Backlink analysis is considered one of the most important factors in SEO. However, with the wide-range of backlink analysis tools that are available today, doing a backlink analysis has become a daunting task.
With factors such as Page Authority, deep links, referring TLDs, backlink type data, etc, knowing which metrics are worth looking at from SEO perspective is difficult.
For this reason, we have drawn up a list of 13 key backlink metrics that are important & that you need to measure while doing a backlink analysis. Following this process will keep you from analyzing each & every metric, thereby saving precious time, and provide you actionable data that can help you to improve your SEO strategies.
#1. Domain Authority (DA)
A key metric that helps you to understand the quality of a website, Domain Authority is measured based on three factors, namely domain age, size, and popularity.
The greater a website’s Domain Authority is, the higher it ranks on search engine and thus, it is an important metric to measure for your own website as well as that of your competitors’ site
How do you check the Domain Authority of a website?
Domain Authority is a metric developed by Moz and is usually calculated as a score out of 100 on a logarithmic scale. To check the domain authority of any website, you can use the Open Site Explorer tool
#3. Ratio of Backlink to Referring Domains
In backlink analysis, it is important that you check the ratio of referring domains to backlinks. Why? Because Referring Domains are an indication of where your backlinks are coming from.
For example, if a page has 500 backlinks from 10 referring domains, the page is considered to be of low-quality or spammy by Google, and if you happen to link to this page, it could adversely affect your site’s page rank.
Thus, to avoid such circumstances, it is essential that you check website/URLs for their referring domains before you use their links on your website.
#5. Total Number of C-class IPs
This metric tells you if a website is sharing an IP address with another site. Since a link from a website that is sharing an IP address with other websites can have a negative impact on your site’s PageRank, it is important that you check the total number of C-class IPs before adding it to your backlink profile.
#7. Citation Flow
A ranking metric developed by Majestic SEO, Citation Flow metric is similar to Google’s PageRank and tells you how influential a link (URL/page) is based on how many sites link to it.
The score is calculated out of 100 and the higher the citation flow of the website linking to your site, the more link juice you are able to acquire from it, even with fewer inbound links (backlinks).
#9. Number of Inbound Links
As mentioned before, search engines give a higher value for backlinks from different domains and thus, by analyzing your web pages or domain, you are able to get information on how many inbound links, come from an external site to your website.
Inbound Links influence your Page Rank since search engines take multiple, relevant inbound links to a web page as a sign that the content on that page is useful. Measuring this metric will provide you with data that will help you to understand how effective your link building strategy is.
You can use tools like OpenLinkprofiler to check inbound link count, as it gives you an overview of all the incoming links (URL) on your web page along with other important information such as Anchor text, NoFollow links and more
#11. Total Links vs Fresh Links
While total links help you understand how competitive a website is, measuring fresh links helps you determine how effective your link building strategy is. Just look out for any sudden spike in the fresh incoming link, as it is an indication that unnatural link building activities are underway.
When you analyze a web page or domain, it is important that you take both this metric into account as it helps you to determine the link quality of a backlink
#13. Spam Score
A new metric by Moz, Spam score takes into account 17 unique signals that can get you penalized by Google such as a large number of external links, abnormally small site markup, thin content, a high ratio of anchor text, etc.
The score is calculated from 0 to 17, with 0 indicating a spam probability of 0.5% and 17 indicating a spam probability of 100%. Measuring this metric can help you identify and fix issues on your site quickly, thereby preventing your site from getting banned or penalized.