Link Acquisition Rate and Overall Domain Diversity

I thought I should drop a quick post today about a couple of things that have been on my mind over the last couple of weeks.

As always I am constantly trialling and testing new strategies and SEO techniques, some work others flop but it’s a learning experience either way.

There are two things I wanted to bring to your attention, one is some tips on the rate you build links back to your content and the second is about where those links point.

This is a simple post but I think it will help you achieve more consistent results in the SERPS.

Link Building Speed

I have touched on this is the past but it seems to becoming more and more of a ranking factor.

I know what it’s like starting a new project, you see your competitors with 10,000 links and know you have to start from scratch. It can be so tempting to go out in your first month and submit to a thousand directories and then buy another few hundred links,, STOP!!

There is a really good reason to be patient and hold back, If you build the links too quickly Google will discount a large bulk of them and devalue the ones it does not discount.

I recently did some experimenting with one of my test sites.

The Test

One month we built 100 links from directories, we did it in the space of 4 days and the links were all live within 2 weeks. Only 7 of the links were recognised on Webmaster tools a month later and rankings for the keyword dropped by 3 pages.

With the same site the month after we build the same 100 (from different directories), however we added 10 a day instead of them been built in a few days. The results were pretty conclusive, 48 of the links appeared on webmaster tools and we moved up in the SERPS 8 places.

You have to be mindful of the rate you are building links, if you put loads of effort into building a lot of links in a short space of time the chances are they are going to be discounted and you have wasted your time and energy. Try and use a gradual scale, if you build 20 in November build 35 in December and let the amount grow gradually, this looks more natural and is a much more effective way of building links.

natural link growth

unnatural link growth

Just think of it like this;

Google wants to see a site that is growing in popularity month by month.

A site that is popular right from the beginning and remains popular month after month looks suspicious.

Social Media Spanner

Everyone asks at this point, what about social links you can get thousands in a short space of time.

This is a great point and I have to be honest links from stumble digg and twitter do not seem to follow suit, saying that they do not seem to have the same ranking benefits as more natural links. My feelings are like this on it (even though not conclusive), I believe Googles algorithm recognises social links and treats them differently. Another aspect of social links is that they mainly link to deep content rather than the homepage of a site, so don’t worry about social links.

If you are building links from blogs, social networks, blog carnivals, directories, articles, content trading and press releases then keep it natural as this will produce effective results.

Domain Diversity

For those of you who don’t know domain diversity simply relates to the number of unique domains you have pointing to your pages.

Your aim should be to acquire links not just in bulk from a handful of sources but from multiple domains, in fact as many as possible.

The reason why I am bringing this up again is simple.

I was speaking with a client last week, he couldn’t understand why sites were ranking above his for a keyword.

The site in question had;

– A lot more anchor text links
– A lot more link popularity
– a PageRank 7 (compared to a PR4 for the competitors)

Why was this site not dominating??

Well after a thorough analysis it seemed to come down to one simple fact, the site had 250,000 links from 2500 unique domains. The competitors had 50,000 links from 8000 domains and here lies the problem.

A site that has a thousand links from one hundred locations is never going to  rank as high as a site with 500 links from 300 locations. The second would obviously seem more popular.

Keep this in mind when building your links, it is so important and I can only imagine this factor becoming stronger. As I made clear in my post on link analysis a month back, domain stats are just as if not more important than page stats, you must build a strong domain to compete.

I know this stuff can be quite confusing, especially if you’re a newbie to search engine optimisation. If anyone has any questions please leave them in the comments, or if you need a more personal answer I’m happy to receive emails.

I just thought I would mention there is an excellent prize draw going on at We Build Your Blog, there really are some excellent prizes and I have added a prize of 3 hours free consulting :), so if there are those of you wanting a little bit of an SEO kick start or fancy free themes and headers, visit the page and enter the draw.


is the CEO of Branded3 a Search Marketing Agency in the UK. Tim has over a decade of experience in Search and regularly speaks at key events and conferences.

5 thoughts on “Link Acquisition Rate and Overall Domain Diversity

  1. Tim,

    The point you raise about the speed of creating backlinks is so important and so many of us think speed, speed, speed!

    So pleased your tests prove – take your time…make it look natural.

    And thanks for sponsoring a prize and mentioning my contest. I really appreciate that!


  2. Hi Andrew,

    It’s my pleasure. I like the idea of contests and am well overdue one on SEOwizz. Maybe something for the near future.

  3. Great post Tim.

    I know some people go crazy with link building just as soon as a site is live. I tend to wait a while before doing anything. Seems like waiting is the wiser course.

    Very interesting about the domain diversity.

  4. Hi Pchef,

    I questioned the domain diversity in a piece of research I did a month ago, not that it wasn’t a factor but that it wasn’t as big as ome might think. However I am seeing more and more evidence to suggest a more diverse domain has a greater ability torank, it knod of makes sense when you think about it.

    When it comes to link building you literally have to keep trying new things, no single technique is going to work forever.

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