Monday, 31 May 2010

Link Evaluation Refresher from SEOMoz

The importance of links can never be overemphasised. We talk about link juice and link flow and all what not. Hence I was pretty pleased to read this post on Search Engine's Valuation of Links the other day on the SEOMoz blog. I decided to do a short brief summary here. However, as we all know, search engines change their algorithm everyday so I won't be surprised if some of these factors change some time soon.
Here's the 10 facts about Luck Juice and Value:
  1. The higher the anchor link position on the web page, the more link juice is passed on. Hence the reason why footer links aren't of great value, they're found at the very bottom, by then almost all the link juice has been passed on! Note to self, avoid footer links.
  2. Using keywords on anchor links help on-page ranking factor: One of the reasons why using keywords in your title and content. It's always best to us your primary keyword first, then your secondary keywords and brand name last. 
  3. External links are important than Internal links: There's only so much internal link building you can do on your website; You will always need external links to acquire more link juice and the more the merrier too!
  4. Unique domain links are more important than links from existing domains: I would relate this point to #3. Your domain is an existing domain and you have lots of internal links. However, when you get links from other unique domains they carry more weight than having hundreds of links from just one website.
  5. Links from trusted sites are better than links from other websites which link to trusted websites: I'll relate this to 3 way link exchange programs. Basically, it's always best to link to the source, as opposed to linking to a website just because it links to a trusted website, unless that website is trusted in itself. This method reduces the chance of web spam.
  6. Links from unique content pass more value than links from Footers/Sidebar/Navigation: I think this is really for us seo bloggers. We all love to use blogrolls and navigation links... Guilty. From here on, I'll always try to put my important links in my content first, then put the others anywhere else.
  7. Keywords in HTML pass more value than image alt attributes: The alt attribute used for images help to get image search engine ranking for that keyword but html keywords in anchor link tags pass more link juice for keyword searches. Go for HTML first, then alt attribute.
  8. Links from relevant webpages pass more value than links from irrelevant pages: This is down to building useful and important links. There is no point getting a link from a page that talks about SEO, when you're about football, even if it's from the home page and has a good pagerank. It's better to avoid links from websites not related to yours. That been said, if you don't have a choice and some one gives you  a link from an irrelevant website, don't go sending them an email to get it off!
  9. Links in NoScript tags pass almost no value: NoScript tags are used to show content to browsers which don't show rich content like JavaScript and Flash videos. Frankly, I'm not to surprised about this. I'm pretty sure this was misused a number of times hence the reduced link value. 
  10. A large volume of new link to a website could help ranking ahead of competitive websites: Now I was quite surprised to read this, because I would have thought the search engines would see the large volume of links as being spammy/paid links and thus lead to a penalty. Apparently there is an evaluation done to make sure this is not the case. And I'm also sure it depends on where the link actually originates.
  11. Webpages which link to webspam may devalue other links on their page: This is the reasoning behind the term guilty by association and going on to set no-follow tags on comments. Apparently the no-follow tags does not always work either. Hence, just try to avoid spammy comments and links altogether.
So that's the recap of link valuation. Heck, I didn't even know some of the points I read so trust me, this is very useful, especially for beginners. A lot of these ideas have also been tested so that's great stuff, if you want more information on the article and the actual tests carried out to prove these points, visit the SEOMoz website
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