Audit the BackLink Profile – Top Four Red Flags to Watch Out For

Audit the BackLink Profile

Today, most established companies want to audit their backlink profile. It is an SEO activity that most SEO experts recommend. The phrase, “backlink profile audit” might appear confusing to many. The main objective of this audit is to decipher if any manipulative actions are going on concerning backlinking.

Recently, there’s been a debate amongst SEO experts – they wonder if in a post-Penguin 4.0 SEO world, Google can overlook the spammy and low-quality backlinks. They also wonder if companies should disavow, which alerts Google to ignore specific links. Given the present condition, there are three possible reasons for considering this audit.

  • Disavow is still a choice

Today, business and website owners can give in a disavow file right if they want.

  • You are getting manual penalties

Google provides rules that determine link schemes as well as types for link manipulation. When you violate it, you might receive a manual penalty.  The Google Search Console will perhaps say something such as “unusual links to the site detected” and the like. There’s a chance of your site getting those. It is another reason why some SEO experts consider disavowing options.

  • Google mentions they haven’t changed their stance

Google is always in between updates. And when it comes to the disavow file, Google asks SEO experts to use it when required and carefully.

An ace SEO agency can help you with this.

The possible red-flags

The process of backlinking profile auditing can have some mistakes and red flags. Four important ones are:

1. Anchor text

You can check the anchor text report and determine if there’s any link manipulation. Sometimes, people see that most of the backlinks arrive from the precise anchor text. Also, it’s the correct match keyword that you want to get ranked for. It might as well indicate that there’s been a bit of shady linking.

Hence, if you find that a massive chunk of the links is generated from the exact anchor text, it makes sense to delve deep into the matter. You need to know that if you are creating links organically, they won’t appear mechanical and all the same. There’s going to be something different about the source. When the links have an exact anchor text, know that there’s some suspicious activity going on and you need to remedy it. Share the issue with your SEO agency, and they guide you through this. You can also check Anchor Text Optimization Guide.

The concept of quality backlinking is to establish proper domain authority. If there’s a problem in the process, it affects the domain authority, which in turn negatively impacts your overall SEO.

2. Nofollow/DoFollow

It is another red flag you need to stay aware of. However, don’t use this as a standard rule. According to leading SEO experts, it’s not the only source of declaring spamming activities. Make sure to support it with other tools as well. Sometimes, there are spammy anchors, and it is insignificant. There are times when you have a completely disproportionate ratio of dofollow to nofollow. You can make use of this red flag in addition to the other. As they start to accumulate, it indicates something is not correct. 

Nofollow to dofollow and you might encounter something vastly ridiculous! You might also see something close to this in Link Explorer. It could be that almost 99% of the backlinks are dofollow that pass through Page Rank. Hence, if you are planning on a link scheme, you might need to go and fetch the ones that qualify for the Page Rank on the site. In that case, only 1% or 0% become nofollow. It is something that you should give attention to.

3. Domains/Links

Both links and domains might not suggest the presence of significant spam, but you need to look into it! You don’t have any magic ratio here. For instance, you might have over 10,000 inbound links and all of it is generated from 5 sources. It can happen, and it’s essential for SEO experts to look into this.

Some websites create their small network and get into backlinking. When they link to one another, they boost each other’s domain authority. And this indicates that you are self-creating the links. Hence, it is something that you need to get very careful about. There’s no substitute for organic links.

When you get into a self-creating link network, you are ultimately coercing the links. And this is not a good practice in the long run. Sometime sooner or later, you might get penalized for this. Your site might, and this will bring upon a negative impact, not just on your website but your online reputation as a whole.

4. Domain Naming

According to most SEO experts, it is an eyeball test that’s essential. When you go to the inbound links, you might as well come across various domain names which look slightly questionable and faulty. That is a visible sign of something incorrect. If you are into constant backlink auditing, you might as well be aware of spammy links that arrive from inferior directory submission websites. And most of them usually have “DIR” or “directory” in it. So you could find a link that’s something like bestlinkdir. co and the like. Whenever there’s a link with such a name or URL structure, it usually gets sourced from a low-quality directory site. All you need to do is glance through such links, and you will know that there’s something wrong.

It is essential to scan such domain names, as there are times when these links are phishing attacks secretly planted by cyber criminals. Usually, online users get emails with wrong or incorrect domain names during the holiday season. And when they click on the link, they find their mail compromised or leading to a duplicate website, with shady practices. During your backlink audit, be careful to notice these sites. 

These are the three crucial red flags with a backlink audit. There are many more criteria you can focus on. However, it is essential to always function under the guidance of an ace SEO agency, so that you detect the red flags and remedy them correctly. 

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About the Author: Ranjit Ranjan

More than 15 years of experience in web development projects in countries such as US, UK and India. Blogger by passion and SEO expert by profession.

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