Link Building - Semalt Explains Which Factors You Should Consider When Acquiring Links

When you run an online store, blog, or business website, you probably want to get a lot of traffic to it. To do this, your website needs to appear in the top positions of search results. The key to success is a skillfully planned link-building strategy. What is link-building? How can you evaluate the worth of external links? What tool should you use to evaluate the quality of the referring site? Here are the important points we will clarify in this article.

Let's get started!

What is link building?

A link, or hyperlink, is a connector placed on a website that, when clicked, takes the user to a specific address. When it points to another location on the same site, it is called an internal link.

The main purpose of this type of hyperlink is to make it easier for users to navigate the site. Internal links also play an important role for crawlers, allowing them to access individual subpages more easily. This allows the content to be properly indexed, which can have a positive impact on the website's position in organic search results.

The second type of hyperlink regroups external links. They are usually placed on the website to point the user to an interesting article, product, or movie located on another website. The quantity may count, but especially the quality of external links is one of the most important ranking factors, largely influencing the position of the related page.

The activities aimed at acquiring this type of links are called link building. This is one of the basic tasks of specialists who professionally deal with the positioning of websites. The main difficulty is to find places where to put valuable links.

Why is link building important for your website?

Search engine algorithms use several hundred different factors to rank your website in organic search results. The exact number is unknown, and frequent updates introduce new ones and change existing ranking factors. For this reason, website ranking requires specialized knowledge that must be constantly updated.

The most important elements that positively influence the website's position in organic search results include:

Link Building and Traffic

External links can drive traffic to your website in two ways. First, a user visiting the site where your link is placed may find it and click on it. The URL they are forwarded to will most likely be their first contact with your website. Therefore, you should make sure that all external links lead to the most valuable parts of the website. In this way, you increase the chances of a positive reception, which may encourage the user to visit the following sub-pages.

Secondly, external links signal to crawlers that the linked site may contain interesting content. In addition, if they are dofollow links, the linking domain transfers part of the trust rank value to your website. 

This attribute signals to web robots that the link is valuable. If the link was placed on a low-quality page, your site's trust ranking value will be lowered. The effect can be a decrease in organic visibility.

Currently, link-building activities mainly use hyperlinks with the tracking attributes placed on high-quality websites.

What are valuable external links?

Before Google introduced a major algorithm update on April 24, 2012, link building was based on getting as many links as possible, regardless of the quality of the link source. This led to the formation of the so-called link farm, i.e. pages whose main content was made of hyperlinks: the so-called link exchange systems. These activities were aimed at deceiving the search engine, which used the number of links leading to a given site to determine its position.

Everything changed due to the introduction of updates based on the Penguin algorithm. Its main task was, and still is, to reduce the value of websites that have an unnatural link profile. These are mainly situations where the site contains a large number of backlinks from low-quality websites. Using this type of practice can lead to a penalty on individual subpages or even the entire website.

Link building - what to remember?

When acquiring external links, you should first take care of the qualitative evaluation of the place where the hyperlink will be published. A good backlink is one that comes from a reliable and credible website dealing with a similar topic. This is important because Google's so-called "trust profile" makes extensive use of the outbound link profile.

Here are the important elements on which link building is based:


In simple terms, it is based on the fact that there is a group of trusted sites and that Google rates the 'trust' of others based on how close a given site is to a trusted domain. So, in theory, if a competitor's website has an external link from a trusted site and your website does not, its address will probably be higher in the search engine results. Of course, this is a gross simplification, but there is no doubt that backlinks from highly trusted sites have a positive effect on the site's visibility. Indicators such as the Trust Flow or the Domain Rate can be used to evaluate this parameter.


Another important element of link building is diversification, i.e. differentiation in terms of attributes, anchor texts, or link forms. As a rule, the most valuable links are those with the "follow" attribute, which tells the indexing robots that they should follow the link.

In this way, the power of the linking site is transferred. However, too many links with this attribute do not look natural and could be considered artificial activity. That is why you need to find a balance between the number of follow and no-follow links. The latter parameter makes the link more natural, as it is usually associated with links added by users.

However, nofollow links also have some value. They indicate the natural positioning of the website and have a positive effect on the Trust Flow indicator, i.e. the trust in your website increases. Backlinks from government sites (.gov) and scientific institutions (.edu), even those with the nofollow attribute, have a positive effect on the positioning of the site.

