Search engines like Google use link popularity data to help determine if and when a website should rank for a given query. The quality of backlinks is more important than sheer quantity, but it’s important to understand all link values that your website may be getting from other sites. As the numbers typically vary based on the tool used to calculate metrics, it is good to use a variety of sources.
You will find that many of the following sources have different numbers. The metrics could depend on the sources algorithms, crawling techniques, crawling frequency, and other factors. The following are 4 search marketing metrics that will get you more familiar with your site’s authority and popularity.
Linkscape is the database the provides the data for Open Site Explorer. It provides access to link data from trillions of URLs across hundreds of millions of domains. Linkscape’s link data helps search marketers determine how many unique links are pointing to a given domain, subdomain, and specific pages on a website.
You can see how many links your website is getting by going to Open Site Explorer and entering your site’s URL in the search box.
Google’s PageRank measures link popularity on a logarithmic scale. It is a number that reflects the relative value of a given page. This data point can be useful for identifying potential site architecture issues and PageRank penalties but this metric is not the all inclusive ranking metric that some believe it to be. PageRank is only one of many metrics that go into Googleʼs ranking algorithm. This means it is a relatively poor metric for determining rankings.
mozRank refers to SEOmoz’s logarithmically scaled 10-point measure of global link authority. This metric is very similar in purpose to the measures of static importance used by the search engines (PageRank). Search engines often rank pages with higher global link authority ahead of pages with lower authority. Because measures like mozRank are global and static, this ranking power applies to a broad range of search queries, rather than pages optimized specifically for a few keywords.
The concept behind mozRank is to leverage the democratic nature of the web. As mentioned in link building basics for SEO, link to your site is a vote for your site. Pages can cast that vote by linking out to other pages. Their vote then becomes diluted with more links; thus, pages which link to many other pages aren’t able to overwhelm those which only link to a few other pages.
Just as links determine popularity of a given site, they also determine the trustworthiness of sites, too. Receiving links from sources which have inherent trust - government and university sites - is a strong endorsement of trust. mozTrust is a quantitative measure of this.
Trust-votes are determined through links, just like the mozRank metric. To calculate trust, trustworthy “crumbs” are identified. Those websites that earn trusted links are able to cast trust-votes through their links. Receiving a trust-passing link from a highly trusted source boosts your own trust. mozTrust is expressed on its own 10-point logarithmic scale.
Go identify the above metrics for your own site and determine whether you may need to create links for SEO. Remember, links are said to encompass over 70% of Google’s ranking factors. Even low-hanging links can give you more equity which result in higher rankings.