Glossary | 2 mins
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A backlink audit, sometimes called a link audit or backlink analysis, is the act of examining the links pointing to a website to determine their quality, relevance, and potential impact on search engine rankings. The process involves identifying and evaluating all the backlinks that point to a site, reviewing their quality based on their referring sites and other contextual information, and removing any low quality links that may harm the site’s organic visibility.
Backlink audits are an essential routine practice for any SEO campaign, helping to identify harmful links that may be negatively impacting the website’s performance, and informing the next steps webmasters and SEOs need to take to ensure the long term quality of their backlink profiles.
How to perform a backlink audit
Performing a backlink audit involves several steps, and there’s a fair amount of nuance in how SEO agencies and in-house marketers can approach them. Generally though, a backlink audit includes four main phases:
Collect backlink data: The first step is to collect all the backlink data for the website using an SEO tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush. The data will show all the links pointing to the site, including their quality score, anchor text, and source.
Analyse the data: Once you have the data, the next step is to determine the backlinks’ quality and relevance. Look for any links from low quality sites, irrelevant sources, or those with spammy anchor text. In most cases it is advisable to leave them be and wait for them to fall away, but in rare cases there may be cause for disavow.
Remove toxic backlinks: If you do identify any toxic backlinks, the next step is to remove. This is generally done using Google’s disavow tool, though some SEOs like to reach out to the owners of the referring sites and request that the links be removed completely.
Monitor and re-audit: Backlink audits aren’t a one-time thing, and it’s important to continually monitor your site’s backlink profile to ensure it remains healthy and beneficial to your overarching SEO goals.
Backlink Audit FAQs
What is a backlink audit?
A backlink audit is the process of analysing a website’s backlink profile to evaluate the quality and relevance of its links. It involves identifying harmful links that may negatively impact the site’s search engine ranking and taking necessary steps to remove them.
How do you do a backlink audit?
To perform a backlink audit, you need to collect all the backlink data for the website using tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush. Then, analyse the data to determine the links’ quality and relevance, remove any bad links, and monitor the website’s backlink profile regularly to ensure its link profile remains healthy. It’s also essential to re-audit the website’s backlink profile regularly to identify any new bad links and remove them promptly.
Questions to ask your link builder