Keeping in mind, search engines like Google spiders use links to discover pages on the web. And as I mentioned earlier, these spiders crawl websites, following links to other pages. Whereby, when a new page is found, it’s added to the search engine’s index.
In the early days, backlinks were a numbers game – whichever site had the most inbound links typically ranked at the top of search results. With time, marketers quickly learned it was easy to game the system and simply buy links.
Related Topic: The 27 Essential Optimizations For Enterprise SEO Audits
So, in 2012, Google released the first version of its Penguin algorithm. And after the update, it became important to acquire links from relevant sites. But, in the end, link management became much more difficult. That’s why through the years, Google has continued to refine the algorithm.
And as we speak, today, link management is a vital part of any SEO campaign. So, what is free backlinks management? And why is it important? Well, that’s it for our today’s lesson on the backlink management course. It’s my hope that you’ll learn something awesome.
In this post, I’ll show you a solution for managing these backlinks in 5 different stages: protect, review, grow, analyze, and associate. You’ll also learn why an enterprise-level platform offers the biggest opportunity in these areas. And how to use it to manage backlinks to benefit your site.
What Is Backlink Management?
Backlink Management is a method or a way that helps you track and organize your site backlinks with tools like Monitor Backlinks. Given how critical links are to your site’s SEO, it’s wise to have an approach to managing your link profile. Just as authoritative content helps you to rank for relevant keywords, backlinks also reassure the search engine of page authority.
It comes as no surprise, then, how much focus some SEO webmasters put into building and managing their external link portfolios. So, in simple terms, when it comes to SEO audit, backlink management is a method or a way that helps you track and organize your site backlinks with tools like Monitor Backlinks.
And therefore, if you’re struggling to get more visitors to your site, the answer might just lie in this free report! More so, when we think of links, we, mostly, refer to references within a page’s copy that, when clicked, open another relevant resource. Like this link to a page explaining what are backlinks, for example.
But there is more to links than that! Granted, text links, wrapped in the <a href> tag in the HTML code are the most common. However, your link profile can contain other types of links as well.
Other types of links include:
- Image Links: Images on their own tell Google nothing about the link or the page. But, if an image is used as a link, the search engine will use the text in ALT and TITLE tags.
- Nofollow Links: The “nofollow” attribute on a link tells crawlers not to follow the link, and focus on other pages in the site’s architecture instead.
More often, when it comes to links, if done well, they can also send authority to your site. That’s why, in order to understand the context of the link, image links are so necessary. And in this case, each tag will work much like an anchor text for the link.
More so, when it comes to external links, the “nofollow” attribute tells the search engine not to pass any link equity to the linked page. While reducing the impact of the link on its authority. That said, the search engine also announced that it is using nofollow links as a hint regarding the site’s authority.
Why Is Backlink Management Important?
In the first place, Inbound Links, which are links pointing from another website to your website, have always been the most weighted element in Google’s ranking algorithm. Not forgetting, Google uses links to measure the site’s authority. Based on the idea that the most worthy sites will have more links pointing to them from other sites.
To enumerate, ‘Inbound Links‘ are links coming from another site to your own website. Whereby, the term “Inbound” is generally used by the person receiving the link. While on the other hand, ‘Outbound Links‘ are those links from your website to another website.
Generally speaking, links are like popularity votes – the more popular sites get the most votes. Since the beginning of SEO, we’ve known that Google places immense value on links. In fact, the decision to use links as a measure of authority is what sets Google apart from the other search engines.
Related Topic: Backlinks | What are they & How do you implement them?
After all, this’s what led to its eventual dominance in search. Backlink management quickly became one of the cornerstones of search engine optimization. In fact, some SEO practitioners and even some agencies specialize in link management and do nothing else.
If you want more search traffic, all you have to do is follow the website analysis report. By doing an SEO Analysis of your website. Not to mention, a tool like SEO Analyzer will point out all of the SEO errors you need to fix in order to increase your rankings.
