Are you continually getting emails from scammy foreign marketers telling you what you’re doing is wrong? Are they sending you massive lists of directories your website is “missing” from? No one is doubting the power that link-building still holds, but where should you focus your search for quality citations?
What Links Are Worth Acquiring?
- Is it even indexed? When it comes to directories, if the website isn’t indexed by google or bing – don’t bother. Do a “site search” to check (example: type in google “site:directorysitenamehere.com”) and see if any results are returned. If nothing comes back, move on.
- Will real people actually see & click on the link? There is also the true human element in addition to the pure technical SEO side.The more often a link might actually be clicked is a relatively good gauge of how valuable that link might be. This is why links from trusted local sources and fellow businesses are so valuable–because people are actually visiting those websites and interacting with them.
- Is the source relevant to your business? If visitors on the linked directory or citation source visit your website and can’t extract any valuable information and instead quickly bounce, the link likely isn’t worth it. This is why researching niche directories and similar (or at least local) businesses willing to link to you is a good way to go.
- Quality not Quantity. One link from a highly ranking website that has content relevant to your’s is worth exponentially more than multiple links from sites that don’t rank highly and/or aren’t relevant.
- What is “link juice” & are nofollow links valuable? It used to be that any link was a good link, and the better the pagerank of the page linking to you, the better it was for your SEO. While that is partially still true, there some caveats. For example, a link from a disreputable site can actually HURT your pagerank. When it comes to reputable sites, the more links on a page the more diluted the links are so the less “link juice” you’ll receive from that link. So if the page you are acquiring a link from has a massive spammy amount of links on it, it’s probably not really worth it.
However, there’s another side of the spectrum–the human element we mentioned above. Even if the link is an ad which are usually “nofollow” links, or the link is diluted on a link heavy page, you still could benefit if, for example, your link is at the top of the page and plenty of actual users are clicking on that link. This is because Google also tracks the traffic flowing to your website which they also use as a ranking factor–plus getting people to visit your website is the whole point! So even nofollow links can be beneficial for SEO in that way.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/11/2017) Perzonseo Webbyra (Flickr)