There is a middle point when it comes to links. There are the mega authority links on websites like Huffington Post and Tech Crunch that everyone would kill for and then there are the low quality spammy links that can be purchased on Fiverr all day long. In the middle, there are contextual links on a wide variety of websites that can provide a decent SEO boost, as long as the metrics are legit and not gamed.

There are a lot of these types of links advertised for sale, but what you are promised and what links to your website are usually two entirely different things. The last thing you want is a link on a general website along with hundreds of outbound links to Viagra websites and home based money making scams.

There are certain things to look for when you are scouting high metric link opportunities. You want to always focus on niche related websites when possible, but there are instances when more general websites can be acceptable.

Here are a few things to look for and why they are relevant and important when looking for high authority links..


Referring Domains

If you look at the link profile of a website like Huffington Post you will see probably one of the most diverse profiles of referring domains imaginable. This is because so many different websites link to the site daily.

If you post blog comments on a single website and get a footer link on another site it’s quite possible to have a large amount of inbound links showing up, but they would essentially all be coming from two domains. There would be just two referring domains, although the metrics of the site could still appear to be solid. A website that is really popular is going to have multiple referring sites linking to it. There is no correct number to look for; you need to use common sense. If you are building links for a small niche, then a site might only have a few dozen referring domains. If you are building links to a major industry, then the number of referring domains will be much higher. This is a situation where common sense comes in handy.


Referring IP Addresses

This is basically the same principle as mentioned above. A lot of websites linking to a site should automatically result in a lot of different referring IP addresses. If you see that there are a lot of referring domains but a very small number of referring IP addresses, then there could be a problem. When I see this I can usually uncover a private network very easily, and if I can spot it fast, that means Google can also find it. A lot of low quality link networks will host all of their websites on the same IP. This creates a massive footprint that can get you in trouble down the road. I’m not saying this is the only way to do it, but I like to make sure I have at least a 80% ratio. So, if I see 100 referring domains I like to see 80 referring IP addresses.


Trust Flow

This is probably one of the most accurate metrics that I like to review when I am seeking authority linking opportunities. It’s a metric designed by Majestic to signify how trustworthy a website is, using the amount of trustworthy websites linking to it as the deciding factor. This is a third party metric, so that needs to be fully understood. If it was a metric that was issued by Google it would have more authority, but compared to all the third party metrics out there, this one is the most stable and accurate in my eyes.

It’s one of the hardest metrics to inflate artificially, so I tend to look at this first. If it passes the Trust Flow (TF) test and looks solid, I’ll then move on and look at all of the other metrics to make sure everything looks good. If you start checking a lot of websites you are going to want to get a paid Majestic account.


Citation Flow

This is another metric from Majestic, the same people that bring us Trust Flow (TF). It’s a number that signifies how influential a particular website page is, based on the number of websites that link to it. I don’t put as much weight on this metric as I do TF, because it seems to adjust based on sheer link volume, and not the actual trustworthiness of the site, like they use for Trust Flow. While this one can be gamed, it’s still a good point of reference. When you run a Majestic crawl it’s going to spit back both TF and CF numbers, so it’s one that you should take a loot at and use in your overall assessment of the website.


Page Rank (PR)

“Google Page Rank is DEAD!”

“PR is useless now. It doesn’t even matter.”

This is what many people say, but guess what? Google still uses Page Rank internally. They just don’t roll out their updates on the Toolbar level and make it public. The last public Page Rank update came out in December 2013. That is two years with no public PR update. Page Rank is still used internally to score the same way it has been in the years past. The only difference is that nobody outside of Google knows what the current PR of websites are.

When I am looking at websites for link opportunities I still look at the last public PR of the domain. It gives you a good indication of how Google saw the website back in December of 2013. You need to take a lot into consideration. Number one, the website could have been penalized in the past two years or added a bunch of useless spammy links. Also, there are plenty of great websites to get links from that started after the last public PR update. Just because a website has a PR 0 or PR N/A it doesn’t mean you should discredit it.


Domain Authority

This is the metric that everyone talks about these days. When Google’s Page Rank stopped getting updated publicly most SEOs turned to Domain Authority (DA), which is a metric that Moz created. It’s a solid metric, but it can be gamed very easily. I’ve seen plenty of domains show a DA 50+ that have been spammed to death with nothing more than Fiverr gigs.

It’s a good metric to view, but remember two things: never rely 100% on just DA only, and don’t forget that Moz crawls a VERY SMALL percentage of the websites out there so the links they show is just a small sample. If you find a site with a very nice DA then compare it with Majestic Trust Flow. If the TF is on par with the DA then you can take it a bit more seriously. Moz is a company that sells software. Their metrics are a nice bonus, but let’s not give them too much credit. Anyone can come out with their own number and it will have as much authority as DA, since it isn’t a metric coming from Google.


Page Authority

Page Authority (PA) is another Moz metric. I pay zero attention to PA, because it can be gamed so easily. It is completely useless and I believe Moz just throws up random numbers without any thought. Have I mentioned I hate PA? Seriously, I don’t even look at this metric. I suggest you avoid it also.


Outbound Links (OBL)

Real websites have links pointing out on almost every page. They link out to their own website content and they link out to other relevant content as points of reference. Real websites also don’t worry about “passing too much link juice” or marking all outbound links as no-follow. They will link out multiple times and not think about it. Then there are websites that have hundreds of outbound links per page. This is a red flag because most pages that do this are trying to pass page rank and authority.

A lot of people want a simple SEO solution, but that’s the thing. There isn’t a software to do it all or give you an accurate answer. You have to take all of the information available to you and use it to make a judgment call. Are the Outbound links natural? Is this page just there to pass juice? Common sense SEO is the most powerful tool you will ever find.

As you can imagine, finding high quality link opportunities isn’t easy and it requires a lot of research and communication. Then, of course money, to get links. If you want to eliminate all of the research and negotiation, click here to read about the power link options I offer. The largest power pack I offer is 50 links, and at just $999, it breaks down to less than $20 per link. There isn’t a better value around in terms of quality and price!


authority links

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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