Understanding Resolve’s Link Building Metrics: How We Evaluate (and Build) Great Links for Our Clients

By: danika olsen

We all know that ever-changing algorithms make navigating the digital world no simple task, especially when it comes to SEO and link building for your website. But what if we told you that not every link holds the same weight or that not every SEO company views links the same way?

At Resolve, we pride ourselves on our dynamic, unique approach to SEO and link building. While many companies focus on surface-level evaluations, we dig deeper and really work with our creative, adaptable team to keep up with the times. Yes, yes, we all know that Domain Authority is important. That’s clear. But to us, the true essence of a valuable link lies at its core in relevancy, and we use quite a few other metrics, as well as our team’s vision and expertise, to ensure that the work we’re delivering stands up not only to what we know to be true but what Google tells us. As Google grows and evolves, we do too.

Below, we’ll pull back the curtain a bit to share the ins and outs of our strategy and perspective, delving a bit more into the key metrics we use to ensure clients are getting the best of the best.

We believe in a collaborative and communicative approach to link building, so it’s essential for our clients to know not just the ‘what’ but the ‘why’ behind our process. So, come along! By the end of this read, you’ll get a clearer picture of our dedication to authentic, meaningful link building and why so many trust Resolve with their SEO needs. And not to toot our own horn, but the results speak for themselves.

Above All Else, As a Link Building Agency, We Prioritize Relevancy

Relevancy is a core component of how we evaluate links at Resolve. Why? Because relevancy mirrors the core philosophy of Google itself, which has been proven time and time again.  

After all, Google’s main objective has always been to provide users with the most pertinent, high-quality results for their users’ queries. As the digital landscape evolves, Google’s algorithms become increasingly sophisticated, aiming to match user intent with content that answers their questions, addresses their concerns, or satisfies their needs.

Simply put, Google prizes and rewards relevancy. A link from a site that aligns seamlessly with your niche or industry will always be more impactful than a generic link, regardless of other metrics.

Anyone can build a hyperlink. We want there to be value for the client, the user, and Google, and that starts with, above all else, putting relevancy first.

We use four determinants of relevancy that are backed by Google themselves.

  1. Domain-to-Domain
  2. Domain-to-Page
  3. Page-to-Page
  4. Link-to-Page

Don’t believe us? Trust the source. Google’s John Mueller is on the record as stating,

“We try to understand what is relevant for a website, how much should we weigh these individual links, and the total number of links doesn’t matter at all. Because you could go off and create millions of links across millions of websites if you wanted to, and we could just ignore them all.”

The What and Why: Our Other Valuable Link Building Metrics

Obviously, while relevance is our bread and butter, we also rely on a variety of other tools to help keep us moving in the right direction. 

Moz’s Domain Authority Score

We all know that Domain Authority has been a bedrock of SEO for a while. It’s clear that if a metric has been around for this long, it’s probably something we should consider when determining a site’s value add for clients. In many ways, outside of Google telling us in simple terms what exactly they use to determine how they rank sites (they give us hints but aren’t very forthcoming beyond those hints), DA is one of the most efficient ways of helping us figure out a specific part of the puzzle. 

No disrespect to Moz intended whatsoever here, but using Moz as a singular metric to determine if a site is worthwhile for link building purposes is where many site owners, and agencies for that matter, get caught up in the weeds.

It’s not hard to see why! Many of the specific worries about singular 3rd party metrics are a carryover from the days when PageRank determined the quality of a link. But Google and other search engines have become more sophisticated, so we’re following suit. 

Moz’s DA metric is an amazing analytical tool, but as with any other SEO metric, if you’re only looking at one source, you don’t see the complete picture. Don’t forget DA can be manipulated because of its particular focus on total backlinks to determine a site’s authority, which is why it’s important to look at other metrics, too! 

Ahrefs’ Domain Rating Score

While Moz’s Domain Authority metric is the industry standard, Ahref’s Domain Rating Score is an important consideration we also take into account, simply because sometimes they differ in their results. 

Ahrefs’ Domain Rating focuses on backlink data, offering a precise gauge of a site’s prominence and influence. Its nuanced approach means it doesn’t just consider the number of backlinks but also the quality of those linking domains. Relying on Ahrefs’ Domain Rating ensures a more holistic and informed understanding of a site’s potential, making it an indispensable tool in any SEO strategist’s toolkit.

We like to measure the two in tandem to ensure that our clients are getting the most bang for their buck when it comes to the authority of their links. 


We use both Ahrefs traffic metrics as well as SEMrush. Similarly to the reasons we both use Moz and Ahrefs, each metric (and tool suite!) offers a variety of things that slightly differ.

Ahrefs Traffic is a feature that provides an estimation of a website’s monthly organic traffic based on its current keyword positions and their respective monthly search volumes. It meticulously tracks the search behavior, offering insights into the potential number of visitors a website might receive from search engines. Ahrefs leans heavily into backlink analysis, incorporating this data to paint a vivid image of organic visitor flow.

SEMrush Traffic, meanwhile, is part of their broader analytics suite. Their traffic metric offers an approximate number of users visiting a specific website in a given month. Beyond just organic search, SEMrush provides insights into traffic sources like direct visits, paid search, social media, and referral traffic, offering a more panoramic view of a site’s overall digital footfall.

In essence, while both tools provide invaluable insights into web traffic, Ahrefs narrows its focus on organic search behavior rooted in backlink analysis, whereas SEMrush adopts a broader lens, encapsulating varied traffic sources to give a holistic view of a website’s audience landscape.

Ultimately, our goal as an agency is to make sure the links we build are to sites with real organic traffic, and these two suites offer us two different ways to do so. 

Ranking Keywords

We don’t want to associate your sites with others that rank for sensitive keywords, which we call the 3 P’s: porn, poker, or pills, and are active when looking for that content in our initial smell test. You’ve worked hard on your site, and we’ll work hard on maintaining its integrity with our backlinking.

As we’re smell-testing our sites, we look for the keywords our sites are ranking for, as well as the content on their site, to ensure we’re putting you in a link neighborhood that doesn’t drag down your SEO efforts. 

Metric Averages for Resolve

We work with hundreds of sites in various niches at Resolve and are daily reaching out to help be sure our clients are getting relevant backlinks from the best of the best. Metrics naturally vary depending on your niche and the product offering you purchase, but on average, we work with sites that boast the following:

  • DA average of 50;
  • DR average of 47;
  • Ahrefs traffic of 23,000;
  • SEMRush traffic of 24,000.

Don’t settle for superficial metrics; choose a link building company that can drive value, relevance, and results. Resolve’s experienced SEO experts are ready to help take you to the next level. Questions that we didn’t answer here? Fill out our contact form below, and our team of SEO experts will send a response!

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