Analysis of 1 Million Backlinks: Dollar Shave Club (Part 6/10)

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Did you miss the previous part in this backlinks analysis series? No worries, you can catch up right here: Analysis of 1 Million Backlinks: Hello Fresh (Part 5/10)


TL;DR – We analyzed 1 million backlinks via 10 random sample sets of 100,000 backlinks across 10 different websites from a variety of business verticals to determine how the link metrics from those backlinks would impact gains or losses in organic search visibility.

A Quick Word About Link Analysis at Scale

One piece of advice about link analysis: never manually review thousands of backlinks one by one! Click To Tweet

Seriously, don’t do it! You will burn out or fail (likely both) and your client/manager will be very upset with you for not making proper use of your time.

What you should do is look for patterns, trends and commonalities among link metrics for a given set of URLs to identify unnatural links.

Pro Tip: Powerful crawlers and anchor text classifiers like URL profiler can save you hundreds of hours of grunt work. We’re in no way, shape or form affiliated with them, but we highly recommend checking them out!

URL Profiler

Here’s a link audit tool stack that I’d recommend:

Upon completing a link audit, you should have a few outputs to work with:

  • Danger List – These are the links that are extremely likely to be unnatural and should be considered for disavowal.
  • Caution List – These are the links that could be unnatural and must be manually audited to determine if they are safe or dangerous.
  • Safe List – These are trustworthy, authoritative links that are most likely to be natural. Getting more of these will help boost organic visibility.
  • Link Schemes – These are large groups of similar links that are coming from the same source, and are the most probable cause of site-wide links.
  • Link Opportunities – Some websites (especially popular brands) earn natural, high quality links without knowing it. An audit will help you discover those sources, so you can build relationships and earn more links.
  • Link Equity Consolidation – In almost every case, there are authoritative inbound links pointing to 404 pages on a given website. Those 404 pages should be revived by implementing 301 redirects to a live final destination URL to reclaim the lost link equity.

Free Bonus Download: Get our free SEO guide to learn how you can skyrocket your rankings, even in a competitive niche! Click here to download it for free.

Link Metrics Considered

The link metrics can be segmented into 4 key categories:

  • Diversity
  • Trust
  • Authority
  • Relevance

These are the primary link metrics that will be used to evaluate HelloFresh’s backlink profile:

  • Majestic Citation Flow – Rates how influential a URL may be based on how many sites are linking to it, based on a 100-point scale.
  • Majestic Trust Flow – Predicts how trustworthy a page is based on the trustworthiness of those sites that are linking to it, based on a 100-point scale.
  • Moz Spam Score – Rates the level of penalization risk associated with a given URL, based on a scale of 0-17 where any rating of 11 or higher is likely to be spam.
  • Moz Domain Authority – An overall website rating that is calculated by metrics, such as linking domains, number of total links, MozRank and MozTrust, into a single 100-point logarithmic score.
  • AHrefs Referring IP C-Class Diversity – IP Addresses are divided into lettered blocks (AAA.BBB.CCC.DDD). The more referring C Class Duplicates that exist within the link profile indicates that the site is likely to be engaging in link networking.
  • AHrefs URL Rating – Prediction score for how well a page is likely to rank in organic search results, based on a 0-100 scale.

Learn More: Links Are Still a Major Ranking Factor for Google [podcast]

Domains Evaluated

We included the following websites in our study:

Analysis of 1 Million Backlinks

Analysis of 1 Million Backlinks: Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club provides amazing razor blades and grooming products delivered to your door for an affordable price. You can get your first month of any razor for just $1. Beyond having a reliable and convenient product, Dollar Shave Club made their claim to fame by leveraging humorous videos to spread the word about their products.

Their infamous “Our blades are f***ing great” video has nearly 25 million views:

Dollar Shave Club 1 Our Blades Are Fucking Great

How Did Dollar Shave Club Disrupt Men’s Grooming?

The reality for any brand in 2017 is that every market is saturated. Competitors are emerging rapidly. Startups are consistently finding new ways to growth hack and cause disruptions, especially in traditional industries such as men’s grooming.

How did Dollar Shave Club become a disruptor? By thinking outside the bubble:

  • Affordable product
  • Subscription model
  • Targeting the right audience
  • Bold, eccentric video ads
  • Building a powerful brand

Dollar Shave Club’s aspirational audience is men (and women) ages 25 – 34:

Dollar Shave Club 2 Facebook Insights

The ideal customer earns between $50 – 75k annual income:

Dollar Shave Club 3 Household Income

Dollar Shave Club vs Gillette: The Impact of Branded Search

Moz’s 2015 ranking factors study revealed that domain level brand metrics and domain level keyword usage is positively correlated with rankings. However, the most strongly correlated metric with rankings was domain level link features.

The insight here is that branded search volume and brand engagement often helps to earn links, which in turn positively impacts rankings.

Dollar Shave Club 5 Moz ranking factors

Let’s compare Dollar Shave Club’s branded search volume against Gillette’s. Dollar Shave Club earns between 300K – 1.5M searches per month:

Dollar Shave Club 4 Moz Estimate

Source: Moz Keyword Explorer

Gillette earns between 30.3K – 70.8K searches per month:

Dollar Shave Club 6 Gillette search volume

Source: Moz Keyword Explorer

SEMrush reports that Dollar Shave Club is ranking for 29.3K organic keywords:

Dollar Shave Club 7 SEMrush DSC

SEMrush reports that Gillette is ranking for 16.2K organic keywords:

Dollar Shave Club 8 SEMrush Gillette

So which brand won?

Because Dollar Shave club earns almost triple the amount of branded search volume than Gillette, it gives them a significant edge in organic search as they are ranking for double the number of organic keywords and nearly 3x more organic monthly visits.

Free Bonus Download: Get our free SEO guide to learn how you can skyrocket your rankings, even in a competitive niche! Click here to download it for free.