How to Do a Backlink Audit (5 Simple Steps)

How to Do a Backlink Audit (5 Simple Steps)


A backlink audit is the method of analyzing the standard, amount, and relevance of hyperlinks pointing to your web site.

an infographic showing a website and multiple backlink pages pointing at the main one

A complete hyperlink audit may give you a gold mine of data that may vastly influence your search engine optimisation and backlink technique.

So you may construct higher hyperlinks and beat your rivals by outranking them in search outcomes.

On this article, we’ll run via a easy backlink audit course of you may replicate on your personal web site.

Observe: We’ll be utilizing Semrush’s Backlink Audit, Backlink Analytics, and Link Building Tool for this complete course of. Semrush instruments have the biggest backlink database in the marketplace.

Let’s get began.

This step is a should. Evaluating your self to your rivals may give you quite a lot of useful insights and reply necessary questions like:

  • Do you might have extra backlinks and referring domains than your rivals?
  • What does your hyperlink acquisition fee appear like in comparison with your rivals?
  • What’s your Authority Score? How does it examine to your competitors?

All of this issues.

As a result of the stronger your backlink profile is, the higher you’ll find yourself rating in search outcomes. Which may translate to extra visitors to your web site.

To begin your evaluation, go to the Backlink Analytics software. Enter your area identify and click on “Analyze.”

Backlink Analytics tool

Then, within the “Overview” tab, enter a few of your rivals’ domains and click on “Evaluate.”

compare your website with competitors in “Overview” tab

You’ll discover numerous information factors to see whether or not you’re trending in the correct course together with your hyperlink constructing technique.

What You Ought to Analyze

Within the “Overview” tab, evaluation the:

  • Backlinks, Referring Domains, and Referring IPs: To estimate how huge your backlink footprint is in comparison with the competitors. Typically, the upper the numbers, the stronger your backlink profile is.
  • Authority Rating: To find out the standard of your web site. This high quality is measured on a scale from 1 to 100. The upper the quantity, the higher high quality the area is.
results in the “Overview” tab
  • Hyperlink Attributes: To establish linking patterns and see what quantity of your hyperlinks are “follow” and nofollow. “Comply with” hyperlinks affect your rankings as a result of they switch hyperlink fairness, however nofollow hyperlinks don’t. So, you need to prioritize constructing “comply with” hyperlinks.
"Link Attributes" page shows a graph comparing link attributes
  • Referring Domains: To search out out whether or not your referring domains are rising persistently. Or whether or not your referring domains development is stagnant. And see how your development compares to your competitors.
"Referring Domains" page shows a graph comparing referring domains over time

The evaluation above ought to reveal strengths you may capitalize on and weaknesses you’ll need to overcome.

For instance, when you discover your hyperlink development is stagnant and your rivals have extra backlinks than you, then begin constructing hyperlinks.

Learn our full information on link building strategies to learn the way.

Now that you know the way your backlink profile stacks up in opposition to your competitors, it’s time to dig deeper and analyze every hyperlink individually.


Some backlinks are extra helpful than others. And if in case you have quite a lot of low-quality backlinks, they’re not going to maneuver the needle on your web site.

Or worse, they might set off a handbook motion penalty from Google (which means some or your whole pages received’t seem in search outcomes). Particularly in case your web site was concerned in any link spam (hyperlinks meant to govern natural rankings).

You should utilize Semrush’s Backlink Audit software to investigate your backlinks. 

First, start a project, configure the software, and click on “Begin Backlink Audit.” 

As soon as the audit is full, you’ll see an in depth report. Like this:

"Overview" tab in Backlink Audit tool

What You Ought to Analyze

Within the “Overview” tab, have a look at the:

  • General Toxicity Rating: To see whether or not you might have a excessive rating, which means there are too many low-quality hyperlinks pointing to your web site
  • Analyzed Backlinks: To search out out whether or not the quantity is increased than what you anticipated it to be, which might point out a negative SEO assault. Typically, you need not do something. Google is fairly good at ignoring link-related damaging search engine optimisation assaults.
  • Referring Domains: To see what number of domains hyperlink to your web site. A number of hyperlinks coming from a single area received’t have a lot influence from a rating standpoint. The secret is to construct hyperlinks from as many distinctive and related domains as potential.
important metrics in the "Overview" tab in Backlink Audit tool

The “Overview” tab provides you a really high-level view. To delve deeper, you must go to the “Audit” tab.

