The Risky Business of Linking-Up

The Risky Business of Linking-Up

Top 10 list of US vs Canadian websites

In doing some linkbuilding for a Canadian client recently, I was asked what criteria I used in determining the channels for my linkbuilding activity.

I love it when I get great questions like this from clients!  So I took a snapshot of the tool I developed to answer the question…

As it turns out, every website has a measurable element of trust and authority.  Just as with people, those most trustworthy are usually also the most authoritative – you know, the ones you go to for honest answers.

At the risk of dating myself – who can remember the E.F. Hutton commercials “When E.F. Hutton talks – people listen”?  E.F. Hutton had authority, and in a similar fashion, search engines are gauging the authority of websites too.  There are several data providers for this measure, I happen to use MozRank.

Here’s how MozRank describes website authority ranking:

“Domain Authority is SEOmoz’s calculated metric for how well a given domain is likely to rank in Google.com’s search results.”

“…authority numbers are high level metrics that attempt to answer the question “How strong are this page’s/site’s links in terms of helping them rank for queries in Google.com?”

“… the best way to influence this metric is to improve your overall SEO. Particularly you should focus on your link profile (which influences mozRank and mozTrust) by getting more links from other well linked to pages.”

The answer to my clients question in a nutshell:  I measure a websites authority and create backlinks only from trusted sites with a higher authority score than theirs (my clients). 

My tool has more than four-hundred authority ranking websites, and as the internet grows so too does the list.  This authority score is not static however, so I have to re-measure often to assure its accuracy and data consistency.  Additionally, as more measurable metrics are added to these linking destinations (image, social profiles, reviews, blog content), the greater the demand to revisit at frequency to make sure business data is 100% optimized (by my standards).

Image showing online profile building completeness as a percentage

Would it surprise you to learn that when creating/updating a business profile that reports on the percentage of completion as you move through the process, it is actually measuring a percentage of completion to the minimum standards.  Needless to say, you need to take it much further than that to make it work for you – that’s my standard.

Get this website score thing wrong by linking-up with spammy or low-scoring sites, and you risk stalling your internet visibility growth, or worse – having your rank on search engines lowered.

Authority matters, so reduce your risk by measuring your score, and those you are linking-up with.  Like E.F. Hutton, when authority ranks – search engines listen.

By Chris Sheehy | Rhode Island linkbuilding specialist

About Chris Sheehy

Rhode Island SEO and local internet marketing specialist at Sidewalk Branding Company - http://sidewalkbranding.co
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