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A backlink is a link to another webpage about any given source of information that the author sees as relevant. Backlinks can be an advantage when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization) and, ultimately, if done correctly, can improve your website’s search engine rankings. The thing is, a search engine does not give the same value to every backlink. The value of a backlink can be affected in a great many numbers of ways. To help you understand the difference between a high-quality backlink and a mediocre or even detrimental backlink, we have created this list of 40 factors that influence the value of a backlink:

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  1. Linking Domain Age: when it comes to domain age, it appears that Google prioritizes older domains as higher quality as these domains have stood the test of time and are still relevant today. However, other evidence seems to suggest that domain age bears no relevance at all on the value of a backlink.
  2. Number of Referring Domains: A referring domain is where a target website has one or more backlinks to a specific site. If you want more traffic to your site then referring domains are essential. The more referring domains you have, the higher your rankings.
  3. Authority of Linking Page: the ranking of the page has a huge influence over how well it will rank. Essentially the higher the page authority, the better it fares against pages with the same sort of content.
  4. Authority of Linking Domain: domain authority is a ranking from 1-100 and is a reference to the quality of a site. The higher the DA, the more valuable the backlink is.
  5. Anchor Text: the anchor text you use as the keywords for the backlink helps a search engine determine the most relevant keywords that any given web page should rank for. Anchor text is a huge determining factor in what the page is about in terms of the algorithms that run the search engines. The anchor text provides context between the two different sites.
  6. Alt Tag for Image Links: alt tags for images are a means of telling the search engine what the image you are displaying is about. Search engines use this data in order to index them correctly and verify the quality of the information provided.
  7. Links from .edu or .gov Domains: although google does not give priority to these domains over .com, etc., domains. However, due to their nature, they are seen as of higher quality with more authority. That means they meet Google’s requirements with satisfaction.
  8. Country TLD of Referring Domain: TLD means Top Level Domain, and having a country TLD such as .au, .za can often help the site rank higher in that country. However, it does run the risk of limiting that site in terms of global rankings.
  9. Links from Competitors: your competitor site and your site will appear in the same search engine results page (SERP). Any links that are from pages that rank in the same SERP are going to be of greater value in relation to that particular keyword as they clearly have greater relevance to your site.
  10. Guest Posts: although links generated from guest posts are still of relative value, they are not the most ideal method to build backlinks. They are not going to hold the same weight as real editorial links.
  11. Links from Ads: links from ads are generally nofollowed, and that means that they hold no relevance over the quality of a page. If they are not nofollowed they are rel=sponsored attribute which means that the search engine knows it is a sponsored link, which means that they do not boost search rankings.
  12. Nofollow Links: as a general rule of thumb, google does not follow nofollow links meaning they have no impact whatsoever on search engine results. Therefore the domain’s authority is not increased by using nofollow links. However, Google still is aware of the link, and that can have a minor impact, as opposed to no impact.
  13. Diversity of Link Types: although a wide variety of links can be a sign that the links are organic and natural, too many links originating from a single source could be an indication that this is all web spam. This is clearly something you want to avoid.
  14. Contextual Links: when it comes to linking, any links that are a part of the text of the page, i.e., embedded in the content of the page itself, are far more powerful with a greater SEO value than links that are on empty pages or stand-alone.
  15. Excessive 301 Redirects to Page: if your page is hindered with these sorts of links, then you will begin to fall down in the rankings. You are, in effect, sending the search engine on a wild goose chase.
  16. Link Location In Content and Page: Where you place your links can affect the value of it. A link at the start of your content will have more significance than something placed towards the end. Additionally, where the link is visually is important too. A link in the main body of the text is much preferred to a linked place elsewhere like a footer.
  17. Linking Domain Relevancy: the relevance of any given backlink in reference to your site is key in how valuable it is to the search engine. A link from a site that has a similar content stream is far more effective than something wholly unrelated.
  18. Page-Level Relevancy: the more relevant the page you are linking to, the larger the boost for the web page. A closely related content page offers the site a far advanced value rate than something unrelated. The search engines factor in the keywords for both pages and determine value that way.
  19. Keyword in Title: any keywords that appear in the title are given extra precedence. Title tags are optimized and therefore hold a much higher value.
  20. Positive Link Velocity: this is where your site is gaining backlinks more quickly than it is losing them. This factor is extremely positive and can boost your rankings.
