What is a Backlink Audit?
Table of Contents
Backlink Audit #
Backlink Audit is a discipline of SEO that had its debut with the Google Penguin updates. It involves the evaluation following the removal and disavowing of toxic links.
Every SEO who already went through the pain of a Google Filter for links, Google penalty or a manual action knows about the importance of proactive disavows and proper link risk management.
But there are also other fields in Backlink Audit besides disavowing high risk links.
Backlink Audit is also about assessing the average risk from new link prospects.
It also involves analyzing websites for their best page to place a link on, as well as trying to recover link juice from lost links.
Backlink Audit Workflow #
Backlink Audit must be seen as a continuous process. Your SEO success not only depends on the links you build yourself, but also on the links that others build to your site naturally.
Hopefully those new links you get are helping you, but potentially those could also be harmful for your ranking links, also known as toxic links.
Updating your domain’s disavow file, checking for broken links and assessing their quality should be in your weekly routine as a clever SEO.
Ongoing proactive disavowing was even mentioned and recommended by Google.
Google’s John Mueller said in this webmaster hangout at the 16:44 mark that in some cases, disavowing or cleaning up bad links to your site may help Google’s algorithm trust other links to your site.
Is there any way that looks so to say that we didn’t get a manual action or they didn’t get a manual action can those links hurt them algorithmically? Because we feel like we’re seeing some improvements in some sites you know after disavowing so.
That can definitely be the case. So it’s something where our algorithms when they look at it and they see oh there’s a bunch of really bad links here, then maybe they’ll be a bit more cautious with regards to links in general from the website. So if you clean that up then the algorithms look at it and say oh there’s kind of it’s okay, it’s not that bad. I think if you’re in the case where it’s really clear that the web spam team you would give you a manual action, then based on the current situation then that’s what I would disavow. John Mueller, Jan 25 2019
Disavow Links and Manage Risk #
If you want to go for the classic “recover and protect” from Google Penguin and manual actions, then Link Detox (DTOX) is the tool for you. It helps you easily find the bad links that harm your site. You can clean up your inbound link profile and earn your rankings back.
You can also review the quality of the links in your disavow file and find links you wish to undisavow. Just upload your disavow file and run a Disavow File Audit report for your domain.
Recover Link Juice, Optimize Link Structure #
When auditing your backlink profile, make sure you don’t leave any broken links behind. Every broken link means a bad experience for your users and lost link juice in Google. This is why you should go after any broken link and fix it with the matching redirect. Thanks to the Link Recover Tool (LJR), you can do all of this in one report. It discovers broken links to your website and lets you create an .htaccess file for all of them in one move.
You should also consider checking for the best subpages on your domain and optimize your internal link structure according to that. Also, you should check any domain for its best subpages whenever you have the chance to get a link there. This way, you can always make sure to get your link on the right page. Recommended tool: Strongest Subpages Tool (SSPT)
Speed up the Crawling #
Whenever you did changes to your backlink profile you want to have promoted, you have to make sure Google takes notice of it, no matter, if it’s a new disavow file or some awesome new links you just built. If you want to have those links crawled faster, you can always use the Link Detox Boost (BOOST). It makes Google really count your disavow file or new links and helps you recover from any penalty and restore your rankings fast.
Conducting a Backlink Audit is like having a good health plan for your backlink profile. It involves the insurance against toxic links, helps you keep the link juice flowing to the right pages and recover from penalties.
A backlink audit is a very important, yet time-consuming aspect of the SEO process.