The Value of Monitoring Your Backlink Profile
What is a backlink and why is it important for SEO?
Your backlink profile describes the sites that link to your website. These are the sites that see your content as authoritative enough that they can entrust their visitors to you.
Google monitors which sites link to you, trusting that reputable sites are going to link to other reputable sites while spam sites likely link to other poor-quality sites.
How do I monitor backlinks?
In April 2012 Google launched the Penguin update (link to project page about Penguin update). This update was designed to downgrade sites that had artificially inflated their rankings by purchasing links or obtaining their backlinks through networks that were specifically designed to fool Google’s algorithm. Since then, there have been regular updates made to Penguin to continually check for sites that are abusing the backlink building process. These updates also reward sites that have gotten rid of the poor backlinks and instead focused on building quality links.
In addition to sorting out poor-quality links, Google also does not want to see links that all originate with the same anchor text or pairs of sites that continually link back and forth to each other. Attempts to manipulate the backlink system are all officially frowned upon by Google.
Monitoring your backlink profile allows you to see where your backlinks stand with Google. You can see how many you are able to cultivate from other quality sites through efforts to obtain backlinks naturally (link to project page about building backlinks) as well as any poor-quality backlinks, such as those from spam sites. With this information, you can properly prepare your strategy to maximize your backlink potential.
How do I monitor my backlink profile?
There are two main ways to monitor your backlink profile.
- You can use link:”your website” such as link:brightedge.com. This will pull up the list of sites that Google has that link to that specific website.
- You can also use tools like BrightEdge Backlink Management to better understand the profile of sites that are linking to your page. With BrightEdge, you will also be able to monitor the backlink profiles of your competitors and gain insights about the links that seem to have the most positive impact on their rankings and ideas that you can use to build your own profile.
Regardless of the method you choose, it is recommended that you disavow any links that come from poor quality sites. Although Google does not indicate these spam sites can hurt you, it is still a good idea to make sure that Google knows you want nothing to do with them.
Monitoring your backlink profile can help you understand where you have room for improvement and what sites need to be disavowed. It will help you improve your rankings and should be a part of any marketing strategy.