Link building is still a vital cog in the overall digital marketing machine, but over the years it has gotten more and more difficult and with the introduction of Google Penguin what you have built historically could be what brings your site to its knees in the future.
So how do we make sure, when cleaning your backlink profile, we only get rid of the really poor stuff and keep links that are having a positive impact? Below are some quick and easy tips to follow when deciding whether a link should be kept or removed.
Use a statistical benchmark
Using a statistical tool, such as Kerboo or Moz Bar gives you a quick and easy indication of the quality of a site right away. Metrics such as Domain Authority (DA) and Kerboo Score shouldn’t be the only metric on which you base your decision, but they can help point you in the right direction as soon as you land on the page.
Check your anchor text and keyword distribution within the content
As part of Google Penguins crackdown on manipulative link building, anchor text has been a primary focus. Previous to these updates anchor text could be spammed for your high value term and you would see consistent results, but this is no longer the case. To keep Penguin’s from knocking at your door, anchor text needs to be natural. The days of 80% of your anchor text being keywords is gone. If the link you are looking at using exact match anchor text, you need to have a really good think about whether the quality of the site outweighs that risk, along with applying the other tips in this post.
Check your content’s quality
Another vital metric is the quality of the content you are linking in. If the content is just another generic piece to help you inject your keywords, then you need to seriously consider removing it. Other red flags include basic text links, sidebar links and scraped content. If your links are using any of these tactics you need to stick a red flag in it!
Look at previous posts on the website
These days it’s not enough to just look at your content in a sandbox and make a decision. Explore the site your link is on. Is every post a clearly manipulated piece of content for the purposes of link building? Is there even any other content of note on the site? For a link to be natural the website has to be natural too, so make sure to look around before making your decision.
But my website is ranking well, does this even matter?
The quick answer is yes, it most definitely does matter. Just because your website is performing well, doesn’t mean at some point your link profile will not come under scrutiny. If you have bad links in that profile, that may not even be having an effect on your visibility, there’s still a chance you may be penalised and your site may tank. It’s vital to keep on top of your link profile, regardless of site performance, to make sure you are not leaving yourself open to big issues in the future.
Do you have a bad link profile that needs expert analysis? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to find out how we can help.