Taking the time to understand the link profile of a website is essential to SEO success. When working with clients will group link auditing, acquisition and management into specific areas for the greatest chance of success. Here are our guidelines on how to understand and audit your own link profile.


Breaking Down a Positive Link Profile

A link profile effectively highlights positive signals from third party sites to a target website. For example, a tech company selling microchips receiving links from multiple websites on case studies or their work would be positive and aid in the improvement of rankings (and subsequently traffic) to products in question.

Historically, link profiles have been open to an element of manipulation, whether it was the black hat boom of the early to mid-2000s, through to blogging networks penalised across Google’s multiple Penguin updates.

In 2019 and moving into 2020, an SEO agency won’t just care about your link profile for the sake of SEO – links are no longer enough – as there are elements of brand awareness, structured data and product placement to consider.

A positive link profile needs to provide some core elements of Trust when searching and can broadly be grouped into Authority, Engagement and Reputation.

Alongside this, the links need to take into account Value, Anchor Text and Domains.

building a good link profile

Auditing A Potential Link Partner

Some potential link partners will be relevant to a website and the value of these will be immediately apparent. For example, national newspapers, local newspapers, industry body websites and listings for accredited companies in your field. Largely, these can be grouped into the areas showing positive Value, Authority and Reputation.

A website which may be discovered in the process of building a potential link profile may sit very differently and it may not be completely apparent if or how there is value in targeting a referring domain for a specific link.

In general, if it’s not obvious why a website should be targeted for a link, best practice in 2019 is to avoid it – if the question is asked, and the answer is ‘purely for SEO benefit’ – it’s likely to offer any benefit at all.

This of course makes finding valuable links much more difficult, but not impossible.

Auditing an entire industry, marketplace and competitor landscape would provide a platform of links which are:

  • Valuable
  • Engaged
  • Relevant

The next stage is to filter them by:

  • Most shares
  • Most engagement online
  • Best ranking

To do this, we would recommend following a structure which embodies:

  • Trust Flow/Domain Authority
  • Number of referring domains

These can then be scored out of 5 accordingly and provide a list of immediate, valued, targets for links. Add notes (this will also be based on common sense in some cases – such as valued websites that operate outside of your country target market).

Referring Domain Trust Flow Average Shares Ranking for Key terms Score Notes
Domain1.com 1 12 >100 0 No value
Domain2.nz 40 134 >100 0 Wrong country
Domain3.co.uk 34 56 12 4 Strong with high shares
Domain4.com 23 34 9 5 Strong with page 1 rank
Domain5.com 43 23 13 4 Strong with high shares

Once this list is audited, it is then possible to work with agency partners, or internally, to build the link profile based on the needs of the above.

POLARIS is an agency providing SEO services across all industries. Our team is experienced in working with start-ups, SMEs and brands.

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