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As a critical element of SEO, link building is essential in bringing more organic traffic through search engines, especially in a saturated niche. Link-building can be incredibly effective in getting more visibility and higher ranking for your website when paired with solid technical SEO, excellent on and off-page SEO, credible content, and great user experience.


Nowadays, authenticity, quality, and relevance are what you need for online growth and to keep your website thriving. Although spammy, low-quality and unauthentic link-building tactics may work for a short time, they shouldn’t be a part of your link-building strategy if you are an organization with long-term success in mind.


Link-building and excellent marketing tactics have a lot in common, and businesses that understand this often achieve long-term success. However, you still need to pay attention to the technical aspect to link building. There’s much more than link building and far more to understand than ever.

Building Backlinks

Building Backlinks

In our previous article, we discussed the basics of link building. But in this post, we will dig deep and learn how to assess backlinks quality and how to use them in your website for optimum results. So, let’s get started!



Understanding Backlinks


Link-building is a strategy that involves injecting hyperlinks into your website that you obtain from other websites. A hyperlink (backlink) is a technique in which users can navigate between different web pages. Search engines like Google crawl backlinks between individual web pages on your website.


Moreover, not all backlinks are created equally, and marketers and SEOs don’t deliberately create them. For instance, some backlinks are built for journalistic purposes to cover news stories and are linked to a source.


Acquiring backlinks for your website without asking is something you should always strive for. However, this is only possible when you create link-worthy content, whether it’s about a product, service, or content referred to by other sources. In addition to this long-term strategy, you may also want to leverage other link-building techniques, which help you make your site credible and authentic and increase your chances of driving more organic traffic.


Before we go to the link-building phase, it is essential to know the basics and how a backlink is created. Here are the elements of a link:

Elements of a Link


Elements of a Backlink

Elements of a Backlink


  1. Starting Link: Also referred to as “anchor text,” this helps search engines understand that you’re going to insert a link.
  2. Referral Location: href “hyperlink referral” contains text within the quotation marks and tells search engines about the URL to which the link location. However, this could be anything like a webpage, image, document, or downloadable file.
  3. Anchor Text: This part contains small text that you see on the page. Users click on that text to open the link they want to access. In addition, anchor text is formatted in an easy-to-understand way to make it look different from the surrounding text.
  4. Closure Tag: It marks the end of a link.


How do Search Engines Use Links?


Links help search engines in two fundamental ways. Firstly, they help search engines find new webpages, and secondly, they help search engines’ algorithms determine how high a webpage should be ranked.


Search engines like Google crawl webpages to extract their content and add it to their indexes. This strategy helps them to analyze the quality of content, relevance, and how well it should be ranked. However, when deciding the ranking of a web page, search engines don’t solely rely on the content quality; they also analyze backlinks from external sources and the quality of those links. So, the more high-quality backlinks you have on your website, the more it is to rank higher in search engines.

Building Backlinks

Building Backlinks

Moreover, combined with other factors like relevance and content quality, backlinks are a determining ranking factor that lets Google start controlling the search engine market. For instance, Larry Page, one of Google’s founders, developed PageRank to scrutinize the quality of pages based on backlinks. This factor was implemented to enhance the overall ranking algorithm and became a critical factor due to its efficacy.


Furthermore, backlinks also act as a vote of confidence for a page and tell search engines that the source is credible and authentic. So, when someone links to your site, they say you have high-quality, original content. However, Google soon discovered that the strategy was vulnerable and could easily be manipulated. That’s why they enhanced their algorithm to let it differentiate between high-quality and low-quality links.


Since Google has become more sophisticated and is actively trying to filter out bad links, having high-quality links on your website is essential for more visibility and higher ranking in search engines.


How to Assess Backlinks Quality?


While getting high-quality links for your website can be a time-extensive strategy, some excellent tips for link-building might come in handy. Since we have already discussed the basics of backlinks in our previous article, it’s time to learn how to access quality backlinks.


1.      Use Backlinks Data Sources to Identify Referring Domains


While assessing backlinks quality on small websites is more manageable, the task can be challenging if you have a more prominent website. Having large sites means you’re likely to have hundreds of backlinks. However, identifying link domains is a must that you should never underestimate. After all, earning a few high-quality links can help you rank better than having plenty of low-quality links from a single domain.


You can benefit from various tools when assessing backlinks by identifying referring domains. In addition, using different link auditing or search engine optimization tool is also an intelligent strategy for conducting comprehensive link audits.


SEO optimization tools, like cognitiveSEO, allow you to see the analysis for an entire profile or specific backlinks. To maintain a natural profile containing qualitative backlinks, ensure that your site has quality backlinks from different domains. Moreover, also remember to remove links that are inaccessible and return with “error code 404.” This technique also helps you assess your site so you don’t include links from low-quality domains.


Apart from cognitiveSEO, other tools you can use for site audit are Google Search Console, BingWebMaster, and Site Explorer.


2.      Analyze Domain Authority of Linking Root Domains


Domain Authority (DA) is a critical factor for any domain. The higher DA a domain has, the better it is. If you’re running a more extensive website, having a natural distribution of high-influence and no-influence domains is crucial. In simple, it is acceptable to have a few high-authority domains than to have hundreds of domains with no influence. If you are using cognitiveSEO, it will let you get a broader view of your DA.


Moreover, you can also analyze the link influence to get an overall view of the page authority (PA).


3.      See If Your Anchor Texts Are Optimized


Site Explorer, as a site auditing tool, also allows you to check whether anchor texts on your website are optimized. All you need is to write your domain and then go to the “Anchor Text” tab to see anchor texts on your website. Those that have “N/A” beside them mean they don’t have an anchor text. You can further such texts by analyzing the links’ quality. Using cognitiveSEO in this regard is an excellent way to assess each anchor text and tag them as a brand, commercial, or miscellaneous.


