(We’ve built 100,000+ backlinks in the last 5 years)
✔️#1. Website Topical Relevance. If the site you’re getting a link from is about cooking and your website is about digital marketing, then the backlink won’t have much of an impact.
✔️#2. Page Topical Relevance. The same goes for the page where the backlink is placed. An article about accounting linking to a gambling website won’t have much impact.
✔️#3. DA/DR. Yes, DA and DR are third-party metrics and can’t usually be trusted. That said, they’re super useful for understanding a backlink’s value at a glance. Of course, you should also look at other metrics mentioned in this checklist.
✔️#4. Website Traffic & Rankings. What’s a better way to check if a website is in Google’s good graces than looking at its own rankings? If a site drives organic traffic, then that’s definitely a green flag.
✔️#5. Traffic Trends. Is the website growing in traffic or have they been penalized? If there’s a sharp decline in site traffic, that’s a red flag.
✔️#6. Page Metrics. Does the page you’re building a link to have its own backlinks? Ideally, the answer should be yes, but this is not a deal-breaker. If the rest of the metrics are OK, you shouldn’t particularly worry about this.
✔️#7. Whether the Site Is a Link Farm. A backlink farm is a type of website specifically created to sell backlinks. Such sites use sketchy tactics to inflate their DA/DR metrics, making themselves look like good backlink prospects.
Here are a couple of things you should be on the lookout for to spot link farms:
– They post exclusively low-quality content, AI-generated content, or paid guest posts.
– The website is a very basic WordPress theme with minimal changes.
– The website covers 6+ completely unrelated niches – lifestyle, business, CBD, and SEO, for example.
– They have no brand identity. It’s a fake “group of experts blogging about something they’re passionate about.” No pictures, no “about us” page, and no real person behind the site.
– They have a TON of outgoing backlinks, as their entire business model is selling links.
✔️#8. Is the Backlink Do-Follow & Not Sponsored?
More often than not, Google does not consider no-follow or sponsored links when it comes to evaluating a site’s ranking.
Meaning, if a website is only willing to give you a no-follow or sponsored link, it’s usually not worth paying for.