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A link profile indicates the quality and nature of all external links pointing to a site or a web page.
It is useful, on the one hand, for the webmaster, because it allows for the evaluation of backlinks, as well as those of competitors, in order to set up the best possible netlinking strategy to improve SEO.
On the other hand, the link profile of a site allows Google to evaluate the backlinks pointing to this site, and thus to detect blackhat referencing practices. This is why this link profile plays a very important role in SEO, because a suspicious profile can lead to sanctions from the search engine.
Criteria for evaluating a link profile
The type of link
It is important to try to obtain quality external links, i.e. from reliable sites with a high Trust Flow. Indeed, if your link profile is mainly composed of backlinks from unreliable sites, Google may penalise you.
Furthermore, it is also important to analyse the nature of the links. They can be either textual links providing relevant information or links leading to quality images to illustrate a point.
The chosen link anchor
The anchors on which the external links pointing to your site are found will also be taken into account in the evaluation of your link profile. It is important to choose anchors with a high click-through rate, while alternating between optimised, semi-optimised and de-optimised anchors.
You can opt for different types of anchors:
- Brand anchors: These are your external links placed directly on your brand name and are the most natural anchors.
- Exact match anchors: Your link will be found directly on the keyword you wish to target.
- Generic anchors: Generic anchors, also called “call to action”, represent incentive texts such as “buy here”.
- Naked link: Inserting your link directly into an article, without positioning it on a keyword.
Keep in mind that it is important that your anchor texts are diversified so that Google does not become aware of the netlinking strategy in place and penalise you.
The attributes of the selected link
A link can be either a dofollow backlink or a nofollow backlink. These attributes help guide Google in its exploration of links, inviting it to follow some and ignore others.
This is why these attributes will count in the evaluation of your link profile, as they will play a role in the natural referencing of your site.
How the links were acquired
There are several ways to acquire links, which divides links into two categories: paid links, and natural (unpaid) links.
Paid links are links placed on sites in exchange for monetary compensation. The exchange usually takes place on platforms such as Ereferer or Rocketlinks.
Natural links are links obtained free of charge from directories, forums, blogs, etc. They are more difficult to obtain, but preferred by Google over paid links.
Coherence of the linked domain
It is important to maintain some consistency within your link profile. To do this, you need to ensure that the themes of the sites on which your external links are placed are consistent with the theme of your own site.
Diversity and quantity of links acquired
It is important to have a large number of external links pointing to your site. The more links you have, the more trustworthy your site will appear.
However, you must be careful to stagger their acquisition over time. Indeed, if you obtain a large number of backlinks in a short period of time, Google may find this suspicious and penalise you.
In addition, the diversity of domains linked to your site is a criterion that enters into the evaluation of your link profile. Indeed, the more backlinks you have on the same domain, the less the return on your backlinks will be considered. So, be careful to get external links on various domains.
Make sure that the ratio between the number of external links pointing to your site and your number of referring domains is as close as possible to 1. Indeed, it is much more valuable if 100 people talk about you once, rather than one person talking about you 100 times.
Method for defining your link profile
Having a good link profile requires some work to be done beforehand. To do this, you will need SEO tools such as SEMrush, Majestic, or Ahrefs, which will allow you to analyse both your site and the sites you want to link to.
To select the sites on which to get links to your site, ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of links should I look for?
- Which anchors should you use?
- On which themes to position yourself in order to ensure consistency in your link profile?
- Which metrics to target (TF/CF/DR)
- On which article topics should you post your links?
Evaluate the link profile of your competitors
Evaluating the link profile of your competitors will allow you to analyse their netlinking strategy, and to identify their strengths and weaknesses for inspiration.
Paying attention to missed opportunities
Your competitors may be positioned on topics, or sites, where you have little or no presence. Determining these missed opportunities will allow you to determine new niches on which to place links, and thus improve your natural SEO.
Analyse which keywords they use to stand out
It is also important that you analyse the anchor texts on which your competitors are positioned. This will allow you to assess the competition on a given keyword, and thus adjust your strategy to position yourself on it.
The most popular definitions
link profile audit
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