Sign up

Backlinks Monitoring: Essential Guide








In online marketing, having good backlinks is like having a goldmine for your website’s success. These links have the power to convince Google algorithms that your site is trustworthy and important, which gives you a higher rank in search results. But here’s the thing: just getting these links isn’t enough. You can’t just sit back and relax. You need to keep an eye on them to make sure they’re doing their job and that your website stays on top of the digital game. 

How do backlinks help your SEO?

If you’ve been in the SEO industry for a while, you are surely well aware of the importance of having good backlinks included in your online content. Not only do they improve your Google rankings, increase organic traffic to your website, and improve the credibility of your content, but they also make it easier for search engine crawlers to find and index your pages.

According to the FirstPageSage report on Actionable SEO Statistics for 2023:The #1 organic result on Google gets almost 20 times more traffic than the top ad (39.6% vs 2.1%). Only 63% of Google searchers clicked on something from the second page. 89% of consumers say they trust the organic results on the first page of Google.Snippet search results receive 43.7% of the clicks on a Google results page.The average time until results arrive for an SEO campaign is 4-6 months.

The average length of time a visitor spends on an SEO landing page is 2 minutes and 7 seconds. Conclusion? These statistics only confirm what we already know: being at the top of Google’s regular search results is crucial for online success. Backlinks play a big role in helping your website get there because they make your content more trustworthy and popular.

Essential Aspects to Monitor in Your Link Building Strategy

Not every backlink will prove useful for your SEO efforts. If you want to use link building to your best advantage, you should keep a close eye on the following aspects. In this way, you’ll have a better idea of what’s working and what’s not in your link strategy:

Backlink Quality and Relevance

Checking the quality of the websites linking to you is extremely important. In terms of successful SEO, it means making sure those websites are trustworthy and well-respected.

A common parameter used for assessing backlink quality is Domain Authority (DA)—a metric developed by Moz. It represents a domain value on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher DA your backlink has, the greater authority and trustworthiness it will score in the eyes of search engines.

DA is calculated using a complex algorithm that considers multiple factors such as the number of backlinks, the quality and relevance of those backlinks, linking root domains, etc. A similar parameter is Page Authority (PA), which focuses on the quality of a single webpage within a given domain. You can check both parameters on Moz for free!

Anchor Text

Choosing the right anchor text when embedding an external link is something you should pay a lot of attention to, as it provides context and relevance to both users and search engines.

Best anchor text optimization practices in 2023 include:


    • choosing high-ranking keywords,

    • making sure that the anchor text is contextually relevant to the content it links to,

    • using naturally sounding language instead of overly-optimized or forced anchor text,

    • picking the right place for your anchor text, ideally within the main body,

Clickthrough rate (CTR) is a good way to check how your anchor text is performing. It measures the number of clicks that your text receives divided by the number of times it is shown.A great tool for anchor text analytics is Moz Link Explorer. It is available for a 1-month free trial!

Link Velocity

When choosing the most suitable backlinks for your SEO, don’t forget to check how fast they open and how long they take to fully load. Why is it so relevant, you wonder? There are numerous reasons:


    • Improved User Experience: Fast-loading backlinks provide a smoother and more enjoyable user experience. Users tend to stay longer on websites that load quickly, reducing bounce rates.

    • SEO Rankings: Google and other search engines consider page speed as a ranking factor. Slow-loading backlinks can negatively impact your site’s search engine rankings.

    • Mobile Users: faster-loading backlinks are essential if you want to reach mobile users.

    • Crawlability: Search engine bots may have difficulty crawling and indexing your site if there are slow-loading backlinks, potentially leading to decreased visibility in search results.

    • Conversion Rates: Slow-loading backlinks can discourage users from taking desired actions on your site, impacting conversion rates and revenue.

    • Competitive Advantage: A faster website provides a competitive advantage by attracting and retaining users, which can result in higher rankings and better organic traffic.

