Backlinks are important for your niche website.
They can be your ticket to heaven or hell.
Good backlinks can boost your SEO and help you achieve better rankings while bad backlinks can cause Google penalties that are hard to remove.
To rule the rankings in Google in your niche, you must have the majority of the backlinks from reputable and trusted websites.
SEO has nothing to do with the number of links your website has.
It’s more about the quality and relevancy of your links.
One link from a reputable website will be more valuable than one thousand links from bad websites.
Therefore, if you want to be successful with SEO for your niche website, you have to know which of your backlinks are good and are helping you with SEO, and which ones are bad.
What Makes A Backlink Good
The best backlinks are those added by editors, on a website that’s relevant to yours, inside the context of an article.
These backlinks are good, and they are hard to get and replicate.
Google gives a lot of value to links that look natural. If the link to your website is providing value to the readers, then you know the backlink is good.
Another signal that can tell you if a backlink is good or bad is the number of traffic it refers to your website.
So what do you do when you find your website’s best backlinks?
You make sure they will not be removed and then try to get more good backlinks from similar sources.
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 220 profitable buyer keywords click here or the image below)
What Is A Bad Backlink
On the opposite, a bad backlink is the kind of link built only for the purpose of manipulating the search results.
A backlink is bad when it’s from a website that doesn’t offer anything of value to the readers.
These are some of the best ways to tell if a backlink is bad:
- The link is from a website that has been penalized by Google
- The website linking to you doesn’t have a real audience and doesn’t offer anything useful to the readers
- The link is placed in the footer or sidebar using a widget.
- Dofolllow site wide and sponsored links are bad.
- Links from most directories are bad because they are easy to create, and anyone can get them. Therefore, they don’t carry much value in Google’s eyes.
Bad backlinks are a thread for anyone's SEO and should be removed and disavowed. No one can afford to take unnecessary risks of being penalized.
A bad backlink will influence your SEO negatively, only if it’s dofollow.
If the link is nofollow, Google will ignore it, and you can too.
However, if it doesn’t make any sense to have that link, and it’s hurting your online reputation, you can try to remove it even if it’s nofollow.
How To Find Your Best And Worst Backlinks
To analyze your backlinks, you need to use an SEO tool of your choice. (Click here for the best SEO tools)
In this guide, I’m going to show you how to use Monitor Backlinks to determine the quality of your links.
After you create your account and connect it with Google Analytics, you’ll see all your links on the “Backlinks” page.
There, you have a lot of metrics that can give you quick insights into the quality of your links.
The backlinks dashboard looks like this:
To find your bad and good links, you have to apply multiple filters and sort them by their metrics. For each of your backlinks, you can see:
- Status of the link
- Google index status
- Spam Score
- Trust Flow and Citation Flow by Majestic
- MozRank, Domain Authority and Page Authority
- TLD and Hosting IP location
- Social media signals for each page
- External links
- Referring visits
The status of your backlink is very important to determine if the link will have any impact on your SEO.
If the link has an “ok” status, it’s dofollow, and Google will count it.
When you want to analyze your links to see which ones are good for SEO, you should pay most of your attention to dofollow links. (See here on 6 SEO hacks you can start using today)
Find Bad Links From Penalized Websites
At the beginning of the article, I told you that links from websites that have been penalized by Google are bad.
Here’s how to find them.
On your Monitor Backlinks account, below the link status, you’ll see a small icon that can be green, yellow or red.
This indicates if the page or domain that’s linking to you is indexed in Google.
When the icon is green, the page linking to you is indexed in Google.
When it’s yellow, it means that page was not indexed yet. In this case, it could be because the page is new, or because of bad interlinking and Google crawlers haven’t found it yet. It doesn’t necessarily mean that this link is bad.
What should raise a flag is a red icon, which shows you links from domains that are not indexed in the search results.
In this scenario, most of the time, the backlinks are coming from penalized websites.
Links from such domains are bad, and you should remove and disavow them as soon as possible.
On the right side, of the table, there’s a filters button.
To find all your backlinks that might come from websites that have received a major Google penalty, click on Google index, and choose to see all the links from “domain not indexed”.
Another way to test if Google’s algorithm has penalized a website is to search for its brand name in Google. For example, let’s take Pat Flynn’s website, SmartPassiveIncome.com.
If you search in Google for “Smart Passive Income”, his website should come up first.
When a website is ranking for its brand name, in most cases, it means that it wasn’t penalized by Google Penguin, Panda or other such algorithm updates.
If the website has multiple results for its brand name, it’s an indicator that Google trusts the website, and it’s valuable.
In some cases, you’ll see the social media pages of the website ranking higher than the site.
This doesn’t mean that the website was penalized, but it’s a sign that it doesn’t yet have much authority.
As long as the website is ranking on the first page for its own name, the chances are that it wasn’t penalized.
Here’s an example of a website that doesn’t rank for its own brand name:
The brand was TheSEOPress.com, but as you can see their website is nowhere to be found. This is what a bad website/backlink looks like.
Find Bad Backlinks With Bad Metrics
The most important SEO metrics to help you quickly identify links with a risk potential are:
Trust Flow and Domain Authority.
Along with these, you can also use Citation Flow, Page Authority, and MozRank.
To find potentially bad links, select to see those with a Domain Authority and Trust Flow lower than 20.
With these links, you can then analyze the number of external links, the referring traffic they have sent and the hosting IP location.
The more external links a page has, the lesser value it will have. Also, if a link has bad metrics and hasn’t sent any traffic, chances that it’s a bad link are very high.
You can take each of these links individually and try to see if they were penalized by Google’s algorithms, using the method I described above.
Finding Your Best Links
A good link is dofollow, it sends lots of relevant traffic your way, and it has good SEO metrics.
You can find your website’s best backlinks by filtering them to see only those with a Domain Authority higher than 20, and then sort them by the number of visitors they have sent your way.
To do SEO better for your niche website, you must have quality backlinks that are legit. Bad backlinks should be removed and then disavowed with the Google disavow tool.
For best SEO results, you have to do a full backlinks analysis and then monitor all the new links your website is getting. (Click here to see how you can build links without content)
Do you have any questions? I would love to hear them. Leave your comments below and let me know what your new plan is for backlinks.