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.
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.
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…..
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.
Do irrelevant links work? Certainly
Would I recommend it? Certainly not
Simple post but hope it helps.