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Old 01-18-2011, 05:34 PM
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Top Ten Checklist For Link “Quality Rank”

As link builders, webmasters and SEOs are all in the same boat: we can’t see actually PageRank, or how Bing or any other SE values links, but we need to be able to decide whether a link has value from a given page. Toolbar PR has always been a limited metric, at best, anyway, and there are so many other things we should consider whether we are deciding to ask for a guest post, weighing the value of a directory submission or choosing whether to trade links.

So, let's make a Top Ten Checklist of the Criteria for Quality Rank:
  1. Is the site content and the page where I am getting a link relevant, including meta tags and title?

    If the page is relevant, but the theme and content of the rest of the site is unrelated, it’s worth less to me than a site that is fully related to mine. Since I am an SEO, I will use that for an example. A web designer might have an SEO links page. That’s fairly well related. But a link from an SEO site’s link page would be even better. On the other hand, I probably won’t take the time to pursue a link from a real estate site that has a page called web-design-seo-links.html. The content on that page might be relevant, but the rest of the site isn’t. I say probably, because if the site met a lot of other quality criteria and I found a lot of other quality SEOs listed there, I might bite.

  2. Is the page indexed? When was it last cached?

    I would still look at toolbar PR, but I wouldn’t let the lack of PR concern me if the site, page and other links are otherwise relevant and of good quality. But the page must be indexed. A page that has not been cached is not yet of any interest. And the date of the last cache is a clue. A page that has not been crawled and cached within that past month is not a high PR page. Remember crawl rate and PageRank are correlated. Highly correlated. That means there is a direct relationship between the two metrics. This is one of the remaining clues we have.

  3. Do I know and trust the webmaster?

    One of the reasons I value being part of a community like V7N is that I get to know other people in this business. If I agree to a guest post or a link trade, it’s important to me to know that I am not wasting my time. I have seen too many links disappear to be quick to trade links with someone I don’t know.

  4. is it likely to drive qualified traffic?

    If every single link you placed brought a convertible lead, wouldn’t you be happy?

  5. Where will the link be placed?

    Is it in the footer or a sidebar? Or in a list of links that reads like so many link farms: Title: Description. Next! If it’s the first link in that list, and I am assured of my link staying at the top, I am a little more interested. Remember PageRank has been described as the likelihood that a random surfer will click on a link. How much more likely is it that the top link will get clicked? I guess we all want to be at the top of the SERPs for the same reason.

  6. Can I get a contextual link?

    Speaking of links formatted in Title: Description lists, I can’t imagine why people are still doing that. Is that not a clear indicator to Google of a traded link? I want a link that is contextual, that is part of the content of the page, and is appears in a relevant paragraph. There are times when it might be fine. For example, a deep sea fishing site might link out to some bass fishing sites with a bulleted list of 4 or 5. But a link on a page of 100 other fishing sites? Not my idea of quality in most cases. But a link in a paragraph about deep sea fishing linking to my captain’s site with any decent keywords is a catch I want to reel in.

  7. What is the site’s placement for my keywords?

    If the site is ahead of me in the SERPs, well, that’s a no-brainer. Close behind isn’t bad either. How does it do for its targeted keywords? In other words, take the first 3 words of the title and Google that phrase. Do the same thing with the title tag of the page where you are getting a link. How much do you want that link now?

  8. Domain age?

    We know Google values a site’s age. It isn’t a huge factor, but it’s worth paying attention especially if the site is brand new. How old is the page? I assume you know you can check the site’s age in a whois, but the Wayback Machine can help you check the age of the page, and it may also show you if there is link churning on the page. Link churning is not a good sign. Google values stability.

  9. Neighborhood.

    Will I be proud to tell Google that these are my friends and I am sticking to them. Linking to a site is telling the search engines you approve of the site and feel its quality is on par or better than your own. Will your link be in good company? Those same principles apply. If I don’t see sites I would like to link with on that page, I am not looking at a quality page. I still believe human edited directory listings have value, and when I find a category that lists some of the top experts in my field, you know I am submitting my link.

  10. This is where you come in ... I did say "let's make a list" so what can we add to make this a Top Ten list for quality ranking criteria? And it's okay if the list is more than ten. It's all about quality!

