What is a Backlink Profile? Understanding Its Role in SEO

What is a Backlink Profile? Understanding Its Role in SEO
Iryna Zinkevych - Authour

If you’re familiar with the SEO world, you’ve probably heard of a backlink profile. Besides creating valuable content, a strong backlink profile goes a long way in establishing your site’s authority and trustworthiness to search engines and potential customers.

But what is a backlink profile, and how is it related to SEO? Well, this expert guide will delve into all this and more. We’ll discuss the definition of a backlink profile, why it’s essential to understand it, its connection with SEO, and common optimization strategies you can leverage for your site.

A backlink profile is an umbrella term that tells you how many backlinks a website has, as well as the sources and types of these incoming links. It has a few important components and characteristics, such as:

  • backlinks (these can be dofollow, nofollow, UGC, or sponsored);
  • anchor text (exact or partial match, branded, naked URLs, etc.);
  • source domain quality;
  • number of backlinks.

Backlink profile report in LinkChecker.Pro

Example of a backlink profile report in LinkChecker.Pro

There are many ways for building links (some of which we’ll discuss further on). For now, let’s explore a connection between a backlink profile and search engine rankings.

According to Google Webmaster Guidelines, creating quality content and link building are among the key factors to obtaining high search engine rankings. In fact, link building was viewed as the most crucial ranking factor for many years.

Why? Google viewed links as an endorsement from other sites because that particular website was doing something right. As a result, such sites would rank higher and experience a boost in their organic traffic.

However, Google later discovered that many sites had hacked their algorithm by focusing on the number of backlinks instead of the quality to get higher rankings. Luckily, the situation was rectified when the Google Search algorithm got updated.

Today, backlinks remain a significant part of off-page SEO. But to enhance your online visibility on search engine result pages, you must have quality backlinks from relevant and trusted websites.

Several link characteristics come into play when determining your ranking position in search results. Here’s what you should look out for if you want to achieve a good backlink profile.

Characteristics of a Good Backlink Profile

  • Relevant links from niche-specific or unique domains.
  • High authority backlinks from pages with high domain ratings.
  • Backlinks drive referral traffic.
  • Few or no spam links.
  • Even distribution of types of anchor text.
  • A variety of link types.

Characteristics of a Bad Backlink Profile

  • No or few high-quality backlinks.
  • Too many backlinks come from irrelevant and low-quality sites.
  • Lack of link variety in the link profile.
  • Mostly keyword-rich anchor texts.

Impact on Search Engine Rankings

Google Search algorithm highly regards backlinks when considering Search engine results pages (SERPs). This is because they show that the web page provides value to the user.

So, if you want to boost your online brand promotion and increase sales, you want to be at the top of SERPs. The higher you appear on SERPS, the more organic traffic you receive and the more credible and authoritative your web page is viewed by potential customers and search engines.

So, what factors influence your backlink profile?

Quality and Quantity of Links

The quality of links pointing to your site impacts your backlink profile. But does it matter how many backlinks your site has? Well, the answer is yes and no. Quality triumphs over quantity every time. But it’s also important to consider obtaining more links from niche-specific and trusted websites for higher rankings.

Anchor Text and Its Diversity

Anchor text is another integral factor that contributes to the health of your backlink profile. An anchor text is a clickable text published on a website containing the backlink URL.

To date, many are over-optimizing their anchor texts. In other words, they use the same type of keyword-saturated anchor text, not knowing that it can lead to a negative hit on their SEO. Instead, you should focus on achieving a healthy anchor text ratio.

Internal and External Links

Like external links, internal links also contribute to your SEO success. These are links to individual pages on your website living in other parts of your site.

The strategic use of these links can impact your profile backlinks positively. How? Well, they distribute link juice. For instance, an internal link can pass authority from a highly ranked page on your site such as the homepage to another page with less authority.

Links to Spam Sites and Penalties

Linking to spam or low-quality sites usually passes little to no value. Google views such as low-quality links, which could result in a manul action or site demotion. Regularly analyze your profile backlinks to notice such links and take immediate action.

Now that you know what is a backlink profile and the factors that impact it, let’s dig deeper into how you can build and optimize your link profile.

Creating Quality Content

Creating engaging, original, relevant, and well-researched content is a tried and true method for building a strong backlink profile. However, publishing content is just one part of the equation.

By simply posting on your website, you can expect incoming traffic from Google. If you want to earn backlinks, you have to spend some time distributing your content. Share it on social media, send out a newsletter, and reach out to influencers or industry experts that might be interested in your content.

Organic Link Acquisition

Organic link acquisition is where other websites naturally link to your site. It shows search engines that you offer value or solve your readers’ problems. You can earn organic backlinks through guest posting, observing ethical standards, and building networks and relationships.

Outreach campaigns are another efficient SEO strategy that involves reaching out to other webmasters and content creators for collaboration. Once your content is mentioned on high-authority sites, it translates to more traffic and higher rankings.

Building Link Networks

Leveraging your network can do wonders for your link building efforts. It’s simple: reach out to other content creators and website owners via online communities or forums and agree to link to each other’s sites.

But you must be careful not to buy links or engage in excessive link exchanges. Only link to sites with high domain authority and known to publish insightful content.

Using Different Types of Anchor Texts

Over-optimizing anchor texts is a big no when aiming to achieve SEO success. Instead, use different anchor text types to achieve a solid anchor text ratio.

Ideally, a healthy anchor text ratio consists of the following:

  • 10% of keyword anchor texts,
  • Over 80% of naked URLs, natural texts, and branded URLs,
  • 5% exact match anchors.

But the numbers change when considering internal anchor texts as follows:

  • About 60% should be keyword anchors,
  • 45% should be natural, naked URL, or branded anchor text formats,
  • 10% exact match texts.