    • Global Reach: A faster website can be comfortably used by people with varying internet speeds worldwide, broadening your reach and user base.

For optimal SEO results, the page load time should be under 2 seconds.

Link Diversity

When working on your link-building strategy, consider including a variety of backlinks. Embedding diverse backlinks from various sources and types demonstrates a well-rounded online presence and reduces the risk of over-reliance on a single source.

For best results, use backlinks coming from different websites, domains, and platforms. Also, make sure to learn how to play with different types of links (editorial, HARO, guest, acknowledgment, dofollow, nofollow, citation, etc.).

Not sure how to improve your backlink diversity? Here’s a few things you can do:


    • Seek partnerships and collaborations with industry peers, fostering link exchanges and guest blogging.

    • Use social media to share content and engage industry influencers.

    • Search for valuable, original content such as infographics and reports and embed it in your content.

    • Implement internal linking strategies to boost your website’s authority.

Traffic and Conversion

A valuable backlink is one that attracts additional traffic to your site and boosts your conversion rates.

Monitoring if a given link is doing its job is relatively easy. Simply analyze your website’s referral traffic in GA 4 to see if the backlink is sending visitors to your site.


Changing Trends

Link-building strategies in the world of SEO are dynamic and ever-evolving. Changing trends in link-building are another reason why continuous monitoring and updating of your backlinks are necessary.

Those changes in trends include not only new guidelines and ranking factors that constantly transform the Google algorithm but also evolving user behavior and preferences.

The Internet is a constantly growing organism that attracts over 600,000 new users each day. Over 250,000 websites are created every day. New influencers, authority pages, and social platforms emerge and dethrone the existing ones. If you don’t revise your backlinks on a regular basis, you may soon find yourself sending users to obsolete authority figures and outdated information.

Competitor Analysis

Nobody plays the SEO game alone. Watching your competition may prove decisive to your link-building efforts. By analyzing their backlink profiles you can uncover potential link sources, partnerships, or content ideas that you wouldn’t think of yourself.

Why else should you monitor your competitors’ backlinks? To try and avoid making the same mistakes as they did. In this way, you might save yourself from penalties, a drop in conversion rates, and traffic loss.

A thorough analysis of your competitors’ backlinks can help you outsmart their strategy and increase competitive advantage and market share.“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

Top 5 Reasons to Monitor Your Backlink List in 2023

So, you’ve managed to build a great backlink profile for your website and it’s now on top of the Google list? Kudos on that! However, it doesn’t mean that you can just sit back and relax. Your work is far from over.

Securing valuable backlinks is just one piece of the SEO puzzle. To sustain your high Google ranking, continuous monitoring is essential to ensure they consistently contribute value to your website, rather than diminish it.

Broken Backlinks

Even though broken links can happen for multiple reasons, their consequence is always the same: embedding non-existent or inaccessible pages can seriously harm your website’s Google ranking.

Search engines penalize sites with numerous broken links as they disrupt the user experience and hinder the crawling and indexing process. Regular link maintenance is essential to preserve SEO performance and user trust.

Of course, you can learn how to find and fix broken links yourself. However, if you want to save time and optimize your efforts, you can choose one of the automated tools, such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Link Planner, that can check for broken backlinks. They work by regularly scanning your website’s backlink profile and alerting you to any links that lead to non-existent or inaccessible pages.

Such proactive monitoring helps maintain a healthy backlink profile and SEO performance and makes any investment in those automated scanning tools worthwhile.

Updates in Search Engine Algorithm

What works great for Google today will not necessarily do the trick tomorrow. Search engines constantly update their algorithms and change the rules for good backlinks, which can directly impact your visibility and website score.

If you want to stay on top of your game, familiarize yourself with the most up-to-date Google requirements. Look out for official announcements on Google Search’s core updates and reports from reputable SEO news websites, such as Search Engine Journal or Search Engine Land.

