Get an overview of any website's link network

Get an overview of any website’s link network
When looking for backlink opportunities, do you spend endless hours going through hundreds of links?

While sometimes you need to go slowly and slowly, a shortcut is often needed to identify the big picture.

Now you can get it thanks to Semrush! with functionality network graphyou can examine the link profile of any website and evaluate its quality in seconds.

Here’s how it looks:


You will be able to detect if there are any problems in the link network, such as private blog networks (PBN) or link schemes. You will also be able to identify the number of backlinks from a site that are relevant to your niche.

You won’t have to spend hours looking for backlinks or going through rows of data one by one. Instead, you’ll get an overview in seconds.

This chart will be useful when:

  • You want to save time researching a site’s authority and connections.
  • You need a visual aid to show the referring domain network of your domain.
  • You want to find backlink opportunities in a specific niche.
  • You want to discover the second and third level of links that connect to your referring domains.
  • You need to know a site’s link health or possible connections with a PBN or link scheme.

How does Semrush’s network graph work?

To bring you the Network Graph, Semrush evaluates the data from the backlink analyzer tool in just a few steps.

First, Semrush analyzes the most relevant links from the domain you entered into the search bar. To do this, we collect the authority score of each referring domain and how often outbound links are sent to your site and to other websites. The more links pointing to a site, the more valuable the referring domain will be.

In this phase, Semrush analyzes up to 12 links from the first level, 10 from the second and 8 from the third for each site on the network. Therefore, your network graph might have a total of 960 identified websites (12 x 10 x 8= 960).


Semrush then determines whether the link network is ‘moderate’, ‘relevant’, ‘reputable’ or a ‘toxic network’, based on analysis of the health and relevance of the domains in the network.

The more relevant backlinks the niche has, the more reputation the network will have. The most valuable niche sites will be marked in green. You’ll also see a percentage score that tells you what percentage of sites on the network are considered crucial.

What to look for in a network graph

When you look at the network graph, you should be able to get an overview within seconds. You can then drill down by clicking on the nodes of the network and investigating the link levels.

These are the basics of the chart:

  • Larger dots indicate sites with a highest score of the authority, which means they probably have a lot of backlinks and instill trust in Google. Smaller dots have less authority.
  • Green dots indicate sites relevant to your niche.
  • Red dots indicate websites that may be part of a toxic linking scheme.
    • A big green dot is an authority in your niche.
    • A small green dot is a site in your smallest niche that has topical relevance.
    • A large gray dot has authority but no direct topical relevance.
    • A small gray dot isn’t an authority or relevant to your niche, but it’s still a healthy backlink.
    • A small red dot is a potentially dangerous connection due to signs of a connection pattern.
    • A cluster of red dots could be a link scheme, such as a private PBN blog network.
  • A group of green links is a sign of a healthy network.
  • A cluster with multiple red link groups is a sign of a potentially dangerous network.

Want to find out what these networks are like? Here are three examples.

Example 1: A reliable network graph


This domain network is trusted due to the authority of their referring domains and the fact that 42% of those domains are relevant to their niche.

If you’re in the same industry as this site and considering it for your link building efforts, the chart tells you that this is a great target.

Example 2: A suspicious network graph


The network for this domain is considered suspect due to a lack of authoritative referring domains and possible link connections. The graph indicates that you should consider linking your site to this domain. Remember that participating in hookup schemes is against the spam policies from Google and will not help your SEO.

Example 3: A moderate network graph


The network of this domain is moderated. It has some authoritative referring domains, but it also has some connections to potential link networks and a lower percentage of links relevant to your niche (29%). If you’re evaluating this for your link building, it might be a good connection, but probably not as good as the graph in our first example.

What can you do with a network graph?

There are many ways to use this report. But, in general, it makes your task easier when it comes to:

  • Measures the overall link building quality of a domain.
  • Detect the most relevant links to a website’s niche.
  • Identify if a site is a good opportunity based on its network.
  • Detect PBNs in your niche (so you can stay away from them).
  • Discover the domains that refer to your backlinks or those of the competition (second and third level links).

Find opportunities in your competitor’s network graph

Competitive backlink analyzes are a good way to find link building opportunities for your site. The Network Graph can help you find opportunities faster.

How? All you have to do is enter your competitor’s site in the report and search through all the green dots. They are the websites most relevant to your competitor’s niche (and hopefully yours too).

Why are good connections so important?

When Google analyzes them to determine their weight in SEO, they look at the context of the link, as well as the authority of the link.

Let’s say you’re in the tourism industry in Florence, Italy and you’re looking to get relevant backlinks.

We will look at two different opportunities: a large website with authority and a smaller but newsworthy website.

The first site is very popular, with an Authority Score of 88, which means it has a lot of valuable backlinks.


However, the site also has more than 2,400 external links from its domain to other domains. In other words, it’s not uncommon to get a link from this website.


Here, instead, is the graph of a site linked to the sector.


This website is a travel blog about things to do in and around Piedmont, Italy. Although it only has an authority score of 30, it has a very relevant network graph and links to less than 800 domains.


Therefore, links from this domain are relevant to your niche: tourism and Italy. So a link to your site from this site is probably more valuable than a link from the larger, more general site.


See the big picture, faster

Link building is a fundamental element of SEO and there are many ways to approach it. It is important to perform a competitive backlink analysisbut you also need to step back and see the big picture.

With a visual aid like the Network Graph, identifying the big picture is much faster.

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