Until recently, backlinks were accepted as an SEO strategy that could not negatively affect the ranking of your site. It was even in the Google Webmaster Guidelines! But that was until the Penguin Update was introduced by Google and thousands of sites were penalized solely for the toxic backlinks in their profile. Needless to say, Google changed their guidelines.
Webmasters understand the importance of keeping up with the trends, especially those that affecting search optimization. If the Penguin update is anything to go by, there is a need to stay alert and quickly respond to changes that threaten to negatively affect your position on search pages. But how do you know if your site is safe? You need to conduct backlink audit.
Wait, What Is A Backlink?
For starters, a backlink is a hyperlink that comes to your site from another website. It can also be referred to as inbound link, and it is used to determine the popularity of your site. High quality back links are used to boost your ranking on search engine results pages.
What Is A Backlink Audit?
This refers to an in-depth analysis of all the links associated with your site, and gives you the chance to inspect all elements of the site such as the unnatural link profile, link building strategy as well as the unnatural link profile. Link audit gives you a very clear picture of why your site is at a specific position on search engine results pages for particular keywords.
The Risks of Ignoring Backlink Audits
Let’s face it, not many business or website owners are aware of all the factors that contribute to their site’s ranking. Most of them are blissfully unaware of the site’s backlinks, or any other element for that matter. Therefore, you might even be among those wondering how important the link audit is. In order to explain the importance, let’s look at the consequences of failing to do a link audit.
Penalties and De-Ranking
Google algorithms will always see the unnatural toxic links, whether you are aware of them or not, and penalize you accordingly. When the algorithms spot unnatural links in your profile, your site may even fall in traffic volume and ranking, which can slow any business. Prior to de-ranking and other penalties, you may receive warnings about unnatural links. You should take these warnings seriously.
This is shady online marketing scheme that is popular with competitive niches. It’s the notion of “if these bad links can harm my site, why don’t I just direct them to my competitor so that their site is de-ranked instead”. Well, it may not be common in everyday activities, but it shows how real the threats are, and why it is necessary to keep track of the backlink to your site.
This goes to show that it is important to conduct periodic (mostly monthly) link audits to avoid serious problems like penalties, which may take you months and loads of cash to recover your ranking. You can make good use of the automated audit tools that are available today and keep the process simple and fast.
What to Do to Get the Backlink Audit Done
If you are no webmaster guru, leave it to the experts. Most SEO agents today offer SEO link audits as essential tasks at the beginning of a contract aimed at increasing ranking. It is rare to find a client who did SEO right from the beginning. In most cases, websites require drastic changes to improve their visibility to their target clients.
What Can a Backlink Audit Do For You?
There are countless advantages of conducting a site audit. Here are a few benefits
Improves the Quality of Your Link Profile
In SEO today, quality rules over quantity. This is to say you’d rather have a few, high quality links than several that do not add much value. If you have several links to the same website, only the first anchor text link will count. The rest only serve to dilute the connection of the first. Therefore, keep n eye out for duplicated links.
Gives Alternative Optimization Opportunities
One of the best optimization opportunities today is images. As you may have notices, search engines have an images page. Therefore, if your image is well optimized, you will boost your sites ranking, which is an effective growth hack. Additionally, you’ll begin to realize a lot more ways of exploiting search opportunities that you and your competitors might have been overlooking.
Images require optimization of 4 elements;
File path of the image
Image title attribute
If you are making a recovery from a Penguin slap, it is important to hire a professional to audit the links on your site as well as come up with a winning strategy. Always go with an agency known for their professionalism to avoid future problems.