There are a lot of factors which impact Google Search Ranking. There are manual spam actions which are penalties applied by the Google Search Quality team to websites found to be in violation of the Google Webmaster Guidelines. Then, popular Google algorithms, such as Google Penguin, (which focuses on the quality of backlinks), and Google Panda, (which looks at the quality of content), that can pose a serious problem to Webmasters as they try to improve their online presence.

Using Majestic to monitor and maintain backlinks I feel these risks can not only be alleviated, but a website’s rankings previously held back by past link building legacy issues, can recover.

Backlink Volume

The total number of live backlinks contributes to the backlink volume. There is a lot of discussion about PageRank at the moment but I feel it’s still an important metric to indicate the passing backlinks pointing to the root or deep URL’s of a website that Google may be aware of. Before specific Google Webmaster Guidelines identified them as a violation in Google’s mind, it was not relevant how old links were or whether they had been built in good faith, but now the Trust and Quantity of links is highly relevant and is why scores such as the Flow Metrics from Majestic are so significant; (as screenshot below). Please note that PageRank is a Trade Mark of Google and is not in any way related to Majestic too.

The Trust Flow and Citation Flow scores provide an indication to the framework of your backlinks, which Google is now tracking. The total volume of backlinks can for old, reputable websites and/or websites covering highly competitive niches, such as real estate, travel, insurance and finance services, online gambling or celebrity news to name only a few, be very high and go into hundreds of millions of hosts. Typically, every successful site will over time attract some less desirable backlinks, which contribute to the overall backlink profile. That’s why monitoring backlinks and their context is an absolute necessity.

capture 1
An example of Trust Flow and Citation Flow scores

Anchor Text Distribution

While the total backlink volume is an early indicator for potential loose ends that may become an SEO problem, the anchor text distribution is the entry point for an investigation or a periodic safety check. Here it is where Majestic turns out to be an indispensable asset in the process. Even without a deep dive into the data the Anchor Text pie chart alone imminently uncovers any imbalance in the anchor text distribution. Websites heavily linked with highly commercial anchor text links that pass PageRank tend to be exposed to a higher risk for a manual spam action to be applied by Google. Depending on the quality of their neighbourhood; (which are websites linking to your site in such a dubious manner), the risk of triggering signals for the Penguin algorithm can be equally assessed. It’s also important to keep in mind those manual spam actions known as Google penalties and Google Penguin are not mutually exclusive and can simultaneously affect the same website. More often than not, one look at the visualised Majestic Anchor Text distribution can trigger the alarm bells before it is too late and a clean-up audit followed by a reconsideration request becomes necessary.

Majestic Anchor Text pie chart can reveal unbalanced anchor text distribution
Majestic Anchor Text pie chart can reveal unbalanced anchor text distribution

Backlink Growth

Legitimate brand websites often grow their backlink profile steadily over time; discounting occasional product releases or marketing campaigns, which may trigger a temporary spike in backlink growth. A constant up-and-to-the-right trend in attracting more backlinks, rather than overwhelming volumes and surges of new backlinks is the expected norm. But there are legitimate reasons for sudden increases of backlink growth which are recognised as per the Google Webmaster Guidelines. For example, newly established collaboration with media partners adding site wide boilerplate links can massively grow the backlink profile. So can news coverage and seasonal trends, such as ongoing legal battles which receive a lot of attention in public media over extended periods of time. Of course, allocating a budget to link building, whether in-house or assigned to a trusted third party, will have the same effect on the data and graph trajectory. The latter is however likely to be a contributing factor to a painful loss in visibility over time, as all scalable PageRank passing link building activities are a Google Webmaster Guidelines violation. As a result the website may grow significantly in organic visibility in Google’s natural search results and the competitors may be inclined to use the Google spam report.

Not every instance of rapid link growth will raise a red flag however, and you can find the significance of your backlink surges by studying the Majestic backlink charts. These are highly indicative of the current state of affairs and will show any peaks or troughs, and thus link building risks.

Majestic Referring Domains and Backlinks charts may indicate link building risks
Majestic Referring Domains and Backlinks charts may indicate link building risks

Backlink Samples

No backlink maintenance cycle or one-off audit is complete without a deep dive into the actual websites where the backlinks are originating from. The context of links, where they otherwise link to, their authority, content quality and more, are all extremely valuable factors in assessing backlink risks. Here’s where once again Majestic comes in handy, offering an overview of not merely pages linking to your website but also indicating the landing pages and authority using Trust Flow and Citation Flow. This information can be utilized beyond risk evaluation as it can also indicate where a website is losing on incoming authority links and possibly converting traffic by pointing to broken or little optimized landing pages. With the right expertise the sample data listed and displayed in Majestic is a great source to investigate the intention behind the linking. Even a preliminary investigation on a limited number of URLs will be a good indicator of the bigger picture. Of course no partial review can be deemed satisfactory from a risk management point of view if the initial analysis raised any potential red flags. When that happens, the Majestic data export features come in handy.

