Learning how to research your backlinks on your website should be on everyone’s monthly Search Engine Optimization checklist!
Link building is an incredibly important process when you’re trying to be found online using SEO, and researching backlinks is just one part of that process. Link building as a whole is so important that we dedicated an entire chapter of our Beginners Guide to SEO to it.
What You Learn By Researching Backlinks
There are a lot of things you learn in the process of backlink research about the links pointing back to your website.
- New backlinks your website gained
- Backlinks your website lost
- The quality of backlinks your website is getting
- Researching the backlinks your competitors have
The first two points are pretty routine when researching backlinks, but the last two points are commonly overlooked. Believe it or not, not all backlinks are good. In fact, some backlinks can actually hurt your SEO and website. If a backlink comes from a “spammy” source, it is a backlink that you should usually try and get removed.
Another great step to take in this process is to check out what your competitors are doing. You’re able to look and see where they are getting their backlinks and if it’s possible for you to get backlinks from the same source.
So how do you actually research backlinks? Let’s dive in!
How To Research Your Backlinks On Your Website
Step 1: Pick the website you want to use for your research. I personally recommend using Moz’s Link Explorer. You will have to create a free account that gives you a limit to 10 queries a month.
Step 2: You’ll see an area in the middle of the page where you will “Enter a URL”. This is where you will enter the website’s URL that you want to start the backlink research process with. Make sure the dropdown is set to “root domain”.
Step 3: You’ll be able to learn a lot of different things from the next page, but the area we’ll want to click into here is the area that says “Inbound Links”. You’ll click the blue number below it.
Step 4: Right away you’ll see a few metrics near the top. You can scroll over each of the names to learn more about them. I would recommend taking the time to learn a little more about each one, but especially inbound links, otherwise known as backlinks. Also, If you don’t know the difference between “dofollow” and “nofollow” links, I’d highly recommend spending a few minutes to go and read the Link Building Chapter that I referenced earlier.
Step 5: When you scroll down on the results page, you’ll be able to see and sort each column by page authority, domain authority, linking domains, spam score, and “more info”. Here are the things you can learn at this point:
- The quality of your links. You can sort by the page and domain authority columns. You’ll notice that they are both assigned a value from 1 to 100. The higher the value, the higher the quality of the link!
- How “spammy” your links are. Moz gives you a percentage from 1 to 100. The lower the number, the more likely it is hurting more than helping.
- Where the backlinks are pointing. When you click “more info” you are able to see exactly what page of your website the backlink is pointing to.
- When you acquired the backlink. If you’re wondering when you acquired a specific backlink, you’re also able to find this information when you click “more info”.
Well, there you have it! A pretty painless process to stepping up your SEO strategy and researching backlinks. Good luck!