Performing a link profile audit is one of the most important aspects of SEO. It is something that you should take very seriously. You will be surprised just how many red flags start to appear when you’re done. Some of them might not even be your doing. And doing so can help you trace negative link attacks (also known as Negative SEO), diagnose and address penalties, and last but not the least remove any bad links that may be hampering the SERP performance of your website. To keep your link profile in optimum SEO health, here is how you can perform a link audit by checking your link profile using tools like Google Search Console, SEMrush, Moz, and Ahrefs. Happy auditing!
Positive and Negative Link Velocity
Positive Link Velocity is when too many links are added in your profile at an alarmingly fast rate. Negative Link Velocity is when too many links are removed from your profile at once. Both are equally bad when it comes to maintaining a healthy link profile. A detailed check-up is mandated.
Links when strategically placed within the content and are relevant to the topic are called contextual links. That being said, they can also be easily manipulated so keep a keen eye on any unnatural or spammy-looking links, more so when they come in huge numbers.
Links from High-authority Sites
Even though links from websites that are high in authority and ranking and get a huge amount of traffic is a blessing, they sometimes come in the form of a curse if they typically come from one website or even one type of a niche. So better watch out.
As the name suggests, you link to my website and I will link to yours in return is a practice you should refrain from entertaining. It is considered as one way of getting into the link scheme and is a practice that is outlawed by Google. If it happens naturally then nothing like it.
Excessive comments on the blog, especially with link, at once are considered by Google to be a malpractice and something you should watch out for. There are many Black Hat SEO programs like Scrape Box that operate in this domain to build a website’s link profile in a short span of time.
301 Redirects though okay from a link profile point of view but they can harm the website in other ways. They can slow down your website, may cause bandwidth issues, and more importantly lea to some crawling issues which can negatively impact your website’s SEO performance.
Anchor Text Diversity
When you link to within or outside your website using the same anchor text over and over again, it may be considered spam by Google and lead to negative implications. You should ideally aim to have variety in anchor text to maintain a healthy link profile overall.
Outbound Links per Page
While some believe too many outbound links originating from a single page to be a major issue, others believe it is not so as long as the links are legitimate and backed by context. Even though there is no ideal number you should refrain from overstuffing any single page with too many links.
High Link Velocity from One Domain
Ever heard too much of anything is bad thing? Stands especially true when it comes to too many links coming your way from one domain. It may signal Google that the source website is trying to manipulate the ranking factors of the destination website. Sometimes, it is also known as negative SEO.
When carried out perfectly, Guest Posting is one of the best ways to expand your link profile, especially if backed by strong, unique and relevant content. The otherwise common practice is to manipulate them and take the direction of article marketing in hope to impact the rankings via content and subsequent backlinks.
This should ideally be the first step you should take when running a link profile audit. It can help you diagnose and fix the problem once and for all. Be sure to check out Google Console and Google Analytics data to support your claim to if your rankings have dropped significantly.
High Percentage of Low-Quality Links
Any kind of links originating from low-quality websites that have officially been called out by Google in its Webmasters Guidelines are a big no-no. These include but are not limited to websites with a lot of duplicate content, a bunch of websites that look and feel the same, and article marketing sites etc.