June 23

Backlink Profile: Everything You Need to Know

If you want your website to increase its rankings and authority on the web, you must think about backlinks. 

As you might know, a backlink profile is a collection of all the backlinks that lead back to your website, so building a robust backlink profile is a priority for many websites.

In this post, we’re going to teach you all you need to know about backlink profiles so you can start working on your own. 

What Is the Purpose of a Website’s Backlinks?

Your backlinks indicate the quality of your website. The more backlinks you have, the more trustworthy you are in the eyes of Google. 

When other websites link to your website, they essentially vouch for your content. 

After all, they wouldn’t refer their hard-earned traffic to any website; the content they’re linking to has to have a quality feature that will enhance their visitor’s experience. 

By linking to another site, a website says: go to this page, its content is valuable to you

Google picks up on the vote of confidence and rewards a trustworthy site by increasing its authority and search engine rankings

purpose of backlinks quote

Additionally, backlinks are capable of increasing your website’s organic traffic because they send traffic from one website to another. 

So, if a traffic-heavy page links to your content, you can expect many visitors to your page. 

Businesses across all industries dedicate resources to earning backlinks because of the fantastic effect they have on their websites. 

When a company website has lots of backlinks from quality websites, we can say it has a strong backlink profile. 

Now that you understand the benefits, let’s talk about what makes a quality backlink profile.

The Basics of a High-Quality Backlink Profile

There’s a handful of things that make a high-quality backlink profile. When evaluating your profile, these are the things you should focus on…

Links From High-Authority Sites

A website with a strong backlink profile has to attract backlinks from high-authority sites. 

You can’t build a high-quality backlink profile if the links your pages are getting don’t come from relevant and authoritative websites. Websites linking to you should be authentic and come from within your niche. 

For example, it makes little sense for a marketing agency website to get backlinks from pet stores. 

quote about backlinks value

When sites recommend content by linking to it, users (and Google) want relevant expertise behind the recommendations. And advice on a specific topic is valuable only when it comes from a relevant topic expert. 

This notion is reflected in your backlink profile. 

If the websites linking to you have no authority on the topic they covered, their advice—and consequently the link you get from them—is not worth much. 

And backlinks with no value do not strengthen your backlink profile. 

To understand if your backlinks are coming from high-authority sources, Google evaluates those websites and determines their relevance.

Therefore, if many high-authority sites in your industry link to you, you will be considered an authority on the topic as well and reap the full benefits of your links.

Follow and No-Follow Links

Your backlink profile has two kinds of backlinks: Follow (or Do-Follow) and No-Follow links.

The difference between the two is that do-follow links let Google follow the link to its source, crawl the website, and determine its authority. 

So, ideally, your Do-Follow links will lead to high-authority sites which Google crawls and boost your rank.

If Google can’t follow the links, it can’t determine their quality or topic authority. So No-Follow links add no SEO value to your website. 

However, that doesn’t mean they are worthless. No-Follow links can still be fantastic sources of traffic. 

It is natural for a backlink profile to have both Follow and No-Follow links. While there’s no official stance from Google on what the ideal ratio is, since only Do-Follow links add to your SEO, aspire to have as many as possible. 

Just make sure that the websites providing those backlinks have enough authority. If not, these links are as good as No-Follow ones. 

Link Freshness

A website with a strong backlink profile keeps earning new backlinks, meaning it has fresh links and not just years-old backlinks. 

Your backlink profile summarizes your website’s entire link catalog. You want a fresh supply of backlinks leading to your new content, so your site can keep growing and increasing its search rankings. 

You can’t have sustainable web traffic growth if you’re not increasing your website’s authority with new, high-quality backlinks. 

Without a steady supply of fresh links, your site’s rankings will dwindle in time and a steep decline in fresh links often means that the quality of your content has dropped. 

So, link freshness is helpful when analyzing the health of your backlink profile. 

Look at it this way: a website that keeps getting fresh links is growing. A site that relies only on dusty, years-old links is stagnating. 

You want your backlink profile to get fresh links from authoritative websites. 

This improves the outlook of your backlink profile and shows Google that your content is relevant and up-to-date

Anchor Text Variation

If a lot of your backlinks have the same anchor text, the patterns are easy to notice. Worse yet, Google’s algorithms might view it as spammy practice and penalize your site (which means you will lose all your search positions and web traffic). 

