Different Links Have Different Goals

WMW has a good thread about some of the changes people are noticing at Google. Two big things that are happening are more and more pages are getting thrown in Google's supplemental results, and Google may be getting more aggressive with re-ranking results based on local inter-connectivity and other quality related criteria. You need some types of links to have enough raw PageRank to keep most of your pages indexed, and to have your deeper pages included in the final selection set of long tail search results. You need links from trusted related sites in order to get a boost in result re-ranking.

There are also a few other types of links to look at, if you wanted to take a more holistic view:

  • links from general trusted seed sites

  • links that drive sales
  • links that lead to additional trusted links
  • links that gain you mindshare or subscribers

Some of those other links may not even be traditional links, but may come from a well placed ad buy.

Every unbranded site is heavily unbalanced in their link profile. If you do not have a strong brand then the key people in your community who should be talking about you are not (and thus you are lacking those links).

Most branded sites do not create enough content or do enough keyword research to fully leverage their brand strength, but occasionally you see some of them get a bit too aggressive.

Published: April 6, 2007 by Aaron Wall in seo tips


April 6, 2007 - 11:06pm

Great linking data. About a month ago I started adding out bound links in related original content sprinkled through out my site. I have noticed the pages that have these links are getting indexed more frequently. Now trying to convince the trusted sites to link back is a harder fish to fry but I am working on it. Any thoughts?

April 8, 2007 - 7:27am

When starting out getting links from trusted sites is as easy as making a comment in a blog like this.

Make your comments relevant and helpful. Build up a list of trusted popular sites visit them regularly posting your take on the subject. It might take a little time but it is worth the work. This process benifits both your site and the site you are commenting on!

Ben Hoffman

April 8, 2007 - 8:28am

And if you make comments like Ben made, with your keywords in your anchor text, and recommend spamming blogs, don't be surprised if the blogger deletes the links and / or your entire comment.

April 8, 2007 - 9:34am

Definitely a much needed article, thank you very much!

Too many people seem myopic in their view of links and their various purposes, unfortunately. Most people fail to realize that there is even more than one purpose or that different types of links may fill different requirements for different purposes.

What I found works well for me, for one site, is to go back to basics, build a site and its pages to be of direct benefit to the visitor. If I think a link would be useful to them, as a possible reference, I add it, if not, I don't. Sometimes a reference may lead to a product or service but in all cases, the links are primarily for reference.

The corollary to that, at least for one of my sites, is to become valued as a reference for other sites because in that site's field, paid links not only generate very little traffic but even more so, very little if any conversions.

On the other hand another of my sites, in a totally different field and of a totally different purpose, possible reference links are few and far between and other types of links are more predominant.

So, it seems to me that in addition to one's link strategy needing to consider the purpose and goals of links one attempts to attract, one should also consider the relative merits of the different types of links with regard to one's targeted audience to determine which types of links will be most beneficial.

To make a long story short, just as different types sites have different purposes, different types links have different purposes as well and one should consider well the suitability of the matching.

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