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How To Analyze The Backlink Profile Of A Domain

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Kumar V
August 05, 2016

Kumar V
Kumar V has written 2 articles for DomainInformer.
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There are a number of things that determine the value of a used domain or website. This includes the age of the domain, the traffic it currently receives, its revenues and most importantly, the backlink profile. While the traffic and income reports help understand the current value of the website, backlink profile is one of the most important indicators of how the website is likely to perform in future. A website with strong backlinks is likely to sustain its search and referral traffic, if not improve. If you are buying a website with a strong hope that it can grow under your ownership, then it is important to analyze the source of all the various internal and external links pointing to the website.

Step 1: Get a comprehensive list of backlinks. There are a number of third party tools like Ahrefs, Moz and Google Search Console that help you look at and download the list of links pointing to a website. Each of these tools use their own proprietary technology to crawl and build this backlink database. Also, depending on the plan you are signed up for, these tools may also limit the number of backlinks visible to you. In any case, it is a good idea to sign into each of these tools and download their backlink list.

Step 2: Consolidate these lists.There are always backlinks that tools like Moz and Ahrefs miss out. So a good way to begin analyzing the linking profile is by consolidating these various lists. This way, you can make sure that you have a near complete list of all the backlinks pointing to a website. Do remember to remove duplicates during the consolidation process. You can make list of the tutorial here:

Step 3: Segregate the links. This is going to be a long process and the time it takes depends on how many rows of data you have in the masterlist. The objective is to classify and put each row of data into one of the following buckets - DoFollow and NoFollow. And in each of the buckets, classify the links into one of the following types: internal link, brand anchor, generic anchors, naked link anchors, image anchors, brand+keyword anchor, LSI anchors, partial match anchors, long anchors and exact match anchors. You can read more about the significance of distributing your anchor texts this way here:

Step 4: Calculate percentages. Now that you have a detailed report of the various kinds of backlinks accumulated by the website, the next step is to understand the distribution of the various types of backlinks. You will need to do this holistically between nofollow and dofollow links as well as more specifically into nofollow-brand anchor, dofollow-brand anchor, nofollow-generic anchor, dofollow-generic anchor, and so on.

Step 5: Analyze. The final step is to make sense of all these percentages. A good, natural link profile would mean a healthy share of both nofollow and dofollow links. Similarly, there needs to be a good distribution between the various external links like brand anchors, naked link anchors, LSI anchors, etc. Any website that has too many dofollow links over nofollow is risky. Similarly, a website with too many exact match anchors over long anchors or generic anchors is again risky. These are websites that could potentially be targeted by a Google penalty in future and are best avoided.

This is essentially it. If you are not very sure if the distribution is reasonable, it is a good idea to follow all the steps above with the website of an industry leader and compare your results. Also, if you are an analytics whiz, then you may also want to make more detailed analyses like finding unique root domains and benchmarking this against top websites in the industry. A good website always does not have too many of the same kind of links and also has its profile distributed over a wide array of websites rather than getting all its links from a select few external domains.

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