Acquiring links in SEO is a real job that takes time, method and discernment. Indeed, to have a link profile that Google likes, you need to avoid extremes:
Instead, measure the possible impact of the link by quickly and concretely analyzing several criteria.
If Omar Sy, the favorite man of the French, talks about you, it is not the same as if your neighbor Robert, whom no one knows, does. The same goes for links. It is always best to get a link from a site that itself has a strong reputation. How to determine it?
For many people, knowing if a site is good is knowing its Trust Flow (also called TF). This data, created by Majestic, is an index of confidence, while the Citation Flow is a quantitative data. To calculate it, the tool started from a manual list of sites deemed to be trustworthy. Sites with a close link to these trusted sites score higher.
To access TF, there is no need to have a subscription. Majestic grants several free daily searches. However, we strongly recommend the subscription to have other data (Topical Trust Flow, list of backlinks…).
Majestic data view without subscription.
A correct TF is greater than 15 and a good TF exceeds 30, while the ratio between Trust Flow and Citation Flow should exceed 0.8. But, if this index is very interesting, to rely on this data alone to judge the relevance of a link is nonsense.
The Topical Trust Flow (TTF) is for us a better witness than the TF. If you follow the field of SEO, you know the importance of semantics. For a site to be considered relevant in a theme, it must contain rich text dealing with the subject as much as possible. Even better, your structure should be siled. If a page mentions "trout fishing", there is no question of internal links constantly sending it to "game hunting" or "mushroom picking".
So why wouldn't we think the same way with backlinks? Why put a link on a site dealing with real estate if your site sells electronic cigarettes?
To find out the relevance of the potential referent domain, analyze its TTFs. For example, this site, with 600 referring domains, is a great place to post a guest post for your animal site ... much less if you want to promote your home decor blog.
TTFs for themed backlinks!
The TTF is a more precise value. Take it into account and above all, don't make the mistake of focusing on the domain name. It is not because a site is called X that Google understands its theme like X. It is its links and its contents that categorize it.
All these data should be put into perspective. Indeed, a few listings in directories can inflate your indices. However, can we say that having a link on a site which has a TF of 18 based on 5 directories is a good idea?
Always look at the number of referring domains and the number of different IPs.
Nearly 1000 referring domains, a quality index.
Always be aware that data is not flawless. For example, Majestic does not list all the links on the web, the calculation methods of its indices may change, some links marked as "deleted" still exist ... It is also possible to block the crawler of Majestic. This is done in particular to make it more difficult to trace a network of private sites.
These issues are also inherent in all the tools that we cite in the following paragraph.
Many SEO agencies have a Majestic or SEObserver subscription (which includes Majestic data). However, if you are an amateur blogger who wants to work on your popularity, the cost is significant and free solutions exist and if you are not a fan of the Majestic interface, two other paid tools offer an alternative.
A few years ago, the Pagerank Toolbar made it possible to view an estimate of the Pagerank in one click. As of 2016, even though its latest updates date back to an older date, it's officially dead. Google still uses it, but you can't know about it. TF is assumed to be the closest indicator.
Pagerank, we miss you ...
Alexa is a web dinosaur. The company was created in 1996. Its objective is to collect a lot of data on websites. In the free version, you can have the number of links, an estimate of the traffic, the keywords positioned, the geographical location of the visitors, the bounce rate ... In addition, there is the famous "Global Rank" which gives a ranking for any site. ( contact our social media expert) All of this data is very interesting, but hardly relevant. Indeed, to output this data, Alexa is based on a sample of Internet users and like political polls, the result is different to say the least. For this article, we tested for two customer sites:
In short, the Alexa ranking can be used, but should never be taken for the word of the gospel.
As its name suggests, this extension is edited by Moz and includes data also visible on Open Site Explorer. In the free version, you have access to the statistics that interest us: the page authority (PA), the domain authority (DA), the number of links and the number of referring domains. The PA and DA are getting closer to the TF of Majestic. Before embarking on a natural referencing strategy, training is essential! Several methods are possible. You can hire an SEO consultant who offers training, take training in a school or take online courses. The choice is yours. Buy Edu Links
The data is less complete, especially for non-US sites. However, it is still much better than Alexa. We take our two previous example sites and we see:
The finding is better, but once again, incomplete. Regardless, we recommend that you install this extension if you have no budget.
Some information given by Open Site Explorer
Ahrefs is the historic competitor of Majestic. It offers similar data and also has its own indices: the URL Rating (UR) and the Domain Rating (DR). When its supporters find it faster to detect new links and more complete in terms of its database (1070 referring domains found), its detractors consider that it has more difficulty analyzing the quality of the links. In addition, its cost is $ 99 per month for a "Lite" license and it remains less used in the French-speaking SEO community. But, as you are never better served than by its tests, we invite you to take advantage of the 14-day free trial.
For Semrush , backlink analysis is clearly not the heart of the tool. Yet the data is qualitative and deserves special attention. For our two tests, Semrush found:
While incomplete, Semrush is nonetheless an interesting alternative. In addition, its organic traffic estimates are quite close to reality.
There are "follow" links and "nofollow" links. Without modification, a link is always "follow". However, by putting a rel = "nofollow" attribute, the publisher tells Google to ignore the link because it would, in a way, not be of interest. For a very long time, there has been the debate on nofollow: does it bring juice? (contact our Google ads expert)
All the tests say no. And, when we see this tweet from Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Goole, the answer is clear!
Even Google tells you that "nofollow" brings no added value ...
Therefore, don't waste your time unless they are bringing you traffic. However, you can have a small dose of it to have a more natural link profile (it is our “paranaoïaque netlinker” side that advises you).
As a reminder, the link anchor is the word or words that make the link. For example, here "SEO Audit" is the anchor.
From the Penguin filter, the anchor is uranium. Its power is strong, but it must be wielded with intelligence. When the compulsive netlinker is delighted to put 30% optimized anchors to go up like a bullet in the first positions without thinking about the next day, the paranoid shuns them and prefers to put anchors like the name of the brand or "here", "in article ”, etc.
Again, the happy medium is the correct answer:
The goal is to stay natural, while not being ...
A good link is contextual, that is to say that it is inside a content dealing with the theme. This is how it best expresses itself and benefits you the most.
Therefore, focus on links that are in a rich and informative article. Conversely, avoid, or in very small quantities, links in footer or on pages listing a multitude of URLs. It is often advisable to find articles where we talk about your competitors, because then you can get a link as well. But, it's ev
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