Metrics For Link Building
When you are considering link building there are several metrics that are important to take note of, firstly when you are selecting sites to reach out too and to decide what to link too.
In this section, we will take an in-depth look at these metrics, what they signify, why they re important and what to take note of.
The strength of the Domain.
When we consider the strength of a domain we are considering the whole site, not just significant pages on the site.
This is usually quantified as either Domain Strength or Page Authority.
Before we move on to consider these two metrics a word about page rank.
Page rank is a metric used by Google to establish the number and quality of links that are pointing to a particular web page.
It runs from a scale of 1 -10 with 10 being the highest rank.
The page rank of a websites home page is usually a good indicator of the site overall as most links will point to the home page of a site.
Many bloggers and website owners are oblivious to domain authority and its importance to the success of their sites in search engine rankings.
It used to be that page rank was the no 1 factor for SEO, but domain authority seems to have overtaken that.
The original metric of domain authority was devised by Moz for the purposes of ranking a website from 1 – 100, with 100 being the best and 1 the worst.
So in effect the higher the domain authority score the higher it will appear in the search rankings.
Therefore if you compare your sites DA with your competitors the higher the DA score the more likely they are to appear above you in search queries.
Domain authority uses 40 ranking signals to come up with your score two of which are the number of links pointing to your site and the number of root domains or other sites linking to you.
If you want to check your domain authority there are several tools out there.
The most famous one and still free to use is Moz’s tool which was called Open Site Explorer and is now called Link Explorer
You now have to sign up to use the tool.
Below is a screenshot of my site toplinkbuilding.org.
If you happen to use Chrome or Firefox browsers you can also install an extension that will give you the DA and PA for any site.
To really understand what creates a good DA you need to have an understanding of Moz Trust and Moz Rank.
Your Moz Rank is calculated based on the link profile of your domain.
It is based on the number of links pointing to a page.
Quality once again plays an important part. As a few high-quality links will give you a better Moz rank than 100’s of low-quality spammy links.
Moz Rank is measured 1 -10 with 10 being the highest.
The average Moz Rank across the web is currently 3.
Moz Trust is also dependent on links and link quality.
It measures how close you are aligned with the source of the link.
So for example, if my link profile is from other SEO based sites as opposed to non-related other sites I am liable to get a higher trusted Moz Trust score.
You can increase your Moz Trust score by getting links from trusted web sources such as education, government, and quality source sites.
How To Improve Domain Authority
As a blog owner or business owner, you need to concentrate on two things for your website.
1. increasing domain authority
2. increasing the number of links from high DA sites.
Here are a few other ways of increasing your site domain authority.
A quick way of enhancing your DA score is to increase the domain expiry date.
It indicates to search engines that you have a long lasting website, therefore, more trustworthy.
This is an obvious one but also one that will have a significant impact on the success of your site.
Just ensure any links are from good quality sites and avoid buying any links from spurious sources such as Fiverr as they are usually spammy.
Link Building – Internal Linking
Internal link building is sometimes overlooked but it is important.
Ensure that you have at least 2 -3 internal links in every blog post you publish.
Keep an eye out for bad links to your site and make sure you get them removed.
Fast Loading & Mobile Friendly
Page load time is an official ranking factor for google so make sure you give attention to your page loading times.
If your site is not loading within 3 seconds you need to do some work on it.
Page Authority is another MOZ metric and is similar to Domain Authority.
The difference is that it only applies to one page, not the whole site.
The higher the authority of the page that you get your link from the more likely it is that it will help your site rankings.
Page authority is based on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 100.
It is based on the relevance of information and links within site pages to one another.
The higher page authority means greater chances of your page showing up on search engines, and that your page will be placed closer to the top of the search results.
There are a few factors that are thought to influence page authority.
This comes up time and again but it is a big factor in all SEO activities.
Search engines tend to rank sites higher that have new and interesting content.
That have regular updates and post more frequently.
Content that is relevant and informative to the site customers concerned.
We have talked about anchor text in previous posts and explained why it is there.
What relevance though is anchor text from an SEO and search engine perspective?
One of its main purposes is to give search engines an indication of what the page is about.
For example, if I linked to a page using the words ‘link building’ then it is likely the page being linked to contains information on link building.
Google then use this information when considering ranking.
Quite recently it used to be the practice that you would ‘stuff’ your anchor text with keywords.
This would then help you rank well for that keyword.
It now appears that this technique is not so important to Google, most likely because many SEO’s have overused the technique.
When building links then it is prudent not to have too many links with the same anchor text in them.
Try to use other combinations such as using your company or brand name.
Link Building Is It A Numbers Game?
We have discussed before that the number of backlinks that are pointing to your site is a good ranking signal for Google.
However, we have constantly argued that the quality of those links supersedes the volume.
You can use the number of links in two ways that are useful to you.
Firstly, they are a good check on your progress of any campaigns that you are undertaking.
Secondly, numbers are also good when you are comparing your site with similar sites.
A popular question might then be ‘well how many links should I have to each page?’
One rule of thumb that has been widely reported in the past is to keep the number of links to particular pages below a 100.
A quote by Google engineer John Mu probably gives us an insight;
“100 links to a page is a just a suggestion … There are pages out there with more than 100 links, and it isn’t an issue. If your page is sufficiently authoritative, Google is going to be interested in the pages that are being recommended by that page.”
Like many limits, this is not built in stone and most likely varies dependent on site authority.
RANKING PAGE RELEVANCE
There has been some recent debate on the strength of relevancy being a strong signal for Google.
Logically it should be as it is natural for web pages of similar interests to link to each other.
So what about if you got a link from CNN to your website about cycling, would you reject it because it is not cycling related.
The aim of any link building is to drive more traffic to your site so for this reason, you should be looking to place links on websites where any potential customer might visit.
As we have said before focus on quality and make sure you get the most relevancy as you can.