I am sure you have come across sites maybe even your competitors that simply try and get links from everywhere and anywhere without any real thought. It is a common mistake for many webmasters attempting to optimise their sites, “hey we need to build lots of links, let’s drop comments like a mad man!”.
You see this type of link building regularly and yes it might help a little but it also has a fundamental problem, what about quality? What about relevance? The way I am going to talk about quality today is not going to be the usual generic stuff you hear on every other SEO blog, I am going to tell you what really makes a quality link and how many webmasters spend their time chasing links that just don’t matter.
In order to understand my angle, you first need to understand that every link you build does not automatically give you a little punch as far as rankings are concerned. You may have anchored the link, it may be editorial in nature but all this means zilch if the page you have the link on is not indexed. It doesn’t end there either because when Google ranks your site according to your link profile it has two methods of narrowing down the most relevant sites.
I think now is the time to throw up a few diagrams.
Forget about, on page optimisation, anchor text, page rank and domain metrics for the moment, this stuff is fundamental and without it the other stuff means nothing;
OK the first step Google takes, when assessing your links and where you should rank for a given keyword phrase, is to look at how many pages within its index links to your page, like so:-
As you can see links from pages outside the index don’t count, don’t pass any juice and certainly pass no relevance.
However this isn’t the end of it, Google then performs what is known to many as “local rank”. Google is simply checking how many pages that show up for your target keyword link to you. So if a page that links to you does not show up for the keyword you are targeting within the index, the link will not count on a local rank basis, like so:-
Even pages within the main Google index will not count under the local rank rule, this is all about relevancy and how popular your site is within its niche.
So 2 jobs for link builders;
- Make sure as many links as possible, pointing to your site, are indexed.
- Try and get links from pages that are relevant in terms of keywords to your site
Now obviously sites targeting the same keywords are rarely going to give links to the competition, so we have to improvise. Use article marketing, guest posting and blog carnival submissions in an attempt to get links from pages that are targeting the same keyword, this is why when you’re article marketing you should always optimise the title as a minimum. Any articles that then land in Google’s index will no doubt show up somewhere for you target keyword.
Relevant links are far more powerful than non relevant links even if from a lower quality page in terms of PageRank. If you can attract relevant links with the right anchor text you can out rank a site with huge non relevant link popularity.
So the lesson is think about the links you’re creating, think about how helpful they would be to a reader clicking through to your site. A link to your Xbox site is hardly going to be helpful to someone reading about dog training, well you never know but think about it logically, Google is trying to enhance the user experience and the way they do this is through complex word patterns in an attempt to give the user what their looking for, this is why relevant links are what you need.Line Break
Author: Tim (294 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 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 Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.