Backlinks: key metrics to consider before choosing a site

28 April 2023
Dina Ranarison

In SEO, nothing can be left to chance. To strategically select sites for your backlinks, you must rely on some metrics and adopt good practices. Three netlinking experts reveal which ones!   


Choosing a website to make your backlinks is not child's play. Indeed, looking at the posted content and the topics covered is essential, but more is needed. You must do an in-depth analysis to make the right choice and ensure the success of your netlinking strategy. This includes tracking some key metrics.


What are they? We asked this question to three netlinking experts - Jérôme Pasquelin, independent netlinking consultant, Olivier Duffez, SEO consultant and Founder of WebRankInfo and David Dragesco, SEO consultant at NinjaLinker. They share their secrets to choose the sites for a qualitative link building.

Traffic, keyword count and the site’s page indexation: the three fundamental metrics 

Traffic is one of the first metrics to consider when buying your backlinks. "I know there are plenty of metrics to try to measure partner site reputation. Trust Flow, Citation Flow, and domain authority can be helpful. But it's even better when you combine them with traffic metrics," explains Olivier Duffez.

These are the ones that will help you have an idea of the notoriety of a site and, especially, the size of the audience that you can target. Indeed, a backlink on a page with a large audience will always be more interesting because you can redirect a part of the traffic of the source site toward one of your pages.

"A site with visitors, especially if the curve rises, is less likely to have SEO penalties or significant SEO filters. It's reassuring because you think the backlink could really help to have good results," underlines Jérôme Pasquelin.

Besides traffic, David Dragesco also relies on two essential data: the site’s page indexation and the number of positioned keywords. "This is the best way to measure the 'health' of the site I am targeting," he assures.


The referring domain, a data that has to be considered 

"I then look at the referring domains," explains Jérôme Pasquelin. They are generally regarded as a measure of a website's authority and reliability because they represent the number of different sources that link to a content. With many quality referring domains, it has a better chance of being considered relevant in the eyes of search engines. This is why it is essential to consider this when choosing sites.


What about Trust Flow and Citation Flow? 

The popularity of a website and its reliability are based on two elements: the quality and the number of backlinks that redirect to its pages. Two measurement tools are used: the Trust Flow and the Citation Flow, two Majestic SEO metrics. They allow you to evaluate the quality and the number of links received by a domain or page.

However, these are metrics that Jérôme Pasquelin looks at in a "more secondary" way. David Dragesco goes even further: "I don't take into account Trust Flow/Citation Flow at all - I prefer the DR (Domain Rating) and Ahrefs Rank (AR). I think the links must come from at least 75 different domains and even 75 different IPs".


Experts’ secret weapons

Each expert has secrets and tricks to choose the sites where to make their backlinks. On his part, Jérôme Pasquelin automatically reads the last pages put online to see if the site is not 'a link farm'. This technique, penalized by the search engines, consists in creating a certain number of sites referring to each other to boost its referencing. "When it comes to this, I've been surprised by some sites that met all the criteria," he says.

David Dragesco studies the number of outbound links on a blog. "On my network of sites, I have three natural articles without links for one paid article. It would be best if you had neutral and qualitative articles that have no other goal but to increase the number of positioned keywords and boost the site's traffic naturally," he advises.

We hope that the wise advice and best practices shared by the three experts will guide you when choosing your sites where to make your backlinks. Their testimonials are in our white paper 'The secrets of netlinking revealed by 9 SEO experts'. You will find more recommendations and insights that can inspire you for your netlinking strategies 😉

And if you have any questions about your link purchasing, or if you want to get advice from our SEO/Netlinking experts, please let us know 😊

Dina Ranarison