How to assess the quality of a link

15 October 2018

Since businesses began optimising their websites for the search engines link building has been a key strategy employed by SEO’s to help sites move up the rankings. However the way that link building is used has grown and evolved over the years and we are increasingly seeing a move away from quantity of links to quality of links. Whilst links are still used as a major ranking factor by the search engines there is now a greater onus on using links to support your digital PR which helps to build and support your brand presence online. This means that if you really want to get seen by the people who fit your target customer demographic you need to work on getting high quality links. These will bring your website valuable ‘link juice’ and help to promote your brand image. However as SEO experts we understand that it’s not always easy to assess exactly how well a link is working for you or how high quality it is. That’s why we’ve taken a look at a range of factors you can consider when assessing your link building strategy and reviewing the links that you already have.

Quality over quantity

The days of getting links placed here there and everywhere are definitely over! In fact having too many links posted on low quality sites can affect your ranking in the search engines negatively and make your site look spammy. When assessing your links on other sites one key factor that Google will be looking at is their domain authority. The higher the domain authority the more value will be attributed to the fact that their website is choosing to link to yours. To help you understand which sites offer good domain authority it can be well worth doing some research before you begin any link building outreach work. This means that you can be confident that you are only going to be dealing with sites which will give you high quality links and which will add value to your brand.

Content must be relevant

The type of content that links to your website is also a really important factor when it comes to assessing link quality. Not only should the content be compelling and interesting for the customers but it should also be relevant to both your website and the website hosting the link. The search engines want to make life as easy as possible for their users and so they are always looking for ways to add value to their lives. Therefore a link which is topical and useful for a website user is far more likely to be considered a high quality link. For example a food blogger could have an article about the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet and then might link to a local Greek restaurant providing useful information for their readers. If the same blogger put a link in to a local garage it would look out of place, would not be what the readers were looking for and therefore would be a low quality link.

Links should fit in with your brand values

A big part of digital PR is building your brand online. This means that you need to consider carefully which websites your links will be placed on and whether these sites fit in with your brand image and brand values. Even if a page has a high domain authority there could be a risk that it could bring negative publicity to your brand so you may want to think carefully about whether you should have a link to your site on there. A large disparity in values could cause embarrassment to your business or look bad for your brand i.e. a vegan make up company being linked to from a blogger who wears real fur. The context of a link can make a difference to its quality. Having a high profile, high authority brand linking to your site is a great bonus for both your PR and your SEO. However ensuring that the link has a good placement or context within the article can really add to the quality of the link especially if you want to drive an increase in traffic to your website. Getting your link at the top of a recommended list or within the first part of an article can give your link more impact and this is definitely where digital PR can work to complement your SEO. By building a good relationship with key influencers you will be more likely to get the best positions given to your links.

Social media can drive traffic too

Did you know that as long as your page has been crawled for the search engines then sharing links to your content on social media can also be a great solution to getting high quality links to your site. You can work with online influencers to get links to your sites tweeted and shared on Facebook. Google can use social shares as a ranking tool so an increased number of shares and engagement can help to increase your search engine ranking too.

Don’t forget to keep checking your links

When you asses the quality of a link you should remember that this is only a snapshot of how it is doing at that point in time. To truly assess how valuable a link has been should you check it on a regular basis. At Wagada HQ we recommend checking a link every few months to see how it is performing. We have even had clients where we have seen an upturn in traffic 12-18 months after their link has been posted!

Getting good quality links pointing towards your website is really valuable for your business both in terms of your digital PR and your SEO strategy. Before you commence any link building outreach it is worth assessing potential websites for their domain authority and taking the time to discover if they are a good fit with your brand image. When it comes to links choose quality over quantity and ensure that you have content which is relevant and useful to website users. You can also capitalise on great PR relationships by aiming to get your link in a good position within a list or article to help increase traffic. Remember to keep checking your links at regular intervals as they could take time to start working for your business. If you would like help assessing the quality of your links then come and have a chat with us. We are experts on link building strategies so why not find out what we can do for you.