How to Maintain a Healthy Backlink Profile
So, you’ve been gaining positive results from a successfully implemented SEO campaign, meeting all the structural, content, and visibility requirements to rank atop the SERPs and drive traffic to your site, what now?
If your campaign previously included some nifty link-building strategies, chances are you want to maintain a clean and healthy backlink profile. Not to mention, you don’t want all your efforts to go out the window. What with all the trust and authority you were able to build!
Keeping toxic and spam links at bay requires effort consistent with reaching out to authoritative, high-quality sites and persuading them to link back to yours.
In today’s post, we will show you how to do a link profile analysis and maintain a healthy backlink profile.
WHAT IS A BACKLINK PROFILE?
A backlink profile pertains to the aggregate of links pointing to a website. It includes properties of said links such as link type, anchor text used, quality of referring domains, topic relevance, etc.
WHAT ARE INDICATIONS OF A CLEAN LINK PROFILE?
A clean link profile is a complex state to achieve. Much like ranking for keywords, there are multiple factors to consider in order to attain perfect backlink profile health, but the basics are the following:
● Natural - The sound alarms go off for Google and other major search engines when the link juice funnelled to your site came from just one source or that too many links of the same type point to you. For example, if multiple backlinks come from blog or social media comments, your site is at risk of getting penalised.
● Varied Anchor Text - Another cause for penalty is using the same anchor text to link to your website. It’s always better to have variations in the use of keywords and keyword phrases. Repeating the same keyword in a text makes the content sound inflexible and unnatural.
● High-Quality Referring Domains - Think of backlinks as “votes” to your website. Instead of having run-off-the-mill blogs link to you, you’d much rather want websites that are credible and have high domain authority linking back to your site. Authoritative sites include news and academic sites.
● Relevant Sites - Google can detect if the majority of your backlinks come from websites that have no relevance to your brand. Say your brand is about selling cookware, it makes sense that your backlinks come from culinary-related websites or websites that belong to your niche like food & beverages, housekeeping, etc.
HOW TO DO LINK PROFILE ANALYSIS?
There’s a wealth of SEO tools available that will measure the quality of all links pointing to your website. For example, Ahrefs can save you time by harvesting your backlinks and keywords. MOZ, on the other hand, provides greater detail of your link profile by determining authority, mage link metrics, and inbound links.
WHAT TO DO WITH SPAM LINKS?
Even the most reliable and trustworthy websites get spam links. They’re unavoidable. However, if the number of those rogue links becomes exceedingly high, then it means you have to take measures in removing them. One word comes to mind: DISAVOW!
In some cases, too many links acquired at a short period of time can also raise flags to the search engines, resulting in a penalty.
For example, there are blogs that run automated s to syndicate content from your website to theirs. They leave a backlink to you in the form of a citation, but this is merely a Trojan horse. Blogs that repurpose content usually are deemed low quality sites.
It’s also worth examining if the brand has done some sloppy link building in the past. Over a decade ago, it was perfectly fine to acquire links through content farms, guest blogging on sites, and link exchanges. Today, links acquired in those methods can hurt your ranking. Those links need to be disavowed too.
By submitting a disavow list of the toxic links through the Search Console, you are flagging Google to skip certain backlinks in its index, which means you will not be penalised for their existence. A caveat: When uploading a disavow file to Search Console, add the newly identified toxic backlinks to the previous file and then reupload. Merely uploading the new file replaces the old one, which completely reverses your previous effort. Always append the new toxic backlinks to the ones you previously discovered. Treat the file as if it were a living document that gets updated each time you do a disavowal.
KEEPING THE LINK PROFILE HEALTHY - IN THE LONG RUN!
Many years ago, websites fell prey to the lure of low quality link building because it yielded fast results through little effort. Others had to resort to paying links to wily webmasters looking to make profit through their blog networks and websites.
Aside from disavowal, you can acquire high-quality links through continuous outreach. But if the thought of outreach makes you reach for your sword (what with the time and effort it requires!), you can do less demanding ways to maintain a spotlessly clean link profile.
● Creating short yet original content. Engaging, compelling content remains to be a great link building asset. Through social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Spotify, etc.), you can publish content that links back to your website. Media formats that are popular today include infomercials, podcasts, expert interviews, tutorials, and etc. If they’re worthy to be picked up by authoritative sites within your niche, your content can be the springboard for those sites to link back to you.
● Partnering with Brands/ Sponsorships. Brands can get backlinks by partnering with other brands and supporting causes that align with the brand’s values and vision and mission. By sponsoring school and community events or partnering with a brand that complements your product or service, you can increase your brand’s visibility and position your company as something that is socially aware and supports noble causes. You can get backlinks from digital materials (social media, press releases, announcements, etc.) promoting the event or the organisation.
● Featuring Key People from other Brands. Within your niche, identify key people who you can do a shoutout to and write a short profile story about them. These people must hold insights that people would read and share on their socials. If you’re lucky and your piece about them appeals to their vanity, they will share your story on their own social media accounts and it might get picked up by high-quality news or syndication sites too.
Having a clean and healthy backlink profile is a critical ranking factor on major search engines. It’s important to do a health check on your backlinks every now and then to curb the growth of toxic backlinks that are attached to your website. With frequent link profile analyses, disavowals, and strategic acquisition of high-quality links, you’ll remain in Google’s good graces.