Our Link Quality Checklist

13 min read
1 May 2024
Picture of Mark Paul Bautista

Mark Paul Bautista


Link building is a crucial part of SEO success. However, the rules of SEO are written by algorithms that increasingly value the quality of your backlinks over their quantity. It’s crucial, then, to understand the attributes that constitute a high-quality link. This article provides a checklist that can amplify your site’s credibility and search visibility in today’s SEO.

Now, let’s learn together about building great link quality!

TL;DR: Link building is essential for SEO, with a focus on quality over quantity. High-quality links improve search rankings and site credibility. The article offers a detailed checklist for building such links, including evaluating link relevance, analyzing organic traffic, and ensuring a diverse anchor text profile. Emphasis is placed on avoiding spammy sites, confirming do-follow status, and assessing content quality. Regular monitoring and strategic planning are recommended to enhance link quality effectively.

Understanding the Importance of High-Quality Links

Quality backlinks are important for improving organic search rankings and driving targeted traffic. They boost your site’s rankings and spotlight your brand to a broader audience. From personal experience, focusing on quality rather than quantity in link building truly pays off.

Links from trusted and authoritative sites act as endorsements for your content, convincing search engines that you’re a reliable source of information.

Creating content that others want to link back to is key. This means making something valuable and relevant that stands out in your niche. It also involves reaching out and connecting with other websites and sharing ideas that enrich both parties’ audiences.

High-quality links come from this mix of great content and building relationships—a strategy I’ve personally found successful in boosting organic traffic and enhancing my site’s authority.

Our Link Quality Checklist

Our Link Quality Checklist guides you step by step, ensuring you’re on the right track and your links are exceptional. Let’s look at the key factors that will make your links stand out and work effectively for your website’s SEO strategy.


Relevancy matters a lot in link quality. For your site’s SEO, getting backlinks from sites that match your topic is key. Google loves this because it aims to show users stuff that’s helpful, on point, and full of good info.

So, if you run a gardening blog, links from home improvement or plant care sites help more than ones from tech blogs.

Picking the right backlinks also shows Google what your page is about. This helps push your site up in search results. Think of each relevant link as a vote for how useful your content is.

You want many of these votes, but only from places that discuss similar topics. This will gear up your SEO engine and drive better performance.

Evaluate Organic Traffic

It’s essential to look into the organic traffic of any site you’re targeting for a backlink. A high volume of organic traffic is a good indicator that a site is trusted by search engines—and a backlink from such a site could be a powerful boost for your SEO.

Here’s a look at the organic traffic for an SEO site, as analysed using Semrush:

Look also at what pages people visit most. This tells you if the visitors are interested in the site’s offers or just passing by. Sites with steady or growing organic visits make excellent candidates for building links, as these backlinks can significantly improve your SEO initiatives.

Anchor text Diversity

You need to mix up your anchor texts for a natural backlink profile. This shows search engines that you’re linking organically. Using different types of anchor text gives clues about the content you link to, which helps your page rank better.

You can see how diverse your domain’s anchor text is by checking all the texts used and counting the backlinks for each.

Keep an eye on this diversity to avoid patterns that look unnatural. A well-rounded mix includes brand names, exact match, partial match, branded, generic, and more. This variation tells search engines that real people find your content useful and link to it in various ways, boosting trust and value in their eyes.

Analyse Link profile

After looking at the variety of anchor text, it’s time to evaluate the link profile. This step involves closely examining all the backlinks on the site. 

This process involves seeing where their links are coming from and assessing their value. Some questions to ask might be: Are these links from trusted sites? Do they come from pages relevant to my niche? Understanding this gives you an edge in crafting strategies that aim for quality over quantity.

It’s not just about gathering as many backlinks as possible but ensuring they add value to your site’s SEO performance.

Avoid spammy sites

Staying away from spammy or private blog network (PBN) sites is key to your SEO health. These low-quality backlinks can really hurt your website in Google’s eyes. If Google sees too many links from bad sites, it might think your site isn’t trustworthy.

