How do you measure backlinks to success and Identify Backlink Opportunities
Several years ago, link building was considered a major focus for SEOs and digital marketers. Unfortunately, some took advantage and began manufacturing authority with unnatural backlinks, which drew the attention of Google.
The search engine then launched the Penguin Algorithm Update in 2012, which removed authority from unnatural links and penalized sites that had used them.
Building site authority with strong backlink management is still an important part of any SEO campaign — it’s just a tricky one to get right. It takes a sound link building strategy and the right data to naturally build a link profile, but when done successfully with quality links, it’s a valuable way to gain credibility with both users and search engines.
The following blog post is designed to familiarize readers with how seoClarity can help clients build site authority and improve the user search experience by optimizing their backlink index via link reclamation.
seoClarity’s Approach to Backlink Data
Google’s guidelines on link schemes and inorganic link building strategies make acquiring high-quality backlinks somewhat difficult for most enterprises, but our objective isn’t to be the resource for finding every opportunity for backlinking that exists.
Rather, we are interested in driving the best possible search experience for clients’ end users. Receiving a link back to your site from an authoritative site is an effective SEO tactic, but link building toward a non-relevant industry’s site is really only a way to influence search algorithms — it isn’t helpful to your users, and you can be penalized for doing it.
Where Does Our Data Come From?
Research Grid is populated entirely from our own proprietary databases (that we compile). The one exception to this is our backlink data. We get our data for backlinks from Majestic, one of the three primary players in the backlink data game.
We use Majestic’s data simply because the amount of data you get and the data points provided are unparalleled.
Domain Types in the Backlinks Report
The Backlinks feature within Research Grid divides domains into three different types:
- Provisioned Domains – Provisioned domains are domains that have an account; they have been added directly to the seoClarity platform.
- Competitor Domains – We also maintain the freshest data possible on competitor domains. Competitor domains have been specified by account holders of provisioned domains as belonging to the competitors they are interested in investigating.
- Ad Hoc Domains – Any domain that isn’t a provisioned domain or competitor domain is an ad hoc domain. If you search for the data on an ad hoc domain, the Backlinks report will tell you that there is no data in the platform for that domain and ask if you would like to retrieve it, a process which takes 5-10 minutes. Once you’ve retrieved data from an ad hoc domain, the system does not automatically refresh the data as it does for provisioned domains and competitor domains (although there is a feature coming that will auto-refresh data for previously searched ad hoc domains!).
For both provisioned and competitor domains, the freshest possible data is 7-10 days old, which is above the industry standard (and only the case for backlink data in the platform).
Read More: The Most Effective Link Audit Process to Boost Search Visibility
What Do We Do with This Backlink Data?
The first thing we do — which is unique to seoClarity — is automatically recrawl every single one of those links. We do this every month to ensure that the data we are getting from Majestic is 100% accurate, so as to confirm that we provide the best information possible for our clients.
Looking at a backlinks report, the number of Unique Backlinks may seem important, but the most valuable metric is the number of Unique Linking Domains.
(Backlinks Overview in the seoClarity Platform. Unique linking domains are highlighted for this particular domain.)
Here’s an explanation by way of metaphor: If you treat links to your site like a recommendation from someone, then the Unique Linking Domains (or referring domains) show the number of people doing the referring, and the Unique Backlinks show the number of recommendations you have been given.
For our purposes, you would rather have 10 people referring to you one time each instead of one person referring to you 10 times. This explains why Unique Linking Domains is the more important metric; after a site’s first link to you, search engines value the others less — no matter how many exist.
How Does Our Link Management Compare to Competitors’?
BrightEdge only retrieves data once — you get 50,000 links, which are not updated unless you ask. Conductor does not have Majestic or backlinks data at all. Searchmetrics uses its own data set, which is far smaller than Majestic’s, and SEMrush charges per row of data downloaded. Ultimately, seoClarity’s tools simply reach farther and perform better.
The Importance of Backlink Monitoring
What Can a Backlink Report Tell You?
A backlink report tells you a number of things:
- Number of links you have gained or lost over time
- Percentage of your backlinks that are follow vs. no follow
- Breakdown of backlink type (text, image, etc.)
- The anchor text used in the backlink