Domain evaluation for effective link building

Domain evaluation: Of course, many factors such as topic relevance etc. are not (not always) measurable for us. In the following article, however, I would only like to deal with measurable values; we will leave the other values out for now.

First of all, I would like to point out that this is a purely theoretical assessment and that we generally advise against buying links. However, should link purchase be desired and carried out, the following factors should be observed.

Domain valuation is extremely important in link building because in most cases it is used to determine the “price” and “value” of a back-link.

Which metrics should you watch out for?

In order to really evaluate a domain, we need different measured values from different tools. As I said, in this article we only evaluate the domain based on data that is given to us.

Visibility index

Tools like Xovi and Sisitrix give us the opportunity to evaluate a domain using the visibility index (Xovi = Ovi | Sistrix = SI). The visibility index is determined with the help of search volume and position of the keywords. Because both tool providers have different algorithms and keyword portfolios, there can be enormous differences here. It is therefore advisable to determine both measured values!

The big disadvantage of the Visibility Index is the rating of niche sites. Websites with very special topics have a lower visibility index than websites with “better known” topics (logical, since the search volume of the keywords is significantly lower). Therefore, according to the measured value, a back link is “worth less” here, even though significantly more sales could be generated in these areas or the CPC is significantly higher. It could also be that the niche backlink is much more difficult to generate, which would actually speak for a “valuable” back-link.

For this reason, you should include the ranking value in the domain evaluation.

Ranking value

The ranking value corresponds to the value that you would have to output with Google Ads in order to receive traffic volumes comparable to that if you ranked in the top 10 with your URL. Since high CPCs can also occur in niche sites, this value reflects the value of a domain fairly well.

The disadvantage here is that pure information pages have a relatively low ranking value (since information-driven keywords usually have a lower CPC) and can still have an enormous amount of traffic and a strong influence as a back-link.

Backlinks (link pop)

If you get a back-link from a website with a lot of back-links, you get some of the link strength (link juice). The domain seems to be highly relevant and a back link to a highly relevant website is of course desirable (provided all rules are adhered to).

However, it is not only the number of back links that is important here, but also the quality and balance within the back-link portfolio.

But the number and quality of the backlinks alone are not enough to create a comprehensive and as accurate as possible evaluation of a website as a link source.

Trust Flow and Citation Flow

The Trust Flow (TF) and Citation Flow (CF) rating metrics are metrics from the link building tool Majestics and help determine the value of a website for link building.

The trust flow evaluates the credibility and quality of the backlink portfolio. The “closeness” of the back-links to previously manually defined, trustworthy websites is determined and evaluated.

The Citation Flow is only about the amount of backlinks, i.e. the size of the backlink portfolio.

The whole thing is then displayed quite graphically by Majestics (more on this: Majestics Blog).

Domain Pop / Domain Rating

The domain pop is also a metric that evaluates a website’s backlink portfolio. In contrast to the Citation Flow, the Domain Pop does not consider all back links, only the number of linked domains.

Tools that calculate the domain pop for you are e.g. search metrics and Ahrefs.

Backlinks as website rating

But the number and quality of the back links alone are not enough to create a comprehensive and as accurate as possible evaluation of a website as a link source. Like the other metrics, back-links can only cover a certain part of the rating. Leaving yourself on the back link portfolio of a website would be fatal.

LRT measured values

The LRT Tools specialize in website evaluation for link building and have several measured values ​​that we can include in a comprehensive evaluation.

LRT Power / Trust

With the LRT Power / Trust, a self-proclaimed successor to the Google Page Rank has been published. The LRT Power / Trust is made up of the trust and power values.

The LRT Trust evaluates the quality of a back link or a domain and the “trust” that Google has in a website. LRT Power is more about the quality and strength of the linked website (comparable to the Google Page Rank up to 2013).

The best thing about this is that you can use a Chrome extension to call up the two measured values ​​for each website free of charge.

Link detox (DTOXRISK)

With the LRT Linkdetox (DTOXRISK), the linking website is evaluated based on 41 rules. Every violation of a rule increases the DTOXRISK and shows how harmful a backlink from this domain can be for your website (all LRT rules here).

The values ​​of the Linkdetox are the best basis for creating a detailed disavow file and thus anticipating possible penalties or counteracting them as quickly as possible.

Domain Spam Score

Another metric to determine the quality of a website for your link building is the spam score. This value is determined by the number of incoming and outgoing links and the spam score of the incoming links. The easiest way to determine the spam score is with the free version at

High quality traffic

You can assume that a website with a high SI or OVI has more traffic than a website with low visibility. Still, it would be helpful to know how much traffic there is on a website. A nice alternative to Google Analytics (where only the operator has insight) is SEMRush. The Traffic Analytics report and the Domain Analytics menu provide you with a well-founded estimate that, according to your own experience, is really close to the real traffic.

The value is calculated using the click rate per impression and position of the keyword, as well as the search volume.

A website with a lot of topic-relevant traffic naturally brings enormous added value, even if the other SEO values have not blown you off your feet.


In order to correctly evaluate a domain as a back-link source, you need a lot more than a measured value. It is best to take a close look at all the measured values and compare them with one another. In link building, a lot of money can be spent on weak or harmful back links, which is why it is all the more important to take a close look at and analyze the link sources.

Unfortunately, tools are required for many measured values, whereby many values such as the visibility index from Sistrix (25 queries a day), the spam score from and the LRT Power / Trust values can also be accessed free of charge.

In addition to the many measured values and data, however, you should never neglect the most important point. The topic relevance!

Personally, I always ask myself:
1) Does the link make sense for me and does it offer added value?
2) Would I have set the link without paying?

If the questions are answered with yes, you are actually half the battle.