Equally important, SEO Checker tools help you get a complete list of errors that are hindering your site from achieving the top spot on Google. This SEO audit prioritizes each fix based on potential traffic impact and ease of implementation. Once you make changes, you can re-run the report and check to see if you did it correctly.
Additionally, your Site Speed no longer just impacts your conversion rate, but it also affects how high your site can rank in search engines. If you want to rank well you have to perform a thorough website analysis and not just look at common SEO factors.
How To Get Backlinks To Your Website
First of all, if you want your site to gain more visibility in searches, you’ve got to know how to analyze the site’s backlink profile. And then use various tactics to acquire new inbound links.
Secondly, backlinks aren’t just important for SEO – they’re a valuable source of referral traffic. If you’re building the right kind of backlinks, make sure they’re coming from relevant sites with high traffic. So that the users of the other sites are likely to click through to your website.
In addition to that, your site backlinks also help with brand building. And as you acquire links on other sites, the users of those sites are exposed to your brand. Whereby, those links help you get discovered by new users. Helping you become more well known as an authority in your particular area.
Related Topic: What is a Google Penalty in SEO? Site links profile analysis
But, you should keep in mind that, it’s incredibly difficult to acquire links in a vacuum. No one’s going to link to you if you don’t have amazing content. And many times you’ll have to do outreach to expose other sites to your content.
And although there are several moving pieces, at the simplest level, it’s helpful to have the right mindset. That’s why you’ll need to earn links, and not just build them. Again, let’s go back to the idea that links are votes of popularity.
As such, think back to high school – no one will give you popularity votes if you’re boring. Or even if you sit all by yourself off in the corner at lunch every day. Successful link building depends on having an awesome site. With great content, and a solid SEO strategy as a foundation.
An Enterprise-Level Backlink Management Platform
One thing for sure, the web is big – truly, extensively big. So, trying to stitch together any sizeable amount of data to connect how it’s linked together is challenging. Not only is it massive, but these sources can be disparate and of course grow exponentially with the web.
In that case, an enterprise-level platform can pull all of this dispersed information into one place. Helping you to monitor backlinks – by giving you both a birds-eye and detailed view of your strategies. This, in turn, correlates information from different strategies and tactics.
Helping you to inform new link-building ideas and campaigns. But, it works the other way around too. Whereby, an enterprise SEO platform can bring link data into any other strategy as well.
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For example, when identifying new topic ideas, you can analyze the most linked-to content. In order to specifically identify the top characteristics of the most referenced pages. Or even the content types that generate the most links. Not forgetting, the types of websites that link to your content the most.
And in that case, this informs your outreach strategy. So, let’s see how to use an enterprise platform to achieve it all, specifically. But, before I show you how to manage the link profile, let’s discuss the metrics you’ll be paying close attention to.
I recommend you evaluate:
- When was the backlink discovered?
- What is the referring domain?
- What is the anchor text used?
- Is the link dofollow or nofollow?
The metric number one might not indicate when the link went live, actually. However, it will tell you, roughly, when it became obvious. And, most likely, noticed by Google. In short, who is linking to you?
Reviewing the linking URL will help you spot many potentially spammy links. And then eliminate them before they cause any problems to your search visibility. You can use additional metrics like Trust Flow to establish the value of the referring domain.
Related Topic: What are Nofollow Links? & How do they impact your SEO?
Generally, an anchor text is an “exact match” if it includes a keyword that mirrors the page that is being linked to. For example: ‘link building’ linking to a page about link building. Anchor text that includes a variation of the keyword on the linked-to page.
In short, an anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. And in modern browsers, it is often blue and underlined, such as the following link to our site blog articles. We’ll discuss more on this in our next topics.
So, does it relate to the linked content or contains generic phrases like “click here.” Well, well, I agree that you have not much influence over the anchor text. Having said that, I have had situations where I asked the linking site to amend it to match my page better and they did.