Which pages host links with which anchors and pointing where - Majestic has the answers
Which pages host links with which anchors and pointing where – Majestic has the answers

Data Export

Great tools allow for data export and further analysis or processing and so does Majestic. When it comes to link auditing and possible penalty recovery, manually reviewing sample links is absolutely essential. No tool can compete with the intuition and experience of a seasoned SEO. Majestic however greatly aides any expert team working on backlink assessments by enabling the export of a backlink profile in a number of formats, catering to individual post-processing approaches. Then, with the aid of third party tools such as Powerdrill.com it is an efficient task to find the difference between a legacy spammy backlink profile seriously endangering a websites visibility in Google Search, and a well maintained, high quality backlink profile that works for, rather than against the same website.

Majestic provided data can be further processed or analysed once exported and downloaded
Majestic provided data can be further processed or analysed once exported and downloaded

Majestic, both as a tool and a source of data is a potent weapon in the SEO game. Its applications are manifold and by far not limited to mitigating backlink risks or monitoring backlink profiles as described in this article. Used wisely and possibly in combination with other supplementing and specialised tools, there is a great ability to build and maintain a disavow file with a proven method of reducing Google penalties and algorithm updates.  Thus helping and reducing risks for websites that have large backlink profiles which have grown or cultivated over many years. It’s therefore easy to see why it’s also the go-to tool for any site already experiencing backlink related drops from Google Search, as any website can be recovered with the right tools and expertise available.

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Bio

Fili Wiese is a renowned technical SEO expert and former member of Google’s Search Quality team. At SearchBrothers.com he successfully recovers websites from Google penalties, offers SEO consulting with SEO Audits and numerous SEO workshops. Fili acts as an official Brand Ambassador for Majestic, sits on the DeepCrawl Advisory Board and frequently speaks at online marketing events such as SEOktoberfest, BrightonSEO, SMX, SES, Ungagged, London Affiliate Conference and Performance Marketing Insights.


Latest posts by Fili Wiese (see all)

Comments

  • Rani gul

    Heloo i want to create backlinks for my site [EDIT: LINK REMOVED]

    May 10, 2016 at 9:03 am
    • Dixon Jones

      Well that wasn’t the way to start. TRY to remember that real people care about their content. We are real people.
      Also, it does help if you at least TRY to be grammatically correct.
      Links in comments on WordPress blogs (like this) are no-followed by default as well.
      – So go and learn link building 101. Here is a free course:
      http://majestic.kajabi.com/sp/34080-get-up-to-speed-with-majestic

      May 13, 2016 at 11:25 am
  • طراحی سایت

    hi
    please visit our website and tell me what problem in the my site
    My site was first displayed in better results ing google but has regressed
    [link removed]

    June 6, 2016 at 11:51 pm
    • Dixon Jones

      Sorry – we do not offer consultancy. You are welcome to contact one of our <a href="https://blog.majestic.com/majestic-seo-partners/">Premium partners</a> Or this link will show you Majestic Experts geographically close to you. <a href="https://majestic.com/business/">https://majestic.com/business/</a> (Click on the "Map" button in the top right corner.)

      June 8, 2016 at 10:21 am
  • Randy Selzer

    Hello, I hope this isn’t too off topic, but I have a problem with backlinks that I have been dealing with over the past few months… someone is conducting a negative SEO campaign against my own personal website, which started at the beginning of this year, and is ongoing. I have been using the Google disavow tool to combat it, and so far that seems to be working out o.k., as my position in the SERPs has been maintained. I do notice, however, that my Trust Flow in Majestic has really dropped. My question is, is there a "disavow tool" for Majestic? I am having to deal with many hundreds of backlinks from over 50 spammy domains, that continue to come in on a daily basis…

    Thank you for any insight you can give, I am a relative beginner in SEO…. 🙂

    June 30, 2016 at 6:24 am
    • Eliza Bonecka

      Hi Randy,
      Thank you for your comment!
      No, unfortunately we don’t offer any ‘disavow tools’ at the minute. All your spammy links submitted to Google still exist on the web, that’s why we crawl them.
      Have you thought about working on positive link building instead, to increase your Trust Flow naturally? Check our article here: https://blog.majestic.com/training/positive-link-building-with-majestic-tools/
      Regards,
      Eliza

      June 30, 2016 at 9:01 am

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