Just what is a Backlink Profile, and how can it affect your SEO and Organic Search rankings?
Backlinks are links from one website, back to yours. They can be text links, clickable images, or links in forms or other HTML elements.
In the eyes of Search Engines, a backlink is in general seen as a sign of trust and a good indicator that your website content is good and providing value to other web users.
Why? – well think of it as a ‘referral’… if you’re looking for a good plumber to come and fix your house, and three of your friends all suggest and give you the contact details for ‘Company ABC’, then that’s a good sign that they are trustworthy, and will fulfil your needs.
The same is true online, with web content. If you browse websites which are full of content on a given subject matter or niche, let’s say dog grooming, and then find a number of links suggesting dog grooming articles on another website, then that’s also a good ‘referral’ and a vote of trust from one website to another.
Your Backlinks, and also where they come from
How many backlinks you have, and where they come from (i.e. the strength of their referring domain), all contributes to make up your Backlink Profile.
Your backlink profile is basically a picture of how many backlinks you have, what form they come in, what anchor text and keywords your backlinks typically contain, and where (what other websites) your backlinks are coming from.
A good Backlink Profile for SEO and Search Engine Rankings
A good backlink profile is vital for SEO, and is one of the key assets you have when it comes to getting favourable search engine rankings.
Your backlink profile is very rarely a fixed thing though.
The landscape of your backlink profile can change over time. Websites which were once linking to you can close-shop and go offline, new websites can pop up and add backlinks to you, and existing websites can change their content and remove backlinks.
To manually review and keep track of all of your backlinks over time can become very difficult and an inefficient use of your time. That’s why it’s advisable to use automated online tools which can quickly inspect and quantify all of your backlinks.
We’d recommend that you check out the market-leaders in SEO data tools if you want to investigate these options. Tools such as Semrush, Moz, and Majestic are a great starting point.
These tools can track changes, and alert of big drops or sudden surges in your backlink profile. A big drop would of course be something you’d want to check out.
However, a sudden surge also needs reviewing because you might have acquired the attention of some spammy websites, which could negatively impact your search engine rankings.
At worst, a surge in unnatural link growth (or drop-off) could result in an automatic or manual rankings penalty from a search engine, which is why regular check-ups of your backlink profile are important.
Backlink Audit Reports
A good backlink report will show you:
- The number of backlinks and domains currently linking to your website, and also how these numbers are tracking and changing over time.
- Your net gain / loss – whether you acquired any new backlinks, or lost any old backlinks recently. This can be quite insightful in itself, and can highlight issues or opportunities which you might want to keep an eye on.
- The overall toxicity score of your backlink profile, which is a measure of how ‘spammy’ or low value the backlinks in your backlink profile are. A high or increasing toxicity score would likely need addressing quickly.
- The mix of toxic, potentially toxic, and then ‘healthy’ backlinks in your current backlink profile.
- The proportion of ‘follow’ and ‘no-follow’ backlinks which you have.
- The most used ‘anchor text’ which appears in your backlinks, and any issues here. Anchor text is the text, keywords and phrases used in your backlinks. They are the clickable hyperlink text which potential visitors click on, to then open up your webpages.
- A measure of how you perform against your nearest competitors, in terms of backlinks.
Where do I get this data on my Backlinks and Backlink Profile?
Typically, Google Search Console and Google Analytics are good starting points (and free tools) for tracking your number of backlinks and referring domains.
After that, for further analysis and more options for analytics and tracking, a tool like Semrush is a top contender.
A full Backlink Audit is also provided as part of the SEO Audit Reports which we provide here at Get On Search.
Our SEO Audit Reports cover the full Backlink Profile, including number of Backlinks, Referring Domains, Toxic Backlinks, Follow Vs. No-follow Backlinks, and Backlink Growth Trends over time.