Diversification of links also involves a variety of anchors, i.e. clickable elements. Links placed in full URLs seem the most natural, as this is the practice most often used by Internet users. Other types of anchor texts are brands, keywords, and a combination of both, i.e. brand + keyword, which in turn is considered the most valuable in terms of SEO.

What are the sources that allow you to have high-quality links?

High-quality link sources include:
However, the most important link-building technique should be the creation of substantial high-quality content. As a result, more people willing to share interesting material will link to your website.

What tool should I use to evaluate the quality of the referrer site?

As you can understand so far, it is important to check the quality of the referrer site. To do this, you need to use an effective SEO tool that will be able to give you the right information about such a site.

The Dedicated SEO Dashboard is one of the most important and popular SEO tools on the world market. It gives you access to a large amount of data. In addition, it also has many interesting and very useful features for working on the visibility of your site. It works on the basis of proprietary machine learning and megadata algorithms - this means that it processes large amounts of information, the results of which can provide you with useful and actionable information.

This tool is widely used to evaluate websites in terms of quality. This is because it offers a set of indicators that rank individual URLs according to their link profile. With the help of this tool, you will not doubt the quality of the referring site.  

Moreover, the Dedicated SEO Dashboard, allows you to check, for example, how the visibility of the website has changed during a given period, which phrases are / were visible, which of them brought the most traffic to the website and which keywords are still missing. You will also find out the status of your competitors' websites

There are several other features of the SEO Dedicated Dashboard that I invite you to discover on

What are the factors to evaluate the quality of the referral site?

Discover below the important factors to evaluate the quality of the referral site: 

Domain Rate

This is a proprietary indicator available in the Dedicated SEO Dashboard. The Domain Rate function takes a value from 0 to 100, and the higher it is, the better the quality of a given sub-page. When calculating the DR, the number of unique websites that point to a given page and the number of pages to which it is linked are taken into account.

When calculating the Domain Rate, elements such as traffic or the age of the domain are not considered. In addition, this indicator is positively correlated with keyword rankings, making it useful for estimating a website's ability to generate organic traffic from search engines.

Trust flow

It is used to evaluate the quality and credibility of a given website. Like the DR, the TF scores are represented on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher scores representing more interesting sites.

Trust Flow at 20 is considered an average value and only the largest domains like Twitter, YouTube, or Google reach a TF above 70. This indicator is calculated only based on inbound links and is updated with the change of link. 

Other evaluation factors

One of the most important indicators of the quality of a website is the number of unique visitors. This proves the high quality and attractiveness of its content. Links from these types of domains appear much more natural than hyperlinks from websites with little or no organic traffic.

Visibility is directly related to the number of visitors to your site. This is another element to consider. Visibility is measured by the number of key phrases that a given website is displayed on. If the analyzed website has traffic but no visibility, it is a suspicious situation and should be paid special attention to.

The quality of the domain can also be confirmed by its age. If a website has been on the Internet for a long time and new content is constantly appearing, it is probably important in terms of content and the whole website can be considered trustworthy.

Another important aspect of link building is related to the subject of the linking domain. It must be closely related to the linked content. Consider the situation where you want to acquire an external link via a sponsored article. To put it simply, the first step will be to find websites that have high DR and TF and are thematically related to your website. 

The next step will be to write an article that should also cover the topic of your website. These types of links seem the most natural. Another group of websites is the multi-topic portals. You can also use these, remembering to put the article in the appropriate section. It is also important to choose the right anchor for the text. It is not advisable to mislead the user, for example, with cases where the anchor "site positioning" refers to a sports site.

Link building - summary

Acquiring backlinks is an activity that can affect your website's visibility in two ways. First, poor-quality backlinks can reduce your website's visibility on organic keywords. If you acquire a large number of these links or they come from suspicious domains, you must also consider the penalties imposed by Google's algorithm.

However, a well-planned link-building strategy based on expert knowledge can positively affect your website's ranking process in organic search results. Before choosing where to place your link, it is necessary to perform a detailed qualitative analysis with a powerful SEO tool. Sites should be evaluated based on the criteria presented in the article. This way, we have a better chance that the link-building activities will have a positive effect and our website will be ranked higher.