Far too often with SEO things can take a turn for the worst, algorithms can change, rankings can drop and traffic can disappear, often without any notable changes being made.
Search engines are constantly evolving, and not keeping up can lead to real problems down the line, so it’s important to be continuously checking and evaluating your back link profile to make sure you don’t fall foul of algorithm changes over time.
When looking at your back link profile you want to be making it as natural as possible, so in order to do so there are a few key points you want to be looking at:
Diversity of links
Having a majority of links from the same source can be an obvious sign to the search engines that your back link profile is not natural. If you have thousands of directory links or blog comments then you are bound to be viewed as a bit suspicious. It’s important to vary the places where your links come from and the type of links you are getting.
All links to homepage
All links to the homepage is another signal that there is unnatural linking going on. If you have valuable and interesting content on your website then it would have acquired links to these pages and not just the homepage. Getting links to other pages on the domain can also help to increase the strength of the domain overall, the individual pages ranking ability and will naturally pass weight back to the homepage via internal linking anyway.
Unless these are natural you should really be trying to get rid of them. While there are still lots of websites that have ranked well and continue to rank well with these links, they are potentially dangerous. The chances are they are not adding as much weight to the rankings as you might think and the best process would be to filter them out slowly and review the effects.
Anchor text variation
Having every link contain the same anchor text is another signal to the search engines that potentially unnatural linking is going on. It’s important to vary this up and use not only different anchor text, but different linking styles. Some people will link with anchor text while others will use just the URL to link to you. Try to consider how people would natural link, using terms such as “click here” and “this page” to link to places.
Keeping your eye on how your back link profile is coming together over time can help highlight potential areas of weakness and guide your SEO campaign in the right direction, while also helping to keep you safe from being penalized by the search engines.