Backlinks: Quality vs. Quantity

Backlinks: Quality vs. Quantity

Everyone wants backlinks - and lots of them. This is because being more connected with other sites makes it quicker for crawlers to find you, but is this always a good thing? Not necessarily.

While it’s true that being more connected will get your site discovered faster, who is linking you plays a bigger role on whether you will rank higher. If you are being linked from a lot of popular and authoritative sites, you will see your rankings go up. Whereas if you are being linked from a lot of low-quality and spammy sites, you may not only see your rankings remain stagnant, but you may actually see them drop.

Why is gaining high-quality links important?

This is because having high-quality websites linking to you means you’ll get their precious link juice; which, essentially, is that they will pass on some of their credibility to you. With lots of quality sites pointing to you, that means that you will gain credibility and you will most likely go up in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Low-quality and spammy sites do not have that credibility, so they may have little to no link juice to pass on. In fact, being associated with too many spammy sites may make search engines think you’re up to something fishy, like buying your backlinks. This is a black-hat SEO technique that will lead to you being penalized and actually dropping positions in the SERPs.

What are high-quality backlinks?

Links are considered high-quality if they come from linking sites which have relevance and authority. Since search engines want to give the searchers what they’re looking for, the relevance of sites linking to you plays a huge part in your rankings. To determine if a linking site is relevant to you, ask yourself: does the site linking to me have related content, or is it related to my business? Search engines look at everything surrounding the link including its content, relevance of the page, and relevance of the website as a whole.

To determine authority, the main criteria is trust - is the site linking to you trustworthy and credible? An example of low-quality are those irrelevant directories that exist solely to post links. It’s fairly straight-forward to determine for yourself whether a backlink is good or bad quality, but we’ve made it even clearer for you in Positionly.

Understanding your quality score in Positionly

In your Inbound Links section, you will see that Majestic gives a quality score of high, medium, and low. Majestic gives your backlinks a score out of 100 based on their unique Trust Flow and Citation Flow. It takes into account the factors mentioned before: relevance, authority, trustworthiness, popularity, etc. For the full breakdown of Citation Flow and Trust Flow, you can check out this article which is straight from the creators of Trust Flow and Citation Flow - Majestic.

A high-quality backlink will have a score >70, medium quality will be 24-70, and low quality is <24. If you’re curious about your exact number of the quality score, you may download your backlinks in a CSV file and check it out! It’s just on the bottom page of your Inbound Links section.

Want to know how to earn high-quality backlinks and how to monitor them in Positionly? Check out our Link-Earning guide, and sign up for our Backlinks Uncovered webinar.