As any SEO will tell you, building links towards your website is a massive factor for online success. It not only helps to generate referral traffic but is also a ranking factor which has been recently declared by search engine giants, Google. This is great new as Google tends not to give away too many ranking factors to their algorithm, however any good SEO will have known this for quite some time now. But when you are practicing link building, what are the signs of a good backlink? What should you look out for if you are trying to remove problematic links? Bravr explore some of the signs behind a good high quality backlink.

Page Rank & Authority

Page rank has always been a good way to measure the strength of a page. Although now obsolete, page authority is often the metric of choice. The metric created by Moz  helps to determine how well a page will rank on search engines. Which for backlink terms will give you a rough idea on how much referral traffic you will receive as well as authority that is passed to the linked domain. The higher the score (out of 100) the more authority a page has, so aim as high as you can when using page authority as your metric.

Spam Score

Spam score is another metric provided by Moz, which determines the relative risk of a penalisation or banning from search engines. Websites with a high spam score should be avoided at all costs as it is likely they have (or are) involved with spam tactics. The math behind it check out on a sub domain level the amount of negative flags a domain has, the more flags shown the worse the sub domain is, effecting the root domain.

Social Score

Social scores are a great way to see how well your back link is performing. Many blog posts showcase how many times the post has been shared, so it’s fairly easy to find. The more social shares a page has received will add to the strength of your backlink as it tells search engines that the page is a popular topic. So if you are out hunting for websites to publish on, be sure to check out how many social shares your target receives on average.

IP Neighbourhood

When you are looking for your next backlink opportunity, keep in mind that not everyone has a dedicated, secured IP address. Most blogs are on shared hosting, which in a nut shell is multiple websites on a single server. A simple reverse IP look up will soon tell you if you are alone on your IP. The reason this may be a problem is because search engines may affiliate you with your website neighbour. As a webmaster you will not have much control over that neighbour, who may be publishing negative, spammy or even NSFW content. The last thing you will need when backlinking are links from spammy (or affiliated spammy) websites.

Positive reference

Good high quality links always come from trusted sources, however the content surrounding the link is also key. You may have seen spam links created by black hat seo tools, where there is a link about flowers on a BMX website. This is not the way to go, be sure that the website you are trying to target  is relevant to your company or client. Believe it or not this kind of thing does have an effect on how strong your backlink will perform as search engines have cracked down on black hat techniques over the years.

Not reciprocal

Do not pay for links, not only does it break Googles guidelines, it may also get you penalised, resulting in a big drop on search engines. Typical signs of a paid links are when websites mention ‘sponsored’ or ‘paid placement’. As referenced in the positive reference section, this will (eventually) get picked up on and may give you more hassle than your bargained for. Be sure to stay positive and build links that will last you for years to come.

These are just some of the top pointers to look out for. Link building can be tough at times but really worth the rewards if done properly. If you are interested in link building and would like to find out more, get in touch via the contact page.