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How-to 9 min read July 16, 2020

List of requirements for a proper referring site

List of requirements for the websites link mass
Link building intends to receive trust from search engines. Before buying links, it is essential to assess the donor. This factor will work on the effectiveness of published links and your position in the search engine results page.
Since search engines are distrustful of links, they can penalize the website. This is expressed in the artificial worsening of the results. Therefore, you should give preference to quality over quantity.

External links of high quality affect the ranking because they are among the key factors. To determine the quality of the donor, you should evaluate a set of different parameters.

Donor site topics

The subject of the donor site should be directly or indirectly connected to yours.

Directly means that your web resource and donor site are as similar as possible; for example, they deal with baking. Indirectly implies a less obvious connection. Based on the previous example, these will be confectionery recipes, reviews, confectioners' blogs, and suchlike.

Donor site trust parameters

PageRank and its analogs from external sources are indicators used by Google and other search engines to assess the donor's trust. Naturally, the higher the donor's indicator, the more useful the links from it can be. You should not consider these indicators as absolute ones. For that reason, the requirements make sense in the aggregate.

A few years ago, when search algorithms did not investigate indicator' cheating, this was used and artificially overestimated. Most of these resources have been identified and limited by sanctions.

A donor under the filter is not a good idea, because if there is a certain number of such donors, the acceptor site may also get under the filter.

Content of the donor site

To evaluate the quality of the link donor, you should have a look at the published content. Check the pages for annoying advertising, errors in the text, pay attention to the links' location, and its cloud.

Moreover, you should assess the content coherence: either everything is published in a row, or the theme and style are well balanced. If you notice prohibited content, then you should not deal with such a donor.

Think about how much it would be helpful to get a link to your web resource from this site. Thus, you should pay attention to the indicators described below.
Want to get detailed instructions on how to choose a quality link for your domain? Leave your email in the form and receive a whitepaper with a step-by-step guide.

What to analyze when choosing a link donor

  • Content structure. Headings should be formatted; you shouldn't have a solid unformatted text on your site. The enumeration of keywords instead of text is unacceptable because it arouses suspicion of the algorithms.

  • Website relevance. The availability of live discussions, new publications can tell a lot about the site. Donor sites that haven't been updated for several years are not relevant. You should give preference to active resources. Analyze the general spamming, that is, the ratio of commercial (advertising) and non-commercial content.

  • Uniqueness. Unique content is essential. You should check how unique the text published by the donor is and whether it contains spam. To do this, use online analyzers, for example, Dupli Checker or Copyleaks. If the content is not mostly unique, then it's likely to expect the same approach when posting your link.

  • Media content, graphic and video files. These elements improve the understanding of the text, help the user quickly learn the main point of the publication.

  • Make sure that the general content theme is consistent. After scrolling through the site, make sure that the materials deal with one topic, instead of spam about casinos.

  • The availability of filters and sanctions. The donor site should not be restricted in the search engine results page due to sanctions. Check this with the help of online services like Ionos.

  • You should check the donor age to ensure that the site doesn't work only one day and has already been indexed. You can indirectly evaluate the level of trust that has been formed from search engines. Do not work with sites younger than 12 months old or which domain payment is in the backlog for a long time.

  • General SEO. Analyze visually and using online analyzers. Pay attention to the speed of site loading, the availability of Title, Description, headings of H-levels, length of texts, micro-layout, and site map.

  • If you find a donor on social networks, then this is a good sign. This means that people are actively working on the site, reposting from the resource, conducting the discussion, and more.

  • Availability of advertising. Aggressive advertising repels users, so choose donors with a minimal amount of advertising. Pay attention to the advertisement content, which should not be related to prohibited material.

  • Availability of links in exchanges. You must understand how accessible the donor is, whether it publishes everything, or chooses wisely. If you found a link on the exchange, then this means that you need to conduct a careful analysis. Many exchanges check donor sites independently, uploading reports on internal parameters for free and assigning their trust estimates.

  • The ratio of incoming links to outgoing. If the donor site publishes mostly links but does not have backlinks, you should not post a link. Such a donor will have less confidence from search engines. The appropriate Serpstat section allows you to check how many backlinks a donor has. In the same module, you can find out which sites link to the site.
Referring domains check and analysis in Serpstat
Serpstat has the new Links Intersection report!

The tool will be useful to:

  1. Find common donors for several web sites.
  2. Find donors who link to your competitors but not to your site.
  3. Create a visual graph comparing the reference mass for the analyzed domains.
Serpstat Links Intersection


The link mass's size and quality affect the position of the site in the search engine results page. If you decide to purchase links from donors, check their quality carefully.

Moreover, you should take into account the following most crucial requirements:

  1. Relevance to the subject of your project.
  2. Trust level from search engines.
  3. Published content:
  • content structure;
  • website activity;
  • uniqueness;
  • volume of published material;
  • the availability of media content, graphic and video files;
  • consistency of topics in the content.
  1. Basic requirements for donor parameters:
  • filters and sanctions;
  • donor age;
  • general SEO level;
  • social activity;
  • advertising;
  • website's backlinks;
  • participation in link exchanges.
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This article is a part of Serpstat's Checklist tool
Checklist at Serpstat
Checklist is a ready-to-do list that helps to keep reporting of the work progress on a specific project. The tool contains templates with an extensive list of project development parameters where you can also add your own items and plans.
Try Checklist now

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