Carrying out a comprehensive backlinks audit is important since it provides a thorough understanding of a site’s link profile as well as the historical backlinks’ quality quotient. The exercise helps know the scope of losing out on link equity in the near future and of monitoring any such link equity loss on a regular basis. This makes it possible to modify link strategy, if and when necessary, in order to ensure ranking improvements, traffic growth and ultimately better conversions.
Let us try to understand the importance of critical backlinks data and quality maintenance from the search engine perspective, and how they can affect SEO output, to an extent:
- Backlinks are relevant incoming links to a site or webpage that show who is visiting the site page/ sections. The quality and quantity of backlinks are significant from the point of view of a site’s popularity. This piece of information is useful for both SEO specialists and site owners.
- It is necessary to gather maximum possible backlink data. There are handy resources that give precious about backlinks of a website. With these services, you may analyze your sites as well as other websites of your choice; visually compare them; get summary for any url; prepare detailed reports and then export them in CSV for further insight; analyze SERPs of a domain/URL.
- As part of their backlinks generation and audit, site owners ideally need as much possible anchor text data exported from different sources. They would also be required to filter it removing the dead links, de-indexed linking root domains, no follow links, site-wide links. The ones, which link several times, need to be marked out as potential site-wide links and need to be checked manually.
- Dead links are sites, which were linked to your site in the past but are no longer linked to it. Filtering out such dead links is necessary. There are third party services that offer tools for the purpose. All else proprietary link checkers can be made use of. Remember, counting dead links into your backlinks audit can lead to wrong conclusions.
- It is of not much point to carry out a backlinks audit from Google’s perspective, including links from websites that the engine has de-indexed. On the other hand, no follow links are not likely to cause much over-optimization and could well be discounted. Site-wide links should be counted or else the anchor text distribution will get skewed. As you might be aware, different services tend to treat site-wides differently so you should pay more attention at each individual service.
- In fact, the less ‘overoptimization’ signals your website sends out, the better it is. There are ways to do a quick check for your site against site-wide links. The Webmaster Tools is among the quickest one. Under ‘Your website on the web’ -> Links to your website, the tool lists the domains, linking the most to it.
To sum it up, what holds the key to overoptimization or avoidance of it are excessive link acquisition; site-wide links detection; unnatural anchor text distribution; and unnatural spread of links authority.