There, you’ll see all of the backlinks pointing to your web site.

“Audit” tab shows backlinks pointing to your site

From right here, have a look at:

  • The URLs: To see whether or not they come from authentic web sites 
  • Anchor textual content: To see whether or not the anchor text is related to the linked web page. Excessive-quality backlinks are inclined to have anchor textual content that’s related to the linked web page’s content material, whereas low-quality backlinks are inclined to have unnatural or spammy anchor textual content (i.e., one thing random).
  • Authority Rating (AS) of the linking area: To gauge the reputability of the linking area, which impacts your search rankings. The next AS means a extra optimistic affect on rankings. A decrease AS means a much less optimistic influence on rankings.
  • Toxicity Rating (TS) of the linking web page: To measure how probably dangerous the linking web page could possibly be. The Toxicity Score ranges from 0 to 100. The decrease the TS, the upper the hyperlink’s high quality. The upper the TS, the decrease the hyperlink’s high quality. You may click on on the TS rating to see why Semrush considers a specific hyperlink as low-quality or dangerous. 

The following step is deciding whether or not to disavow or take away any dangerous backlinks.

Google says to do that:

  • You probably have a major variety of low-quality hyperlinks constructed utilizing ways which are in opposition to Google’s guidelines
  • In case you’ve obtained a handbook motion penalty from Google

In case you’ve intentionally violated Google’s tips and constructed an inflow of hyperlinks in ways in which violate Google’s tips, you threat all the things when it comes to search engine optimisation.

You’ll obtain an alert in Google Search Console notifying you of a handbook motion penalty.

You may verify for these penalties by going to “Safety & Handbook Actions,” after which “Handbook actions” in Google Search Console. 

In case your web site hasn’t been issued any penalties, you may see a inexperienced verify mark.

Like this:

Green checkmark with "No issues detected" text

You may take care of handbook motion penalties in one among two methods: 

  • Take away: Reaching out to linking web sites and asking them to delete hyperlinks
  • Disavow: Disavowing hyperlinks utilizing Google’s Disavow tool

First, attain out to web sites and see if you will get these hyperlinks eliminated.

You should utilize Semrush’s Backlink Audit software for this goal.

Right here’s how:

1. Go to the “Audit” tab of the software and filter for hyperlinks which have a Toxicity Rating of 60 or extra. These are probably going to be low-quality, dangerous hyperlinks. 

2. Verify the bins on the left-hand facet. Then, click on the “Take away” button, choose “Area” or “URL,” and ship them to your “Take away” listing.

where to send links to "Remove list" in Backlink Audit tool

 3. Navigate to the “Take away” tab and connect your email

connect your email in the “Remove” tab

4. Click on the “Ship” button subsequent to one of many hyperlinks

“Send” button highlighted

5. Write an e-mail requesting hyperlink elimination. The recipient’s e-mail deal with will populate routinely. If it doesn’t, you may add it manually by discovering it on their web site.

example of an email requesting link removal

6. Click on “Ship and proceed to subsequent.”

“Send and proceed to next” button highlighted

You’ll be capable to hold observe of your requests in Semrush and in your individual mailbox.

If the web site homeowners don’t take away the hyperlinks to your web site, disavowing is your remaining possibility. 

To do that, click on the “Disavow” button to ship your dangerous hyperlinks to the “Disavow” listing. 

“Disavow” button highlighted

Subsequent, go to the “Disavow” tab, export its contents in a .txt file, after which add it to the Google disavow tool.

upload links to the Google disavow tool

To be taught extra concerning the disavow process, try our detailed information on disavowing backlinks.

Observe: Be extraordinarily cautious when disavowing hyperlinks. Disavowing backlinks when it’s pointless can severely hurt your rankings. 

