Building a Diverse Backlink Profile

Backlink Analysis

A question someone asked me recently was;

“Are backlinks still important to gain top search engine rankings?”

You may have read that “content is king” and “Google loves fresh quality content” but without backlinks your site will not rank well for competitive keywords.  You may be able to rank for obscure keywords with little or no search volume without backlinks but these won’t bring you traffic.

So the answer is yes, backlinks are still important.  What has changed is that quality is now more important than quantity and just as important is relevancy and diversity.  You need to be building a diverse backlink profile.

What this means is that you need quality authority backlinks from websites that are relevant to your website.  You also need to have backlinks from different types of websites, different IP addresses (not all from the same hosting company) and linked in different ways.  Ie text links containing your url, website name, business name, keywords and generic keywords; and also image links.

How Do You Analyse Your Backlink Profile?

There are a number of tools you can use to check your backlink profile, MajesticSEO provides a free tool you can use to analysis your anchor text but the tool I like to use is called Link Detective.  This also shows you the anchor text break down but in addition it shows you the types of links you have with the percentages for each category.  There are 12 or more categories including articles, press releases, forums, directories etc.  This enables you to see that you are getting a good spread and you can do something about it if your links are mostly coming from one type of website. You can also spy on your competitors to see what their backlink profile looks like.

You can open a free account with link detective and create one project.  If you need to analysis more than one site you can pay a monthly subscription from $25.

Here’s a short video showing you how link detective works Link Detective Video

Once you have analysed your backlink profile and your competitors as well, you can revise your link building strategy to gain those top rankings.


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Roger Weavers

Roger has been working in the telecomms and IT industry since 1973 working for international companies such as BT and Honeywell. Roger founded Sytec Computers Ltd in 1996 and provided consultancy services to a variety of UK companies. In 2001 Sytec diversified into web design, marketing and hosting and now Roger specialises in SEO.

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  • Paul Conway

    Hi Roger

    Interesting article I noticed you are using contextual linking to authority sites as well as internal linking. This is something I have been doing with my new website.

    Noticed that I am getting traffic via google images so I must be doing something right, for a change 🙂

    I have also set up a squidoo lens to have a high PR site with links back to my new site. Fingers crossed it works 🙂

    Speak soon

  • Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your comment. Out bound links to authority sites should give you some authority by association, I’m not sure how affective this is, I am still looking at some research. Internal linking is also important, I touched on this in my last post.

    Setting up a Squidoo lens is good. It part of a strategy I talk about in my ebook where you build a backlink network consisting of web 2.0 sites linking to your money and in turn backlinked from other types of sites. It fairly complicated but this strategy can be very effective.

    Try and drive traffic through your Squidoo Lens and get some backlinks to it and it will be a value web property for you.

    All the best

  • Hi Roger,

    Yet again I’ve learnt something new from one of your articles.

    I have recently been reading about the importance of backlinking from Web 2.0 sites, amongst other sites.

    One thing that puzzled me though was how do you know how successful your backlinking strategy is. Well, your article has just helped me immensely.

    It’s also interesting about spying on your competitors through the tools you mention. Thanks for this Roger.

    Dean Thompson recently posted..How Hot Cross Buns Messed up my PlansMy Profile

  • Hi Dean,

    Thanks for your comment. I think competition analysis is one of the most important parts of SEO. If you know what the competition is doing all you need to do is just a little bit more. If you don’t know what the competition is doing you are working blind and could either go way over the top with your link building and waste a lot of time and effort or just not do enough and never get ranked.
    Anyway, I please you enjoyed my post.

  • Hi Roger,

    That’s pretty cool that Link Detective reports the types of links so one can spread them more evenly across the various categories. I imagine that helps with ranking since it would appear more organic instead of a bunch of links all coming from just two or three categories. Then again, I wonder if for some niches Google would expect to see a majority of links originating from a specific category – say… document directories for a niche in the academics? Hmmm, time to fire up one of those spy tools… 😉

    Karl Dieterich recently posted..Product CreationMy Profile

  • Hi Karl,

    I have read a few reports that say your backlinks should be 10% this and 20% that but if you take a look at your competitors backlink profiles you will see that some rank well without following these strict rules. The more varied the better but as you say, not all types of website will have all types of backlink. Check out your competitors to see how far you need to go.


  • Hi Roger,

    What Google wants these days is earned links but that is a catch 22 because how is one going to acquire earned links when one is not an authority yet.

    I meant to ask you. Do you add nofollow to any of your links? Or does it matter? I have been adding nofollow to any affiliate links on my site but the rest of the links are dofollow.

    I wonder if you could comment on this issue.


    Dita Irvine recently posted..How To Make Columns In A Post Using Free Ultimate TinyMCE PluginMy Profile

  • Hi Dita,

    Yes, what Google wants is for all backlinks to be build naturally. As you say its a bit of a catch 22 because who will link to your site if they don’t know about it. This is why many people are turning to social media to “get the word out” about their sites. All the time Google uses backlinks as a ranking factor we will try and build them quicker than the competition.

    If you are linking out to other websites it is a good idea to make them nofollow especially as you say with affiliate links as you don’t really want to pass on link juice to these sites.

    When building backlinks to your site you should include some nofollow links to make your link profile look natural.

    I hope this answers you question.


  • Gonna use linkdetective from now on. But its not as easy as majestic seo. I added my website and it shows in a folder under my projects. not sure how to continue since there are no others links ?!?!?
    Karthik recently posted..Laughing Side EffectsMy Profile

  • Hi Karthik,

    You will need to export a csv file containing your links from Open Site Explorer and then import the file into Link Detective. Watch the video I mentioned in my post and it will all become clear.