How to Check Backlink Quality to be Safe From Google’s Link Spam Update

How to check backlink quality

In this article, you will learn how to check backlink quality.

In December 2022, Google released a spam link update. Many people are getting affected by the update.

I’ll share the process I’ve been implementing for my Local, Global, and Enterprise-level clients over the last 8 years.

I’ve acquired a lot of backlinks from 2016. My strategy implementation on multiple 7 to 8-figure companies.

If you are new to SEO, If you don’t have proper knowledge in building backlinks, or If you are confused about how to check the quality of the backlinks. This article will clear up all of your confusion.

Let’s get started:

11 Ways to Check Backlink Quality

Backlink Relevance Explained

Backlink relevancy is very important for off-page SEO optimization. You have to take links from topic-relevant or niche-relevant websites to get the actual benefit.

For example, if you want to acquire backlinks for your SEO agency, your ideal prospect or backlink website should be an industry expert site. These sites cover SEO, Blogging, Link Building, guest posting, etc., that will be your targeted websites.

Why Relevant Backlink is important for SEO:

Google cares only about relevancy. If you think about link building in 2022, relevancy will be the first point. Don’t choose irrelevant backlinks; it can cost you the Google Penalty. That’s why, when you will set up an outreach campaign, you should consider relevancy first.

How to get relevant backlinks

There are many ways to get relevant backlinks to your website. Here are some ways you try to find relevant websites.

  1. Find competitors’ backlinks and pitch them
  2. Find sites by search query
  3. Build connections with your industry websites

Note: If you work only for relevant websites, it can take a of time. Don’t get frustrated just remember,

“1 high-quality relevant backlink is better than 100 low-quality irrelevant backlinks.”

Some link building tools can help you to faster the process. Read the article and improve your process.

2. Website Traffic

Website Traffic Check By Ahrefs

After checking website relevance, you should check website traffic. It is a very important factor in website quality.

Why you should care about traffic:

In the whole article, I’ll suggest you acquire backlinks from quality websites. If the Quality backlink doesn’t have traffic on google, that means Google doesn’t like the website. If you take the backlink from that site that google doesn’t love, will you take that? 

A big NO from me

Special Note: When you check traffic must check traffic source/location.  Ensure the main traffic source is the same as the country in which you are doing your business. It will give you the highest result.

3. Traffic Value

Traffic value is an Ahrefs estimated traffic cost which means how much you have to pay in PPC to get the traffic. This matrix can help you to validate backlink website quality.

Here is the process of how you can do that:

Just go to your Ahrefs account and click on site explorer. There you fill your target site to check traffic value. 

Deeply looking at the traffic value should look natural and realistic. But here you can see some sites like that:

Traffic Value Check by Ahrefs

Here you can see traffic is over 100k but its value zero. Don’t get fooled by seeing traffic only. Cros match traffic with value. 

4. Ranking Keywords

If your prospect passes the first 3 steps, now it’s time to check their ranking keywords. It’s great way to check backlink quality.

In the first step, we discuss website relevance here; you will know in more detail whether your backlink website is relevant by ranking keywords or not.

I have seen many sites in my SEO journey that many websites try to fool you by showing relevance in terms of design, traffic, value, and more, but if you deep look at the ranking keyword, you can easily catch them.

See an example below:

Fake Keywords Example

This is a health website ranking keywords. All keywords are irrelevant and spammy. You should ignore this type of website to safe from google penalty.

5. Spam Score

Spam Score Check by Moz

The spam score is a Moz metric. It shows a website status. It is directly calculated by backlink. If any website shows a spam score of 5 out of 100. personally, I don’t take backlinks from that kind of website.

There have been some debates about the spam score. Some people think it really matters, but some people do not. I’m with the no side. I don’t think Google has a connection with Moz. If you think your prospect is very relevant, has google amount traffic, and meets all the other criteria, you should consider the website.

But I don’t pick the upper 5 spam score sites. Because it will your website spam score. Many non-tech people who check your website have a spam score (your prospect) and can reject your offer. That’s why I don’t take risks cause I’ve faced them before. 

If you follow this resource, you can get all the detail about Moz spam score and how it calculates. 

Off Page SEO Consultation

This is a great way to check backlink quality. Google doesn’t love these sites that build only to sell backlinks. One easy way to find these sites is to check the outbound links (OBL). You can do it with the Ahrefs tool.

Here is the detail on how you can check that:

First, open your prospect in “site explorer” then click on the internal backlink section from the left section. After doing that, you have to do a small filter. 

Internal backlink: Click the link type and select content. Now you can see all the internal backlink counts. See the website it shows 29,132 links.

External Backlink: Now, click on the Outbound link to the Linked domain option from the left sidebar. Now you can see the difference their total outbound link amount is 9,450, which is natural. For most cases, OBL (Outbound Link) will be lower than IBL (Inbound Link).

Spam site Inbout and outbound link comparison.

7. Site’s Traffic Location

Site’s Traffic Location by Ahrefs

Site location really matters when you will work for a local website. If you want to promote your business in a specific location, you must take backlinks from the specific country or city sites. This backlink will be highly relevant and help you to rank better.

8. Content Quality

Content Quality

Content quality is a vital thing nowadays. Many sites are ranking on google getting a good amount of traffic, but the ranking is not sustainable. Very soon, they will lose their ranking, or neither get hit on google penalty. 

Now just think, If you take a backlink from a site that has the possibility of the google penalty, do you take any backlink from the website? Of course not. Me neither.

9. Social Media Presence

Social presence

Social media presence is very important when it comes to authority. If any website has a good amount of traffic on google and a good amount of social media presence, you must consider the site. 

It is a signal of authority or big sites. Most real sites maintain their website with social media channels. 

10. Domain Authority & Page Authority

domain authority and page authority by Moz

Finally, it’s time to talk about Domain Authority & Page Authority. This is another way to judge a site within a short time. 

Domain Authority (DA)

Domain authority is a Moz matrix. This is a very popular authority metric in this industry. It shows domain strength. Definitely, the higher number is good.

But right now, most seo experts use domain rating (DR) Ahrefs Metrix.

Page Authority (PA)

Page authority is a page-level quality measurement. If you take the Existing page link, this data will help. Page authority metric provided by Moz.

Alternate, you can check URL rating to check a page authority by Ahrefs. 

But right now, DA/DR can be manipulated. So don’t backlink only checking DA/PA. Follow the tips.

Bonus Tips:

11. Website IP

IP Checking by Ahrefs

This is one of the best ways to identify PBN sites.

If you want you can check it bulk by Ahrefs batch analysis.

First, login to your Ahrefs and go to the link: 

Then list all of your selected sites You can add a maximum of 200 sites. 

After pulling all the sites, if you click on the “analysis button” you can see the IP address of most of the sites. 

If you see the same IP for multiple sites, I would recommend you avoid these sites. 

Backlink Quality Measurement Checklist

If you want to learn more about backlinks, you can book my link-building consultation. I’ll help you.

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