The Importance of Backlink Checking
Backlinks are one of the most important aspects in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Ask any Digital Marketing expert and you will be told that link building; the process by which you get people to link to your web pages from other domains, should be at the very center of your SEO strategy. This is for the simple reason that search engines use backlinks as one of the major factors when assigning ranks to web pages. So, what is backlink checking and why is it important?
In order to understand what backlink checking is, we first need to discuss toxic backlinks. Although you should always be on the hunt for links that point back to your web pages, not all backlinks, as it turns out, are good.
So, what are toxic backlinks? The term toxic backlinks refers to backlinks that you have, in one way or the other, acquired in an unnatural manner. These have the potential to, over time, adversely affect your web pages’ SEO rankings.
Where do Toxic Backlinks come from
I have already mentioned that backlinks is one of the major factors that are used by Search Engines when assigning a rank to a web page. This is one of the reasons why you may be tempted to use black-hat methods to acquire your backlinks. However, although you may initially receive a boost from these links, chances are high that you will soon be penalized by Search Engines. In any case, toxic backlinks come from a number of sources;
- You may have acquired your links from link networks
- Your backlinks may be emanating from sites that have malware
- Your got your links from spam sites.
Backlink Checking Tools
There are a number of tools that you can use for backlink checking on your site. Although you can find standalone backlink checkers, a number of them come bundled with other SEO tools.
What I use
I use the Broken Link Checker to monitor the health of the links that are on my website. The good thing is that this tool is completely free, and it does a good job of identifying any links that may be broken on my site.
Rank Trackers with Backlink Checking
The tool that I have just mentioned does a good job of checking for broken links. For a more comprehensive job, however, you need to get something else. The good news is that most of the SEO tools that are out there come with backlink checking facilities. I personally use SEMrush which, by the way, has some great SEO software.
SEMrush’s Backlink Audit
I need not repeat that SEMrush is one of the best SEO tools that you will be able to find out there. You can sign up for a free trial of this tool by clicking on the banner that’s below. SEMrush’s Backlink Audit tool gives you an overview of the backlinks that are on your site. The tool comes with the ability to identify the potentially toxic backlinks that you have on your site.
Once an audit of all the backlinks that are on your site has been carried out, you can then move any potentially toxic backlinks to the disavow list. This tool can then be uploaded to Google. This will remove the backlinks from your site. As an example, two potentially toxic backlinks were discovered on my site and I was able to clean them out using SEMrush’s backlink Audit tool.