Backlinks for SEO, Quality not Quantity

It’s amazing what some people will tell you.

We’ve been working on signing a new client for our SEO practice. They really are nice folks. They own a real estate office, surprise surprise, and I’ve spent my time in touch with a couple of the members of their marketing department. After telling them what we offer, sending a document on what to expect from our SEO services, I then sent along a service agreement. Pretty much, this is our standard sales process when someone signs up with us for SEO work.

This client wrote back asking us to write into the agreement that we would create 150 “backlinks” each month during the SEO campaign. This set off an alarm right away.  First of all, it was obvious that some SEO provider had told the client that this was an SEO best practice. Well, it’s not. So, we took the time to explain to them that when it comes to inbound linking, you want quality links, not just a high quantity of links.

When you’re trying to increase your inbound link count, you need to increase the number of quality links. This is just one of the elements of good SEO. Here’s how you judge whether it’s a good link.

  1. Google assigns every page with a PageRank. They don’t make these page rankings public, but you can see a version of your PageRank by downloading and installing the Google toolbar. If your links are from pages with PR (PageRank) 1, then they’re pretty much worthless. If you can get inbound links from pages with PRs of 5, 6, 7, and higher, then you’ll really be doing more for your SEO.
  2. Links to your site should be from pages with similar content. So, if your website is about Boston Real Estate and you’re trying to increase your ranking for the term “Boston Real Estate” then the inbound links to your site should be from other pages about Boston Real Estate. Also, ideally, the sites that those pages are a part of are sites about Boston Real Estate. The search engines look at this like the site is an authority on the subject. So, another example would be: a link from this website to a site about Real Estate SEO would be of high value to that other site; whereas a link from this website to a site about plumbing would be of far less value to that site.
  3. Link farms are bad. If the link to your website is from a page or website with many other outbound links on it, then this is not going to help your placement all that much. Google and Yahoo! can tell when a site is a link farm. All they have to do is count the number of outbound links on a page and on the site. So, if you’re just one of 100 outbound links on a page, then that link isn’t going to be looked upon very favorably and this will not help your SEO.

OK, now that we understand what makes for a good link and that many links aren’t worth much at all, let’s remember the following: Good SEO links are about quality and not quantity. If you can remember this mantra, then your SEO campaign will have a much better chance of performing well.

OK, that’s about it for now. If you have any questions about this topic, drop us a note and well get back to you. Thanks.

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