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Editorial Links and Why PageRank is Irrelevant

editorial links

My recent post ‘footer links suck’ discussed Matt Cutt’s revelations on why footer links may not carry the same value as links within content, his reason for this was pretty simple, “links within content tend to look more editorial”.

So as soon as he made this statement I thought, cool how do we define an editorial link then? Or more specifically how might Google define it?

I know my title talks about PageRank, but I’ll get to that a bit later, let’s first have a crack at defining an editorial link;

OK here are my thoughts on editorial links

Relevance

In order for a link to be truly editorial, the page it comes from needs to be relevant to your theme or the topic of your page. A news article talking about the swine flu crisis is hardly going to link back to SEOwizz or any of the posts on here for that matter.

This is a factor Google should be able to account for pretty easily.

In Content

As Mr Cutt’s makes clear, editorial links are most likely going to be found in the middle or at the end of an article. Links that are site wide in blogrolls and footers are almost never going to be editorial.

Deep Pages

An editorial link is usually going to be on a deep page of a site, the only way you will find an editorial link on a homepage is when a post sits on the front of a blog, however that post will eventually make it’s way into the archives and normally carry a lot less in terms of PageRank.

And here’s my point, most editorial links will be from pages that carry very little in terms of PageRank. A deep page of a site is likely to have few links pointing to it, unless it has become viral, if that’s the case great, but 95% of the time it won’t.

Many webmasters waste their time looking for the perfect link, High PR, relevant, few links on the page and from a site with real authority. The fact of the matter is, editorial links do not come from pages matching that description and these are the type of links Google wants, in content, relevant and from post or article pages.

So where does this leave us……

Well forget PR, but I’ve been shouting about that for a while here. What we really need are these editorial type links….hmmmm

Blog Carnivals – Provide a perfect opportunity to have a link, in the middle of content from a deep page. You can even have a say on the anchor text :)

Guest Posts – Apart from increasing Buzz about your site this is also a great way to get an editorial link.

One thing that has really got me thinking is paid blog reviews. Now I know paid links are bad but a paid review is usually an honest overview of what you have to offer and is far more valuable than a block of ads in the middle of the post, but most of all it is the perfect editorial link.

Another technique that is currently being used by companies is the ‘link for content’ technique. I get inundated with emails offering me an article for a simple link back to a site, I get the content they get the link. A bit like a guest post really, I have never used one of these articles but this could be a valid method of building links to ecommerce sites.

I am not advocating paid reviews and don’t use them, I am simply thinking out loud.

If you have any thoughts on ‘editorial’ links please share in the comments, I wanted this post to act as thought provoking content and to generate new ideas about link building.

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Author: Tim (296 Articles)

is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 9 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Director of Search at Branded3, a Digital Marketing & SEO Agency based in the UK.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew @ webuildyourblog August 30, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Tim,

Nice to see you mention Blog Carnivals. A few years ago, I was mentored by a ‘world famous’ internet guru and one of the first things he mentioned to me was, submit some of your blog posts to blog carnivals. I have been every week, ever since.

Sometimes I read posts that say, don’t bother with blog carnivals. I never stopped and it’s great to see you still recommend them.

Thanks.

Andrew

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Tim August 31, 2009 at 2:34 am

Andrew,

Blog carnivals used to drive a fair bit of traffic to your site, this is no longer the case but the backlinks are worth the submissions alone. Some of my most powerful backlinks are blog carnival submissions, they definitely still work, no doubt about that and I think I have a pretty good idea who the guru was ;)

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Seo London September 1, 2009 at 4:27 am

Editorial links or contextual links are always given more importance by Google as well as from users too as they find they find them more authorized as well as more visible.

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Promo Products Guy February 8, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Sorry to be Neive, but can anyone explain to me what a blog carnival is?

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Tim February 9, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Hi Promo,

A blog carnival is a page on another blog sharing the best posts in a certain industry, this gives you a link to the post and usually one to your homepage, how many blog carnivals there are depends ultimately on your niche.

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Promo Products Guy February 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Thanks Tim, much appreciated.

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