How to identify a quality link for SEO?

How to identify a quality link for SEO?

TF, CF, TTF, UR, DA, RD, PR, JuiceFlow…. Either you are in the process of taking the QASEO certification and you have a fairly clear idea of ​​what we are talking about, or you are looking for a way to assess the quality of your links in order to maximize the performance of your netlinking strategy. All these indicators are established by tools specific to Netlinking and make it possible to rationalize and classify sites in relation to each other. But what do these figures really reflect? What makes the value of a link? What link will this sacred “authority” have in the eyes of Google that we all dream of?

The criteria of a link for SEO


We like to use the term authority to designate the credit that Google gives to a site; but what are the criteria that could contribute to it?

Google sees links to a site as a form of validation, a vote from a trusted third party. In fact, a link from a site which is authoritative and provides relevant information will logically have more weight than a link from a non-reputable site. Therefore, that same link will tell Google that the site it is pointing to is potentially an authority site as well.

If a site recognized as an expert in musical instruments links to the site of a small artisan luthier, we can assume that he vouches for the level of quality provided; Google uses this implicit trust assumption to determine a site’s reputation and level of authority.


Authority is a relatively objective criterion, however it is not everything … If we take the example of the luthier, he may well be recognized as an excellent craftsman by authority sites, if he is at several hundred kilometers from my location, there is little chance that I can try his instruments and decide on a purchase. In this case, opinions from other luthiers in his region or even local musicians will be more relevant and additional clues that will allow Google to refine its vote.

The Grail: Authority and Relevance

A “good” link should therefore logically have a balance between authority and relevance. Consequently, the possibility of finding Netlinking spots combining these 2 qualities is even lower.

  • I could easily find a music site that will allow me to negotiate a link to my craftsman;
  • I could also without too much difficulty find a local site that supplies the luthier with fine wood and buy a link from him;
  • But from there to find a local site, talking about violin making and recognized by the profession becomes much more complicated …

If we add to this the recommendation of Google:

“Only natural links benefit the indexing and positioning of your site”

We can prepare to wait many months before collecting our first quality links!

What options do we have in this case to go find some links that will benefit my site in one way or another?

I will try to draw a general portrait of types of links by classifying them according to their relevance and their authority. However, it should be kept in mind that each case is specific and requires weighing each criterion.

What does a low quality link look like?

A low quality link in the eyes of Google can be:

  • Deprived of authority: its content is poor and therefore it collects few links;
  • Not very relevant: therefore does not reflect the expertise of your site;
  • Badly or not themed: it is placed on a site which offers a multitude of disparate sections;
  • Potentially harmful due to borderline SEO techniques;
  • Easy to get ;

Ultimately, does not benefit your site or very little.

In this category we can mention:

Free directories

Authority + / Relevance –

Very easy to identify, they have no other function than to list hundreds of sites with 3 lines of presentation text and without any added value.

The “comments” links

Authority – / Relevance +

Main way to do Netlinking a few years ago, comments in blogs or in forums were quickly identified as irrelevant, too easily manipulated from an SEO perspective, and are therefore largely ignored by Google.

Social media links
Authority – / Relevance –

Often rigged with a Nofollow, links from social media require little effort to obtain them but also have very little interest from an SEO point of view. Despite everything, Nofollow is not a binding directive for Google which can choose to ignore it. This type of link therefore has the merit of sending a signal but which remains too easily manipulated to have a strong impact in SEO. On the other hand, do not neglect the social commitment which is part of the ecosystem of a site.

What does a medium quality link look like?

It is always good to get them but their performance is variable, sometimes disappointing … They generate a healthy backlink profile but do not justify spending too much. They must represent the foundation of your backlinks profile: a good balance between quantity and quality.

We can cite in this category:

Corporate blogs

Authority + / Relevance +

These small blogs generally have low coverage, are positioned on long tail queries, but have the merit of being very well themed. They therefore make it possible to establish the semantic relevance of a link within an article, but also to show a form of recognition within your industry.

