your Link Profile (And Your Competitors)
Before delving into the links themselves, the first stage in this link profile audit procedure is to learn about the condition of your site’s link profile.
The most straightforward method is to use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool.
Enter your domain in Site Explorer and select the “*.domain/*” option.
Scroll down to see two graphs that indicate the amount of referring domains (i.e. linking domains) and referring pages that your website has seen over time.
The graph is valuable because it indicates any significant spikes (which might be the consequence of a negative SEO campaign) or falls (which could be the result of a sudden loss of links).
You may compare your rivals’ referring domains as well as the link velocity graph.
Further down, you’ll discover a table with the most popular anchor texts used to connect to your website.
You can rapidly determine whether your link profile’s anchor text distribution is natural or not.
If you see largely branded, URL-based anchor texts, you should be OK.
If you see any spammy anchors (i.e. they have nothing to do with your website) or over-optimized (i.e. they are largely keyword-rich), this indicates that you should go a bit deeper by reviewing the entire anchor text report provided by Ahrefs.
You may do so by selecting “see the complete report.”
Below are a few metrics to consider to expedite the process of assessing all of your backlinks.
Each of these will assist you in determining whether or not this is a spammy backlink.
The Domain Authority of your website is the perceived amount of authority your site has based on the quality and quantity of your backlinks.
A link from a website with a high Domain Authority implies a higher “quality” link.
In general, Ahrefs uses a logarithmic scale for Domain Authority called Domain Rating:
HDR 50+: signifies that the link is of high quality and comes from a highly authoritative domain.
DR 21-49: shows that the link is from a reputable domain and is of high quality.
11-20: shows that the links are from a decent domain and are of reasonable quality, but they should be investigated further to see if they are hazardous or not.
DR 0-10: indicates that the link is unlikely to be from an authoritative domain and is of low quality, providing minimal SEO benefit to your website.
This relationship should be examined closely to determine whether or not it is detrimental.
It’s important to note that not all domains with a low DR score are spam.
Other characteristics, such as language, amount of keywords, and link relevancy, should be evaluated in these circumstances.
The Page Authority (or Ahrefs’ URL Rating) of a connecting page, as opposed to the domain, reflects the power and authority of the linked page.
A higher URL Rating indicates that the page is of greater quality in terms of its ability to rank in search results.
Anchor Text We’ve already discussed the significance of the anchors used to link to your website.
Keep an eye out for any strange or over-optimized anchor texts, since these may result in a manual link-based penalty from Google.
Languages Other Than English
Anchors that have nothing to do with your website
The Search Initiative URL, i.e. thesearchinitative.com
Click here for additional information about generic, i.e.
SEO agency, for example, is a good example of a targeted marketing strategy.
Topical images, i.e. keywords
Referring Domains Websites with a high number of referring domains have more authority and ranking power.
This measure should be used in combination with Domain Authority.
The most useful links are those from domains that rank for a large number of keywords.
This measure indicates how much organic traffic the linked pages receive.
Obtaining connections from websites (and pages) that generate organic search traffic adds extra value to your website.
Although Ahrefs’ statistic isn’t as exact as Google Analytics, it’s the greatest method to determine how much traffic the backlinks point to you are receiving because you aren’t the site owner of the domains connecting to you.
The majority of the time, a website will only connect to you once.
Identifying any websites that have many connections to your website is an easy technique to uncover possibly hazardous or spammy referring domains.
Two or three links are OK, but if these domains have 100s, if not 1000s, of backlinks pointing to you, it’s time to take a closer look.
Ideally, your inbound links should come from websites in your niche.
If you operate an eCommerce website that offers vegan items, a link from a health magazine is far more useful than a link from an interior design website.
This doesn’t imply you should disavow any domains that aren’t linked to your website – they might still be authoritative, bring in a lot of search traffic, rank for a lot of keywords, and so on.
Instead, keep an eye out for websites that provide no link relevance and are the most typical sources of artificial connections.
As an example:
Forum websites – Look for the word “forum” in the URL or backlink to swiftly identify any potentially dangerous connections.
Comment Spam — Another low-cost and simple method for generating spammy links.
Look for an abnormally large amount of backlinks from the same domain (i.e. Total Backlinks) or sites that use the same anchor texts to connect to you to easily identify comment spam.
To find potentially hazardous connections from websites in different languages, use ahrefs’ “Language” filter.
If your website is in English and you see an unusually high number of connections from sites in other languages, these sites will probably provide minimal SEO benefit.
Backlinks are classified into two types: do-follow links and no-follow links.
No-follow links do not convey authority but do-follow links do.
Use Ahrefs’ “Link type” filter to find any do-follow backlinks that are detrimental to your site.
Regularly doing a full link audit by evaluating your site’s backlinks is critical to preserving its SEO health.
You have learned how to identify any suspicious connections and domains that are linking to your site, as well as what metrics to look at while examining such links, in this post.