What does that even mean? Well, Google hints that links from “prominent websites”is a good sign that information is well trusted.
But that's kind of vague too.
The thing is that not all backlinks are created equal.
Some help your pages rank higher in Google, otherswill seem like they're doing absolutely nothing, and some may actually hurt your rankings.
So today, we're going to talk about identifyinghigh-quality backlinks that will move the needle for your site.
[music] What's up SEOs? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool thathelps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche.
Now, if you're doing any kind of link building, I'm guessing you've done something like this.
First, you start with keyword research andof course you'd look at the number of links that are pointing at the top-ranking pages.
And you see something like this and you're like… Hot damn! Over 600 links from unique websites.
So you click on the backlinks number to seewho's linking to the page.
Then you spot-check the report, and you're like… Wow! A link from LifeHacker! And you keep scrolling down, and then you're like… What! A link from LifeHacker's Japanese site? Time to learn Japanese so I can get a link there too! So you export all results, find some emailaddresses, then mass-email everyone taking whatever you can get.
This is the wrong way to approach prospectingand link building.
Without further analyzing your link prospects, you could very well be building bad links or links that won't actually help you rank.
So what you need to do is identify your competitor'shigh-quality backlinks so you can know which pages will be worth getting a link from.
And the way you're going to do that is byasking yourself a series of questions.
First, ask yourself is the site's contentrelevant to my niche? Imagine this for a second.
You ask two friends for a recommendation for the best Italian restaurant in the city.
One of your friends is a chef at an upscale Italianrestaurant and the other is a basketball coach who's allergic to tomatoes.
Who's opinion would you hold higher? Probably the chef since you know thatthey have experience with Italian cuisine.
In the same way, links from a website about Italianfood, Italy, or recipes would hold more weight than links from sites about technology or marketing.
For example, you'll see that this page islinking to the top-ranking URL for the query “best running shoes.
” But if you look at the content on the site, it seemsmore like a personal blog on random topics rather than one on running, fitness, or any other theme.
So in terms of sitewide relevance, it's not quite there.
Now, with this one, you can probably guess that the site would be relevant based on just the domain name.
Now, this brings up the question, what aboutlinks from sites like news publications that cover a ton of topics, like The New York Times? This is where you need to ask yourself: Is the page relevant to my niche and/or thetopic of my content? The New York Times covers various broad topicsacross their entire site.
And just because they cover everything, itdoesn't mean that links from there are worthless.
In fact, the opposite could be true.
Now, if you look at the link profile of therunning shoes page, you'll see that they have a link from BusinessInsider.
And based on just the title alone, you can seethat the page is entirely about running shoes.
To contrast this example, look at this linkfrom hoover.
org pointing at the same target.
The title of the post is called “An EconomicsLesson For Bernie Sanders.
” The post is about economics and possibly politics.
So even though they're linking to the same page, it doesn't change the fact that the post is about economics.
Not fitness or apparel.
So in my opinion, I probably wouldn't reachout to this site for a link since the page and website aren't topically relevant.
Now, everything that I've explained up to thispoint is about topical and contextual relevance.
But another thing to consider is “locational” relevance.
For example, if you're a Toronto based photographeryou'd probably want to rank your pages in Toronto and the surrounding area.
After all, that's where the bulk of your customerswill likely be.
So in my opinion, I think it'd also be worthbuilding links from websites about Toronto.
That might be from non-competing Toronto-basedwedding vendors, or Toronto lifestyle blogs.
The next question to ask yourself is Does the linking site have authority? At Ahrefs, we try to quantify so-called”website authority” with a metric called Domain Rating.
DR is a score on a scale from 0 to 100, whichrepresents the overall strength of a website's backlink profile.
And within the Backlinks report, you can seethe metric beside each linking page.
For me personally, I don't really use websiteauthority as a main metric.
Instead, I use it to gauge if these people haveactually earned backlinks throughout their site.
It's also a great metric to use as an initialstart for link prospecting.
For example, if I export all backlinks fromthis report, then I can open it in Google Sheets and create a filter.
So I'll click on this icon here and clickon Filter by condition.
