Why High DR Backlinks Can (Sometimes) KILL Your SEO


Domain rating is a valuable metric that basically signals a website’s strength and authority.  Which means that we will need to use common sense when it comes to high DR websites and link building.

In link building, a website with a high DR does not automatically translate to better rankings. This can also depend on other metrics, which is why we need to investigate the website further before we get a link from them. 

What Most People Don’t Know About High DR Websites

There are times when a website’s DR is relatively high with a decent number of backlinks and referring domains, and looks like a decent website overall.

But, when we begin to investigate it in more detail, we find out that it’s not as great as it seems. 

Check the Organic Traffic, Organic Keywords, and Backlinks

In some instances, a website’s organic traffic may be very low and over time its organic search drops significantly too.

We may observe that despite a website getting a bit of traffic per month, their rankings may have also tanked over the last year or so. When a website’s traffic is on a downward trend, chances are that Google doesn’t like the website.

This is important to consider because we do not want a backlink from a site that Google doesn’t like. 

The same goes for organic keywords. When Google is ranking a website for fewer keywords as time goes on, then the website is likely in decline. 

Sometimes, the backlink profile of a particular site may also carry links that are spammy and irrelevant, which means that most of the links on that website are of low quality.

In this situation, the domain rating of the site is being manipulated by low-quality backlinks. This explains why its domain rating is so high and the organic traffic is so low.

Check Out the Website

Another good way to investigate a website before we get a link from them is to check the overall quality of that site. Some websites have a very simple and low-quality design, similar to a private blog network (PBN).

Most of the time, these sites do not even have an ‘About Me’ section to identify who owns the website. The content will be very generic and irrelevant to other sites.

Also, if you view the ‘Our Team’ section, there will be no social media links to the writers’ profiles. These things signal that the site is spammy and may only have been created to sell backlinks to other people

Not All Low DR Sites are Bad Quality Sites

On the flip side of this, some low DR websites actually get a decent amount of traffic. Sometimes, when you check on the referring domains to the site, you will find that it’s increasing gradually over time, which is a lot more natural.

Also, it’s a good sign when organic search and organic keywords increase gradually over time. 

When we visit these sites,  they will look more like a real website – designed professionally, selling natural products, options to sign up for the newsletter, and contact information for the website owner.

This means that there’s actually someone behind the site who will respond to you when you reach out.

It is important to remember that even though the domain rating is low, it doesn’t really mean anything because the website is getting organic traffic, looks like a genuine website, and its backlink profile looks fairly natural.

All these are good signs of a high-quality website

The bottom line of this article is that not all high DR websites are actually worthwhile getting links from. Why? Because when it comes to link building, it’s always more about the quality than the quantity.