Avoiding Attempts to Manipulate the System

Avoid trying to deceive the Google algorithm. Otherwise, you risk getting a manual action. In case of severe violations, the web page in question of the whole website can get permanently removed from the search index and as a result, search results . Comply with Google’s guidelines to ultimately increase your online visibility, generate organic traffic, and boost your site’s authority.

Spam policies for Google web search screen

To maintain a strong backlink profile you need to regularly keep track of it. SEO tools can come in handy and do most of the job for you, especially if you have multiple backlink profiles to track. The section below provides insights on things to know about backlink profile analysis.

Tools and Methods for Monitoring

SEO tools like Ahrefs, Google Search Console, and LinkChecker.Pro can help effectively evaluate your link profile. For instance, LinkChecker.Pro is great because it allows checking large batches of URLs/domains. At a glance, you’ll be able to analyze backlink statuses, domain authority and rating, and many other link characteristics.

LinkChecker homepage

LinkChecker. Pro homepage

Ahrefs homepage screenshot

Ahrefs homepage

Tracking Quality and Poor Links

As you analyze your profile, check your referring domains’ rating and page authority score. If you’re struggling to stay afloat in search engine results, you probably have too many backlinks from low-quality sites. Consider getting rid of them.

Preparing Strategy to Maximize Link Potential

Now that you’ve discovered your profile needs some tweaking, it’s time to put a plan in place. This may range from contacting website owners to get rid of low-quality backlinks to attributing them to spammy links to abolishing nofollow links, etc. There’s no one-size-fits-all in this case.

History and Algorithm Updates

If there’s anything you can be sure of, it’s that Google will update its algorithm ever so often to enrich its users’ experience. As such, Google has rolled out several link spam updates to combat manipulative tactics.

Perhaps of most importance is the 2012 Penguin Update. Its main goal was to make Google better at identifying ‘unearned’ backlinks. This could be through buying them, taking part in link schemes, or using auto-generated backlinks. Before this update, link volume triumphed over link quality, but not anymore!

Impact of Updates on Backlink Profile

Google’s war on manipulative backlink building has been lengthy but effective. Currently, fewer sites are using low-quality backlinks as more and more webmasters are aware of the resulting implications.

Google continually checks for low-quality sites and those using low-quality links. It also rewards those with backlinks pointing from reliable websites by ranking them higher. Notably, Google also penalizes sites with exact match anchor texts and those that frequently link to each other.

Focus on Quality Links

The more high authority links you get, the higher you rank. But that’s not to say you should overlook links from niche sites.

In fact, unnatural or irrelevant high authority links will not help you rank high, no matter how many they are. But if you have a link from a site with a low authority score that is natural and relevant, it’s a vote of confidence and boosts your search engine ranking.

Emphasis on ‘Natural’ Appearance

When building backlinks, the keyword is ‘natural.’ This means not paying for such links directly. Instead, it’s where a website owner publishes content on their site with a link to your website because it offers value.

Nonetheless, there are scenarios where you can purchase links without getting a ranking penalty. For instance, when you use a link building service to help you discover legit opportunities.

Practical Tips and Recommendations

Now that we’ve covered the nitty gritty and critical factors to consider when developing and implementing your backlink-building strategy, let’s discuss some tips for an effective process.

How to Improve Backlink Profile

Often, you’ll find that many people focus on building fresh links when they discover they have a bad profile. But did you know you can improve existing links to rank high? How?

  • Understanding your current profile: Use analysis of your backlinks to evaluate your existing profile. This will help in identifying its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Setting clear goals: While creating a plan, set clear and measurable goals to address your strengths and weaknesses. This could include beefing up internal linking strategies in your latest posts or leveraging unlinked brand mentions.
  • Quality over quantity: Focus on high-quality, relevant links rather than numbers. It could be earned links from high authority sites or unique domains.
  • Building relationships: Don’t underestimate the value of building relationships with other websites and influencers to gain valuable backlinks.
  • Content strategies: Original and informative content naturally attracts backlinks.
  • Regular monitoring and analysis: Backlink monitoring and analysis should be an ongoing effort to keep track of spam links while finding new opportunities.

How to Avoid Common Mistakes

It’s clear that effectively building links is not easy. But, there are some common mistakes every website owner, marketer, and SEO guru should have in mind. These include:

  • Avoiding spammy link practices: Avoid buying backlinks, participating in link schemes, or using auto-link building tools. They jeopardize your site’s reputation
  • Over-Optimization: Yes! Your anchor text plays a vital role in your search engine ranking. But don’t overdo it. Unless you want a Google Search penalty. Implement different anchor text types to maintain a natural link profile.
  • Ignoring nofollow links: Google does not consider nofollow links when ranking your site. But Bing does. So, if your focus is on Google, focus more on creating dofollow links and fewer nofollow (incoming) links.
  • Neglecting internal links: Maintain a reasonable balance of internal and external links across your website for better results.
  • Failure to monitor and adjust: When it comes to backlink building, you must remain proactive. It’s not a one-and-done thing.


Even though their use has evolved over time, backlinks still play a vital role in winning at SEO. Once you understand how backlinks work, their importance, and how to monitor them, you can easily execute relevant strategies to rank higher on search engines.

By prioritizing link quality over quantity and ensuring your backlinks are ‘earned,’ you’ll achieve your SEO link building goals in no time. But be careful to avoid the common mistakes we discussed earlier. Feel free to visit our website or contact us for more information.

Iryna Zinkevych - Authour
Iryna Zinkevich
Senior SEO Specialist

Irina is a senior SEO specialist with more than 8 years of search engine optimization experience. At Backlinkers, she shares her experience to help you create a strong link profile to achieve TOP rankings.

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