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Analysis of Backlinks with Ahrefs

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Analysis of Backlinks with Ahrefs

Today in the Digital Marketing Blog we return with SEO, but real SEO. It is essential for a good digital marketing strategy to know the links that point to our website, as well as those that point to the pages of the competition. As experts in digital marketing we must know online tools that will greatly facilitate our work and unfortunately are not well known in our industry.

Every marketing professional must dedicate weekly time to learn new digital marketing tools and not wait until they are so well known that when they want to incorporate it supposes a delay for your director of marketing email list. There are truly useful tools that are unknown and that can help us fulfill, for example, our digital marketing plan. If you have already mastered Ahrefs and detected a Google sanction, I recommend my article on manual Google sanctions.

Today in the blog we will know a key tool for SEO positioning and marketing strategy in general. This tool is Ahrefs.

Ahrefs is a tool that helps us monitor incoming backlinks to a website. It allows us to know the links that point to our domain and to pages of the competition, so we can know the advances or setbacks in SEO. Obviously it is not a 100% accurate tool, but currently it is the best in the analysis of backlinks.


Ahrefs allows us to choose whether to use an exact URL, use subdomains or not use subdomains in the search. This option is found in the header once we have logged in. I personally always use the option * .domain / * which is the one that refers to all subdomains and therefore will give us a global view of our website, not just the index.

When we have chosen our search type and we have selected a domain to review, such as elpais.com, we find Ahrefs’ own ranking and some very visual numerical data:

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Global Rank: It is a global ranking that makes this tool. Personally, I do not see much use because it follows its own criteria, which does not have to be the best. In any case, it can always be used as another indicator.

URL Rating and Domain Rating: They are also indicators of the tool itself. They tell us a kind of “PA and DA” (Moz indicators about the power of a domain). Keep in mind that it is based almost exclusively on the incoming links.

Backlinks: It offers us at a glance the number of incoming links that the tool detects that there is pointing towards the domain in question. We must bear in mind that there may be links that are not indexed or that the tool has not yet recognized.

Referring Domains: It shows us the reference domains from where they are linking us. Remember that from the same domain we can link as many times as we want to a web, so it is convenient to be clear about the difference. Nothing will serve us 1000 links if they point from the same domain. Suspect in the eyes of Google.

Social Indicators: It gives us an image of the level of share in social networks. It is one of the indicators that fails the most, on a personal level I do not like to trust me, but it can give an idea.

At the beginning, we find an evolution of the ranking of Ahrefs, which helps us to know if we are doing things well although, as I mentioned before, it is the least important of the whole analysis.

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Know if we are being attacked by the competition.

It is possible that the competition has contracted a negative SEO service to our website. There are programs that publish comments automatically (like FCS Networker or GSA) and that can be programmed to link from sites (that Google does not like) to the web that we indicate. These links will be detected by Google and the website will be severely sanctioned. If something like this has happened to you, I recommend you read the article on Manual Handling from Google.

With this tool we can know from where we are being linked and export this data to a document to be able to send them to Google and that this stop taking them into account. This operation is called disavow and I also mention it in the manual manual sanctions post mentioned above.

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In this first graph we can see how there is a peak of links to the web in September 2014. If we have not done any black hat technique it is clear that we are being attacked. We must find what is the anchor text with which we are linking.

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In this graph you can see a more natural growth of the links. It is a new domain that grows month to month in a normal way. For Google this would not be a reason for sanction.

Find domains from where to get quality links.

Which are the steps to follow?

1- The first thing is to make a list with the main competitors of your company. It is assumed that at this point we all know what our competence is and we have it perfectly located.

2- In second place we have to see the webs and analyze the links they have. It is a heavy work and that may not always have a positive result, that is why it can become exasperating. Through the ahrefs tool we can see practically all of the links that point to a domain.

3- Find opportunities where we can establish equal backlinks.

After analyzing the backlinks of the competition, reviewing a list like the one we can see below, we may find other websites where to place our links. In fact, there are automatic programs that allow you to link in all the sites where you link a domain.

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Find out the type of links we have, how these links have arrived and how many are still active.

To know the number of dofollow and nofollow links and other information of interest, such as how many are redirected, how many come from images or which have as starting point educational or governmental sites, we should look at the following section:

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This image corresponds to the domain of puromarketing.com and as we see it is not bad. Most are dofollow links and has almost 2000 educational, something very positive. Perhaps I would emphasize that the number of links that come from images is higher than the normal average in relative terms. Being a digital marketing website, many people will link them in this way.

If we want to see the new reference domains VS lost and the new VS backlinks lost, we should see this graph:

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Know an approximation of the traffic that enters our web.

Personally I prefer to use Google Analytics for these things, but it is an indicator that it will not be bad for us to compare or to see at a quick glance how things are in our domain. It must be taken into account what will only show us data if our website has a relevant level of traffic. The more traffic you have, the more accurate this information will be.

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Do you want to not be investigated with this tool?

If you do not want to be investigated, as I am doing now, you must configure the htaccess file to block the step to ahrefs. If you do this, you should bear in mind that you will not be able to see how your domain advances in the period of time that the htaccess file is working.