What secrets does your backlink strategy reveal about your website?

December 4, 2023 | RankWatch

What is with this hue & cry about backlinks? Why should backlinks play such a significant role in deciding the authority of any website? Why do Quality Backlinks matter?

Let’s decipher this better:

If you have anything to do with Search Engine Optimization, you’re bound to familiarize better with : Backlinks!

Let’s go back to a decade, nobody really cared much about what backlinks meant nor anybody bothered about the quality of backlinks and that was perhaps because neither of us actually realized the authority, power or relevance of backlinks & how they so powerfully impact your online visibility.

Back then, there was spamming happening, irrelevant backlinks were being generated, the source of backlinks were not trustworthy etc. & that was primarily happening because the Search Engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, Yandex etc.) could not keep up with all that was happening over the internet , in fact, I’m not even too sure if we’re still getting it right!

Backlinking Strategy

It is a continuous journey & you’re very much participating in that journey to get Toxic Free!

Your focus should be on acquiring high quality backlinks so you need to ..


Now, what makes a backlink to be of a high quality genre, is extremely subjective, and every SEO Agency/Consultant will have at least a slightly different opinion on the topic, however, most would agree that a good quality backlink would comprise of several factors, and that a backlink that ticks all those check-boxes would be the perfect backlink. You need to ensure that those toxic or bad backlinks are immediately deleted before you get penalized for the same, keep in mind & look out for those Penguin updates.. Google is watching!

To monitor those backlinks Google launched the Penguin Update in April 2012 to better catch sites deemed to be spamming its search results, in particular those who were doing so by buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings. When a new Penguin Update is released, sites that have taken action to remove bad links (such as through the Google disavow links tool or to remove spam) may regain rankings.

The backlinks to your site must be:

  1. High quality, relevant links freely given based on editorial judgment;

As opposed to:

  1. Low quality, spammy, irrelevant links, links from untrustworthy sources or traded links.

It would be unrealistic to expect all of your backlinks to be perfect, and just because a backlink doesn’t meet all of these criteria it doesn’t make it low quality. If you can get a backlink to your business’s website that ticks at least a few of those check-boxes then it’s definitely worth having in your link profile.
I list below a few impacting factors which help you decide the authority or the quality of your

Page Rank:

PageRank (PR) is the most basic and obvious measure to use when assessing the worth of a backlink – the higher the PR of the page where the link is located, the higher the quality of that link. PR can sometimes, be a misleading metric though.

All webpages start off with a PR of 0 (or n/a to be precise) and the PR of a page can rise and fall over time. Also, the PR value that Google displays for a page is only updated for the general public every 3 months or so, but within the algorithm, it’s updated constantly. So, the PR value you see is only an estimate, and could well be a point or 2 off of the true PR.


Alexa Rank:

Another deciding factor which needs to be taken into consideration is the Alexa Rank which is the Global rank of the website based on the quality of content backlinks.

Let those backlinks come from higher Alexa Rank websites!


Do Follow Vs. No Follow:

Do Follow backlinks are always preferred over No Follow since the Administrator of the backlinking website has given it an authorization as a legitimate recognizable backlink whereas the No Follow is just the opposite.

Do Follow Backlinks are certainly preferred by the Search Engines & they allow them dominance.


Side Wide Vs. Non Side Wide:

So how are your backlinks spread across the linking domain(s)?

When’s the backlinks are well spread across the backlinking website they are categorized as Site Wide backlinks whereas if the links are pointing only from one or two pages they are categorized as Non Side Wide.

Keep in mind that if you have too many external links pointing from a website it could also be a reason for one to look at that backlink with some suspicion since too many external links can amount to a serious cause of concern. A Penguin can demolish you but then again, always remember, it’s actually your best friend!

Relevance of Source:

Search Engines want to provide relevance in their search results, and so it’s logical that relevance is a consideration when they evaluate backlinks, which is the primary factor affecting where sites rank in their results.

A backlink can be relevant on different levels. Search Engines consider the overall relevance of the linking site, the relevance of the specific page with the link on it, and the relevance of the content directly surrounding the link.

