Links, Links and More Links (Guestpost)

Tue 30 June 2009 10:30, Editors

Links, Links and More Links (Guestpost)

In Europe and abroad we all know Dave Naylor. His name in the industry hardly needs any introduction. He is already involved with the Calling UK podcasts on Searchcowboys but is most famous for his presentations on events, his podcast Strikepoint and his passion for SEO.

Dave has the reputation of being one of the best SEO's in the world, who has a proven track record of successes in the most competitive markets. He is the owner of Bronco, a very successful web development and SEO agency in the UK. Dave writes on his blog DavidNaylor.co.uk.

Links, Links and More Links

As the search engines get smarter and smarter the power of a single link can vary in many ways, so I’m going to try share some tests that I have carried out and some speculations about what type of link carries what weight.

I have tested citations quite a lot and generally they carry nothing. A citation is just a mention of the URL in a the body of the article, often we see these in press release services that strip out all html and leave you with a straight text copy.

I’m still running some tests on the nofollow link and will update you all when I have the results. At the moment it’s looking like it carries nothing but I’m going to test it on some serious authority sites later.

Link_chain

The next one I want to look at is JavaScript links. The search engines seem to follow these but give no real value to the content around the link which is a shame but totally understandable. If done correctly you can get page rank passing, so think about this when adding JS links all over your site.

The Url link, and what I mean by this is really a linked citation <a href=”http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk”> http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk</a>. Now you will obviously get full Link equity from this link but you can get a proximity boost in the organic. I first tested this ages ago, by linking to a new web site with the text – “written by (made up name which didn’t return many results)”  and the url, then I only linked the url. Now neither site had ever mentioned the made up name before and had never ranked for the made up name, but within 72 hours the target site was top for the made up name, showing that the proximity of the name to link had been counted.

Image links and using the alt tag can pass PageRank and anchor text equity. A big craze a year ago was blending html text over graphics, I saw a lot of sites do this and pick up heavy bans, although some of the bigger players are still using this and getting away if it, I would class it has medium to high risk these days.

The keyword link, <a href=”http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk”>UK SEO</a> is still the most powerful link and still the most dangerous link to do. I still see too often the keyword link just being dropped on to pages like a bad after thought. Take one I recently saw when I was searching for information on buying a classic car, I came across a great guide to VW campervans, what to look out for when buying from a private owner, the different models and problems that comes with those models etc a really well written page with diagrams. In fact it was pretty damn awesome until I got to the end and found 5 links to UK Car insurance sites with links like “cheap car insurance”, and even a mortgage link. Ok at the moment the target sites are ranking high for those terms but the links have clearly just been dropped on there and a quick look on the Way Back machine shows the article was around long before some SEO company grabbed hold of it. So I guess I have a couple of options:

a)     Do nothing but mark the target sites as link buyers and do a deep drive into the link profile, see if they have any good ones.
b)    Warn the webmaster that he has an awesome site but he is running the risk of being banned in Google.
c)      Fire an email off to a member of the quality team at Google .

These links are blatantly purchased that if touted around enough on blogs someone would feel the pain. What I would advise anyone if purchasing links for SEO value make sure the links blend into the site. Try and not be lazy, look at how the webmaster links out already and just do that, if they use images then use a image it’s not rocket science.

It’s also worth noting that if you have 2 links from one page on a site to another site, and the only difference in the links is different anchor text only the first will carry the anchor text but both carry pagerank. I tested this a few months ago and can say with 99% that the first link will boost your organic position, the second will not if you invert them on page you swap the equity again. I did this with made up authors pointing to my blog this time from an equally indexed and authoritive blog, by adding two links site wide to my homepage. I made my site rank for the anchor text on the first link within 48 hours, when I flipped the links we had a short period where I ranked for both keywords but after a while the old first link which was now second in the source code dropped completely from the ranking. Even by adding a graphic link I couldn’t get the target site to rank for both terms for any length of time, until I took the more orthodox way of picking two internal pages and using them to pass different anchor text links to my blog.

I hope I’m not adding to the confusion which can so often happen when it comes to SEO as there are really so many ways to do this correctly and this is just my opinion, so IMO the best way to link for SEO value is something like this:

A guide to search engine optimisation by <a href=”http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk”>Dave Naylor a UK SEO </a> born in the North of England Dave tells it the way it is on his <a href=”http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk/blog”> seo blog</a> he is a true no holds barred seo blogger.

What I’m trying to do is let the search engines know by linking my target keywords “UK SEO” and “Seo Blog” and supporting them with England, Search Engine Optimisation and Blogger in near proximity hopefully that will do the job.
Webmaster_monkey


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