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10 Analytical Tools For Link Building

Last Updated: February 28, 2024By

Google have placed some significant weight on links to a website. Although Google have recently indicated that links will no longer be as important as they have been in the past, inbound links are till a key website ranking factor. The fact is that even though they may have less impact than they were before now, search engines still consider links as an endorsement and it reflects the value and quality of website content. But not all links are so important. Google and other search engines places emphasis on the quality of the links. We shall be taking all these into consideration and give you a clear picture into what you should do in link building for Google to be happy with you.

Importance of Link Building

Link building helps your business growth in several ways. SEO practitioners are more interested in its impact on website ranking and there is no doubt about that. In fact, Google’s acknowledgement that links will no longer be one of its top three ranking factors is an attestation that quality links boost site ranking. So, if search engines, especially Google, take link building seriously and accord it some weight in its assessment and ranking of web pages, then you should take it very seriously too. However, keep in mind that not all links are helpful and there are rules to link building which when flouted could become counter productive. We will take some brief review of all these.

But here are some critical reasons why you should take link building very seriously:

  • Off-page SEO and content optimization. Link building helps you get better visibility, increases your domain rating and brings increased traffic to your site. Effectively implementing a good link building strategy does not only achieve these SEO benefits, it allows your website users to enjoy your content and boost user experience.
  • Trust and authority of the website. Although Google says it does not use the trust and authority metrics in ranking websites, we have found from observation that the trust and authority of a website are directly proportional to its ranking in the search engines. This, of course, suggests that though Google does not use the trust and authority metrics,, the measures used in determining a website trust and authority are most like also used by Google in website ranking.
  • Site loading speed. This is particularly important for video content. Imagine how difficult it will be and the huge costs that will be involved if you were to download a video before playing it. Also think of how that will affect the speed of your website and its user friendliness. Think also of a situation where you have to use text to provide further explanations that are contained in the links you add to your content and how that can impact your website speed, the sheer size of the content can be very boring for users. Link building makes you overcome that,, achieve better page speed performance and build more interesting and user friendly pages.
  • Brand building. If you invest time and resources into creating good content and people do not find them, they are not really useful to the public for which they were intended. Link building enables your content to reach a large mass and that popularizes your brand. Link building puts your brand in the forefront and grows your brand to become an authority in your industry. With link building done right, you become known for your quality content and get rewarded with quality links that boost your ranking.
  • Referral traffic Many websites have earned their popularity and gotten good traffic from the quality of links pointing to their websites. Basically, one thing link building does is give you traffic. But having this traffic from a popular, authoritative and trusted website can be much more rewarding.
  • Relationship building. Being accepted as a source of good content, an authoritative and thrust worthy website can help build lots of relationships with industry leaders who will want to share their thoughts and experiences with you.
  • sales opportunities. If you offer products for sale or run an affiliate network program, having links on other websites can increase the chances that you get more sign-in and grow your sales.

Further reading:

Top Google Ranking Factors Revealed In A Backlinko Study

Understanding The Google Link Spam Update

White hat SEO vs Black hat SEO

The terms white hat and black hat have been used to describe practices that are acceptable and those that are not acceptable. The white hat techniques are the approved and acceptable link building methods.

Google favours natural links, earned because of the quality of content and not through exchanges, a purchased link and through some inducements that attempts to manipulate its algorithm. Google has provided some guidelines for webmasters and if you are building links, make sure your strategies conform with the prescribed and acceptable methods.

White hat Link Building

This will include but not limited to the following.

  • Crafting top rated content that extensively discusses a topic.
  • Ethical guest posting
  • Content promotion like using Google Adwords to sell an idea you have built into a content. Some kind of “how to” article covering a top rated guide or explaining a new development.
  • Creating infographics

Black hat Link Building

These are usually more easy to implement and give you tons of links easily. They will include, but not limited to the following

  • Hidden links in pages. Some people will add links and set the color to tally with that of their page background. Readers do not see these links but the search engines do.
  • Link schemes. These are unnatural links designed to manipulate the search engines to gain rankings. It could include exchanging links, adding links to a comment in posts, buying links, adding links to spammy content and just adding links to content that are not even related to the content discussed in the linked article.
  • Doorway pages. These are websites created basically to manipulate the search engines. Having your link on such pages can be very harmful. These include buying expired domains especially those who had high domain authority and trust flow and redirecting them to your website or adding your link to them with hope of earning some ranking advantages.
  • Keyword stuffing. This is a form of over-optimization. It involves using a particular keyword multiple times to gain ranking advantages.
  • Automatically generated content. This is using some software to generate automatic content or rewrite an existing content with hope of making it unique. Google has found a way of catching websites engaged in this trick and the penalty can be very severe.
  • Abusing structured data or anchor text. It is important that your structured data and anchor text should be written for humans and not search engines.
  • Reciprocal link building
  • Footer and copyright links
  • Purchased links
  • Links to pages without editorial control.
  • Spammy internal link building mistakes.

Further reading:

Search Engine Manipulation: Why Google Frowns At It

OnPage SEO Guide for Top Search Engine Ranking

Reasons Why People Leave Your Website

Free Link Building and Analytical Tools

Link building is a serious issue and it is recommended that it be conducted with analytical tools to get the most out of it. There are tons of good tools you can lay your hands on, each of them having their good side and can contribution to your marketing and link building campaign.

