What does a natural SEO link profile look like?

A natural link profile is important when it comes to avoiding penalties from Google and demonstrating a strong, authoritative site that other website owners actively link to – in other words, it’s vital for strong SEO.

A natural link profile is made up of three major considerations; where the links are coming from, how many of them there are and where on your site they’re pointing.

Most natural link profiles would be in a pyramid shape, with a wide base of lower authority sites building to a small point of high authority sites. This isn’t always the case, particularly if a new business gets a spate of press in high profile publications; however, you can generally expect for every national newspaper mention your business receives, you’ll probably receive five regional mentions and ten in the local press.

Much like a car accelerating, the typical link velocity (i.e. the speed with which you attract links) of an SME is a slow start before gradually gathering pace. Once again, this trajectory can be thrown off by major press mentions or by a site with a configuration issue creating many duplicate links, but as a general rule of thumb, if a website goes from 10,000 to 100,000 links in a month, Google may deem it worthy of an investigation.

The pages on your site that your inbound links point at can also be seen as unnatural in some cases. Your homepage will almost certainly be your most linked page. From there, you can then expect a sliding scale as pages become more granular – for example, your “widgets” page will most likely receive more links than your “blue widgets” page, which in turn will have more than your “small blue widgets” page. This trend will continue down until reaching your product pages, which tend to buck it. This is due to the fact that many websites will be inclined to link directly to the product or service that they’re featuring.

Alongside all of this is the spread of anchor text (the text used to anchor the link on the external site). You can read more about this here.

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