Written by Annie-Mai Hodge on 08.12.2020
Different link building metrics explained
You will often hear a lot of technical jargon when you start to go down the rabbit hole that is SEO.
However, coming to grips with the technical terms of different link building metrics will help you to understand better how link building can benefit your business, and how to ensure you obtain good quality links for a successful online marketing campaign.
Here, we’ll explain some link building metrics so that you can better measure the quality of your links.
Developed by Moz, Domain Authority (DA) is a metric that predicts how well a website will rank in search engine results and its total value online. It takes into account multiple factors, including the number and quality of websites linking to it, the trustworthiness of sites linking to the domain, as well as the link profile – examining both its inbound and outbound links to and from reputable sources, and the relevance of the anchor text used.
Although Domain Authority isn’t a metric used by Google when determining a site’s position in the SERPs, it’s a great way to compare websites when deciding who you should be doing manual outreach to for links, and as a way to track a site’s ‘ranking strength’ over time.
Domain Authority is a score from 1 to 100, with 100 being the highest. Brand new websites always begin with a DA score of one, and smaller websites and businesses without many inbound links will tend to have a lower score. At the higher end of the DA score are sites like YouTube and Google, which have a substantial amount of high-quality links pointing to them.
Domain Authority is just a predictor of a site’s ranking ability, so it shouldn’t be taken as gospel, nor should your only SEO goal be to have a very high DA score. It’s a metric best used as a way of comparing your own score with sites you are competing within the SERPs and aiming to have a higher score than them. It’s also a good place to start when measuring the quality of a backlink pointing to your site from another domain; however, it shouldn’t be the only thing you use to decide how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ a backlink is.
Trust Flow is an evaluation metric by Majestic SEO that predicts how trustworthy a page is. It scores websites between 0 and 100, with higher numbers meaning the site is of higher quality. It is based on the belief that trustworthy sites tend to link to other trustworthy neighbours.
To develop this metric, Majestic collated a large list of manually reviewed sites that they deem trustworthy, and these form the foundation of Trust Flow.
The idea is that trust ‘flows’ between sites that link to each other, so if there is a link pointing to a site from one of the sites on the original list, this will boost the Trust Flow of the site that it’s linked to. This site may then link to other sites, and this will pass the trust flow on, but the further away in the ‘chain’ of links from the original site on Majestic’s undisclosed list each site is, the less trust will be passed on.
Generally, anything over 50 is regarded as a great score, and anything between 11 and 49 is average. If a website has a trust flow score of 10 or lower, this is considered to be very poor.
Page strength is similar to domain authority, but instead evaluates the authority of a specific page on your website. Pages are rated between 0 and 10, with 10 being the highest score. PageRank is part of Google’s algorithm, and they use it to rank pages in search results.
Generally, the higher traffic and older pages on a site will have higher scores, so with most websites, it tends to be the home page that has the highest page strength score.
The score tends to decrease from the home page, and newer pages or ones that get fewer visitors will have a lower score, so page strength can differ dramatically over the different pages of a website, regardless of its overall domain authority. There are plenty of free tools that you can use to check the page strength of different pages on your site, such as Moz’s plugin or Check Page Rank.
Page strength is a useful metric for a link building campaign, as in the same way that you should aim for links from websites with higher domain authority, you should seek to obtain links from pages with a good page strength as well.
Number of Links
This is a simple metric to calculate, as long as you keep track of the links you’ve managed to build. It’s vital to keep a record of which of your links are live, which you are working on getting set up and which are no longer active, so that you can track your progress and see how the number of backlinks you have affects your site’s SEO.
It’s also a good idea to keep track of your competitor’s number of links as well, so you can see where you stand in comparison, and whether you need to be doing more to improve your backlink profile.
Relevance of Linking Pages
When analyzing backlinks that point to your page, you should also keep track of how relevant the page that’s linking to you is to your business. Ideally, you want your backlinks to drive targeted traffic to your website, not only to improve your SEO but also in the hope of converting visitors into customers and boosting your business revenue.
It’s not just about tracking how many links you have pointing towards your page. In addition to this, it’s measuring the quality of your backlinks and keeping track of what percentage of your backlinks are likely to attract your target audience to your site. Suppose you target relevant sites in your link building campaign.
In that case, you are more likely to have more success in bringing in a steady stream of targeted traffic, and also more success with boosting your rankings, as Google’s algorithm appears to place some importance on the relevance of the linking domain.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of link building metrics, but it’s a good start as a way to evaluate links and target your link building campaign more effectively, boosting your SEO, your rankings in the SERPs and ultimately, your business revenue.