All in all, an SEO-friendly anchor text is succinct and relevant to the target page (i.e., the page it’s linking to). Although, Google uses both (although in different ways,) it’s good to pay attention to how many dofollow and nofollow links you acquire.
Related Topic: How SEO Ranking in SERPs is Done for Sites to Rank High
In general, this is where it pays off to manage links through an enterprise-level platform. Whereby, an enterprise-level platform will allow you to easily combine dispersed data and insights. Such as from multiple sources all the way into one place.
And in this case, you could combine fresh link data with other data points for additional insights. Especially into your existing pages for further promotions to gain more links. As well as the web pages webmasters find more relevant and authoritative.
Also, what goes with it? And then lastly, which assets outreach to the next web content? And with that in mind, backlink management consists of 5 simple stages. They include Protect, Review, Grow, Analyze, and Associate. Although each delivers separate outcomes.
Stage 1: Try Protecting Your Existing Links – Protect
As I mentioned before, your site backlinks are an invaluable asset. But, at times, you’ll lose high-quality backlinks. Especially if it happens faster than you can manage to acquire new links. And this will always have a negative effect on your visibility.
Unfortunately, there are many different ways in which the above could happen. So, the first stage of managing your backlink profile is protecting the assets you already have. And you can do this through a platform such as seoClarity.
Through seoClarity, you’ll do this by setting up alerts to notify you when you lose a link. Or even if something else happens to a resource pointing to your site. But, of course, you won’t be able to protect all of your links. After all, that’s why many websites close down.
In other cases, SEO webmasters like jmexclusives regularly remove outdated pages, too. While sometimes, they’ll simply decide to reference other sources. Instead of removing their site backlinks in the process.
But, there are also many situations where you could revive a lost link. For one thing, a webmaster might not even realize a problem with a page or server. And as such, a quick notification could help republish it – bringing your link back.
Stage 2: You Should Review Your Incoming Links – Review
As you may or may not know, new links reveal plenty about your strategies. As well as how the general web sees your content. For example, analyzing fresh backlinks will help identify what content resonates with your audience the most.
That’s because a constant growth of links to a page signifies that other webmasters find it more appealing. They’ll also find it more authoritative and worthy of sharing with their readers. Since you’re providing the insights others find reliable and engaging. While making it more relevant in expanding their content.
On the other hand, analyzing such content further could yield insight into what makes them consider this content link-worthy. Thus, replicating that on other pages could increase their chances of acquiring more organic links.
Stage 3: Use Link Building Strategies For More Links – Grow
As for this stage, it’s part of the backlink management process that revolves around identifying and expanding your link profile. By using link-building strategies in order to build more links.
Yet, one of the topmost and simple strategies is reclaiming name mentions. And in this strategy, you’ll be able to find references of key people in the company. And then ask those sources to also add a link. Another great strategy is content syndication for your site backlinks.
While at the same time, creating listings in various business directories and associations. And you should also try and secure links on the industry’s resource pages. Sending out products for reviews is another great way to start out – and by appearing on podcasts or giving interviews.
Stage 4: Your Competitor Site Backlinks Analysis – Analyze
Another way to identify new potential link opportunities is by evaluating the competitors’ link profiles. A competitor backlink analysis helps build a digital strategy for your website. Allowing you to assess the competition in your industry.
And by analyzing your competitor websites, you can see how well they’re performing and ranking in search results. You’ll then – using that data you’ve gathered – create guidelines for what you need to do to compete with them.
But, in order to do so, you’ll need to follow practically the same process as you would when auditing your own backlinks. Bearing in mind, by auditing their link profiles, it’ll reveal specific strategies that delivered exponential results.
For instance, it might have been an infographic that they’ve recently promoted. Or even, a long-form content, an ultimate guide, and thus, the opportunities are many. Now that each industry tends to have specific patterns on what is shared — think white papers versus selfies. So, how do you inspect your competitor’s backlinks?
Resourceful Tool: SEOptimer | A Free SEO Audit & Reporting Tool for Sites
In such a case, an enterprise platform helps correlate many data points to identify their most successful strategy. Similarly, auditing top sites can show you how links are distributed along with the industry niche.
