Forum › White Hat SEO › So I leaned the hard way after buying backlinks that backlinks are not equal and had to pay to remove 2500 spammy backlinks. My question is how important is contextual backlinks vs just foundational backlinks with high DAs like 60-100? › Reply To: So I leaned the hard way after buying backlinks that backlinks are not equal and had to pay to remove 2500 spammy backlinks. My question is how important is contextual backlinks vs just foundational backlinks with high DAs like 60-100?
Contextual backlinks vs foundational backlinks:
Depends on how competitive the keywords you are trying to rank for.
If by foundational links, you mean socials, relevant business directories, etc. — that should be done for all of your websites. In some, non-competitive niches, that might be enough to get you ranking (assuming your keyword research + on site are good).
If you are working in a competitive niche, and your keywords are dominated by larger websites, then you should get contextual backlinks.
Also, do not use DA as a standalone metric. This is probably what got you in this mess. A lot of shitty PBNs / link farms have very high Ahrefs / Moz Metrics (because, if you know how they are calculated, they are very easy to game) so they can sell links to clueless SEOs.
Remember, Google does not use DA / DR. These are just made up metrics by Moz / Ahrefs to give you an idea of what Moz / Ahrefs think are good backlinks (hint: they are NOT the same as Google).
Here are a couple of better ways to determine whether a link is good or not:
1. Does the website rank in top 10 for keywords related to your niche? (A lot of PBNs don’t rank for anything except their own website name in the top 10 — or they rank for completely irrelevant, shitty keywords)
2. Is the website getting organic traffic? (a lot of PBNs will have 70+ DA and get like 100 traffic per month)
3. Does the website have high quality backlinks? (i.e. not all links from shitty PBNs that don’t rank for anything with equally exaggerated DA / DR metrics)
It can get a lot more complicated, especially if you are working at scale, or in a very competitive niche. But those 3 points should point you in the right direction.