How Much is a Link REALLY Worth?
Quality Web site content –– well-crafted writing that uses valuable keywords — is an integral part of online marketing.
But it is only one part to winning the hearts and minds of customers.
Your Web site also needs links. Links from other Web sites contribute to your online marketing success.
Understanding the Algorithm
Fundamentally, Google’s search results are populated by a complex algorithm. It looks for relevant content based on what the SERP user enters.
High value links help to strengthen the content by providing proof of applicability from trusted sources.
Moz developed a way of evaluating how well a website will rank on SERP. It’s called Domain Authority and it rates Web site from 1 to 100 based on the quality and integrity of their content.
These basic attributes represent high quality links:
- The information comes from a trusted source
- Anchor link text is used for relevant keywords
- Not easily obtained — meaning if it comes within a few clicks it is NOT valuable. High value links are harder to acquire because they pass more significance.
Search engines reward pages that have better links from relevant Web sites.
The Intrinsic Value of a Link
What is the difference between poor-quality links and links with domain authority? Think of doing business with a man dressed in a fancy suit compared with a man wearing a dirty old raincoat.
You are more inclined to believe the man wearing the suit is serious about his profession by his appearance. The same holds true with link referrals.
Focusing on quality content will certainly help your Web site flourish and connect with potential clients.
Keep in mind that it is only one piece of the puzzle.
When looking at the value of a link: think of how much a new customer is worth.
If you think about it, a new customer is worth much, much more than the investment made to bring him or her to your site. There’s the initial sale, and there are future sales as well as other revenue from referrals.
If a potential client never lands on your website, then it is impossible to make a sale, develop a long term working relationship, or increase revenue.
Why Not Take the Easy Way?
If your investment in SEO is going towards ‘black hat’ techniques, bad links or other ineffective methods, you may be betting against yourself instead of increasing your placement on a search results page.
It’s not just about the current impact; you are also hurting your customer acquisition and long-term revenue.
Looking for the truth on black hat SEO? Search engines penalize these dubious and oftentimes unethical practices. It may seem attractive to purchase links and trick search engines, but Google will demote your site’s rank and likely prevent it from moving up again.
Google Rewards Quality Links
White hat SEO uses quality backlinks from trusted sites to build rankings. You establish a clear association between your content and the external content, without the risk of ruining your rankings.
Years ago, search engine algorithms didn’t know the difference between link flooding and quality backlinks. Today these techniques are punished.
Connecting your high-quality content with links to no- or low- authority Web sites will anchor you to the bottom of the search page.
Link Risk vs Link Benefit
When evaluating how much a link is worth, you need to understand risk versus the benefit.
You might ask, ‘What is the risk if backlinks are meant to drive traffic?’.
The risk exists with the penalties imposed on your site’s ranking if you guess on back-linking strategies.
Remember: Google no longer boosts pages that have poor quality links, and they will likely permanently demote your site ranking for trying to take shortcuts with back-link referrals.
The opportunity outweighs the risk when you are driving new views to your website.
SEO is not just generating traffic and sparking interest. It needs to be about finding leads. What would be the reason linking if it didn’t help you to acquire new customers and $$$? Otherwise it serves no purpose.
What Influences the Value of a Link?
When answering the question of how much a link is worth; you may be shocked. There are many things you may not realize that effect link quality such as:
- External links from authority websites have a more significant impact than internal linking
- Links inside the content are more valuable if put within the header or footer of the page
- If the content is heavily saturated with links, each link will pass less value.
- The value of the link is dependent on the keyword relevancy, traffic and credibility of the content.
- High trusted sites take priority over foreign or filler websites
The Difference between Valuable vs Value-less Links
If you take the time to visit some of the sites linking to yours, you’ll find they lack coherence or, worse, display topics completely foreign and worthless to your own. Think of low quality links as duplicate text, keyword saturation and foreign or spammy links.
Links that are high in value in terms of ranking, revenue and retention are RELATED to your content. This means the content provides insight on your topic, not just a flurry of optimized words.
Think of link building as an art. No two links are equal in value. Each will hold true to its own level of influence.
A domain audit can help you look for bad links and see how they impact your business. The results may be alarming but will open your eyes to the linking opportunities that exist.