May it be from the types of links to the assets they point to. And it could spark ideas for long-term strategies to build up your profile. So, when researching competitors’ backlinks, pay particular attention to:
- The type of links your competitors have,
- Their link profile growth (suggesting how much effort they put into link building,) and
- What anchor texts do they use, revealing for what keywords and topics they want most discovered.
Finally, an enterprise platform brings the whole team together to ensure a project’s success. Tasks capability and workflow management, for example, will help assign responsibilities to help link outreach campaigns on track.
Stage 5: Consider A Guest Posting Plan – Associate
Perse, there’re countless strategies that can help a site acquire more links. And some of the most popular and effective today include Guest Posting to top-industry sites. You can also work around Digital PR and outreach for links.
And as such, Digital PR can take the form of pitching guest posts to webmasters. Or even ask them to include a link to your content in an existing article. While at the same time, finding brand mentions without a link. And as for brand mentions, you can ask those sources to provide a reference to the website too.
As well as participating in other online forums. Like Quora discussions and then include your site links in those answers. But, although it seems simple, you should also create linkable assets that others will want to link to.
The Best SEO Tools To Manage Your Backlinks
As can be seen, links are invaluable to SEO success. Oftentimes, however, to properly manage your backlinks profile and grow your site’s authority you need to manually analyze data from dispersed sources. This typically leads to wasting too much time and missing out on many opportunities to boost search visibility.
And in such cases, an enterprise-level SEO platform helps you to overcome all of those problems of backlink management. By providing a birds-eye and detailed views of your entire SEO strategy. In order to protect and grow your site’s backlinks so you can make the next great link-worthy content.
But, at times, managing a backlink profile is a complex activity, and it requires a ton of data to complete. Below are the various tools or capabilities of an enterprise SEO platform that will help you with it.
Some of the SEO Audit Tools include:
- A crawler like Clarity Audits to analyze your site’s overall health,
- A backlink profile research tool, like seoClarity Backlinks,
- Content and research Keyword Tool to identify topics for linkable assets,
- As well as Rank Tracker to monitor the effect of link-building campaigns on your search visibility.
- On top of that, there are some free SEO tools that can assist you in managing your backlinks.
Other notable Free SEO Tools include:
- Google Search Console also includes information about some of your topmost links,
- The Disavow Tool will help you tell which of those links might be spammy for the search engine,
- Google Analytics will help you monitor the growth of your organic traffic while link building,
- Finally, Check My Links can help you identify broken links quickly.
Basically, it included keyword stuffing and creating spammy backlinks on a regular basis. And luckily enough, for some time, it totally worked! But these days, those older SEO hacks are long gone.
As of today, we now deal with much more sophisticated tools like Google algorithm updates more often. Updates that push innocent-sounding updates like Hummingbird and Panda. But, as innocent as they sound, they can create some real problems for your ongoing SEO efforts.
Related Topic: Broken Links | What are they & How do they affect SEO?
One of those updates that affected SEO forever is known as Penguin. Specifically, dealing with how Google uses backlinks to evaluate page rank. Not to mention, Penguin now is a big part of the core Google algorithm.
And by that I mean, the anchor text you use in your backlinks and internal links are more important than ever. That’s why it’s important to have a good SEO backlink management plan for your site in place.
Related Topic: Link Testing Tools | What Webmasters Should Use For SEO
Finally, I hope you’ve gathered enough information in regards to your site SEO backlink management. Do you think it’s a worthwhile course? Please, let us know your thoughts in the comments section. We’ll answer all the questions you’ll have too.
If you’ve got any additions, feel free to tweet them to us directly at @jmexclusives on Twitter. Or even Contact Us and our awesome team of pros over this topic and other related blog articles will get back to you.
And then, don’t forget to check out the next lesson. Also, if you think you’re ready enough, head over to our donation page and support our good work online.