A lot of people ask us whether certain links will benefit them and push them up in the rankings or not. Then they ask us the process we go through to make that determination. I thought I would go through some of the things I look at to determine how impactful a link is going to be, whether it’s potentially toxic, etc.

Ranking For Titles

I like to take a handful of the recent posts on the site in question. Then I’ll see if the site ranks fairly well for the title of the article. If the site ranks on pretty highly for the title of the articles it puts out, that’s a very good indicator that Google likes the site, and if it links to you, you will get a good push from it. If the competition of the title of the article isn’t that high and the site doesn’t rank well for that keyword, then that’s a sign that the domain isn’t very strong and/or possibly is penalized. This method is a very good indicator because it uses actual Google data to determine how Google might view a site.


I like to look at the Trust Flow and Citation Flow of a site. The citation flow is a measure of the quantity of links going to a site, while the trust flow is a measure of the quality of those links. If the trust flow is below 10, I tend to try to avoid getting a link from that site. Similarly, if the citation flow is a lot bigger than the trust flow, then that’s an indicator that the domain has probably been spammed. In that case, it means the site has gotten a large quantity of links, but generally those links aren’t very trustworthy. I like when the trust flow is above 10 and is as close as possible to the citation flow.

majestic seo


An easy indicator of quality and power is just looking at the metrics from Moz, the domain authority and page authority. There’s no set rule, but the higher the domain authority, generally the better the link is going to be for you. Similarly, the higher the page authority, the more power will flow through from a particular link to your site. This is another set of metrics that I’ll take a look at.

Link Research Tools

When I’m looking to assess the threat of a penalty to a site, I almost always use Link Research Tools (http://www.linkresearchtools.com). To me, the Link Detox tool is the best insight into how Google would assess a site’s link profile. It provides great insight into what the risk of a penalty would be. I won’t get into all the details, but if I’m trying to be very thorough, I will also use Link Research Tools.

That’s a quick rundown of what I take a look at to know how good a link from a certain site would be. There’s certainly more that you could do, but those are the basics of my process. Leave me a comment or send us an email if you have any further questions.