With every algorithm update, check your backlinks for:


    • value – links you had before may become less important and new types of links may become more valuable,

    • penalties – if your backlinks look spammy to the updated algorithm, your website could be penalized, hurting your SEO,

    • relevance – the new algorithm may change the way it evaluates whether a given content is relevant or not. Your existing backlinks may lose their relevance.

A famous real-life case of a Google penalty due to spammy backlinks involved the well-known online flower retailer, Interflora. In 2013, Interflora was penalized by Google for engaging in manipulative link-building practices.In 2023 Google’s algorithm has become even more sophisticated at detecting and ignoring toxic backlinks. This means that even if you don’t receive a manual penalty, the algorithm may devalue or ignore your spammy backlinks, affecting your site’s ranking.

Ownership changes

Domains can change their owners. It happens all the time. The question is – how does it affect your link-building strategy and your SEO results? Normally, it will depend on the reputation and the intentions of the new owner.

If the website you’ve linked to your content has changed its agenda and lost its reputation, it can lead to a loss of trust and damage to your backlink profile. What’s more, if the new owner decides to alter the website’s content, focus, or branding, it may make your existing backlinks irrelevant to your SEO.

A real-life example of how new ownership can deteriorate a website’s credibility is Digg. This social news platform lost its reputation following a change in ownership in 2012.Under new ownership, unpopular changes alienated users, causing a decline in its community-driven image and user base. The website’s reputation and influence never fully recovered.

If you want to avoid any potential damage resulting from ownership changes in your embedded links, keep a close eye on their domain reputation score (you can use Google Postmaster Tools for that).

Competitors Mistakes

Broken links can happen to everybody, not only you. What if they happen to your competitors? If you are fast and smart, you can turn it into a huge advantage for your website visibility. Here’s how:

By continuously monitoring your biggest competitors for any broken links to their content, you can quickly spot any 404 or 410 errors. In such a case, make sure to reach out to the websites that are linking to your competitors and offer your own relevant, high-quality content as a replacement for the now-broken link.

There are many FREE online checker tools that you can use to detect broken links in your competitors’ content (and in your content as well). Some of the most recommended include:Ahrefs, Sitechecker, Broken Link Check, Dr Link Check, Broken Link Checker (a plugin developed By WPMU DEV) is also highly appraised.

To increase your chances for such a convenient link swap, put effort into developing a systematic outreach plan to approach the websites linking to them. It’s a smart way to turn your competitors’ misfortune into an opportunity to strengthen your own backlink profile and boost your SEO efforts.

Quick Checklist for Successful Linking Partnerships:

– Personalize your outreach message
– Highlight mutual benefits
Offer competitive content
– Connect on social media
– Suggest guest posts
– Follow up on your emails
– Focus on building long-lasting relations rather than one-time benefits

User experience

Backlinks have a huge impact on the user experience on your website. Valuable links from reputable sources can enhance the quality of your content, provide additional resources, and create a more informative and engaging environment for visitors.

Backlinks can help users navigate between related content more efficiently. Strategically linking related posts within a website can improve UX metrics, and boost your rankings in search engine results over time.

On the other hand, inappropriate or broken backlinks can severely disrupt the user experience. Clicking on broken links is very frustrating, and so is finding that the linked website is irrelevant, obsolete, or toxic. It is very easy to get discouraged and search for information somewhere else.

Remember not to take your users’ loyalty for granted. Work hard on earning it by constantly monitoring and updating your backlinks. It is a sign of respect for the people who chose you.

According to User Guiding, 88% of online customers say they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience.

In the competitive and constantly evolving world of SEO, keeping a close eye on your links and adjusting your strategy is essential. Regularly checking your backlinks for quality, staying updated on trends, and watching what your competitors do are some of the things that will help you stay visible online.

Share on facebook
Share on Twitter

Subscribe to our newsletter

Our newsletter is just one email per month. It will keep you up to date with the latest substantive articles and Linkhouse features that we are continually working on to improve your link building process.

Related articles

We share knowledge, case studies and interview experts to help your business leverage the full marketing potential of the web.