SEO has evolved considerably over the last couple of years, especially in measuring the authority of a website. Whether this is for gauging whether a link is viable or not or just looking at the trust of your own website, you need to consider many factors.
Page rank, a universal number of 0-10 given by Google to give value to the trust and authority of a website is no longer used as a trusted source by SEO’s and Google. In fact, the last time this was updated was in Dec 16th 2013. This was originally a great way to instigate a back link strategy as sites with a page rank of 5-6 would give an instant boost to any sites linking from them, regardless whether the site was relevant or even had any traffic. It really was a numbers game. However, with Google’s link based update (Penguin), not all links are created equal.
So with this is mind, what should you be looking for ascertaining the quality of a link?
One of the leading SEO Software companies moz.com have a universal figure called domain authority and page authority. This is a trust metric which is constantly updated by MOZ’s index and measures whether a website has a good trusted source of links, or is this site has little or no authority at all. The score is out of 100 and a good score is anything from around 25+. Page Authority measures the actual authority of the page itself. For instance, the home page of a site will have more authority then a service page or deep page within the site.
Unfortunately, many SEO’s are moving away from DA/PA as a trusted metrics as it can easily be gamed. Instead many are relying on Majestic’s Trust Flow/Citation Flow.
Trust Flow/Citation Flow
Trust Flow and Citation Flow is becoming more and more of an accurate measurement on how trusted a site is within Google’s eyes. According to search engine land
“Majestic SEO’s new metrics are named Flow Metrics and are grouped into two categories; trust flow and citation flow.
- Citation Flow is a number of predicting how influential a URL might be based on how many sites link to it.
- Trust Flow is a number predicting how trustworthy a page is based on how trustworthy sites tend to link to trustworthy neighbours”
It makes sense. A bit like living a good neighbourhood compared to a bad neighbourhood. Good neighbourhood’s will only want to associate with other good neighbours. Again a good figure here is anything from 25+
Although I have put this third this is the key metric when looking for relevant and authoritative links. How relevant is the site to the audience you are promoting? For instance, say you have a home improvement site, which would make more sense, an editorial on “House And Home! or a link on a site about flowers, or a multi category directory. Relevancy should always be the priority. According to Neil from ESP Projects “Google is looking for organic reasons your site is authoritative and it wants you to gain links in a natural or organic way. Look at the makeup of the site, is it ad heavy? Does it have any errors? is there any social media action? when was the last time the site was updated?” “These are all questions to ask yourself. In fact, the easiest way to describe this, every time you are looking for opportunities ask yourself “If Google didn’t exist, would I want a link from this website?”.
Even if the site relevant and has Good DA/PA, TF and CF, one final check to make is the number of links, how many times the site is linking out to other websites on the page you are looking to get a link from, this is called Outbound Links. Every link on this page will dilute the overall juice (or boost to your ranking). If you are sharing this space with 100’s of other websites, you are getting very little juice from the page. The ideal metric is no more than 10 outbound links.
As you can see when looking into opportunities for your link earning campaign, you need to make sure the site has value both in terms of trust and relevancy. You need to think more like a user viewing the page as an advertising opportunity then as a robot looking for x number of links.
Happy link building!