Link quality in SEO: The Definitive Guide

Link quality: Let’s draw it all with a little example:

On the one hand, you own the site from the new hot place in town for family entertainment and just received a link from to your website after they interviewed you in the area.

On the other hand, Susy Dwain gave you a link from her blog, which has just a few blogs posts over the last two years.

Let’s see… Which one would you cherish the most?

Sorry Susy, thanks for the link, really appreciated, but The New York Times link happens to be more valuable concerning what Google actually sees.

It is pretty simple: not all links are created equal, and not all of them have the same value, according to rankings and search engines. Click To Tweet

1-2-3 for link quality achievement

Several factors contribute to the link quality. here you have a few useful aspects that would link from a website valuable to you, even being a small business owner: from a website valuable to you, even being a small business owner:

1.    Relevance

link quality

If you are a shoemaker, then getting links from sites that are dedicated to shoes has more value than receiving links from fishing sites.

Relevant links from similar sites help search engines recognize your brand and content, resulting in higher rankings on that topic.

2.    Authority & Trust

Similar to the example for relevant links from lines above, links from trusted and authority websites are precious for any link building services.

One excellent source for links from authority and trusted pages are those like local and regional news organizations.

Sites with .EDU and/or .GOV domains tend to be very valuable for link builders.

The reason is simple:

Pages from these domains come from very trusted websites such as universities or state governmental agencies.


3.    Diversity

link quality

There is something very that search engines like a lot of links, they like links to be diverse.

When Google notices a wide variety of links (not how many they are, but where they come from), it is for them an indicator of trust.

Contrary to this, websites that don’t have a natural “link profile” can be red-flagged by search engines.

Then you may logically ask: what types of links should I target so I can make sure my link profile is diverse?

It would not be difficult considering different bloggers are talking about your business, website directories, people sharing comments about your website on their Facebook page, reviews or comments on sites like Yelp, InsiderPages, Google Places, links from local organizations, etc.

Links from diverse sources will help you build a natural link profile, which means better performance in search engine rankings.

So, is link quality actually more important than quantity?

Yes, it is! Absolutely!

Think about it:

If it was the opposite, and the number of links was more important than the quality of them – that is, the quality of their source – wouldn’t it be incredibly easy for websites to building hundreds of links on unrelated or spam sites.

This may have been once a common practice, but with Google’s algorithm updates there could be even punishments on websites that do this.

What do you think would work better for rankings?:

Mery’s Cupcake Store has spent time and money over building up links. Now, she has managed to have incoming web links distributed this way: 2 high-quality links, 18 medium quality links, and 280 low-quality links.

On the other hand, “The Little Hardware on the Corner” has only managed to reach 60 links in its campaign.

Most of those links have resulted from launching events and local news organizations the hardware has been in contact with on a regular basis. The links distribution goes like this: 20 high-quality links, 20 medium quality links, and 20 low-quality links.

The little hardware from the corner may not be that small after all, and its success may probably be a lot wider than the one for Mery’s Cupcake Store. Reliable and trusted links worth a lot more than the weak and numerous ones.

Even one single link from a widely reputable website, a highly popular blog, or any high-quality site would provide as much value as a hundred links from other sources.

When Google trusts the website from which you’ve been linked, for sure it is going to believe that link, too, and then “a followed link is, in its essence, a seal of approval for its success.

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