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Linkarati

Assessing Link Quality - #LinkaratiChat with Paul Madden

Cory Collins | September 14, 2015

Link quality is fundamental to SEO. If you want to move the needle in search, you need links that are relevant and add value to the web.

Every SEO needs to be able to assess link quality. Luckily Paul Madden, co-founder of Kerboo (formerly Link Risk), agreed to join #LinkaratiChat on September 8th to discuss assessing link quality.

Link quality is fundamental to SEO. If you want to move the needle in search, you need links that are relevant and add value to the web.

Every SEO needs to be able to assess link quality. Luckily Paul Madden, co-founder of Kerboo (formerly Link Risk), agreed to join #LinkaratiChat on September 8th to discuss assessing link quality.

Paul has deep experience in backlink profile analysis. Kerboo is designed to help SEOs and site owners manage their backlink profile and recover from Penguin or link-based penalties.

Without further ado, let's get into the recap of our chat.

Question One: What Key Characteristics Do You Examine When Assessing Link Quality?

The Penguin algorithm was specifically designed to stop manipulation of the Google algorithm via links. Paul kicked off the chat reminding everyone to look specifically for signs of manipulation when assessing link quality:

 

Cody Cahill reminded us all of the human value of a link:

 

Tripp Hamilton uses three different factors when gauging link quality:

 

And John Gibbings recommended looking at the big picture, including the link neighborhood in addition to the individual link on the page:

 

Which takes us nicely into question two.

Question Two: How Do You Assess An Entire Link Profile? Which Elements Do You Focus On?

Paul starts with the obvious, taking bulk action.

 

 

Annie Singer touted Moz's spam analysis when performing a link profile overview:

 

Thomas McMahon had some great advice, specifically mentioning a few different elements to analyze:

 

Micha Boettinger has a similar process:

 

John has specific red flags when analyzing an entire link profile:

 

Which leads us into toxic links.

Question Three: What Makes A Link Toxic?

Paul recommends focusing on intent, with an eye specifically for manipulation.

 

Devin pointed out simply following Google's guidelines:

 

Anthony agreed, furthering the statement once again with intent:

 

Liam Barrett cited relevance:

 

Andrew agreed, citing a few more potentially toxic link types:

 

Cody pointed out that individually, it's hard for a link to be toxic. Worthless, yes, toxic, not as much. It takes a great number of worthless links to create toxicity.

 

Sounds like a good time to address negative SEO (often referred to as NSEO).

Question Four: What Are Your Thoughts On Negative SEO?

I wish I had good news to share here. Unfortunately, most within the chat agreed negative SEO is a real problem.

 

 

 

 

Fortunately, if you monitor your backlink profile it's extremely easy to spot.

 

 

Discussing negative SEO, and how to spot it, naturally led into discussion of link removal and disavow.

Question Five: What Is Your #1 Tip for Disavows/Link Removal?

This is Paul's wheelhouse. He limited himself to five top pieces of advice:

 

 

 

 

And finally:

 

For more advice from Paul, check out the article he put together here on Linkarati about Understanding The Link Audit Process.

Tripp recommended customizing the disavow based upon your site's situation:

 

John agreed, going so far as to recommend considering a rebrand if necessary:

Question Six: How Do You Explain Link Quality to Clients?

Paul led the discussion with recognizing the value of a link, and acknowledging risk:

 

 

Andrew had a few great tidbits of advice as well:

 

 

John shared how important it is to build the proper expectations from the start:

 

Cody agreed, sharing the importance of transparency:

 

And That's A Wrap!

Thank you so much to Paul Madden for sharing valuable insight and leading the conversation! And thank you so much to everyone who participated - we love the energy and insight you all bring to every chat.

 

If you're craving more SEO and link building goodness, don't miss out on our webinar with Kerboo this Wednesday at 10:30AM PDT. 

 

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About The Author

Cory Collins

Cory Collins is the Managing Editor of Linkarati and the Content Marketing Manager for Page One Power. Cory is a writer, runner, link builder, SEO strategist, and beer enthusiast. Cory lives with his dogs and wife in Pullman, WA.

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