Backlink Profile Analysis for Personal Injury Lawyers

The project lead on any SEO campaign should know the backlink profile of the site they’re working on like the back of their hand. There shouldn’t be any surprises or any links that they’re not aware of. By going through our client’s backlinks one by one, the project lead gets the full picture of all of the site’s backlinks and can be 100% certain they know the quality of their backlinks.

If you’re using someone else to do your SEO, ask them some simple questions like the following:

  1. How many backlinks does your site have?
  2. How many referring domains does your site have?
  3. Is your backlink from nofollow?

If they give you a rough estimate that’s accurate, they’re doing a good job. If they have no clue or tell you that they need to get back to you, you should be worried.

Our process of going through our client’s backlinks is done with‘s Backlink Audit tool. When we start working with a new client we usually already have a project created for their domain because of the SEO audit we perform, so we just go to the Backlink Audit tool and get to work. In this case, I chose a random site that ranks #1 for Denver car accident lawyer. I created the project in SEMRush and then went to set up the Backlink Audit tool.


For this page I just left it the same. It’s important not to click the Start Backlink Audit button but rather follow along the left hand side menu and go to Brand settings.

The first two were inserted by default, I went ahead and added a couple more. I recommend adding as many variations as relevant as this will help you keep things organized in your project. Once you’ve done this you can check out the other options on the following two pages but most times I just leave them as is, they’re not overly important.

Once the project loads the first thing I do is connect the tool with Google Search Console (GSC). These tools have gotten incredibly efficient at crawling the web but nobody does it better than Google. Google knows all. By connecting the tool with GSC it can then import all of the backlinks that Google is showing for your domain. This is important in making sure you have a complete picture.

Next up I go to the Audit tab and start working my way through the list.

  1. This is the tab you need to go to in order to see the individual links.
  2. This is where you can connect GSC to make sure all your backlinks are in the project.
  3. This is the page where your site is linked from.
  4. This is the page on your site where the backlink site is linking to.
  5. This is where you can see what text they’re using to link to you.
  6. The toxicity score is based on a lot of factors, don’t treat it like gospel but just an overall metric to give you an idea.
  7. This button is how you whitelist a backlink, once you’ve checked it out and you’re sure it’s good you can whitelist it.
  8. This button is for when you want to get rid of a backlink because it’s spammy, you can either categorize it as ‘remove’ or disavow.

Disavow: This is a list of backlinks you can upload to GSC to tell Google you didn’t create them and you don’t want them. When Google started cracking down on the quality of backlinks, people realized you could easily do a negative SEO campaign by pointing a bunch of spammy links at your competitor’s websites. Google’s counter to this was that they introduced the link Disavow tool so that site owners could wash their hands of any spammy links they didn’t create.

Remove: This is when you can either email the site owner or login to your account and remove the link. Removing a link is always better than disavowing it so do this as a first priority but if you’re unable to for whatever reason, you use the disavow tool.

So with all that being said, let’s take a look at some of their links and break them down.

Backlink: vaticancitystamps dot org/dog-bite-fatality-chart/

Anchor Text: [Image]

Toxicity Score: 83

Conclusion: This is a site that scans the webs for different types of pictures and then throws them all up on one page. By virtue of having your website online you’re going to end up on sites like this that scrape indiscriminately. SEMRush’s toxicity score is very high so I click on it to see what’s causing it:

The major contributing factor is that it’s not even indexed by Google. The site is most likely penalized or just deemed worthless if it’s not even in Google’s index. The other warnings are all noteworthy as well and I doubt this site is helping on any level so I’d add it to the disavow list.



Backlink: ifcs dot org/news/5-road-trip-tips-to-remember-this-summer/

Anchor Text: Denver car accident attorneys

Toxicity Score: 24

Conclusion: This is what’s considered a guest post link and in my opinion it’s incredibly spammy. Certain guest posts that are informative, speak to the audience of the site and could otherwise pass as ‘natural’ can be a decent backlink source. However putting up a $20 500 word article on a site about alleviating community hunger, with the article being about ‘5 road trips to remember this summer’ – this is pure spam and adds zero value to anyone. It’s an obvious attempt at manipulating the search engines.

Whenever we start working with a client and their previous SEO company built links like this it’s always a bit nerve wracking disavowing these links because the truth is Google isn’t perfect and it could be that links like this are helping the website.  However we also know from experience that when you don’t remove these obvious spam links and start building up your rankings you always end up running into problems down the link. The page will rank for some keywords but not others, or it’s stuck at #6 or #11 overall and won’t budge. Hitting the nuke button on this type of garbage might hurt rankings in the short term but in the long run it makes your life a lot easier.



Anchor Text:

Toxicity Score: 11

Conclusion: LawReferralConnect is a site we submit our clients to and so I know from experience there’s nothing inherently wrong with this backlink, however rather than just whitelisting it I want to check and see how well of a job the person who submitted it did. Spoiler alert: not good.

You can add your address, more links, pictures, videos, etc tons of stuff to this profile and all they added was one generic copy/paste of a description and three links.

And to literally no one’s surprise, this profile isn’t indexed. If it’s not indexed it’s not passing on juice. I’m not going to disavow it, but rather I’d get access to it and as much information as possible with unique content that it gets indexed.



Anchor Text: The Fang Law Firm & interactive study

Toxicity Score: 13

Conclusion: This is a good example of a link they most likely paid for but at the end of the day, I wouldn’t disavow it. It’s not a spammy keyword anchor text link rather it’s a branded link. It links to their homepage and to a blog post. It’s a good article that’s relevant to the backlink site’s theme AND the firm’s site. Overall this is a decent link and disavowing it would be a overzealous.



Anchor Text: Denver injury attorneys

Toxicity Score: 15

Conclusion: Lost opportunity on this one for sure. This is a relevant local website for people who ride bicycles in Colorado. This is a perfect opportunity to (a) link to the home page with Fang Law Firm or another branded anchor text to get some authority to the homepage OR to link to their car accident page or better yet create a bicycle accident page and link to that for ultimate relevance. By being lazy and using a generic keyword anchor text they’re missing out on a great opportunity to build relevance and authority.



Well that’s five quick examples of how I go through our client’s backlinks and determine their quality. In addition to whitelisting and removing/disavowing I also take the opportunity to look into their existing links to see how they can be improved. You can only get this granular insight by going through them all one by one.

Once I’ve gone through all of their links I then upload the disavow list to GSC. I’ll then go through this once a month to make sure we’re staying on top of everything.

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