Internet Marketing Strategies And Tips

Will The Quantity And Quality of Links Pointing to a URL Increase its Link Popularity?

Is it quality or quantity that matters when it comes to backlinks? This is one of the most debated issues in the SEO world. The truth is that quantity only matters if there’s quality.

A few years back, link quantity is almost all that mattered because every link to your website was equal to a vote, and it contributed to the site’s total vote count.

This idea of a vote per link regardless of link source gave leeway to hundreds of unscrupulous webmasters to unfairly gain search engine ranking.

When search engines realized that they were being manipulated, they altered their link scoring algorithms.

And very recently (as recent as February 2012), Google issued further changes, particularly how they do their link evaluation.

In Google’s own words:

‘Link evaluation. We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often rearchitect or turn off parts of our scoring in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable.’

There are many ways Google (and other search engines) use link analysis. As to the exact changes it made to its methods remains anybody’s guess. For sure, there are many possibilities to what might have been changed but some of Google’s patented approaches are not very likely to have changed.

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There’s a feeling that the changes are shifting towards burning link building in the long run (which would render quantity of links totally insignificant), or reducing the importance of anchor text. Reason for this is that there are various SEO tools that webmasters can use to find the ‘ideal’ percentage of keyword anchor text without setting off alarm bells.

There are simply dozens of possibilities to consider. Certainly, link popularity is not merely a result of link quantity and quality.

The most probable possibility appears to be a change in the exact match of anchor text. For a long time, webmasters have been selecting a particular keyword and then trying to get as many backlinks with that keyword as possible.

This has generally yielded good results (leads to targeted links, thus quality). Some leading SEO research firms (like SeoMoz) have hinted that through experiments, partial match for anchor text gave impressive results.

So for instance if you’re targeting ‘creamy mega candy’, rather than getting 10 backlinks with the exact anchor text, you should get two with ‘creamy candy’, two with ‘candy’, two with ‘mega candy’, and so forth. Experiments have shown that partial match seems to be a better strategy for the long term.

Whatever link analysis method that was turned off certainly has an effect of link popularity. The methods to experiment with in the meantime include: title tag, position of link, surrounding text, HTML signals, age of link, and page rank.

With the latest changes, it’s highly unlikely that quantity and quality of links pointing to a URL will increase its link popularity.


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