If you have been in the link building business over the past years, you must have noticed that things don’t work the same way any longer.
Generating tons of search engine traffic by slapping a few reciprocal links on your page simply does not work.
Before you embark on your SEO link building quest, it’s useful to understand what strategies DID matter a while ago, but are merely obsolete today – learn from the history, you know.
#1: PRECISE ANCHOR TEXTS
Previously, SEOs used to optimize their sites by using the same anchor text for all their links.
Well, this strategy is not that hot these days; as a matter of fact, you can be penalized by Google for doing it and not even know it.
Natural anchor texts are the key today.
But what is natural you might ask?
Basically, a natural link looks like it was built by a user, not an SEO. Normal users would not use a precise anchor text in their links, and neither should you – ALL the time, anyway.
In practical terms, when working on your link building, don’t just use your high value keywords in your links, but throw in a few “natural speech” words in there as well, like “cool site”, “click here”, etc.
#2: GOOGLE PAGERANK
I can’t believe there are still so many discussions about the validity of PageRank in the SEO world these days. I suppose if so much is written about it, somebody wants to read it, right?
As far as link building is concerned, PageRank is not the best indicator of the page strength.
The famous green bar has been a JOKE ever since Matt Cutts of Google confirmed that Google “takes care of people querying the PR data too much or too heavily.” (The source is a bit old, but if anything changed since then, it would be the fact that Google tried to downplay PageRank even more.)
Sounds like Google returns random page rank data if they feel like it – just because it’s fun to fool SEOs.
But why did I list PageRank as one of the factors I look for in a perfect link?
Simply because we don’t have too many alternatives to measure page authority aside from PR and maybe SEOMoz Page Authority metric, which I use quite a bit as well.
Either one of those metrics can be used as an indicator of the page strength, but not the primary factor by any means.
#3: ALEXA RANK
This metric is geared towards online marketers and does not truly measure ALL the traffic that might come to your site.
It’s based on the sample of Alexa toolbar users, is browser-specific and can be easily manipulated (from what I’ve heard anyway).
Plus, the formula Alexa uses to determine its page rank is overwhelmingly debated.
Once again, it’s a good indicator of the site authority, but should be used along with other factors to determine if any given site is truly a good link building candidate.
#4: GOOGLE BACKLINK DATA
Referring to the link:somedomain.com Google query.
Don’t ever trust Google to really tell you how many links a specific website has. Plus, when you do a Google search on your links, random samples are returned, so you might see the spammiest of all the links you have.
Yahoo! Site Explorer used to be a great backlink research tool, but alas, it’s out of commission.
I’ve done a lot of research on the alternatives, and so far my two best suggestions for link research are:
1. Market Samurai: if you already own Market Samurai, look no further.
I love their SEO competition section. It used to be powered by Yahoo! Site Explorer, but was recently changed to Majestic SEO – another great backlink checker that otherwise requires a monthly subscription to use.
Here’s a video on how to use the SEO Competition module of Market Samurai:
2. SEOSpyGlass: this software goes a few steps further than Market Samurai as far as backlink analysis is concerned.
My favorite part is the fact that it measures the VALUE of a link, plus the fact that their free version is free for life.
#5: GOOGLE CACHE DATE
This metric has also been used and abused by SEOs to the point that it can’t be relied upon. Juicy pages that rank are often returned as having no cache set.
So forget about the cache date as well.
Simple: if you are heavily relying upon any one of the above metrics to determine whether any given site/page is a good one to get a link from, stop it.
Effective link building is all about diversity.
- Article Marketing Post Panda & How 15 Top Article Directories Are Doing Today
- Domain Authority vs Keyword.com: Which One Carries More Weight?
- 6 Google Search Query Tips
- The Case of 60% (or Above) ‘Money Keyword’ Anchor Text!
- 6 Tips: Diversifying Anchor Text
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