This means all the hard work you put into building backlinks could be lost. That’s why choosing high-quality and relevant websites for backlink placement is essential.

High-quality, relevant websites are what you should aim for in your link-building campaigns to keep everything on track and moving smoothly.

Confirm Do-follow status

Moving from avoiding spammy sites to checking if links are Do-follow, the next step is to check if they are. Do-follow links are a must for your SEO work. They enable search engines to follow them and transfer link equity, commonly called “link juice,” to the website they point to.

Make sure the backlink you get is Do-follow to help your site move up in search results. You want search engines to see and value these links. This effort can improve how well your site does online.

Prioritising Do-follow links for their link equity and SEO benefits is important, but including no-follow links also holds significant value. They can help drive traffic, build brand awareness, and support the credibility of your website. Search engines might not follow these links, but they recognise the connection, and no-follow links from reputable sites can signal trust to search engines. 

That’s why setting clear goals for whether you need Do-follow or No-follow links is important for optimising your SEO strategy.

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Evaluate Content Quality

It’s important to assess the quality of content. You need to look at grammar, spelling, formatting, and how easy it is to read. This means their website’s articles should be clear and free from errors.

Google favours well-crafted content, so a backlink from a site with quality articles can do wonders for your SEO.

The idea is to find sites that keep their audience hooked and wanting more. Engaging, helpful content ticks this box and meets Google’s quality standards.

Always look for backlink opportunities from sites that are clear and accurate in their writing and aim for clarity and value in the content they share on their site.

Determine Traffic Country Origin

Determining whether their visitors come from countries within your target market is essential. After all, a backlink from a site with traffic that aligns with your desired audience is more than just a number—it’s a ticket to reaching the right people.

During our own backlink assessments, we’ve fine-tuned our approach by analysing the countries where site traffic originates. This step has been invaluable. Say you’re getting a link from a site that sees a flood of visitors from countries you’re actively targeting. Those backlinks are golden because they’re more likely to drive relevant traffic to you—traffic that could actually convert and add value to your business.

So don’t just settle for any backlink. Consider who’s visiting those sites and where they’re coming from. Aligning their audience with your target demographic can significantly amplify the impact of your SEO efforts and connect you with the audience you most want to reach.

Check Organic traffic trends

When seeking out potential sites for backlinks, it’s wise to examine their organic traffic trends. These trends can indicate whether a site is on an upward trajectory, which would make a backlink from them potentially more valuable. Make it a habit to watch these patterns closely. Stable or increasing traffic numbers suggest that the site is gaining authority, and if they link to you, it could positively influence your SEO.

But if you notice their traffic is declining, it could be a cue to reassess whether you should pursue a backlink from them.

Getting a sense of these traffic trends is like having a preview of what could happen with your own traffic after getting linked. It gives you the knowledge to choose backlink sources that will likely enhance your site’s visibility.

Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) isn’t the be-all and end-all for SEO, but it still holds some weight. Created by Moz, DA is like a grade your website gets that can hint at how well you rank in search engine results. It considers various factors, one of which is the calibre of your backlinks.

However, it’s no secret that DA can be influenced by a few SEO tricks, so while it’s worth a glance, it shouldn’t be your only concern. What’s more important is the quality of the backlinks you secure. High-quality links can make your site look good in Google’s eyes, which can lead to better rankings.

Aiming for links with a decent DA can be part of your strategy, but always remember that the relevance and trustworthiness of your backlinks count for more. After all, Google is all about credibility and relevance, not just numbers.

Review Website Image use

When you’re checking out sites for potential backlinks, don’t overlook how they handle images. Their images should be clear, directly relevant to the content, and add more context or information for readers. Unique imagery not repeatedly used across multiple posts can indicate a site’s commitment to quality and originality.

In essence, when a site is meticulous about its image use—prioritising uniqueness, relevance, load speed, and SEO—it’s usually a good sign. Avoid sites with excessive generic stock images, AI-generated images and overall images that aren’t relevant to the content. These are often a sign of a PBN.

