Checklist for a Quality Link

Link building has always been a fundamental part of SEO efforts. Although it has evolved tremendously over the years, it continues to stay as a vital part of any SEO campaign.  However, in light of recent Google algorithmic updates that penalize link farming and a series of expected follow-up updates, this is as good of a time as any to reflect on Milestone insights and provide you with the following checklist on how to identify a quality link.

The two main goals of this checklist are:

  1. Identify quality links that will help your SEO efforts
  2. Help you avoid links that can potentially harm your website.

Quality link check list:

  1. Direct links – links that directly link to your website through an anchor text.  This is important because a 301/2 redirect link and Javascript link give little value and a no-follow link gives no value for SEO at all.
  2. Control of anchor text – the anchor text of the link is just as important as the link itself. Hence, it is important to always check if the referring site allows you to request and update how your site is being linked to and add in keywords to the anchor text if possible.
  3. Dilution – The value of the link lies in the page it’s linking from. If the page has a Page Rank of 5 (an indication of page authority) but it have 100 direct outbound links from the page, the value its passes through is diluted as it is divided 100 times.  Having too many links on the same page, and pages linking to each other, can raise a red flag of the site being a potential link farm.
  4. Relevant content – Unless it’s a link from generic directories, consider getting links from website with relevant content and avoid sites with controversial content such as adult related, gambling, and etc. 
  5. Unique content – aside from relevant content, the directories/sites should also provide unique contents and add to user experience.  A website that is packed with copied and duplicated contents raises a red flag of being a link/content farm. 
  6. Authority – last but not least, it is important to make sure that the inbound link is coming from  a site with high authority.  There are various online tools that can help check the Page Rank of any particular webpage, but the general concept is that .gov and .edu extensions typically offer higher authorities than .org or .com.

Conclusions: Links are still very much vital factors to any SEO efforts; however, it is important to keep in mind that today’s link building strategies focus on quality first, then quantity.

Contributed by: Chad Tsang, eStrategist, Milestone Internet Marketing

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