SEO is comprised of many components. One of the most integral is the strength of your link profile, which is defined by WordStream as “the makeup of links directing to your site.” Let’s now take a look at the anatomy of a great link profile and see what makes for good backlinks.
Links from trusted websites are always better than links from untrusted websites. But how do you gauge trust?
Google utilizes an algorithm called PageRank, which measures the importance of websites and how much they trust them. It’s quite simple. They assign a website a score ranging anywhere from 0 – 10.
The higher the score, the more Google trusts a site and vice versa. So it would be more beneficial to have a site with a PageRank of 8 linking to you than a site with a PageRank of 2.
Besides this rating system, you can often gauge quality with a good old fashioned “eye test.” For instance, a high profile publication such as Forbes or the The New York Times would provide a better backlink than some sketchy, no name site.
A great link profile will consist of links from plenty of quality websites.
This shouldn’t be a big surprise. You’re better off having relevant sites (e.g. legal publications, trade magazines and other law firms) linking to you than completely irrelevant sites (e.g. a dog grooming website). This tells Google that everything is natural and there’s nothing fishy about a backlink.
Google loves diversity. One particular thing they’ll examine is the variety of referring domains that point to your site. Generally speaking, it’s better to get links from a myriad of domains instead of just a few. This indicates that your site offers great content, and numerous sites are linking to you. Diversity like this is essential for creating a robust link profile.
New is good in Google’s eyes. They tend to give priority to newer links, and over time, the power of a link will typically decline. So a link that’s a month old tends to carry more weight than one that’s several years old. For this reason, you should strive to keep new links coming in all of the time because this is part of sustained SEO.
Natural Anchor Text
There’s one last element to address – the anchor text that’s used in the hyperlink pointing back to your site. As former head of web spam at Google, Matt Cutts put it, “The objective is not to make your links appear natural; the objective is that your links are natural.”
By “natural anchor text,” this basically means using a variety of anchors including:
- Branded anchor text
- Semantically relevant anchor text
- Diluted anchor text (that’s a good thing)
What isn’t good is using “money keywords,” which are the keywords a particular page is trying to rank for. To learn more about anchor text best practices, check out this guide from SEMrush.
A link profile is incredibly complex, but these four points highlight the most critical components. If you want to keep tabs on your link profile (which you most definitely should), one of the best tools to use is Ahrefs.
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