  21. Negative Link Velocity: in a similar vein to positive link authority, negative link velocity can be very detrimental to your ranking. The page is simply being seen as far less popular, and therefore it has less value as a result and will begin to slip down the search results.
  22. Linked to as Wikipedia Source: Wikipedia links are actually coded as nofollow, so they should have no bearing on the ranking of your page. But, many people believe that of Wikipedia link you gives you more authority a greater trust ranking in the algorithm of the search engine. However, this is not true.
  23. Co-occurrences: this term describes the frequency and proximity of all the website’s keywords and the relationship that exists between them. Words that generally tend to appear on and around your backlinks help to inform the search engine about your page’s content.
  24. Backlink Age: the age of a backlink is actually in its favor. The older a backlink, the more authority it holds. Its content has remained intact and stable for a longer period of time, something new backlinks cannot demonstrate.
  25. Links from Real Sites vs. Fake Blogs: there is such a large abundance of blog sites online that the search engine will be using markers such as branding and under-interaction signals to differentiate between so-called real sites and fake blog channels. The value of the real sites as determined by these things increases its ranking.
  26. Natural Link Profile: search engines are very adept at scanning for any site that uses black hat SEO strategies. A site that has a natural appearance to its link profile is going to rank much higher than any site that uses these unethical SEO tactics.
  27. Reciprocal Links: this is where two sites essentially agree to link to each other and can be beneficial to both parties. However, it becomes problematic when it is deemed as excessive, and excessive linking is a practice best avoided as it can potentially damage the rankings of both sites.
  28. User-Generated Content Links (UGC): the search engines are pretty adept at spotting content created by users as opposed to content that is created by the site owner. Authentic User-generated content is positive and can increase your site’s rankings as it is an indication of trust and social cohesion.
  29. Links from 301: redirect links are definitely not optimum. There is no doubt that a redirect such as a 301 can mean that your sire loses some of its inherent value. However, 301’s are not eh end of the world and are not penalized as much as they could be.
  30. Number of Outbound Links on Page: If a page is littered with copious amont of outbound links, then this is detrimental rather than positive. That soi because the search engine will view the page as spam. A page with hundreds of outbound links will rank less highly than a page with a few outbound links. It is about quality, not quantity.
  31. Forum Links: a lot of forum links are actually set to nofollow as the content is generally not high value. Also, because of the problem of spam, a search engine is likely to see a link from a forum as span and therefore will devalue the link as a result. However, as Google still reads a nofollow link as being there, this can provide some value.
  32. Word Count of Linking Content: when it comes to the value of links then the longer the article, the more valuable it is. A 25-word snippet, for example, will not be held in the same regard as an article of 1500 words.
  33. Quality of Linking Content: The quality of the content goes a long way in terms of providing value. A site that is in perfect English with no spelling or grammatical errors will rank far higher than a site that is full of errors in the content or if it is badly written and spun together.
  34. Sitewide Links: a sitewide link is just that, it is a link that appears on all pages of a site. The abundance of this one link makes no difference. They are essential compressed and only count as one single link in the eyes of the search engine.
  35. Penguin Penalty: a penguin penalty is given to sites that are poor quality in regards to their backlinks. Any site that has a penguin penalty point associated with it is far less visible in the search engine. However, Penguin rules have recently changed, and now, instead of penalizing an entire site, it is focused on filtering out all the bad links.
  36. Link Profile with High % of Low-Quality Links: low-quality links can have a very detrimental effect on a website’s ranking. If a site has a lot of links that are from sources that are usually associated with black hat SEO, such as forum profiles, it may well be an indication of a site that is playing the SEO system.
  37. Links from Unrelated Websites: if your site has too many links from completely unrelated sites, this is not ideal. In fact, you leave yourself open to a penalty. In essence, these are regarded as bad links and have a detrimental effect.
  38. Unnatural Links Warning: this is a warning that you are using links as a way to rank, which are against the guidelines set out by the search engine. Google, for example, sends out thousands of messages saying that they have detected unnatural links, and shortly after the message, the site drops in the rankings.
  39. Low-Quality Directory Links: low-quality directory links are generally completely irrelevant or harmful in some way. If you have a lot of backlinks that are from low-quality directories, then you are likely to end up with a penalty.
  40. Disavow Tool: the disavow tool permits webmasters to inform the search engine of low-quality links that are pointing towards their website. It helps sever the connection between low-quality sites and your own. If your sire was a victim of this harmful SEO practice, then the disavow tool can help remove a penalty due to a manual and algorithmic process. banner

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