Here, we provide 10 tools you will find really useful and these tools should suffice for every link building campaign.

Let’s get started.

1. Google Search Console (GSC)

Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) is one of the most excellent tools used by digital marketers to manage their website’s presence on Google. With GSC, you can get some basic overview of your website link popularity. One good thing about GSC is that despite its enormous uses and potentials, it is free.

2. Ahrefs Free Broken Link Checker

Ahrefs Free Broken Link Checker helps you clean up your link profile by detecting all broken links associated with your site. Like many bad link checkers, the Ahrefs tool detects broken links on your website and those that can be found on other websites. It is indeed a great tool for managing and keeping your link profile clean.

5. OpenLinkProfiler

OpenLinkProfiler will pull in-depth information about the links pointing to your website. The information it provides will include internal and external links, Google’s indexing status, social media shares, and much more. It also tells you the websites that have links to your site. The link profile and details it provides can help you assess if you have spammy links, if you have your website links on competitors’ websites and all that.

4. Seobility

Seobility is an excellent link checker. It analyses all of your SEO, your metadata, page quality, link quality and can give you results for every page.

This backlink checker will generate a report that shows how many existing quality backlinks each website has (in its own ranking) as well as how many new, high-quality links should be built to improve performance.

5. Majestic

Majestic is one of our favourites at Todhost. It offers a range of backlink analysis tools to help you analyze your website health in terms of Domain, Trust Flow and Citation Flow.

6. Semrush

Semrush is another great analytical tool providing much detailed analysis and useful action that should follow for free. If you are not using this tool, then you should sign up and explore its power today.

7. Moz

The Moz Link Explorer when used displays your domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA). As mentioned earlier in this post, both metrics are not used by Google in ranking websites. However, we have found a correlation between domain authority, page authority and the potential of web pages to rank in Google and other search engines. This suggests that both the Google algorithm and the Moz tool could be using similar parameters in website assessment.

8. Monitor Backlinks Checker

Monitor Backlinks is a free backlink checker that can be used easily to analyze both your backlinks as well as those of competitors

9. Neil Patel Backlink Checker

Neil Patel’s free backlink checker can help you uncover valuable insights into who links to you website or your competitors. This information can help you understand link opportunities amongst other insights.

10. WooRank Free Backlink Checker

Woorank is great backlink analysis tool as well as a complete SEO analysis tool. Its output can be pretty helpful for you to address most of the common issues associated with both on-page and off-page SEO.

The Value of Links

It is important to note that not all links carry the same value and same impact on your website performance. Different attributes are attached to links. Some are “dofollow” or “follow” links, others are “nofollow” and some are “sponsored” links. Each attribute tells Google how to handle the link.

The difference between a Dofollow and a Nofollow link is that a Dofollow link passes PageRank signals (in SEO, this is referred to as link juice), and a Nofollow link doesn’t pass any link juice or page rank,”. It is the attribute a link carries, whether it be a nofollow or dofollow attribute that determines how Google treats the link.

On the other hand, the “sponsored” attribute is recommended for ads. When you post an advert on a website, it is recommended that you tell Google that it is a sponsored link so that Google does not treat it as a dofollow link. If you do not tell Google how it should treat the link, Google could see several ad links on your page as spammy and that can cause a penalty for the promoted page and for your website where you failed to specify the right link attribute.

So, dofollow links have SEO value while nofollow or sponsored links do not have SEO value.

Some websites will generally mark links in their forums, comment boxes and all such easy to acquire links as “nofollow”. That can save them from being seen as encouraging spammy links on their website which is something Google frowns at.

Does it mean that “nofollow” links are useless? No. For your link structure and profile to be seen as natural,  it should contain “nofollow” attributes as well. You cannot have all “dofollow” or “follow” links as that will not look natural.

Page Relatedness

Another key consideration you should take seriously in link building is how related is the link to the topic being discussed and the industry of the websites. Generally, links that are considered to be quality links are expected to appear naturally in the page content. You cannot take a link to an SEO website appearing in a post on a football game and use an anchor text bearing the name of a footballer to be a good quality link.

Getting links from .edu, and .gov domains are great for SEO but again, they have to be natural. Google dislikes links gotten from .edu and .gov domains with a reward such as a patronage or a banner placement for those sites. Your links must have value which must be seen in the user benefits and value offered by its content and relatedness to the subject of discussion on the website where it is found.

Final Words

There is no doubt that links will continue to play a major role in how websites are ranked. That is unlikely to change in the near future, While changes to the Google algorithm is expected to improve Google’s understanding and tracking what it considers to be quality links, we suggest that every link building strategy must adhere to the fundamental requirement to make sure links are natural and worthy to be earned and not just acquired via some unacceptable and unethical means.

Of all the recommended link building strategies we have listed in the black hat methods, it should be emphasized that building links from a sound and strong content marketing strategy will remain the most rewarding. Links to your website that show a correlation between the subject matter and are incorporated because of the value it adds to the content and user benefits will remain far more beneficial, more likely to build referral traffic and support your ranking goals.

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