For site owners and newbies
When analyzing a site, it is important to take into account many features of competitors – from the structure of the resource to the link mass. The latter plays a significant role in successful ranking. Despite this, many site owners continue to ignore this layer of work, mistakenly believing that if they buy or in some other way receive links to their resource, then the search engine will not be long in coming.
There is a grain of truth in this: earlier the one who had a large link mass ranked well, that is, the budgets won. Search engines couldn’t help but notice. After changes in the work of algorithms, as well as the appearance of filters, links for many users faded into the background or began to be completely ignored. But, despite the negative attitude towards this factor, they continue to work and bear fruit. In this article, we will consider how to conduct a link audit of your site and the sites of competitors.
Site link audit
To audit the link mass of your own project, you do not need to have specific knowledge or software. Free or shareware products will do. Let’s start with the most accessible and available services for every ordinary webmaster – Yandex.Webmaster and Google Search Console.
The algorithm of work in the service is very simple – select the project, go to the tab of the same name and click on “External links”:
Next, we see the dynamics of the link mass on the selected project:
Here you can sort links by different indicators, group them by donor sites, view remote backlinks, etc.
Unfortunately, the functionality of the service is limited by this. The work to eliminate low-quality or unwanted links must be carried out in manual mode – look at the site on which the link is posted and try to contact its owner with a request to remove the link. Alas, this does not always work.
Google Search Console
For Google, having links to a site has been and remains a very important ranking factor. Perhaps that is why the search engine provides more data in the service for webmasters.
To check the links to the site, go to Google Search Console and go to the “Links” tab from the menu on the right side of the screen:
In the window that opens, we will see external and internal links, summary information on the sites that most often link to our resource, as well as the most common anchor text:
We need the “External” column. Click on “Advanced”:
In the window that opens, we will see the pages sorted in descending order of links:
Google Search Console has an additional advantage over Yandex.Webmaster – clickable page URLs, so we can:
- see which resources link to the specified URL;
- see the page from which the link goes, thereby assessing its content, thematicity, etc.
Google’s huge advantage is not so much its informativeness as compared to its domestic counterpart, but rather the presence of the “Refusal of links” function. A detailed manual on using the tool is available here.
Unlike Yandex, where you have to remove links from third-party resources on your own, in Google we can create a file and use the above service to “recommend” the search engine to ignore the URLs provided.
Recently, this product has become shareware. To use the service, you just need to register and confirm access to the project through the Google Search Console.
Next, we import data from Google Search Console.
Unfortunately, there are fewer functions available in the free version than in the paid one, but for our purposes this is more than enough:
For example, we can view data for certain days, as well as select different criteria for backlinks – type of link, country, amount of traffic.
Various criteria for evaluating link donors and tooltips will help a webmaster to quickly assess the quality of a link to a site:
To summarize, the link mass of a site is an important metric for search engines to work with. Daily monitoring in this case would be a good solution:
- We look through the offices of webmasters of search engines, as well as Ahrefs.
- We analyze new links – it is better to check their quality once again (with daily repetition, this will not take much time).
- If suspicious backlinks are found, create a file for disavow links, add URLs that cause concern to it.
Analysis of the link mass of competitors
In addition to listening to the external links of your project, you must not forget about the sites of competitors. The ranking is very simplified as follows – site A and B are engaged in the provision of the same services, but site A is more often referred to, there are much more external links and they are from trust, thematic resources, and there are practically no external links to site B. This may lead to the conclusion that site A is better than site B, which means that it should be shown more often. Of course, the example is greatly exaggerated, but easy to understand. Therefore, it is important that a site’s link profile matches the qualitative and quantitative link profile of competitors’ sites.
There are many services for analyzing the link profile, but we will focus on the ru.megaindex.com/backlinks service, since its free functionality is quite enough to obtain comprehensive information.
We have to:
1. Complete registration:
2. Next, copy the domain that interests us and click “Show”.
3. After a short wait, we get the amount of data required for analysis:
Additionally, information about popular anchors, bigrams / trigrams and referring sites is displayed.
4. For the convenience of the analysis, we propose to draw up a table where the following data must be entered:
5. We compare the results obtained and develop link growth strategies.
Link quality analysis tool
The more processed data we receive from various services, the more time we have to spend on processing. In case we need to quickly check a large number of links, the most reasonable solution would be to resort to the help of a third-party service. We use checktrust.ru in our work. With its help, you can quickly and inexpensively check a sufficiently large volume of the reference mass according to various criteria.
- Integration of the service with various link exchanges. If an unscrupulous competitor wants to spam the site with low-quality donors, this will become known.
- It pulls in data from other services, for example – semrush.com, majestic.com or www.alexa.com.
- Low cost. At the minimum rate, the price of checking one link is about 20 kopecks. If you take a higher tariff, then the price drops to 3 kopecks. It is worth noting that the number of selected parameters does not affect the cost: you can check by 50+ parameters, or you can limit yourself to 2-3 points – the cost will remain unchanged.
Links have been and remain one of the main factors in the ranking of the site, so it is not recommended to ignore this aspect in promotion. There are many different approaches and strategies for working with link mass: from content generation to completely black-hat techniques (website hacking, etc.). The choice of the most attractive approach is subjective. This can be the systematic growth of an information blog, crowd marketing, and even the creation of your own PBN networks. We recommend paying attention to two fundamental factors:
- Link health of your own site.
- Compliance of your site’s link profile with competitors’ sites.
It is worth remembering that any work to improve the quality of the site will not go unnoticed by search engines and will play into the hands in the long term.