What is a Backlink Profile or Link Graph?

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If you’re new to SEO or link building, you may not be familiar with the term Backlink Profile or Link Graph. Google focuses their algorithm on finding and rewarding high-value links and uncovering and penalizing websites that execute tactics that challenge the basic democracy of the web and impact search result quality.

If you are learning the basics of link building an important concept to understand is that of a website’s backlink profile – or what some call a Link Graph.  So what does this mean?

Because inbound links are such an important part of Google’s algorithm, they [Google] need a way to organize and analyze links to better understand what they [The Links] are saying about a website. In short, a website’s link graph is a fancy way of saying an organized and scored list of all the sites currently linking to your site, which then can be used to influence rankings (positively or negatively).

The bad news is this is a difficult question since there are many other factors such as website type, size, topic focus, etc., that go into answering this question. The good news is there are 9 basic link metrics that most feel encompass a strong natural link profile – all boiling down to two primary metrics; how diverse and how natural.

First question, “What is a Natural Link?”.  Our definition of a natural link is a link that encompasses the following.

A purely natural link is one that you didn’t know you received until you see it as a referral source in your Google Anlaytics. It was a link that was not asked for, but instead was organically given based on content value.

Parts of An Inbound Link Profile

Website Type

What does website type mean – Are you getting links from a diverse set of websites such as .edu, .com, .gov, and .org.

Why website type matters – In many cases each of these types has their own community and user value – they also tend to link to different types of content. For example, a .edu website will, in most cases, be more likely to link to research-based content, where maybe a .org (usually non-profit) link to more event type content.

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