Besides do-follow and no-follow backlinks, there is another set of factors to keep in mind. Let us explain.
For starters, whatever type of backlink is pointing to your website, it will have what is sometimes called citation flow.
Citation flow is concerned with the sheer volume of links back to your website and the value of each of those links. The flow indicates that there is some linking “juice” going from that website to yours, sometimes even if the link is a no-follow. (Although many no-follow backlinks have zero citation flow.)
Of course, do-follow links will have much more citation flow than no-follows. Considerably more.
What you want from citation flow is a lot of valuable “juice” flowing to your website.
But you also want something else. Something else that is a little harder to come by. A very special something called trust flow.
Trust flow indicates how influential a website is. You definitely want as much trust flowing to your website as possible through your backlinks.
You see, trust flow acts like a vote of confidence for your website. Whenever an influential site with a lot of trust links back to your site, it tells the search engines that your website is also influential. That your business website is a trusted authority in your industry niche.
But unlike citation flow that still sometimes runs from some no-follow links, you won’t get any trust flowing your way from no-follow backlinks.
It’s only from do-follow backlinks that you can expect any trust flow.
So naturally, you want to have as many do-follow backlinks as possible and from the most influential sites that you can get.
The Golden Ratio
A good backlinking strategy will have a ratio that is always expressed as the trust flow divided by the citation flow.
What you’re after is a ratio as close to 1.00 as possible, if not over 1.
For example, take a look at the numbers below:
As you can see (from one of our own backlinking strategies), the trust flow is more than the citation flow. When you divide the trust flow (30) with the citation flow (26) you get 1.1538. That is more than 1, which is good. Very good.
That’s what you’re after, getting your backlinking ratio as close to 1 as possible, and maybe even higher.
What you may not realize is this: The trust/citation flow ratio is constantly shifting.
Adding backlinks is a near-constant SEO task. Also, some backlinks get deleted after a while. So the ratio for any and all backlinking strategies shifts and needs to be monitored closely.
And that’s what we feel leads to the most common errors we see in backlinking. Errors made by amateurs.
You see, a lot of the time, backlinking is approached as a do-it-once-and-forget-it exercise.
Someone works to get backlinks to a website, they call it done and don’t monitor it like they should. They don’t spend the time and effort to manage their backlinks so that they get – and continue to get -- the best possible outcome from their backlinks.
A classic mistake we here at Big Blue Sky Internet Marketing see all the time is backlinking strategies with some citation flow and absolutely no trust flow. Check out what we mean from the picture below: (Nat: insert image of Cleaning Company 0/3 ratio here).
This company was not one of our clients, by the way, but using the SEO tools at our disposal, we were able to see that this company’s backlinking strategy leaves a lot to be desired.
First of all, they don’t have enough backlinks. They only have 3. And what they do have has absolutely no trust flow running to their website.
This indicates that whoever did their backlinks did not understand the difference between backlinks (no-follows and do-follows), let alone to build and manage the backlinks to maintain a perfect trust flow/citation flow ratio. Or as nearly perfect as possible.
So it’s not surprising that this company’s website is buried deep on page 3 of the search results for their industry niche on Google. A page where no visitor looking for the types of services they provide will ever find them.
Don’t be like this company and skimp on your SEO.
Make sure that the SEO service you use knows what trust and citation flows are and how to structure their backlinking strategies to constantly strive for the Golden Ratio.