Introducing our new Backlink Quality section
After reaching out to our customers to find out which features they wanted to see next in their WooRank Reviews, we have some exciting news to announce!
For those of you that missed it, our friends at Search Metrics recently released their 2015 Ranking Factors study, which highlights that backlinks continue to remain at the top of the list when it comes to influencing the search results. With the improvement of Google’s ranking algorithms, however, the days of building links unnaturally are over for most, which also leaves websites open to being hurt by Negative SEO campaigns.
While Google & Bing both provided us with the means to disavow low quality links, it’s not always easy to spot links that may be doing more harm than good.
As of today, anyone with a WooRank account will notice some changes to the backlinks section of their Advanced Reviews.
To start with, we now provide the number of referring domains below the “Backlinks Counter”, which provides you with extra context to give you a better idea of the average number of links you have per domain. But the most exciting part is that using data from Majestic, we now analyze up to 100 links for each Website Review that has been set to “Advanced”, providing useful details that will help you to understand which websites link to you, and how influential the links are.
The Backlinks Quality section provides details on the following:
If the link has the rel=nofollow attribute, the blue circle with a cross will appear in the first column:
The Source column provides the URL of the linking website. Click the link to view the linking page or hover over the shortened link to see the full URL.
We provide details of up to 5 URLs per referring domain in order to prevent any sitewide links from filling up the report.
The target column provides the URLs of the pages that have been linked to on your website. These links have been shortened, but you can see the linked URL or visit the page by hovering over or clicking the link.
The Anchor column provides details of the anchor text used to link to your pages. We only provide the first 20 characters, so if the anchor text exceeds this, you can hover over the text to view the full anchor.
Each link is given a score from 0-3 stars, which provides a guide to the quality of the link. This score is based on Majestic data and considers both trust flow and citation flow at page and domain/subdomain level.
How we calculate the backlink quality score
Majestic Trust Flow is a score given to each URL based on the quality of the links that point to it. Citation Flow is another score given to each URL, which is simply based on the number of links pointing to a page. The domain/subdomain trust/citation flow works in the same way, rating the overall links at domain/subdomain level.
In order to provide an objective rating for the quality of a backlink, we applied the following logic to each backlink:
1. Check domain Citation Flow score
We first score the domain or subdomain based on the Citation flow. This metric is calculated by looking at the number of pages linking in, regardless of their quality.
2. Check domain Trust Flow score
Using the “Trust Ratio” we are able validate how trustworthy a domain is. This ratio must be within our set boundaries to be deemed as trusted. If a domain/subdomain has too many low quality links pointing to it, it will be flagged as being a low quality link source. If this is the case, it will have a negative effect on the score.
3. Check the trustworthiness of the backlink itself
Once we know the overall quality of the linking domain, we once again use the trust ratio, but this time on the link itself. The weight of this final check is significant enough to ensure that links from low quality pages that site on a good domain do not get through.
Please note that this logic does not give exceptional rules to new domains that haven’t been around for long enough to build trust.
To sum it up, using data from both trust flow and citation flow at URL and domain/subdomain level, our tool can show the true quality of a backlink which is not simply reliant on the number of backlinks that a linking page has, but also the quality of those links, helping you to see the value that the link is likely to bring to your website.
Quality Score Star Ratings
0 Stars no stars
These links could be detrimental to your backlink profile, so we recommend you review such links to check that they are legitimate and relevant to the linked page.
1 Star one star
These links are given the ‘Neutral’ status. While neutral links generally make up the foundations of any backlink profile, we still recommend that you check the linking page/domain to make sure that it is both legitimate and relevant.
2 Stars two stars
These links are given the status ‘Good’. As the status implies, our data suggests that the link is of high quality, so is likely to be adding value to your backlink profile.
3 Stars three stars
These links are given the status ‘Excellent’, so if you’re seeing several of these links then you’re doing a great job! These are the most valuable links in your backlink profile and will be playing a vital part in building authority to your website.
How to handle low quality links
If you identify any links that are irrelevant or go against Google’s linking policies, you should consider making contact to request that the link is removed. If you fail to get a response, you can request that Google & Bing ignore the link by adding the URL/domain to Google & Bing’s disavow files.
Similarly, if you notice some of your higher quality links have been set to nofollow (therefore passing no link juice), you may want to consider checking the linking page – in many cases the nofollow attribute is unnecessary, particularly when your website has been referenced as a resource, so if you feel it’s appropriate, try contacting the website. This will be much easier if you already have a relationship with the linking website.
This is the first release of the new backlinks feature, so we will be working to provide further updates in the coming months. We would love to hear your feedback on this new feature, so if you have anything to say then please get in touch using our online contact form.