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Building a strong backlink profile is an essential component of off-page SEO. Search engines treat backlinks as a vote of confidence or a signal of valuable content.

Backlinks are a critical ranking factor: Not only can high-quality backlinks help improve your visibility on the SERP, they can also draw referral traffic to your site.

However, building a strong backlink profile can be a confusing and time-consuming process for SEO newbies, as it requires research and manual outreach.

In this article, we’ll dissect the intricacies of backlink profiles and go through 4 quick wins to boost your backlink profile by optimizing existing backlinks and finding new backlink opportunities.


Your backlink profile is the combined sum of all incoming links to your site. A strong profile serves as a signal to search engines such as Google, that your site is reputable and authoritative, thereby enhancing its chances of ranking favorably for selected keywords.

While it’s tempting to believe that a robust backlink profile solely depends on a high volume of linking back to your site, the reality is more nuanced. It’s determined by a number of factors. In this discussion, we will look at the following key elements:

The Number of Total Backlinks

Indeed, the total number of backlinks pointing to your site serves as a potent indicator of your backlink profile’s strength. Generally, sites with more backlinks tend to outrank those with less.

However, it’s crucial to note here that only dofollow links are considered. While nofollow links provide benefits such as referral traffic and brand amplification, dofollow links are the ones that pass link equity and the number of do follow links is viewed as a ranking signal by Google.

Referring Domains

When another site links to yours, it’s known as a linking domain or a referring domain. These domains not only funnel referral traffic to your site, but if their links are dofollow links, they also pass ink equity to your site.

Google appreciates diversity with multiple unique referring domains linking to your site. For example, if you have 1,000 backlinks but all are derived from just 4 websites, that doesn’t exactly translate into a strong backlink profile. It implies that only four sites on the entire web find your content valuable enough to link to. Hence, having backlinks coming from a variety of referring domains correlates with a robust backlink profile.

The Authority of the Referring Domains

All links aren’t created equal. Links originating from high-authority, reputable websites carry more weight. Being endorsed by such sites is viewed as a significant sign of trustworthiness and credibility.

One method to measure a site’s authority is through its Domain Authority (DA) score, a metric developed by Moz to assess a website’s overall reputation on the Internet. On a scale of 0 to 100, a DA score between 40 to 50 is deemed average, while anything above 60 is considered exceptional. Having high-DA referring domains is indicative of a strong backlink profile.

Conversely, if your site has an excessive number of links from low-DA websites, Google might perceive it as a warning sign that your site quality is subpar, thereby jeopardizing your chances of achieving a good ranking.

Relevance of the Referring Domains

The more related to your industry or topic a referring site is, the more valuable the backlink.

For instance, assume you’re operating an eCommerce store selling women’s apparel. In this case, backlinks from fashion blogs or publications, given their topical relevance, would carry significant weight. However, were an appliance repair blog to link to your site, Google might suspect that this is a purchased link meant to artificially boost your backlink profile.

Anchor Text of Backlinks

Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. When aligned with your site content, it can increase the value of the backlink.

Furthermore, anchor texts should exhibit diversity to appear natural to Google’s algorithms. Here’s an example – a mix of naked URLs (e.g.,, branded anchor texts (those incorporating brand names), and keyword anchor texts (with target keywords) creates a more balanced impression than using only brand name-based anchor texts..


Ideally, in a world free from complications, producing and publishing exceptional content is all you’d need to do. As others perceive your content as authoritative and trustworthy, they link to your site organically. This passes link equity, prompting Google to consider your site credible and trustworthy, and thus ranks it higher in search results. However, with the enormity of content populating the internet, capturing the admiration and endorsements of other site owners can be daunting.

Typically, there are two alternative approaches for acquiring backlinks. Firstly, site owners may choose to establish networks with other relevant sites. This process necessitates a strategic outlook on how visitors will uncover and visit your site, and what they might explore before landing on your page. Post this analysis, a discussion can be initiated with related sites to talk about reciprocal linking. While success rates may fluctuate, this step signifies proactive measures to gradually augment your backlink profile with credible sites.

Alternatively, some site owners may choose to buy backlinks from services or affiliate sites. While this strategy can accelerate your link acquisition, it also opens up the risks of inviting a Google penalty. This can potentially undermine your efforts, causing more harm than good.

Ultimately, the process by which you obtain backlinks can dictate the quality of these links. When they appear natural, their value in Google’s eyes increases.



Building a robust backlink profile can be challenging. However, even simple actions can make noticeable differences. Here are four practical tips for enhancing your backlink profile:

Backlink Quick Win 1: Check existing backlinks

The simplest way to check existing backlinks is through the Links section on your Google Search Console (GSC). Basic information, such as a list of internal/external links, top linking sites, and top linking text, can be found in GSC.

If you want to go more in-depth with your backlink profile, there are many SEO tools, such as Ahrefs, SEO SpyGlass, and Dragon Metrics, that allow you to:

  • Monitor your site backlink profile
  • Obtain analysis based on linking domain
  • Discover new links and lost links
  • Find link gaps between you and your competitors’ sites

Once you’ve checked your existing backlinks, you can understand what types of sites link to yours and why. You can then optimize your content for these categories and build greater authority.

Backlink Quick Win 2: Replace broken links

You may have heard of the “broken links strategy” to gain new links. It means looking into websites that you would like to link up with and checking if they have any broken links (404 errors) on their site. You can then recommend your content as a replacement.

You can also apply this strategy to your own broken links.

With SEO tools, like Dragon Metrics, you can filter out target URLs of your site that are no longer available (404 errors) and check the list of backlinks that are pointing to these pages. You can then offer your link to update their content, and they might be grateful for the gesture!

Backlink Quick Win 3: Optimize anchor text

Anchor text is a word or a group of words that are clickable in a hyperlink, which directs users from one site to another. It is an important ranking factor in SEO, which also tells both users and search engines what the link is about.

If your pages are frequently linked to with anchor text that is related to the page purpose, then your pages will be rated as relevant to those keywords. Good anchor text should be relevant to both the surrounding on-page text of the linking website and the target URL and content of your webpage; it gives users an idea on what to expect when they click the link.

However, often anchor text is generic, like “visit website” or “click here.”

You can check the anchor text in your backlink profile in Dragon Metrics. Then, you can reach out to that website owner and suggest a relevant replacement for generic anchor.

A best practice to avoid keyword stuffing is to keep the anchor text in a natural tone synonymous with the surrounding text. You may want to provide the revised anchor text with full sentences to the webmaster. This makes it easier to implement, thus increasing the chance of your suggestion being accepted.

Backlink Quick Win 4: Optimize target URLs

Similar to broken link replacement, it is also a quick win to flag and request updates for any altered target URLs on your site to improve backlink quality. This is especially important if your site has been revamped or has had changes in the domain.

Although you should have done all 301 redirects from the old URLs, it is best practice in SEO to update the target URL directly to the new one. This eliminates the redirect chain. It is the same logic for suggesting an evergreen product page to replace a seasonal promotion page when a seasonal sales event is over.

If you have time to go in-depth, you may also want to conduct a backlink audit to see if there is any content for which you can suggest a more relevant landing page. You can also obtain a list of referring pages, anchor text, and backlinks to do a side-by-side analysis via SEO tools, like Ahrefs (as shown below).

For example, if there is an article that is introducing your product, but pointing to your homepage, you may want to suggest the specific product page to be the landing page instead. This provides more detail to users and increases the relevancy of the link to your content.


While many people focus on outreach for new backlinks, you can also improve the quality of your backlink profile by optimizing your existing backlinks via the quick wins above.

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