Search Marketing
How to Check The Quality of Backlinks

How to Check The Quality of Backlinks

April 28, 2017
3 min read

Search engines around the clock are watching the manipulation at the websites and sometimes hit with the penalty even the fairest sites. If this is happening, even Google webmasters can’t give the exact answer why. And if being absolutely fair, there’s always something at your site with that you can find fault.

Common problems are the poor content and unhealthy backlinks promotion. In this article, I will tell you how to quickly check the entire quality of the site and the number of inbound links. And also what to look for to not get penalized by the search engines.

Common Google penalties for non-quality backlinks

Let’s start with theory and get acquainted with the main algorithms and penalties that Google uses while researching your backlinks.

  • Penguin – for the sharp increase in the number of backlinks, for a predominance of low-quality links, for backlinks not relevant to the website’s subject and inner redirects.
  • Bombing – for an excess of backlinks with the keyword as an anchor, which promotes the site in the search.
  • Bowling – for competitors who are trying to drown you. Yes, if your competitors are using black hat methods against you, that will be you who will receive the penalty. Your competitors may spam you with commercial backlinks, send complaints to Google, artificially induce an enormous amount of traffic to your website. In this case, you can escape the penalty if notice that something is wrong in time and write to the support of Google.

In order not to get penalized, even for their black actions, you need to monitor backlinks of your domain once a week or two. Feel free to automate this process to make it quick and easier. In this article, I will describe how to track backlinks on the example of Serpstat, but you can use any similar tool. Besides Serpstat, I consider Ahrefs or Majestic to be perfect tools for this purpose.

Conducting the complex check of domain’s backlinks

What you need to check first:

  • The movement of links for up to 3 months;
  • Anchor links;
  • Credibility and trust of donors;
  • Types of links.

So, we turn to the Backlinks Analysis of Serpstat and enter our domain for verification and obtain a summary report for Marketinginsider:

What we see here:

  • Total number of backlinks;
  • Changes occurred in the last 3 months;
  • Backlinks from the authoritative domain zones .edu, .gov;
  • The indicator of trust by Serpstat;
  • The lost and new links for 3 months with the date of the index;
  • Schedule of traffic of referring domains for 3 months;
  • List of common anchors and their number.

This data shown in the general summary report is enough to understand the superficial picture of what is happening with backlinks. For a comprehensive analysis, we dig deeper.

Referring Domains Analysis  

We turn to the Referring Domains tool of Serpstat and study the report. The most important things here to pay attention to are the Flow Metrics:

Trust Rank,

Trust Rank Page Rank,

Trust Rank and Alexa Rank.

Alexa Rank Pay attention to the fact that the higher the Page/Trust Rank, the better, while concerning the Alexa Rank it’s visa versa: the lower it is, the better.

If your site is referenced by a domain with poor metrics, and the backlinks have obvious spam features, use Google Disavow. With its help, you can ask Google to not index the particular links. You can learn more about this process here.

After a while, the links will no longer negatively affect the ranking of the domain.

Referring Pages Analysis

Page analysis is an in-depth report on all backlinks. For each new link, the platform shows Trust and Page Ranks of both the donor domain and the acceptor, the type of link (do-follow or no-follow), and the anchors.

The same information we get in the report on lost links (+ the date of loss).

Together, the analysis of domains and pages allows you to quickly respond to the emergence of unwanted backlinks, as well as the loss of quality links. Also, all actions can be applied to competitors and find out where they get their best backlinks.

The next step: take advantage of their experience and work on bypassing them.

Anchors Analysis

We finish the analysis of backlinks with anchors. This text directly affects the user’s desire to follow the link. But what’s else important is that Google recognizes commercial anchors (like “buy iphone”) and may consider them spammy. That’s why you must avoid them and monitor your backlinks profile not to miss one.


The conclusion is simple: don’t get involved in black hat SEO and check your site at least twice a month to not crack under the penalties of Google for the actions of your competitors. Thanks to online tools, checking backlinks is easy and fast. Complex analysis of the site using Serpstat took no longer than 10 minutes. As I already mentioned, there are other tools with the similar features which can help you with checking backlinks. But if I were you, I wouldn’t choose anything but Ahrefs or Majestic or Serpstat.

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula", and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. Recognized as a Top Content Marketing expert and Digital Marketing Leader, Michael leverages his experience from roles in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as his leadership in leading teams and driving growth for thriving startups. Today, Michael delivers empowering keynotes on marketing and leadership, and facilitates actionable workshops on content marketing strategy. Connect with Michael today.