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Link Building

A Few Backlink Factors I Tend to Think About

We all can agree that it’s not who has the most links that wins the race, it’s who has best variety of links. Who gave you those links, when did they give you those links and what do those links say about you are factors that really matter when building links to your site.

Who:  The link provider should be authority and top ranking sites (.govs, .edu, alexa top 50′s, etc.)

When: let’s just say the older the link, the better.

What: What they have to say about you is arguably the deciding factor.

However, when building links, I like to think that each link has 100′s and 1,000′s of factors. Since I don’t know all of these factors I start to make up ones in my head or try to tie them together.  Here are some things I like to consider when building links:

How old is the page your link is on? How old is your link on that Page? How old is that link compared to page’s age? Was that link there as an originally reference since the page’s creation or was this link added later on? Has the anchor text of that link changed from its original text? Does that link move around on the page? Was that link placed there around the same time your web site was created? What’s the value (PR & Trust) of that site?

These factors are some of the reasons why SEO’s buy aged domains. Besides having a domain that is aged, it’s awesome to have an aged domain with links as old as the domain.  The oldest SEO trick for this situation is to find expired or inactive domains in DMOZ. They’re already in the directory and have old links. You can also participate in an aged domain auction.

OLD LINKS ARE GOOD! Especially if the anchor text and placement has never changed and that page linking to you does well in the SERP’s or still accumulates links.

Example: My buddy bought a .ws domain 4 years ago and created a blogspot (before it was Google’s) to go with it. He wrote a few posts in that blog and linked back to his site. The site has been inactive since. However to this day, his site is still on the 1st page of Google for ‘learn guitar quick’ this is all because he created a ‘learn guitar quick’ backlink on his learn guitar quick blog, 4 years ago! We also found out that when he bought that site it was just after the previous webmaster stopped paying for that domain. That webmaster also had a link 2 years prior from a friend’s blog doing the same thing. Besides that, the site has been steadily picking up links since its original creation. My buddy lucked out on that domain (I just wish he would do something with it). Based on experimenting and comparing 2 other guitar sites with that one, I can honestly say that I feel age of domain, age of links and age of the page your backlink is on plays a far more important role in ranking than the amount of links you have.

More Backlink Factors…

Is the web site linking to you relevant to your site? Do they have a similar title tag? Does their meta’s match their link pointing you? Does your title tag agree with that backlink? Is that site already ranking for the term in the anchor text of that backlink? Are there any sites linking to that page similar to yours? Is that site linking to other sites competing with you? Here’s a way to address this;

  • Go to Google and search related:yoursite.com. Google will display all the sites they feel relate to your site.
  • Try to get a link from all those sites.
  • Go back to Google, and see who is #1 for your targeted term.
  • Now search related:competitorsite.com. Google will display all the sites they feel relates to your competitors. (guaranteed they are different than your relationships)
  • Now search link:competitorsite.com in Google then Yahoo! and you’ll see why Google feels they have a different relationship with your targeted terms than you.

How many other backlinks are they sharing that pagerank and traffic with?

That’s just another factor I try to think about. Most of the time, the only time I want to share pages with other links is if the competitor is already on that page or if I can get higher placement to get crawled first by the spiders. That brings us to another factor. Is that link there for traffic purposes of for PR? If it’s not for the 1st reason, then your priorities aren’t straight. What kind of traffic is that link sending? Is it traffic than can possibly convert? Or is it traffic that could actually hurt your overall site stats?

We know Google is smart right? The spiders can read code, right? Right. They can read how many links share a <div> (divider section), they know based on css and line #’s how big and where your link is located on the page .The bots know the difference between sidebars, footers, and areas of the page filled with relevant content. They can tell how the webmaster feels about your link compared to other links on that site. They can tell if your link is there to add value and draw visitors or not.

Another factor I always think about is sitewide links. Do they all matter? But, I’ll have to discuss that another time, that’s a whole other story. Just consider sitewide links individually, as a whole and if they represent authority, affiliation and/or relevance.

Well, that’s all my link rambling for now. I just gave myself some other ideas I’m about to go practice elsewhere. Hope this information sparked some ideas for your link building campaign.

Just remember; Content is King. Good content will develop links you couldn’t even imagine. Press Releasers, creative writers and article copywriters are probably far better link builders than most SEO’s. But sometimes a professional link builder is what you need to get that content found. (or in seriously competitive industries)