Moreover, to make your anchor text assessment easier and to have high-quality backlinks, you should aim to implement a content marketing strategy. This would allow you to obtain anchor texts naturally.


4.      Scrutinize the Linking Page Genuineness


On-page analysis for backlinks is another critical aspect when conducting a link assessment audit on your website. You should aim to review each page with links to your website. In this regard, keep these tips in mind:


  • Genuineness of that link (suspicious or natural).
  • The position of the link (fold, body, or footer).
  • Type of link (text, image, or a redirect link).
  • Status of link (accessible or lost).
  • Type of page the link is on (blog comment, blog page, forum thread, video widget, article, banner, etc.)
  • Position of the link (group of links or content).
  • Page HTTP status.


It is worth highlighting that cognitiveSEO users would be able to extract details about all the factors mentioned above. If you catch a bad link, it is either located on a page full of links or surrounded by a list of links. In addition, such links also come with high-score spam and can negatively impact your website.


Moreover, cognitiveSEO also helps you detect unnatural links to verify each link. Once you are done with the audit on your site, you’re likely to see a chunk of unnatural links for varying reasons.


5.      Analyze Your Backlinks’ Social Media Sharing


Analyzing the quality of backlinks based on their social media share is essential. You can do it by analyzing whether the page you have links on has social media shares or engagement. These two factors are also critical as the users who appreciate your content would likely end up sharing it and could potentially be a viewer of your website. Such links are worth noting.


In addition, social media shares also mean more organic traffic and an increase in conversion rate. According to stats, 31% of referral traffic come from social media, making it a top driver for bringing referral traffic.


Step-By-Step Guide on Building Backlinks


Before we start, always remember that link-building is not easy. It is a time-intensive task that requires tenacity, creativity, and a lot of hard work. However, it doesn’t mean you start following low-quality, spammy backlinks. Here are a few tips that you can follow to get qualitative backlinks to credible sources.


1.      See What Others Are Linking to

First, you have to spy on others and see what they are up to. You will be hunting sites within your niche to analyze their linking profiles. Always remember that great content gives you high-quality links, and webmasters love to share it through their websites. So aim to hunt pages with qualitative backlinks since they already have link-worth content.


So, how to find out which content earns you the most backlinks? Here’s the answer:


  • Install SEO for your browser for free.
  • Now, conduct a search in your favorite search engine (mine is, of course, Google) for a query within your niche. For example, if you have a website about houseplants, you can search “how to grow pothos indoors.”
  • Click “show options” and then “blogs” from the categories.
  • Now, hit the “100” option below the search box to get the top 100 results.
  • Once done, hit the “CSV link” to export the data.
  • This will give you tons of data. You can delete unnecessary columns but keep the “Y! page links.” Sort the list from largest to smallest.

Now, you have a set of blogs about “how to grow pothos indoors” with the most backlinks.


2.      Analyze Who’s Linking


The first step should give you enough data to determine what type of content has attracted the most backlinks. Now, what you need is to figure out who’s linking. Blogs from the data you’ve collected above have already demonstrated that they are potential link prospects, and the creators of these blogs are happy to link out to a specific type of content. So, you will likely get a link from them for your content about “how to grow pothos indoors.”


Go to your CSV list, mark the top linking posts, and analyze their linking profiles. You can do it through the “Yahoo Page Links” tab on your browser’s SEO extension. It will provide you with a SERP list of links from where you can exclude internal links. The sole objective of this 2nd step is to gather a list of qualified prospects for outreach.


3.      Figure Out Why People Are Linking


Before you start creating content, knowing why a specific type of content draws more links is essential. The answer is simple. You need to craft relevant, exciting content that people love to read and share. For instance, your website is about houseplants, so you can create content on exciting topics like “weird indoor houseplants” or “houseplants that can bring good fortune.”


Whatever your niche is, remember that people love anything that’s out of the ordinary.


4.      Create Link-Worthy Content


So, after you have a clearer idea about what, who, and why, it’s time to create the bait. While you can create similar content on existing topics, ensure that it has something new that others are missing. For instance, if it is about “how to grow lilies,” create content about “different lily species.” The point here is your content should be valuable and exciting within your particular niche.


5.      Market Your Content


So, you have crafted valuable and exciting content within your niche, and now it’s time to pimp your content. You can do this using different tactics. For example, you can approach influencers and contact different site owners and bloggers for backlinks. However, asking for backlinks from credible sources doesn’t mean you go straight to them and ask, “Hey! Can I have a backlink from you?”

Building Backlinks

Building Backlinks

Instead, you will need to implement a subtle approach by letting them know about your content and then asking if they would be willing to share it. Here’s an example of a letter:


“Hi, (name of the website owner)

Big fan of your blog – I thoroughly enjoyed your blog about (write blog name). I noticed you accept blog posts and are willing to see if you’d be interested in having me write:

  • (article idea 1)
  • (article idea 2)
  • (article idea 3)

You may also want to check posts I’ve crafted for my blog (paste your blog/website link).

Do any of those look like a good fit?


(Your friendly name).”


Moreover, remember that just because you craft compelling content doesn’t mean the web will auto-notice it. You have to work smartly and promotionally because nobody will market your content but you.


Wrapping Up


Always remember that building high-quality building backlinks take time, patience, and a lot of hard work, but all of it is worth doing. You must work your tail off to acquire backlinks from credible sources if you have long-term goals. In addition, you also have to keep creating compelling content to outrank your competitors.


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