In recent discussions with my SEO workshop attendees, it seems clear that link audits are a challenge for a lot of people. But they’re not as scary as they sound.
A link audit is simply conducting research into the number of links pointing to and from a web site, as well as the quality and trust-rank of those links. The audit can also include researching competitor sites to determine their link profiles and – as a result – determining the estimated amount of link building required in order to out-perform them.
To help demystify the process, I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s Fast Five to helpful articles and resources for anyone conducting a link audit.
Here’s this week’s Fast Five:
1) How to Conduct a Link Audit by Chuck Price. You don’t necessarily need to use any clever tools or software to conduct a link audit. In this article, Chuck shows you how to do a deep dive into the link profile of a web site using your Google Webmaster Tools account.
2) Raven Tools SEO Software by Raven Tools. If you want a little turbo help for your link audit, Raven’s Backlink Explorer gathers all the backlinks for a domain or URL, including source URL, Citation Flow and even no-follow status. Raven’s Site Finder tool reverse engineers the ranking results using Bing data to identify the best linking opportunities that you may not have capitalized on.
3) How to Conduct a Link Audit by Julie Joyce. While this is a slightly older post, the content is still very applicable. Julie runs through her comprehensive link audit process, listing several very useful 3rd party tools in the process. My link audits tend to follow a similar path to this one.
4) Open Site Explorer by Moz.com. Moz’s Open Site Explorer Tool enables you to research the link profile of your site and your competitor’s sites in the one interface. You can see the backlinks of up to 5 sites at once and compare page authority, domain authority, linking root domains, total links, Facebook shares, Facebook likes, tweets, and Google +1s
5) How to Conduct a Link Audit Like Sherlock Holmes by Chris Kilbourn. In this very recent article about conducting a link audit, Chris looks at how to identify and get rid of *bad links* pointing to your site in the wake of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm.
He also lists a range of useful link audit tools.
*Image courtesy of Threadless.