How to Build and Improve Link Quality

Start with a clear plan to improve your quality link. Use different methods to get good links and monitor them regularly.

Developing a strategic plan

To develop a strategic plan, start by setting clear goals. Know what you aim to achieve with your site’s SEO. Use the facts about driving innovation and expecting outcomes as a guide.

Your plan should list these objectives in detail.

Next, map out how to reach each goal. Analyse problems and decide which steps will solve them. Each step becomes part of your action plan. This method ensures every move aims to improve your site’s visibility and ranking effectively. 

To be more cost and time efficient, consider opting for our Link Sprint service. We’ll handle your link-building needs by efficiently securing high-authority, relevant links designed to enhance your site’s visibility and ranking potential quickly. This streamlined approach ensures you can focus on other strategic areas while we boost your SEO.

Utilising a variety of tactics

Mixing different tactics is key to building high-quality links. You might start by crafting amazing content that naturally attracts backlinks. Think about making something so useful or interesting that others must share it.

Then, reach out. Find websites in your niche and suggest why linking to your content helps their readers, too. It’s all about giving value before expecting any in return. 

A successful SEO strategy includes a mix of quality content, strategic outreach, and continuous link profile monitoring.

Next, focus on making strong relationships with relevant sites that can boost your online presence even more.

Building relationships with relevant websites

Having links from relevant websites is fundamental. Reaching out to decision-makers directly makes a big difference. It’s about more than just getting a link; it’s building trust.

This approach has brought us high-quality backlinks and lasting partnerships.

We focus on relationship-building instead of just link exchanging. Conversations help us understand mutual benefits and create stronger connections. This strategy has proven its worth by enhancing our SEO and opening doors to collaborative opportunities beyond simple link placements.

Creating valuable and high-quality content

After connecting with relevant sites, the next step is focusing on your content. High-quality content starts with knowing what your audience finds useful and engaging. It’s important to make your material interesting and directly linked to their needs.

This means answering specific questions or providing solutions to their problems. And let’s not forget that relevance is key—you want every piece of content to feel like it was made just for them.

Crafting quality pieces also involves deep diving into how well your content serves its purpose. Is it answering questions thoroughly? Does it engage users enough that they stay on the page longer? From personal trials, adjusting content based on feedback and performance metrics has significantly improved engagement rates.

Always aim for clarity over complexity; sometimes, a simple explanation does wonders compared to technical jargon that can push readers away.

And should you find this process a bit difficult, our Content Sprint service can really help you out. Our research is in detail, ensuring that all topics and topic clusters come with a detailed content plan filled with content that your customers are looking for.

Regularly monitoring and maintaining link profile

Keeping an eye on your link profile is key. You need to check it often to ensure all your links are of good quality. This means spotting any bad or spammy links and getting rid of them.

Tools that analyse how well your links do can show you what needs work.

Also, updating and fixing your link profile helps keep your site’s SEO strong. It ensures you’re always linked with respected sites that boost your reputation online. 


Our checklist has been designed to help you ensure that you have high-quality links that improve your site’s authority and increase its visibility in search engines.

Quality backlinks are strong signals to search engines that your content is trustworthy and valuable. These are the endorsements that put your site in the public eye, give you access to the right audience, and generally climb the SEO ladder. Though metrics like Domain Authority offer some insight, they’re only part of the picture. Any backlink is only as valuable as the link’s relevance to your content and the potential traffic it may refer from the link’s place to your site, originating from your target market.

As you implement your link-building strategy, remember that vigilance is key. Monitor the types of traffic, the quality of content, and the overall health of the sites you’re connecting with. By following the insights from this checklist, you’ll be well-equipped to make informed decisions and ensure that every backlink contributes to your SEO goals.

Written By
Mark Paul Bautista
Mark brings over six years of digital marketing expertise and has focused intensively on SEO for the past two years. He is adept at driving impactful digital campaigns that engage audiences, increase brand visibility, and deliver tangible results.
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