Assessing link value is one of the most important things in SEO because not all links are equal, which means SEO (search engine optimization) is not a land of democracy. 🙂 This post explains what kinds of links you need to build to get the best bang for your buck.
This is a guest post by Kenneth von Rauch
Internal vs. External Links
First off, let’s define each type. An internal link is a link from a site to the same site. So, it’s like you say a good thing about yourself. An external link is a link to your site from another site. This time around it’s like someone else (a third party) saying a good thing about you. As you might have guessed external links are by far better than internal ones because you can easily put a whole lot of links to your own site meanwhile it’s not that easy with third party sites (especially if you’re on a shoestring budget). Though you do need internal links (just for link profile diversity), you need to strive to get as many high quality external links as possible. They make the actual difference in the search professional world.
The approach to anchor text links (exact match percentage to be specific) is a very changeable factor because it changes after just about every major Google update. As of now, you need to use about 20% keywords in your anchor texts. 40% for the brand name and URL. And the rest 40% for random keywords (“click here” and the like). The main idea to keep in mind here is that you need to diversify your link profile to make it look natural (if it’s not).
If your aim is to improve the PR of the page that you work on, than it does make sense to aim for the highest PR possible, but you should never make a decision based just on that factor. As a rule of thumb, you need to take into account the domain authority value of the page in question.
While assessing a link value you need to consider the fact of what sites link to the page where you want to place your link. The better the sites that surround the site where you consider to get a link from the better. And again, that totally makes sense, because it’s easy to say who you are judging just from your friends. The same idea works in on-page SEO.
One more important link value factor, which is defined by the age of the site and its branding. A site gets more authority if it acquires more links from authoritative sources such as governmental entities and education establishments.
The point is that only the first link to a specific URL from a site is the most influential one and you don’t really need more links from the same site. So, while building links for your site you need to do your best to obtain as many high quality links from different sites as possible. In other words, avoid obtaining links in blogrolls or similar locations.
Link Location on the Page
Try to put your link in a site’s content (blog or just main text if that’s feasible). If that’s not possible, consider placing your link in the sidebar. And if that doesn’t work and you REALLY need a backlink from that site, you can think about putting your link in the footer of the site. So, a link in the footer has the least value. Just keep that in mind. Some even say that it can harm.
Topic of the Page
It’s best to place your text link on a page that is relevant to the page on your site that you point your link to. So, putting a link with the “wordpress” anchor text on a spa-related blog is way less beneficial than adding such a link to a wordpress-related resource.
It does not really make sense to nofollow links at present, though some search professionals do think that it has some (rather tiny) impact. There’s evidence when a site with all dofollow links got a higher PR.
Now you’re armoured with the information on how to evaluate links and that makes you ready to start your link building campaign. You also can properly and efficiently plan your SEO strategy that will yield the best results possible.
Kenneth von Rauch is about about web design and web development. He’s with WebDesy.com as CEO and SEO.