Therefore, the anchor text you use for backlinks has to vary. 

When working on creating new backlinks, make sure you rotate your phrasing in anchor texts. 

This means that you should switch between more commercial anchor texts, as well as short and long-tail phrases.  Here’s an example:

Overall, there should be no specific anchor text that’s repeated frequently in your backlink profile. 

For example, let’s say you have a car insurance website. 

If the anchor text best car insurance accounts for 25% of all the links on your backlink profile, you’ve got a problem. The best thing to do then is to work on your anchor text variation.

Use your website’s name as anchor text, contextual phrases like ways to insure your car, and anchor text with more commercial intent as mentioned above. 

Overall, know that backlink profiles from top-performing websites have diversified anchor texts, so you should aim for that too. 

Now that you understand the basics, we can talk about the backlink types that are valuable for your SEO.

Which Types of Backlinks Are the Most Valuable for SEO?

You’ll hear this phrase many times: not all links are created equal. And for good reason.

As we said before, there are great backlinks that will supercharge your backlink profile, and there are bad backlinks that can get you penalized. 

High-quality backlinks show your site has value and deserves an SEO boost, while bad backlinks are red flags.

If Google notices most of your backlinks have no relevance or are mostly paid for, your site’s rankings will suffer. That’s a guarantee. 

With that in mind, here are the types of backlinks with the most SEO value.  

Editorial Backlinks 

These are the best types of backlinks you can receive to boost your SEO. 

They happen when a website refers to your page and links to it. Since it happens naturally without your intervention, that says your content is good enough to be referred to. See example below.

Google then picks up on the editorial backlink and raises your search rankings. 

One of the best ways to earn editorial backlinks is with valuable infographics. Content creators crave good visuals, and if you can provide them, they will say thank you by linking back to the graphic’s source. 

Another link-worthy content type is industry reports and studies that other blogs will link when covering a relevant topic. Statistic pages are natural link generators and often have much more backlinks than other types of content. 

Backlinks From Guest Blogging

Backlinks from guest blogging are also high-quality sources of backlinks, as long as the websites are relevant to your industry.

Guest post writers can easily embed links that lead back to their website to boost its SEO. 

However, if the link they included has no relevance to the topic of the article, their SEO is not getting a powerful boost, plus the backlinks will likely be removed by editors. 

Many high-quality websites are happy to give backlinks to free tools as well. 

So, if you have outstanding software that’s valuable to their audience and free to use, websites will include a link to your tool page. Free interactive online calculators are a great example of this. 

Link Quality vs. Quantity: Which Is Better?

Back in the day, when websites wanted to reach the first page of Google, they would try to get as many backlinks as possible, regardless of where they come from. 

Those days are long gone.

Even if you’re under pressure to increase your website’s visibility quickly, you should be picky about your backlinks.

We said it before: to have a strong backlink profile, your incoming links need to have topical relevance and come from websites with strong domain authority. 

So, for link building, quality trumps quantity

You should focus your efforts on supercharging your link prospecting and finding high-quality links.

Look at it this way. 

If you have lots of backlinks from various low-quality websites with zero topical relevance, you’re only going to hurt the SEO outlook of your backlink profile. 

For example, if you have 1,000 backlinks that are not relevant to your niche, you’re sending red flags to Google that your site is paying for links. That will get you penalized. 

Remember that building backlinks is a process that takes time and effort. There are no shortcuts.

The best way to do that is to create really valuable, link-worthy content so that relevant, authoritative sites pick up on your work and reward it with links. 

Let’s have a word about one of the essential practices for managing your backlinks; backlink audits. 

Why Are Backlinks Audits Important?

If you want to understand the state of your backlink profile, you need to do a backlink audit. 

When you inspect your website’s entire backlink catalog you can detect flaws and potentially dangerous linking practices from the past. 

Think of these audits as full diagnostics of your website’s backlink profile. 

Why should you care so much about your old links? 

Because some of them might become toxic over time. And since a website’s backlinks are one of the most important ranking signals in 2021, such backlinks can do much harm.

We call links toxic when they are:

  • Coming from websites that only exist for linking to other sites
  • Not topically relevant 
  • Not indexed by Google 
  • Spammed in some comment section

If you have a large website, you can’t hope to identify those links without an audit with backlink checker tools. A backlink audit will enable you to find the highest and the worst quality websites linking back to you and disavow the low-quality links.

