Link Building Metrics: What you Need to Know

Link Building Metrics: What you Need to Know

In the world of SEO, maximizing site traffic is everybody’s number one goal. That’s why data on the quality of the links being produced, how much traffic they are bringing in, and the quality of the visitors coming to each post is absolutely essential. By knowing which links really work when it comes to generating traffic, you can tweak your campaigns moving forward to help ensure that your time is being spent on links that really hit the target.

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Google’s Penguin and Panda algorithms have received plenty attention over the last few years, but the main thing they have highlighted is the need for quality keywords and in-site links. The measurement of how effective these links are should be the KPIs of any SEO expert worth their salt. There are various ways that this quality is measured, affecting the ultimate ranking that is given to a search term when indexing results.


Here are some key metrics to look out for:

Google Analytics

The best friend of SEO, analytics can show us where web traffic is going and when. If we combine this with our links and their initiation dates, we can draw conclusions about the effectiveness of search on particular pages. This is invaluable information when identifying which links are working and which are not.

Google Analytics

Link Ranking

Although it may be tempting to purchase a link from a high ranking website, it's generally seen as bad practice by Google to do so, and should be avoided whenever possible. Your concentration shouldn't be on where you can buy links, but where you can earn links from other authority websites.

One way to make sure your site will rank in SERPs is to do an inventory of positive link factors. If you satisfy all, if not most, of them, then your site will be assured of a high rank.

Positive Link Factors


Even if a site is ranking well, you have to consider the quality of the content on the page and its relevance to your own industry.  With the algorithm rejigging that Google is constantly engaged in, organic relevance really is key. If you see a series of obviously spammy or irrelevant links, stay well away. It’s not worth it in the long run. Also, there needs to be a semantic link between the site and your own, or else Google will eventually pick up on the fact that this is likely a paid link, and apply penalties to all parties.

Linking root domains

This is about the number of unique sites linking to an article, not the number of links. You may have a hundred links coming from one site, and in this respect, Google will favour a link with greater diversity in its rankings. As with choosing a partner, there is no need to go heavy. It is better to distribute to a number of sites, rather than spread yourself too thinly with an overload of links, which you’ll likely end up paying for in the end regardless.


As with all SEO Google ranking concepts these days, the message is about quality. Find quality partners, use quality links, and focus on quality rather than quantity. The back-end work is also vital, so be sure that you are able to measure the success of the work you put in through the traffic that is generated as a result, as well as the effect that linking has on your Google ranking. Minimal traffic and a static search result position implies that you need to do some re-tweaking. Use these metrics to help you stay ahead of the game.

Remember, quality links and web pages with high relevancy go hand-in-hand. These pages have all the features of a well-optimised page because it has all the good on-page factors like title, description, heading, alternative text, quality content and good layout.

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  • avatar
    Carol Domnguez 


    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this topic Joe .I think using these metrics is hard and requires a lot more hard work. But I believe that if we follow this kind of metrics there will be a good result .

  • avatar

    Thanks Joe, i agree, for a good optimization need Both (on and off) good. I thought that in recent times the onpage had acquired a greater role.
    Best regards

  • avatar

    Hi Maurizio,
    The title of the post is ‘Link Building Metrics: What you Need to Know’, so I didn’t actually cover any percentages of influence based on on-page vs off-page in this article. However, it would be very difficult to give you a specific % anyway as every niche is totally different in terms of the competitive nature in terms of backlink competition and this usually plays a huge part. I would personally say that on-page is critical, but to apply a percentage would be tough.
    All the best,

  • avatar

    according to your metric, in which the percentage influence is today on-page vs off-page?

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