This step is about ensuring you get well any hyperlinks you used to have that you simply misplaced.

Constructing backlinks takes effort and time. So, it pays to reclaim them while you lose them over time.

This occurs for a lot of totally different causes:

  • The writer eliminated your hyperlink from the content material
  • The linking web page has been redirected to a different web page
  • The writer changed your hyperlink with one thing else
  • The linking web page by accident obtained deleted 

Use Semrush’s Link Building tool to get well your hard-earned hyperlinks. 

First, configure the tool. After that, go to the “Prospects” tab and click on on “Misplaced Backlinks.” 

“Lost Backlinks” with number 1914 in Link Building tool

You’ll see hyperlinks that you simply used to have.

From right here, open every hyperlink individually. You’ll be capable to see details about why your hyperlink disappeared.

For instance, if it’s returning a 404 error, it could possibly be as a result of the web page was deleted. 

Then, you may attain out to the web site proprietor and ask them to reinstate the web page.

A easy e-mail like this might do the trick:

Hey [Name],

Simply got here throughout your ____ web page and located it’s damaged.

Did you do that on goal or was it deleted by accident?

In any case, having a damaged web page in your web site will not be good for UX or search engine optimisation. 

So, I might suggest reinstating the web page.

No strain when you don’t need to achieve this, although. 🙂 It’s all as much as you. I simply thought it will be useful to achieve out and allow you to know.


[Your Name]

A backlink audit is extra than simply analyzing your backlink profile and reclaiming your misplaced hyperlinks. It will probably additionally provide help to spot new alternatives to construct high-quality hyperlinks. 

There are two predominant methods to do that:

  1. Learning what content material sorts appeal to probably the most backlinks to your web site. So you may double down on producing the identical kinds of content material to proceed attracting hyperlinks.
  2. Researching your rivals’ hyperlink constructing methods and replicating the identical technique on your web site.

Right here’s how you are able to do each.

To take a look at what content material sorts appeal to hyperlinks to your web site, go to the “Listed Pages” tab in Backlink Analytics software on your web site.

You’ll see your most linked-to content material.

“Indexed Pages” tab in Backlink Analytics tool

In case you see that listicle-style posts are the highest hyperlink earners, create extra listicle posts.

In case you see how-to guides attracting hyperlinks, create extra how-to posts.

Now, let’s go over how one can analysis your rivals’ backlinks to develop new hyperlink constructing methods.

Open Semrush’s Backlink Analytics software, enter a competitor’s area, after which click on “Analyze.” 

enter a competitor’s domain in Backlink Analytics tool

Then, go to the “Referring Domains” tab. 

You’ll see all of the web sites which are linking to that competitor. Like this:

“Referring Domains” tab in Backlink Analytics tool

Have a look at the domains that often hyperlink to them. Or kinds of web sites that hyperlink to them probably the most.

For instance, when you see your competitor is getting hyperlinks from in style media retailers like BBC, TechCrunch, and so forth., this most likely means they’re placing efforts into digital PR.

You can do the identical on your personal web site. And earn hyperlinks that means.

Learn our information to digital PR to learn the way. 

In case your backlink audit reveals that you simply lack sufficient high-quality hyperlinks to stay aggressive in your market, constructing extra of those hyperlinks needs to be your precedence.

You should utilize Semrush’s Link Building Tool for this.

The software routinely scans the online for related web sites you may construct hyperlinks from. Even higher, you may contact the web site homeowners from the software itself.

To get began, set up a project in the tool.

After that, navigate to the “Prospects” tab. Right here, you’ll see web sites you may attain out to for backlinks.

“Prospects” tab. in Link Building Tool

Manually evaluation every prospect and click on “To In Progress” to ship the promising ones to the “In Progress” tab. 

“To In Progress” button highlighted

On the “In Progress” tab, click on on the “Contact” button subsequent to one of many web sites you need to contact.

“Contact” button highlighted

From right here, you may craft and ship your outreach e-mail.

example of an outreach email

And be sure you comply with link building outreach best practices and provides web site homeowners a powerful motive to hyperlink to your web site.


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