Trustworthiness of Source:

It’s logical that a high quality backlink would come from a high quality website, and that a high quality site would also be a very trustworthy site.

To determine if a website is trustworthy, Search Engines use a set of trusted seed sites (for example, Wikipedia, BBC), which they know for sure are high quality and which are difficult to get links from.

Traffic Generators:

This aspect of backlinks too often gets forgotten about. The original purpose of links, before the time Search Engines started using them as a factor in their algorithms, was to add value to a page by directing visitors to resources relevant to the topic of that page.

Visitors still click these links as often as they did when the internet was first created, and having a link in a prominent position on a highly visited page makes it high quality because, regardless of rankings, it will bring your website a continual stream of targeted visitors.

Linking Anchor Text:

The quality of a backlink increases if the words that form the clickable text of the link are the same as, or similar to, the words that you’re trying to improve your rankings for.
It looks unnatural to have a lot of incoming links made up of exactly the same anchor link text though, so use plenty of variations. You could be having your own different opinion on that!

Anchor Text

In-Content Quality:

In-content backlinks (i.e. backlinks within a block of text) are the most likely to be editorial links, which are exactly the type of links that search engines value most, and if a link is included early on in a piece of content then it’s natural to assume that the author of that content considers it be an important link.

Therefore, a backlink within the main content area of a page, and towards the top of that content area, is considered to be more high quality than a link lower down the page or in the sidebar or footer.

Not reciprocal or purchased links:

Link exchanges were widely abused in the past, which resulted in the value of reciprocal links being reduced. Reciprocal links still do have value, and there’s certainly no risk of a penalty being applied as a consequence of them, however, if you’re looking for a backlink of the highest possible quality, then it should come from a website that you’re not also linking to from your own site.

You can run but you can’t hide!

Not easily acquired:

The more easily you can acquire a backlink, the less value it will likely have. The chances are that if you can get it a couple of minutes, or with a couple of clicks, then thousands of people will have done it before you and thousands more will do it after you – including your competitors.

Bottom line, Backlinks Matter! I just backlinked to Wikipedia just to give you a sneak peek of what a Backlink really looks like 😉

Always remember that a strong, effective backlinking strategy is a marathon, not a sprint.

There are various other factors which decide the authority of a backlinks & a lot of theories can be easily Googled like say RankWatch can certainly assist you in cracking the code. You will be able to identify all those Toxic, Suspicious or Neutral backlinks, that’s the information you need to assist you with having those backlinks monitored on a regular basis.

RankWatch crawls each of your backlinks & gives them a Toxic Score with the Bad factors causing the same. Besides the ones mentioned above you will be able to get a lot more deciding factors for backlinks.

RankWatch takes into account various factors on the basis of which it filters your backlinks, besides the usual points mentioned above the Platform crawls your backlinks tracking those ‘Bad Factors’ you need to take in consideration to better qualify a backlink quality. Do you have too many Out Bound Links, or are you using multiple AdSense &/or Analytics ID’s, or if you have too many linking Domain’s from a single IP, or how many keywords the backlinking domain is ranking for, or the Trust Rank of the Domain etc. etc.

The Platform does a hugely exhaustive analysis of your backlinks & helps you identify the places where you need to do your backlinkings. If you’re struggling with your off-page optimization, I urge you to try the Platform to better monitor your backlinks.

The fact of the matter is that Search Engines have started taking strict cognizance of the backlinks you have on your website. Why take a chance! You remember what happened in May’13 when the Penguin 2.0 was released..woah! It was complete euphoria, those who were dominating the SERP got wiped out of the top 100 searches & those which had never seen a rank, found their way to the top 3 searches!!

Google decides, like it or lump it, I strongly recommend that you like it.

I hope the above information has been able to add value to your knowledge-base & I would love to hear from you on the subject of backlinks, I mean, your off-page optimization, your backbone is your backlink.

Please see some popular Backlink Checking Tools:

Monitor Backlinks



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