Relevancy and Creating A Defensible Profile

I get a lot of emails every week about various SEO related issues, so much so that I am considering launching a forum in 2011 so the readership as a whole can benefit from the queries and subsequent answers.

One question that has been raised multiple times this week is the issue of relevancy;

“Do links have to be relevant to count?”

Now I have always been an advocate of relevant links and an all round relevant on site theme, however that doesn’t mean irrelavancy doesn’t work.

The Truth

Even though I do not advocate it, the truth is links that have zero relevancy still count, in fact they work well. I have used them on some of my micro sites and have seen competitors rank high on nothing but irrelevant links.

These kind of links have been placed based on metrics such as PageRank or the alternative MozRank with no regard given to relevancy or naturalness.

Even though it works it is a dated tactic and eventually it will be stomped on.

Defensible Profiles

If you’re building a genuine online business you want to be around the SERPS a long time, you don’t want sleepless nights wondering when Google is going to figure out your nasty links profile.

Whether you pay for links or not it doesn’t matter what does matter is that your links are relevant, natural or defensible.

If your link profile is made up of links on travel websites when you specialise in code review it is only a matter of time before they are all devalued or even worse your site is dropped. The same goes for how your links are positioned, what anchor text they are using, the strength of the pages your getting them from etc…..

Naturalness

The main aim of your link building strategy should be naturalness, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t build links manually but does mean you should be smart.

No matter how you attempt to acquire links, content syndication, directory submissions, paying, 3 way linking, forums, press releases or simply emailing, as long as the links are natural and defensible you have nothing to worry about.

The reason why relevancy is important is because it is natural and if you are unfortunate enough to recieve a manual review and all your links are from pages relevant to your own at worst they may be devalued.

So….

Do irrelevant links work? Certainly

Would I recommend it? Certainly not

Simple post but hope it helps.

A New Trend In Anchor Text

Just a quick post before the weekend to impart some trends I have noticed across multiple websites over the last month.

I work with a number of clients who are sitting in 8th 9th position on Google, they are desperate to move up and the frustrating part is they have a better link profile than the sites in the top 3.

So what is causing this lull? Why are they not seeing top rankings?

As an SEO’s all we can do is compare on page factors and link profiles, we could go into social mentions but it would be a waste of time as the clients I have been dealing with are large commercial companies who struggle to get social mentions.

After looking through 5 or 6 websites 1 thing kept cropping up;

The websites with better anchor text variation were ranking higher; let me explain.

The sites that were struggling to get in the top 5 had 50-60% of their links targeted at the keyword they wanted to rank for…..

The top ranking sites were around the 25% mark.

Plus on top of this the higher ranking sites had an average of 36 anchor variations pointing to the page, the sites struggling only had an average of 23.

What Does This Show Us?

Well it’s simple, just don’t overdo it with the anchor text, as I have stated many times before use 7-10 variations of the main keyword and make sure you build at least 30% of your links using the domain name.

Progress up the SERPS may be slower using this method, however it protects you against anchor text filters and penalties, because trust me when I say they exist even for the biggest of businesses.

You have always had to be careful when it came to anchor text, but I think now is the time to get a little more natural.