You would think when reading some articles that there was some confusion over relevance and authority when it comes to link building. For most website owners, obtaining a link from a relevant page on an authority site is heaven. I was not aware they were mutually exclusive. Best Premium WordPress Themes 2018.
A post on SEORoundTable on determining authority for link building could give rise to some confusion. More confusion could be generated given that PageRank was used as one method of determining authority. PageRank of course is a Google score that is terribly unreliable – it also ignores the other search engines.
While authority and relevance are not mutually exclusive, it is worth thinking about. Many would claim that a link from a site with authority is far better than a link from a relevant page. I would argue this point on two levels.
1: Who is determining authority? There is no reliable ’score’ that suggests one site has more authority than another. PageRank is not reliable and only indicates a Google assessment. Perhaps keyword SERP placement across a variety of search engines could be used as an indication.
2: Even if you could determine authority, if the link is not from a page that is relevant to your page, the link will most likely be devalued anyway.
Receiving links from pages with relevant content, particularly if the link uses keywords in the anchor will over time prove to be more valuable than an unrelated link from an ‘authority’ site.
Ironically, links that meet the ‘relevance’ test will help to build authority over a period of time and over time the page containing the link may well grow in authority.
Authority and relevance are not mutually exclusive and in any link building campaign I would prefer to see links that incorporate both. However, given the choice, I would prefer to see links from pages with relevance. Having said that, links are links and in a link building campaign it would be a rare situation where I would ask a site to remove a link.
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When we talk about search engine optimization there are always two topics that constantly come to the surface. One is ‘keywords’ the other is ‘links’. The two are closely related although a simple experiment can show you how the wrong keyword in the anchor text of a link can have amazing results.
One of the biggest problems we find when looking at external links is the way anchor text is used. In fact, when reviewing sites prior to commencing a search engine optimization program I am amazed at anchor text that has been used for internal links. I don’t know how many times I have seen the word here or click here used as anchor text. By simply replacing those words with keywords you can turn a valueless anchor to one of high value.
In fact, as an experiment, let’s look at ‘click here’ as a search term. In Google, there are 1.6 billion references to ‘click here’. Guess who has position numbers one, two and three?
- Position one: Adobe – Adobe Reader Download
- Position Two: Apple – Quicktime Download
- Position Three: Internet Explorer: Homepage
If you check each of these pages you will be hard pressed to find the words ‘click here’. In fact, I am pretty sure these pages have not been optimized for those terms either. So why do they rank so highly?
The answer for all three is pretty obvious. There are millions, if not billions of links on the web that say – ‘click here’ to download Adobe Reader, or ‘click here’ to download Quicktime. In other words, the anchor text in these links is ‘click here’, not Apple Quicktime for example.
This shows that anchor text is one of the most important factors regarding inbound relevant links pointing to a particular page and the value of those links to search engine results.
The careless use of anchor text in a link can rob your pages of valuable link juice. The next time you create a link, think about the anchor text. Don’t become another ‘click here to read more’ culprit.
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One of the most important ingredients in a good SEO campaign is link building. It can also be one of the toughest. Search engines can be a little tough on unethical link building strategies and if you add the growing use of ‘nofollow’ attributes to links, gaining quality links takes a lot of work. This list itemizes most of the link building opportunities available.
- 10: Link Farm: Link farms are outdated and generally result in search engine penalties. No longer worth thinking about.
- 09: Paid Reviews: There is an old saying in the IT world – GIGO – garbage in garbage out. Generally speaking paid reviews are poorly written articles on non-relevant sites. If you can get a good review on highly ranked relevant site then you may get value for your money – otherwise treat with caution.
- 08: Text Link Ads: There can be value in obtaining text link ads but these are generally from low ranking sites. As with the paid reviews, obtaining text link ads on high ranking related sites may be of value.
- 07: Link Solicitation: Obtaining links from related sites by solicitation can be difficult. You need to be able to prove to the site owner that there is a mutual benefit. The higher the site ranks the harder it can become. However this can provide a good cross section of related sites.
- 06: Hand Edited Directories: DMOZ and Yahoo are two of the major directories. DMOZ can take up to 12 months to get listed. Yahoo!, whilst a paid listing, remains reasonably good value. Directory links seem to have been reduced in value recently.
- 05: Article Directories: Article directories are hit and miss. You can spend hours putting together a series of articles only to find that most of them get scraped without any links back to your site. When the article is used legitimately you have no control as to the sites relevance or reliability.
- 04: Social Bookmarking: Having your site listed and voted on in some of the social bookmarking sites can provide some benefits to your link building campaign. Many social bookmarking sites incorporate ‘nofollow’ so don’t rely on them for masses of links. The traffic generated by lead to an increase in organic links.
- 03: Press Releases: Press releases can provide a quick lift in rankings. If the press release is well written and provides a little spark then you may find an increase in traffic along with an increase in organic links.
- 02: Edu and Gov sites: Obtaining links from these sites can be hard. The more important the link location the higher value. For example, a link in and Edu report or research paper is highly prized.
- 01: Blended Link Building: Blended link building incorporates a variety of strategies. The aim is to obtain links from a variety of sources, each with varying ranking factors but all from relevant web pages where possible.
Blended link building can be slow and tedious but it does produce great long term website rankings in the major search engines.