Over the years there has been an observable shift from quantity-centric backlink building activities to quality-centric backlink building activities.
The latter has had a positive impact on the ROI whereas building backlinks just for the sake of it; just to show the client a certain number is as good as not doing it at all.
Even if you don’t build those horrible backlinks just for the sake of quantity, your traffic and rankings ain’t gonna suffer.
Up to a major extent, these poor backlink building activities are carried out just to show the client the sheer amount of work that is being done on the website and that is pretty much all that there is to it.
When finding guest blogging sites you will come across some very poor opportunities that may appear glittery from distance that’s why it’s important to analyze them.
Analyzing backlink profile comes into play under two instances
- When you are about to contribute a guest post to a certain website so as to build a contextual backlink, this is more or less a paid activity hence analyzing the worth of backlinks becomes an interesting chore to do.
- When you are witnessing a drop in rankings and crawlability and all the other factors seem to be in check, the main culprit could be your backlink profile.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the characteristics of a bad backlink profile
1. Backlink from High Authority Website with less organic traffic
This should be your first cue to identifying a potential scammer website that is luring guest bloggers into paying an exorbitant amount for a guest blog link placement.
Here is the deal, and I am gonna say it out loud.
Moz Domain Authority doesn’t matter! Google has their own metric to calculate the worth of a website
But the industry at large especially some link builders worships DA like anything.
Understanding this, scammer builds a website around a competitive niche and increases Domain Authority with illegitimate ways just so that when a guest blogger comes across their website they can charge an exorbitant amount for it.
There is literally a course out there that teaches you how to increase DR & AR by a popular SEO.
The reason why I would ask you to stay away from this is that the links with which these scammers have increased the Domain Authority are spammy backlinks (when I say spammy backlinks I am not necessarily pointing at Moz Spam Score)
Essentially these sites may boast a domain authority of 50+ or so but the resulting organic traffic can even be as low as 4-5K or even between 3 digits at times which is bullish if the DA metric is to be held true.
The fact that the resulting traffic from such a high DA site is so low is the proof that there is no correlation between DA & Organic Traffic.
If you ask me what these backlinks are called, I would say they are called PBN Links or Link Farms one of them; both of which Google dislikes.
2. Redirect Backlinks from Google
This is yet another technique scammers are using to increase their domain authority, there using Google properties like Google Maps or Google subdomain sites like google.com.pl or images.google to build redirect links there
Upon discovering these backlinks using any link analysis tool like Moz Link Explorer or Ahrefs you can click these links and you will come across a page like (screenshot below) the link itself will be on a Google Page and the link will be dofollow which increases the Domain Authority.
3. Poor Directory Backlinks
Directory Backlinks are so redundant and out of place that if you visit a certain directory website it will land you on a parked free domain page.
A lot of directory sites are having outdated UI that hasn’t changed in the last 10 years, these sites will get very few organic visitors and will of course carry a ridiculous amount of spam score.
Google in their Link Schemes document has even highlighted that they don’t like such poor backlinks.
4. Web 2.0 Backlink Profile
Yet another tactic to increase Domain Authority
Web 2.0 platforms like Blogspot, Strikingly, Weebly, Slashdot, and more puts you into a position to create a microsite in a subdomain of the platform wherein you can put any kind of content you want, select the anchor text of your choice, and moreover claim a dofollow backlink to again increase your domain authority.
Now I am not saying that Web 2.0 Backlinks are inherently bad, but more often than not websites do this at scale because it demands only time and effort.
And all they do is add machine-generated spun content with their dofollow keyword-rich backlink being the first word of the first paragraph.
Here is the thing, Google’s Algorithm has gotten better at identifying unnatural backlinks, and when they detect something of this sort they don’t pass the PageRank and this can change the way Google sees the site.
In fact, Google is indexing fewer web 2.0 pages these days than it used to earlier; but these SEO Tools crawlers crawls these links and increases the authority of the site according to their metric.
You don’t have to take my word for it, see this tweet for yourself.
It only makes sense to stay away from websites like these when trying to build backlinks for your website, links from websites like these will do you more harm than good.
Instead of looking at the website Domain Authority, analyze their backlink profile, anchor texts, organic keywords, and organic traffic.
Long story short, these days building a backlink from an external website is like carrying out a mini audit of that site. We are swimming in a lake surrounded by alligators, beware.
Kunjal Chawhan founder of Decode Digital Market, a Digital Marketer by profession, and a Digital Marketing Niche Blogger by passion, here to share my knowledge