Related business sites

Authority ++ / Relevance +

What better prescriber than a commercial partner? Your raw material supplier is not directly a competitor, is not exactly on the same subject as yours, but for all that, he is in a related sector which can justify a link to your site.

Influencers / Blogger partnerships

Authority – / Relevance +

Often sold very expensive, these links ultimately have little SEO weight; on the other hand, they have a “boost” effect similar to press articles. They are therefore relevant to quickly generate some traffic and at best can give you some SEO juice.

Local news sites

Authority + / Relevance +

It is much easier to get a link there than on national news sites and have a real role to play in a local SEO logic. Their semantic relevance will be low due to the variety of subjects treated on the site.

National News sites

Authority ++ / Relevance –

Quite complicated to get because publishers know the value of links and often offer them for a high price. They will undoubtedly help you gain visibility with a short traffic effect but will not help you to establish your relevance on a particular subject.

What does a high quality link look like?

Links with a real SEO weight are difficult to obtain… Or expensive… Often both!

But sometimes, you can find nuggets by being smarter than your neighbor or by stepping into the doorway 🙂

Reference blogs on a given sector

Authority + / Relevance ++

This is the kind of blog that your loved ones have never heard of the name but that all your colleagues know. They can offer fairly average authority metrics but will on the other hand be perfectly thematic.

Renowned brands in your sector

Authority + / Relevance ++

Whether they are your customers, your suppliers, your partners, they are your first trusted third parties. Just appearing on a “Our Partners” page can give you the authority and relevance you lack.

Your group’s sites

Authority + / Relevance –

There is no reason not to make a link from one site of your group to another, even if the theme is different: you are your own trusted third party so why deny it?

Authority ++ / Relevance –

You have to find a common catchphrase, a reason for them to link to you, but if you succeed, association sites generally naturally benefit from a strong authority. Natural links to these sites are common and their authority scores are usually particularly high.

The simple fact of being listed in a “partners” page or a “they talk about us” page can give you a boost.

What about paid links?

The principle of SEO-oriented link buying platforms has become widely democratized in recent years. However, we all know that the principle of buying links for the sole purpose of improving a site’s ranking goes against Google’s guidelines:

Any link intended to manipulate the ranking PageRank or the ranking of a site in Google search results may be considered part of a linking system and violate the Instructions for webmasters from Google. This includes all operations aimed at manipulating links directing to your site or links contained in your site and redirecting to other pages.

Ideally, the link will not be identified as having been paid for and you will not be penalized. However, if Google detects that you have acquired links from websites that sell links, the web page they point to could be penalized. Choose well 🙂

However, the purchase of link is in no way different from a banner or an affiliate system and Google therefore offers to declare its paid links with a rel = ”sponsored” attribute. This attribute indicates to Google that it can follow it but without including it in its Page Rank calculation…. (“Buy from the link… Do it…”)


It’s pretty reassuring to want to rank potential links based on a score, but in fact, is it also binary?

  • Will only links with a TF superior to mine allow me to progress? Should I limit myself to sites with the same theme as my site?
  • Do I necessarily have to have more links than my competitor to overtake him?
  • etc …

We can only make correlations and accumulate feedback to try to answer these questions. Netlinking like SEO is not an exact science, and even when we have the impression of working at constant scope on 2 sites, we will notice performance gaps.

Should we therefore really rely on indicators and refer to preconceived ideas or is it not better to focus on naturalizing our profile of links?

We will therefore focus on:

Vary the types of sites (blogs, sites) and also vary the platforms, CMS, avoid going through the same owners, vary IPs where the sites are hosted, drag some nofollow, vary anchors and do not hesitate to deoptimize it if necessary etc …

The goal will be to offer a link profile as natural as possible both in the diversity of spots and the frequency of acquisition (a young site will logically have a slower start-up and will collect fewer backlinks when it starts out). The race for the biggest TF, for the spot with the greatest number of referring domains, with the most traffic, only has the effect of going around in circles on a limited number of opportunities.

See also  what is a PBN in SEO?

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