10 Truths About Links via SEOmoz.org

Posted on February 16, 2012

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The complex nature of PageRank and other such algorithm-based system that looks at linking means that the type of website and the manner in which you are linked all play a role in the weighting process.

SEOmoz.org has a great blog post written by Rand Fishkin, which breaks down 10 truths about links when it comes to PageRank and other such weighting systems.

  1. Links Higher Up in HTML Code Cast More Powerful Votes – Often referred to as the “higher link wins” theory, it may not be proven but testing shows that the higher the link in the HTML, the better it looks for PageRank.
  2. External Links are More Influential than Internal Links – May seem obvious, and your focus should be getting external sites to link to you. But it still helps to make sure your own pages are linking to one another.
  3. Links from Unique Domains Matter More than Links from Previously Linking Sites – Has a lot of significance when it comes to link building strategies: it is better to get 50 links from 50 different sites than 500 links from the same site.
  4. Links from Sites Closer to a Trusted Seed Set Pass More Value – PageRank and other ranking systems have “trusted” site that they, well, trust the most, and the closer you are to them, the better you are. Per the SEOmoz example, getting a link from the Library of Congress is golden. KevinBacon.com? Not so much.
  5. Links from “Inside” Unique Content Pass More Value than Those from Footers/Sidebar/Navigation – Getting listed on a Blog’s Linkroll on the side is great, but you really want to get on its unique content, such as blog posts and entries.
  6. Keywords in HTML Text Pass More Value than those in Alt Attributes of Linked Images – Alt Attributes are the links within images, and testing shows that text links are more valuable than image links.
  7. Links from More Important, Popular, Trusted Sites Pass More Value  – Discussed earlier, but the example set forth here is interesting. You’d rather be linked to from an obscure, unknown page off of CNN’s website than from the main page of a random, obscure site.
  8. Links Contained Within NoScript Tags Pass Lower (and Possibly No) Value – NoScript Tags are HTML tags that provide alternative content for browsers that don’t support JavaScript or other scripts. PageRank doesn’t care much for, and sometimes even completely ignores, links with NoScript Tags.
  9. A Burst of New Links May Enable a Document to Overcome “Stronger” Competition Temporarily (or in Perpetuity) – Trending links can allow you to skyrocket up the PageRank rankings. The biggest takeaway from this? If you’re handling content related to something going viral or is all of a sudden quite popular? Make sure you capitalize on it!
  10. Pages that Link to WebSpam May Devalue the Other Links they Host – Avoid spam at all costs — this also means that even if you aren’t getting linked to from a spam site, it may be a problem if the site that is linking to you also is linking to a spam site. Google will notice.
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Posted in: Google, SEO Basics