Then I'll choose the “Greater than or equal to” optionand then add something like 30 for the value.
And just by doing that, I was able to cutdown our initial list by around 77%, meaning a lot of backlinks from “weaker” sites.
Now, it's important to note that while thismight be a good starting point, I wouldn't recommend only reaching out to sites witha certain DR score.
You have to also keep in mind that a DR-15 sitetoday, could continually build authority over time, making your link on that page potentiallymore valuable in the future.
Alright, the next thing to ask yourself is: Is the website getting consistent traffic from Google? Last year, I owned a natural health blog.
And after training my team on how to get backlinks, we were building them efficiently.
And as I was looking through my link profile, I saw that we had built a link from this site.
It was from a relevant website and page, had decent website authority, But if you look at the website's organic traffichistory, you'll see a massive dip in traffic where it went from over a hundred thousandmonthly search visits to pretty much nothing.
And this was likely due to Google's August2018 core algorithm update, nicknamed “Medic.
” Now, when you see significant drop offs likethis or this, it's better to stay clear.
Even outside of algorithm updates, you can'treally conclude what happened with certainty.
For all you know, you may be building linkson sites that had previously been penalized for things like selling links.
And you probably wouldn't want your site tobe associated with them.
So long story short, it's best to make sure that the site doesn't appear to have been penalized or is getting steady organic trafficgrowth over time.
To see whether a website is getting consistenttraffic from Google, you can use Ahrefs' Site Explorer.
Enter in a domain, click on the Organic search tab, and you'll see the estimated amount ofsearch traffic the site gets as a whole.
Next, ask yourself, does the linking pageget search traffic? Within the backlinks report, you can see whetherthe pages are getting search traffic.
And getting links from pages with trafficcan be good for a couple of reasons.
First, you know that the page is likely stillin Google's good books because if they're getting search traffic, then they're ranking.
And second, the more traffic a linking page gets, the better your chances of getting more referral traffic.
The next question is: are most external linkson their site nofollowed? As far as we know, links with the nofollowattribute don't pass value.
So you wouldn't want to waste time buildingnofollow links.
For example, let's say that you're running a guestposting campaign where you plan to link back to one of your resources.
You can go to a web page, right-click on an external link, and then use Chrome's “Inspect element” feature to see the HTML code of that link.
And if you see a rel=”nofollow” tag, there's a decent chance they may nofollow a lot of other external links on their site.
A more reliable way to check is using Ahrefs' Site Explorer.
If you look at the main things we've talked about, it looks like the site checks all the boxes like an authoritative domain, consistent traffic, andI'll assume the site is relevant to our niche.
Now, if we go to the Linked Domains report, we can see which websites they link out to.
And if we click on the dropdown here, you'llsee that the vast majority of external links are nofollowed, meaning your chancesof getting a followed link would be slim.
So unless you're trying to get a mention fromthat site or to hope for referral traffic, I don't think it would be worth the time andeffort to guest-post here.
Finally, ask yourself, are they linking outto too many pages? And for me, this metric plays a big role whenit comes to resource page link building.
When a page has a ton of external links on their page, less authority is transferred via each external link.
So you probably don't want links from pagesthat are linking to a thousand other pages.
And you can see the number of external linkson the page in the backlinks report in Site Explorer.
You can also click on the external links headerto sort them or use Google Sheets filters to weed them out of your prospects list.
We have a full tutorial on resource page link building, so if you want to see how you can do that at scale, make sure to watch that video.
Now, should you only go for links that matchall of the criteria that we've talked about? I'd say no because you'd be limiting yourpool of prospects a bit too much.
Instead, use these as guidelines to determinethe amount of time and effort you're willing to put into gaining links from certain pages and sites.
And also use them to find which sites you'llwant to avoid building links on.
Now, if you enjoyed this video, make sure tolike, share and subscribe for more actionable SEO and marketing tutorials.
And I recommend checking out our link buildingplaylist because I go into a ton of detail about strategies and increasing link conversion rates.
So keep grinding away, build some high-qualitybacklinks, and I'll see you in the next tutorial.