At Off Page we don’t link build based on hunting down external metrics as often we find that metrics are heavily based around the pure link equity of the link rather than its true value in the modern sense. As such we to to resist the most common link metrics such as: –
Moz DA is probably the most requested external metric there is. It is better than it used to be but we tend to find its a very thin metric, easily influenced and rarely describes the true impact that the link will have on the campaign.
As a metric of link equity, TrustFlow or TF is a better metric. It more cleanly describes the actual equity in the link graph. It does however have a few major flaws.
It does not take into account how likely the link is to pass its value (in a world where Google ignores more than it counts nowadays) and it also does not take into consideration any real solid trust and authority signals, other than the proximity of the link to known trusted sources.
Kerboo has tried to address these failings with their LinkValue metrics (which our Paul Madden was a key part of the design and planning process). LinkValue tries to take a theoretical view of what the link could pass and then discounts that value based on things like ‘how often its been disavowed’ and ‘what users of Kerboo rate it as’. For link building though LinkValue isnt practical as it does not work on a theoretical basis, the link has to physically exist already.
The Off Page OPR rating
To address these shortcomings we decided that we needed a better way of equating the value we saw in any link or coverage that we might target and this is what we now call OPR (Off Page Rating)
The way that OPR works is… When we interact with a site or publication we have a simple in house browser extension that presents us live information about that property and the context of what interactions that we have had before with them.
This allows us to know things like: –
- Who’s our contact here?
- What are the categories we have assigned to this property?
- What interactions have we had in the past?
- What are the external metrics for this property from a link equity stance?
The thought process on how we assign the OPR is a little bit ‘behind the curtain’ stuff for us here and we generally don’t reveal the theory to anyone but it revolves around these key tenets of link building: –
- The links ability to pass value
- The property’s position in the link graph
- The relevancy to the expected user journey’s in their niche
- The risk of the property (as defined by the standards around ‘intent to manipulate’ defined by Google
- Our previous experience with the person, property or publication
By taking all of these into account we can assign a grading as that properties OPR. This helps us make better decisions about who to target, what for and how.