    Comments on ALL points welcome!
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:09 PM
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great post. i think you have covered many aspects of it.

for link building i think relevancy of content where the link to be placed is a major factor.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webcosmo View Post
great post. i think you have covered many aspects of it.
Thanks. Anything I missed. We need Number 10.

Quote:
Originally Posted by webcosmo View Post

for link building i think relevancy of content where the link to be placed is a major factor.
Was that not clear? It's in point one, should it be repeated in point 5?
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:33 AM
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Although I do promote stuff through FB and Twitter, I am a huge believer in building natural links through quality content, so choosing where I want my linked placed, isn't something I deal with very often. However, I can tell you how I determine if I place an outgoing link on my own sites. It all comes down to just one thing. Will this resource help my visitors?
 
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricket View Post
Will this resource help my visitors?
When considering a link or article trade, this really should be the Number One consideration, shouldn't it?

And I have to say, when I realized I had not mentioned that simple, basic concept anywhere in the list, I was a bit chagrined.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:25 AM
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I ran across this article this morning and felt it really furthers the discussion here about link quality.

In How Link Analysis Works for SEO, SEO Theorist Michael Martinez (who is generally very much against the traditional approach to competitive link analysis) outlines what he sees as effective link analysis:

Quote:
While your competitors are spinning their wheels doing “competitive link research”, you do need to look at links on other sites for a few reasons. For example, suppose you’re trying to acquire links from other sites. Here are several reasons why you want to analyze the links on those sites:
  • You want to know where their existing Outbound Links point
  • You want to know how their existing Outbound Links are structured
  • You want to know how their site architectures are built
  • You want to know if they doing dumb things like hiding Outbound Links or NoFollowing those link
Martinez advises exploring the motivation behind why sites are linking out.

Quote:
After all, people who rely on reciprocal linking as their main tactic don’t have much of a competitive strategy. So if you determine that a site has a reciprocal links page you don’t need to see who they’re linking to — you already know they are desperate for links. Do you really want a link from that site?

Actually, you may — you just have to get around their reciprocal mentality and convince them that you’re the one resource worth linking to without requiring a link in return. Just don’t bother asking them for the link. Let them decide to give you the link without your contacting them.

Knowing that someone allows link spammers to drop links in their forums and/or blog comments tells you that the site is either spam-friendly (yes, such sites exist) or it’s being run by someone who doesn’t know or care about how search engines assess link value. Do you really want a link from that site?

Actually, you may — blah blah blah (see 2 paragraphs above).

In short, when you go looking for links (without thinking about where your competitors are getting links from), you want to evaluate the motives behind the outbound links on other sites before trying to acquire links from those sites. Let their behavior determine whether you take a passive (let them find you) or active (contact them) approach to acquiring links from them.

Identify Networks and Relationships – If you believe in true link diversity you may want to avoid asking for links from people who are participating in Link Wheels, SEO Memes, Link Networks, etc.
Read the rest of the article on the use of link analysis to assess the quality of links: http://www.seo-theory.com/2011/02/11...works-for-seo/.

I also summarized his approach to onsite link analysis for today's SEO tip of the day.
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Last edited by mjtaylor; 02-16-2011 at 11:37 AM.
 
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:30 PM
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Apologies for a late post but I think this thread needs to stay alive.

Number 10 could possibly be social interaction. Big name brands and companies are even into social networking these days and provided the site is socially active at places like Facebook, Linked In, Tweeting, then the chances of your link at that site being found would have increased.
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:52 AM
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Relevancy and backlinks are the key for higher rankings. I believe that Keyword research is the most important thing in SEO. It can make or break your SEO campaign.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtaylor View Post
  1. Is the page indexed? When was it last cached?

    I would still look at toolbar PR, but I wouldn’t let the lack of PR concern me if the site, page and other links are otherwise relevant and of good quality. But the page must be indexed. A page that has not been cached is not yet of any interest. And the date of the last cache is a clue. A page that has not been crawled and cached within that past month is not a high PR page. Remember crawl rate and PageRank are correlated. Highly correlated. That means there is a direct relationship between the two metrics. This is one of the remaining clues we have.
While this is generally a very good metric, when I'm evaluating a page I like to keep in mind that there are Cache Control Directives and a page does not need to be cached to have (and/or pass) PageRank or to count as a link.
 
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