I have a very clean link profile and try my best to play by the rules, generally I just knock out content and then get a few links from them. I don't ask for guest posts, etc.

I have noticed a couple of links in my search console shows the back link as "via this intermediate link" (see example img). I have searched the forum and the internet but I can get no concrete info as to what "via this intermediate link" means.


  1. Does it count as a back link or not?
  2. Is it good or bad to have such a link in your profile?


enter image description here

my website is the one in grey text on the image

1 Answer 1


I have found a few of those links in my search console as well. It appears to be when the site is linking to a page that redirects. I often get it when the site links to www.example.com but I redirect to example.com.

In this case other.site.example.net links to www.example.com which 301 redirects to example.com.

Google uses "via this intermediate link" to mean that some sort of redirect was involved.

Links that go through a redirect certainly count as back links. For years there has been a debate about whether or not redirecting links count quite as much as direct links. Google has said that redirects reduce Pagerank by 15%, but more recently Google said that wasn't exactly true. Even if they count slightly less, they certainly count.

It isn't bad that a back link goes through an intermediate link unless the link is otherwise spammy or the redirect were a paid redirect.

  • The 15% was from an SEOs imagination years ago and has been echoed about even by me. Ooopppsss! At least I generally say some say... However, when I look at the metrics I know about, this makes little to no sense. For example, there is a link table and a URL table and a URL ID column for a URL that it is directed to, how do you account for redirects in PageRank especially when there are more than one redirect? It is not impossible, however, it is also not practical. I have never seen Google saying that PR is effected by a redirect unless there are too many redirects to complete. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Jan 22, 2017 at 17:16
  • Essentially I am saying, if I look at this from a DBA and programmer perspective, it is theoretically possible to apply a %15 cost for redirects, however, it would require work and for what purpose? Should a link to a page that simply redirects to an new or updated page be discounted? I would think the answer is No. At least generally. I cannot see a motivation for doing extra work for what seems like a fair thing to do, that is, linking and redirecting. This is a perfectly valid part of how and why the web works the way it does. So the %15 makes no practical sense to me. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Jan 22, 2017 at 17:59
  • Well, there is a 15% damping factor built into the PageRank algorithm. The question is whether each redirect hop has the damping factor applied, or whether there is no damping factor for redirects because they are not "pages". Google might have actually had to do extra work to take out the damping factor for redirects only. In any case, the debate is largely academic these days as the Google has added so many more factor to ranking that worrying about 15% of the value of links from a page just seems silly these days. Jan 22, 2017 at 19:14
  • Well, there is a 15% damping factor built into the PageRank algorithm. How do we know this? I have not seen this officially. Just from SEOs. I am always willing to be wrong. ;-) As long as I do get it right eventually.
    – closetnoc
    Jan 22, 2017 at 19:16
  • That was in the patent filing that Google submitted for the algorithm. Jan 22, 2017 at 19:19

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