Mountains, Valleys And An Excellent Link Strategy
Just when you think all is said and done about link building something new occurs. Rand Fishkin in a blog post draws attention to the typical patterns of external link equity that flows to sites. The graph often resembles mountains to heavily linked-to pages and valleys to link-poor pages. Good content gets more inbound links. Pages related to e-commerce or business receive very little link love.
For a good ranking, the link pattern of a site must be impressive to convince the search engines that more than just a few pages are interesting. He came up with some “best practices” on the subject. It includes:
- Use Google's Webmaster Central to sort link numbers to your site's page – make a list of everything that gets more than "X" links (in our case, we'd probably use something like 500, but for less-well-linked-to sites, that number might be 10
- Determine the "valley" pages that need link juice and their relevance to your various "mountain" pages. You don't want to add links that are completely irrelevant and off-topic, and ideally, you'd even want to convert visitors from those link-rich pages into viewers of your link-poor pages.
- Use relevant, accurate anchor text from the "mountains" to the "valleys"
- Double-check with an outsider – do those links still look relevant and valuable to visitors? If not, refine and try again. You want to pass the link-juice, but not at the price of losing usability & potential inbounds to link-rich pages.
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