How to Assess Site Quality for Link Building

How to assess the “quality” of a site is one of the most misunderstood concepts in SEO.

If you get it wrong, you risk excluding sites that could improve rankings, or worse, including sites that will provide no value or may penalize you.

On November 10, I hosted a sponsored Search Engine Journal webinar presented by Kevin Rowe, Founder and CEO of PureLinq.

He shared tips on identifying and evaluating your sites for link building so they are high impact and low risk.

We’ve summarized the webinar presentation below if you want to learn more.

For a deeper dive, fill out the form to access the full presentation with all the additional details.

Google pays attention to link building

There are many different aspects to link building, from strategy to analytics and reporting.

Image source: PureLinq

We focused on evaluating sites for link building for this webinar, which is often a very misunderstood topic. Let’s start with a few quick reminders.

the Google Penguin Update launched in 2012. Part of its goal was to promote high-quality websites and marginalize the presence of those who engage in manipulative link schemes and keyword stuffing on search engine results pages ( SERPs).

Having Penguin in Google’s core algorithm means that Google pays attention to link building, which leads us to look at the criteria when evaluating sites.

Sources of Site Quality Rating Information

Google provides plenty of information to guide you in link building. You can consult :

  1. Google link scheme.
  2. Google Rating Guidelines.
  3. John Muller.

However, you may need to take this with a grain of salt and test what will work for your business.

There are SEO professionals who don’t follow 100% of what Google says when it comes to link building (i.e. disagree with Google’s view on not not follow all of your outbound links for guest posts), but still see significant gains as a result.

Metrics vs Quality

A survey from Aria shows which metrics were relevant to SEO professionals and digital marketers in assessing site health.

How to assess site quality for link buildingHow to assess site quality for link buildingImage source: PureLinq

While you can assess the quality of a site based on these metrics, there are still many variables to consider including content, content value, readability, which are more important than just profile of the link or the amount of content on the site.

It all boils down to three key areas to consider when evaluating sites on the quality ladder:

  • Goal.
  • Depth of content.
  • Credible sources.

Key Elements for Site Assessment

Audit content from the user’s perspective and be sure to check these critical elements when evaluating a site for link building:

  1. Contents: Written and visual content for blogs, main site content, etc.
    • Sponsored Links: links to money pages not tagged with nofollow or sponsor.
    • Navigation: far too general for a blog.
    • Prohibited keywords: gambling, porn, payday loans.
    • Frequency: Messages are infrequent or old.
  1. Administrator : Do they have advertising and what are the policies?
    • About Us: links to money related pages.
    • Admin pages: advertisements, guest posts.
    • Info: phone, address, email.
  1. Link Profile: What do the links pointing to the site look like?
    • Excessive links: too many links pointing to the same page.
    • Low authority: use DA or DR.
    • Irrelevant links: The links have no meaning for the page.
  1. Paternity: Who is responsible for main content and supporting content?
    • Names and Signatures: Set the administrator or site name.
    • Author page: information about the author.
    • Foreign: the author is from the country concerned.
  1. Reputation: Does paternity matter?
    • Presence: has a presence.
    • Follow-up: personal, micro-influencer, influencer, news.
    • Commitment: the presence of commitment.
  1. Technical: How do users find and interact with the content/site?
    • Indexed: exists in the index with more than the homepage.
    • Geo: the accent of the country of the audience.
    • Page Engagement: Ads, Layout, Links.

Case study: B2C e-commerce

Does assessing these key elements contribute to successful link building?

It does. In this case study, Rowe’s team looked at the same vital elements and grew a site to over 304,000 sessions per month, growing by over 1000%.

How to assess site quality for link buildingHow to assess site quality for link buildingImage source: PureLinq

After they started linking, they created over 680 links to this domain on multiple pages.

Take away key

A proper site review will help you gauge if the quality meets your needs, and this campaign can be very effective in driving more organic traffic to your site.

These days, a strong link building campaign is an essential part of a well-planned marketing strategy, and most businesses that understand this are the ones that thrive in the long run.

[Slides] How to Assess Site Quality for Link Building

Here is the presentation:

Join us for our next webinar!

Large Scale SEO: What Large Ecommerce Sites Are Doing Differently

Do you find it more difficult to be discovered by new customers lately? E-commerce has never offered so many opportunities and faced so much competition as it does today. Learn how to scale your SEO efforts and grow your e-commerce business like the greats during our next webinar on March 9 at 2 p.m. ET.


Featured Image: ArtemisDiana/Shutterstock

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