Nowadays, in light of Google’s frequent algorithm updates and penalties (the Panda and its cubs, the recent de-indexing of certain link networks, the latest Penguin and its fledgling, among others) and site quality becoming more of a factor in how Google values sites, it has become more critical for SEO experts to be able to figure out what metrics to consider in looking for link partners that are of quality.
Here are some important LINK METRICS to look to ensure that the link is Quality:
1. Domain Authority (DA)
This metric will help you in determining which sites may have more powerful/important link profiles than another. Domain Authority is used to measure the predictive ranking strength of entire domains or subdomains in search engine rankings. So, the higher the Domain Authority the better.
The authority numbers are high level metrics that attempt to determine how strong are your page’s/site’s links in terms of helping them rank for queries in search results.
2. Amount of Unique Linking Domains (ULDs)
Every so-called search engine optimization service expert worth his salt knows the number of unique domains (ULDs) is heavily correlated with high rankings, so this should be considered.
There should be a good level of growth in unique linking domains for any SEO campaign to be successful. Ideally, there should be a good amount of ULDs to both the page in question and domain of a site. This will give you a general overview of how popular that page/domain is to external websites, more Unique Linking Domains could mean the site is more popular.
3. Page Authority
This measures the strength of individual page, how well a single page will rank, regardless of its content. Just like the DA, this metric will help you in determining which sites may have more powerful/important link profiles than another. So, the higher the PA, the greater the potential for that individual page to rank well in search results.
For static pages, look at the PA and if this is a high number and has a good number of ULDs, then the page is valuable to link to.
Also, it’s important to note that when getting backlinks on a subdomain – such as blog.SITENAME.com, BLOGNAME.blogspot.com, BLOGNAME.wordpress.com, and others, then look at the subdomain’s Page Authority, since the Domain Authority will be irrelevant for these types of targets.
4. Number of Outbound Links on the Page
Look at how many links are on the page, look for blog rolls or excessive lists of links on sidebars. If there are lots of outbound links, this could mean that more links, less link juice for you as the more any link juice on that page will be split among all of them (regardless if they are followed or nofollowed). Thus, it’s better to have pages that have less links.
5. Check if the URLs are Converted into Static
Static URLs are typically ranked better in search results, and they are indexed more quickly than dynamic URLs.
6. Latest Google’s Cache (When Google last crawled the site)
Look into when Google last crawled the site. It seems that higher quality site is crawled more often than once a month. If the site was crawled older than 2 weeks, then it’s seen as much less positive than those last crawled yesterday.
7. Check their Blogs if they have good interaction with their readers
These sites called “influencers” can really help improve your link building efforts by helping your content essentially generate its own links simply by leveraging its community to push your content viral. You can know if a site has an engaged audience by looking at the site’s number of:
- social shares
- RSS feed and newsletter subscribers
- social media followers
8. Quality Content
Checking on blog post’s comments will give you a general idea of how well-received the content is. Make sure also that the entire site is trustworthy. Does the site just exist for the purpose of hosting a link? Make sure that the site doesn’t have scraped content. Make sure that subpages, not just the home page, also have quality content. Try to know if there is legitimate contact information on the site somewhere. Make sure that the content provided is accurate. Make sure also to be familiar with how Google defines quality.
9. The Layout of the Page
Make sure that page is not cluttered with too much ads above the fold.
10. Active in Social Media Sites
Know if the site has share buttons on it. Make sure that they have a Twitter and/or Facebook account that is well utilized to do more than just push links.
Getting links from Quality Sites nowadays is very important with all those algorithm updates and penalties constantly rolled out to punish those low quality sites. When linking to low quality site’s, the link from that site may not pass the desired link juice to your site that you require to improve your PageRank. And if Google considers you as a low quality site, then you won’t rank well in its SERPs, causing decreased visibility and less chances for natural links.
Also, for these sites may not rank well enough by themselves, these would cause you to lose out on potential traffic.
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