The #1 Metric For Determining The Value Of A Backlink

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When it comes to evaluating the quality of a backlink, there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors out there.

You’ll certainly run across the terms Domain Authority and Page Authority. Probably the term Trustflow… and countless others. I find all of these metrics gimmicky and useless.

These metrics all have 2 things in common.

1. They are a 3rd party interpretation of why they believe website value to be.

2. They can be manipulated relatively easy. (backlink sellers do this)

Fortunately there is a nice metric to get backlink quality insight right from the source of Google!

Behold ‘Organic Search Traffic’.

Simply put, the more organic search traffic a page gets, the higher value a backlink from it will be.

Now think about it, if Google values a page enough to direct users to it (traffic), wouldn’t that mean that they value the content the page is linking out to?

It’s really easy to see (estimated) organic search traffic by simply using a tool like SEMRUSH or Ahrefs.

I would take a link from a site that has sustainable traffic with very low metrics of authority or ‘moz’ or whatever other metric you could conjure up, over a link from a site that has high authority metrics, but low to no traffic.

As you dive into analyzing page for link value and looking at the organic traffic what you’ll find is that it is not uncommon to see a page with high Domain/Page Authority have zero traffic. It doesn’t take a genius to see the logical fallacy in a site/page with having zero organic traffic.

On that note, backlinks probably aren’t the powerhouse they were.

In my experience the value of backlinks is diminishing. I believe Google is using other factors that are pooled from actual internet user behavior and social signals. One of them being branded search traffic. As that indicates real people value the brand/site enough to seek it out directly and it is incredibly difficult to manipulate (er well attempted manipulation would be easy to detect).

I’m not saying backlinks aren’t valuable, just don’t place them on a pedestal for success.

About the Author

I have been in the 'online business' space since 2009 when I started an eCommerce business selling motorcycle parts (sold in 2012). Since then I have owned and operated several successful online business (and had a fair share of failures), along with owning offline home services businesses. Currently my focus is online businesses that are profitable with paid traffic. As a 'self employed individual' I do not use Linkedin, but you can connect with my on my personal instagram and youtube which largely revolve around my mountain biking passion!