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Wikipedia’s definition: “Back links, also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links, are incoming links to a website or web page”. Source:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backlink
What do I mean by “Link Profile”?
I get asked this question every day. Put simply, a link profile is when someone or something goes through your entire website and creates a report based on your current link profile and portfolio of back links. A link profile usually quantifies and evaluates the different types of links pointing to your site as there are many different content management systems and platforms that can pass you links.
SEO Providers tend to specialise in link profiles as it allows them to see what is happening with the website behind the scenes and because of that, it gives them the edge when it comes to creating online marketing campaigns.
So what are the elements of a good link profile?
- A good link profile should include the following elements:
One way links vs. Reciprocal links: These are the two main types of back links that a website can have. One way means website A points to B and that’s it. Reciprocal mean’s that both point to each other. See figure one. Studies show that reciprocal links still work but usually don’t work as well as one way links. Barry Schwartz from the SERoundTable: “The overall understanding from the thread is that reciprocal links still work and work well. The issue comes up when you do it “excessively” where your links are coming from unrelated web sites and you are linking back to unrelated pages.” Source:http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/022388.html
- Back link relevance
How relevant is the website to yours? The easy way of understanding this would be to imagine a shop that sells toothbrushes. They wouldn’t want to purchase TV’s and sell them as their niche is toothbrushes. So if you have a website that is selling toothbrushes, you would want other sites that mention dental work pointing to you to keep it niche specific. This also helps search engines figure out what your website is about.
- Back link quality
I can’t preach this enough. Quality matters and it goes back to the old saying, “quality over quantity”. You only want websites that are trusted sources of information in the search engines eyes linking to your site. Many people believe it’s better to have a huge bunch of links pointing to your site, but these links could come from a variety of different places and have minimal value, whereas a website that is trusted by the search engine could have a much higher value if it links to your site. This then leads into the next section:
- Bad link neighbourhoods
Avoid sites that just seem to spam links. You don’t want to be associated with sites that have huge amounts of outbound links. Think “less is more” principle. Bad link neighbourhoods can really put your whole link profile in danger. I have had many web masters approach me and ask how to identify bad link neighbourhoods. The simple way of doing it is by asking yourself this question:
“If I owned this website, why would it link to this website?”
If the answer is “It wouldn’t” and you happen to find that it has a bunch of outgoing links to a wide range of different sites, there is a chance that Google will see this site as poor quality.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER IN A REPORT:
There are various tools out there that can help you collect this information. Tool’s like Ahrefs.com & MajesticSEO are two of the top tools for finding out information on a websites back link profile. Because of this you can quickly generate reports and identify flaws within your back link profile. If you need help in doing this, don’t hesitate to get in touch.