Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Understanding the Importance of Link-to-Domain Ratios

In competitive search markets, the difference between high website returns and total failures often times come down to one thing: inbound link building. Many of the questions I receive in re link building include:

- Why do I have more links than my competitor yet they still show up higher than I do?

- Why do I have more links than my competitor yet their PageRank is higher than mine?

- How do I know if my link building efforts are really working?

- How do I know where to get the best links from?

The bottom line is that when it comes to links, most people simply don’t evaluate them correctly. Since many of the qualitative aspects are simply out-of-reach to the typical website owner, there is another way to better compare your website’s links to your competition…

Understanding Link Building

As more websites come online, the search engines like Google have to sort through the 133 Million + web pages to present the best results. For any given search term, the top 3 results typically garner 63% of the clicks while the #1 position gets 42% of the page one clicks…so the returns for being on top pay out in many multiples. Since web page quality is becoming increasing similar for competitive searches, the search engines rely heavily of the quantity and quality of their respective inbound links to determine which results should be displayed at the top. Read More: Inbound Link building

Qualitative Versus Quantitative Link Analysis

There are two aspects to link evaluation: qualitative and quantitative. Each is important in understanding the value of the links you currently have and how to build future links…

Qualitative Link Factors:

- What is the web page authority from which a link is coming from (PageRank, MozRank)?

- How many other links are bleeding off of the same page (decreasing the link value)?

- What is the anchor text for the links leading to your website?

- What is the relevancy of the page links pointing to your website?

Quantitative Link Factors:

- How many total links are pointing to the home page of your website?

- How many total links are pointing to other pages on your website (deep linking)?

- How many of the links come from different domains (Link-to-Domain Ratios)?

How to calculate Link-to-Domain Ratios

Link-to-domain ratios are calculated by taking the total number of links to your website divided by the number of domains providing them. THE GOAL IS THE HAVE THE LOWEST RATIO POSSIBLE - RELATIVE TO YOUR COMPETITION OF COURSE. This is the main reason why website analysis and grading tools like Websitegrader.com only present the count for “Linking Domains” instead of total number of links in their analysis. Total links can be important as they relate to textual anchors, deep linking and the like but when it comes down to authority, the domain count is the key factor. So when it comes down to competitive link analysis – don’t forget the Link-to-Domain ratio…the best performing sites typically have the lowest ratios.

Helpful Resources:

Majestic SEO: Finding the number of links and domain links for your website

Yahoo Site Explorer: Find the number of Yahoo indexed links and deep links into your website

Back Link Check: Find the PageRank and anchor text of the top 30 inbound links

SEOMoz: Download the SEO tool bar to calculate MozRank for each web page in your Firefox browser (updated far more frequently than the Google PageRank)

Source: SEO Consultant Firm - the Top Search Engine Optimization Consultants


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