How do you identify a good link from a bad link?
There are a lot of discussions, arguments, and opinions about this topic across the SEO industry.
I hear so many SEOs say these things – all the time:
- • So-and-so’s links are the best links out there.
- • Or, this person has the best links.
This always makes me laugh because this isn’t really the best way to look at links 🤷🏼♂️
At the end of the day, the quality of a link comes down to some metrics that largely involve simple concepts regarding maths and linguistics.
The two main pillars that you want to look for are Authority and Relevance.
But, before we even go there – let’s get one thing straight.
In order for a link to even be considered, it needs to be indexed.
If you have a link that isn’t indexed – or the site is deindexed – then that’s a bad link.
This won’t really apply if you’ve just got a link on a new page. You should only be worried if you’ve had a link up for say, 6 months, and it still hasn’t been indexed.
Or, if the whole site that this link is on has been deindexed.
So, very simply – all links that are indexed, are ‘good’ links.
This does get more complex, but just remember that if a link is in the index it will pass juice.
And, link juice is what you want.
Pro Tip #1: To check if the link is indexed, just put site: yourlink.com into Google.
Okay, so once it’s been determined that the link has been indexed – let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
This is where Authority and Relevance come in.
Let’s start with Authority, which comes in a couple of forms.
Whether you’re looking at DR (Ahrefs) or No. of RD’s (Referring Domains), Authority is a calculation made from other links being crawled or the number of links that that site has.
A simpler way to look at what makes up Authority is this:
- The number of links to the entire site (DR)
- The number of links to the page (UR)
The most common thing I hear is:
“If the link doesn’t have a high DR, then it’s a bad link.”
This isn’t necessarily true, because you could have plenty of links going to the page – and this could still make it a good link.
Let’s look at this in more detail – starting with PBN’s 🌚
This is why PBNs are considered so effective, even low-authority ones.
Say there’s a PBN with 100 links pointing to the homepage – but, it only had a DR8.
If that homepage had relevance, and I linked it to a site of mine, that would still pass a lot of UR signals because that page has a lot of authority (100 links).
The same goes if it was even an inner page – i.e. PBN.com/inner. This is because in the end it just matters what page these links are pointing to.
If we consider this, then DR isn’t the whole picture.
If you were able to get a link on a page with a much higher UR – you could also go for that because that’s going to pass more juice.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore DR.
DR is an extremely important metric because it provides a hint that that site has authority.
And, if a few links were then built to that high DR page – then that will make it an even better link.
Note: If you need an idea of how to do that, go check out my Tier 2 Link Building guide.
So, let’s sum that up.
Consider a page of DR 0, UR 0 – you don’t want that.
Or, a page of DR 5, UR 5 – you don’t really want this either.
Say you had a page that was DR 60, UR 10 – it’s then possible to build a couple of Tier 2’s to that page and increase that to a UR 20/30, making it much stronger.
This would end up passing much more juice than a regular guest post, and why I highly recommend using niche edits to power up guest posts this way.
The other side of the coin is Relevance.
Relevance comes in two forms: domain and page relevance.
Simply put, this involves looking at the meaning behind the keywords that are pointing to the domain or the site – this indicates how relevant they are.
It’s rare to find domain-level links that are relevant – this can only be done in certain niches – but, if it’s possible to get a page that’s relevant to what you’re linking to, this will pass a lot more juice.
Big tip #1: Other than these two types of relevance, there isn’t much else I would go on to look at.
I’m not always too concerned about how much content itself is on the page.
I would ideally like to have a contextual link on the page and would like to make sure that the page’s content is relevant – but it’s more important to me that the page itself is relevant to my site.
And, of course, I would like to make sure that the link itself is dofollow and is indexed.
So, summing up, I want to scale a site up by getting high DR links – and then, power those up.
Using Tier 2’s to do this is very powerful technique and one that I highly recommend.
This is why the Get Me Links Tier 2 packages are so popular – because they work, massively.
In the end, this is what links you want: big site DR, with big page UR.
For the blackhats out there, another way of achieving this is with PBNs (as I mentioned).
In the end, I prefer to use a combination of both – but that’s only because I like variation in my link profile and a mix of different strengths that pass different amounts of juice and power.
When it comes to relevance, it’s important to ensure there is relevance between source and target.
For example, this means that you can’t have a link about flowers linking to your dog food site – this simply passes no relevance.
So, in summary – this is what you want to remember when looking for a ‘good’ link:
- That the link is indexed.
- The link is dofollow.
- That the link has significant authority.
- That the link has relevance from the source to the target.
Honestly, this can be quite geeky to understand – but hopefully, by taking a look at your own site, you should be able to analyse your own links and see which are the main ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ones 🔎
I hope that you were able to get value from this post – and, as always, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Get Me Links to help with any link-building questions on your next order!