What is a Link Audit?
Link Audit is a discipline of SEO that had its debut with the Google Penguin updates. It involves the removal and disavowing of toxic links, link risk management and the overall knowledge of risk factors for you and your niche.
Every SEO who already went through the pain of a Google Penguin penalty or even a manual action knows about the importance of proactive disavows and proper link risk management.
But there are also other fields in link audit besides disavowing bad links. Link audit is also about assessing the average risk from new link prospects, analyzing websites for their best page to place a link on or recovering link juice from lost links.
Link Audit Workflow
Link Audit should be seen as a continuous process, as it is not only depending on the links you build yourself, but also on the links that others build to your site naturally. Updating your domain’s disavow file, checking for broken links and assessing their quality should be in your weekly routine as a clever SEO. If you are working for a really big website, maybe you should even do it every one or two days.
Disavow Links and Manage Risk
If you want to go for the classic “recover and protect” from Google Penguin and manual actions, then Link Detox (DTOX) is the tool for you. It helps you easily find the bad links that harm your site. You can clean up your inbound link profile and earn your rankings back.
You can also review the quality of the links in your disavow file and find links you wish to undisavow. Just upload your disavow file and run a Disavow File Audit report for your domain.
Recover Link Juice, Optimize Link Structure
When auditing your backlink profile, make sure you don’t leave any broken links behind. Every broken link means a bad experience for your users and lost link juice in Google. This is why you should go after any broken link and fix it with the matching redirect. Thanks to the Link Juice Recovery Tool (LJR), you can do all of this in one report. It discovers broken links to your page and lets you create an .htaccess file for all of them in one move.
You should also consider checking for the best subpages on your domain and optimize your internal link structure according to that. Also, you should check any domain for its best subpages whenever you have the chance to get a link there. This way, you can always make sure to get your link on the right page. Recommended tool: Strongest Subpages Tool (SSPT)
Speed up the Crawling
Whenever you did changes to your backlink profile you want to have promoted, you have to make sure Google takes notice of it, no matter, if it’s a new disavow file or some awesome new links you just built. If you want to have those links crawled faster, you can always use the Link Detox Boost (BOOST). It makes Google really count your disavow file or new links and helps you recover from any penalty and restore your rankings fast.
Link Audit is like a good health plan for your backlink profile. It involves the insurance against toxic links, helps you keep the link juice flowing to the right pages and recover from penalties. It is the most important, yet time-consuming aspect of the entire process. A good Link Audit is made-up of 20% strategy, 20% knowledge and 60% accuracy and patience.