One more thing. 

Backlinks audits are essential because they allow you to see if all your links are still in place. It’s possible you lost otherwise valuable links from relevant websites for whatever reason. 

For example, to identify any new or lost backlinks, we use our backlink checker. It shows you the number of gained or lost links and the number of domains they are coming from.

Nobody enjoys losing backlinks, so backlink audits allow you to reach out to those websites and get your backlinks back. 

The only way to do a quality backlink audit is to find a backlink analysis tool

overview of a website's backlink profile

Thanks to this tool, we can inspect all the website’s links, identify the toxic ones, and try to recover the lost links. It takes only a second to generate the reports. 

Having a good tool for this at your disposal is like getting essential healthcare for your website. 

We talked about checking up on your backlink profile, but how do you ensure it stays strong in the long run?

How to Make Sure Your Backlink Profile Remains Strong?

Think about the health analogy. 

To stay healthy, you must exercise and eat healthily. The things you practice every day have a final impact on your overall health. 

It’s the same with your backlink profile—it’s all about the effort you put in day-to-day.

Don’t think that the outlook of your backlink profile can’t deteriorate over time. 

If you want to make sure your backlink profile remains powerful, think about what good practices you will implement to maintain it.

Sticking to those practices is paramount. 

You need to create original content that will add value and make other topically relevant websites link to it for reference. 

There are many fantastic link-worthy content pieces you could create: case studies, industry reports, infographics; the list goes on. 

When your content marketing toolkit is equipped with any of those, you have great supporting content that’s ready to get linked. 

If you don’t have any supporting content, think about how you’re going to create it. 

The next step is to actively reach out to other websites relevant to your industry and offer your content as support for theirs, and build some quality backlinks manually. That means you need to do some link prospecting, i.e. find websites that pose an opportunity for getting backlinks. 

Our link prospector feature can help you find these opportunities and even manage relationships with websites when building backlinks. 

This tool makes link prospecting much easier and less time-consuming. 

Have a look:

Not only can you prospect links based on keywords or URLs, but you can also run an analysis of your competitor’s backlinks. 

If they have a successful link-building strategy, this tool will make it easy for you to understand and replicate it. 

That’s a game-changer. 

A Pro Tip

Don’t hesitate to ask for backlinks.

Sending outreach emails to relevant websites is standard link-building practice. If there’s a website that can truly benefit from your resources, get in touch; they’ll appreciate it. 

When reaching out to a website, think about how you’re approaching your prospects. 

One fantastic way to do it is to reach out to relevant sites that you’ve previously linked to when you wrote your posts. That way, you did something for them in advance, and they are more likely to return the favor.

Another approach is to mention an article you enjoyed that they have published before

You should be genuinely interested in collaborating with the website you’re reaching out to and express that interest accordingly. GIve details and explain why you are the most relevant person they should collaborate with. What’s in it for them? 

If you use these practices, you’ll be on your way to establishing a new stream of fresh backlinks. 

How to Check Your Backlink Profile

To check your backlink profile, you need a tool you can trust, and that’s easy to use. 

With that in mind, look at what a tool like SERPtimizer’s can do as far as backlink profile diagnostics go.

First off, you get a wealth of data that will give you a fantastic overview of your backlink profile. 

A crawl button allows you to crawl a domain manually, besides scheduled automatic site crawls. 

That way, your website is checked for errors at fixed intervals, which are reported to you in the SEO monitoring tab. 

What about backlink management?

The tool shows a total number of backlinks, referring domains, lists broken or lost links, and reports on the new backlinks you’ve acquired. 

When the tool reports a lost link, you even can see why it’s missing, such as whether the page is missing or if it’s temporarily unavailable. 

The backlink checker updates your backlink report every week, so the data you get is relevant and you can monitor the state of your links and stay informed.

Conclusion 

Now you understand what makes a strong backlink profile and what it takes to build one yourself. 

Remember, websites have different backlink needs, so instead of trying to get there as fast as you can, focus on making your content link-worthy. 

Nobody built a successful backlink profile overnight; it takes work and dedication. 

As we said, it’s about using the right tools and understanding what backlink practices bring in the best results.