Incoming links are a heavily weighted factor in establishing your search engine ranking (your Google Page Rank). However, it is not the QUANTITY of links that is important (in fact, too many links from bad sources can actually hurt you), so much as the QUALITY of incoming links to your site.
OK, so what is this “quality” I am referring to? To define that, let’s step back for a moment. To define what are quality in-links for your specific search engine campaign, you have to first have established your objective. This involves a thorough analysis including:
- Defining your competition
- Determining how your competition is being found on the internet (Read, in this context: extracting the key phrases your competition is successfully targeting)
- Thoroughly analyzing the competition’s targeted key phrases to derive similar key phrases and discover targeted words your competition may be missing
- Performing a similar analysis of the competition’s in-links and deriving a strategy including opportunities the competition may be missing
There is obviously a lot more to the above list, but I can stop there and limit the scope of discussion to factors related to in-links.
*Shameless plug: CDLLC can help you through the process of competition analysis and key phase targeting (steps 1-4), as part of an initial, discounted consultation. Our special tools automate the initial process of checking your key phrases against the reality of how Google sees you and your competition.
Once you have your competition defined and analyzed, it is possible to evaluate the QUALITY of incoming links of your competitors. Quality factors include:
- The search engine rank of the linking page/site (#1, #5, #50 in Google results page)
- The number of key phrases in the linked text of the page/site
- The Google Page Rank (different from the search engine rank #) of the linking page/site
- The number of quality links (quality defined by the criteria herein) to the linking page
- The key phrases in the TITLE of the linking pages
- The number of relevant incoming links.
At this point, you have a good idea of your competitions in-link situation, and it’s time for the fun part (ok, maybe it’s not everybody’s idea of fun, but I love it): embarking on your link campaign!