SEO Link building and your site authority

SEO factors chartWe have all heard about the clatter and cheers of link building in SEO throughout the web. Link building is one of the most important practices of any SEO out there. In this article I just like to emphasize how important link building is in your site’s SEO.

The data from SEOmoz says that Link building makes up at least 42% of your site’s page rank. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 22% Link Popularity of the Specific Page
  • 20% Anchor Text of External Links

42% is a very, very big number. How big is it? Well let’s look at the rest of the breakdown:

  • 24% Trust/Authority of the Host Domain
  • 7% Traffic and Click-Through Data
  • 6% Social Graph Metrics
  • 5% Registration and Hosting Data
  • 15% On-Page Keyword Usage

Do you see that 24% – authority/trust of the host domain? Well most of that 24% is also based on your links. Why? Because Google or other search engines know that if you have more links, you’re probably a trustworthy site.

Not all links are made equal. And not all links are valuable. Not all links give your site more juice. So what makes a good link?

Site relevance

If the website that the link is coming from is a site that has relevant content or focus with your site then that makes the link very valuable. Links are verified by the search engines if the sites it connects are relevant with each other. The more relevant the link, the better the value of that link is.

Site authority and reputation

Links that come from websites that are regarded by search engines as a reputable, trustworthy site will have more value and weight when they link to your website. Websites that are new and up-coming have less authority and reputation due to the fact that their domain is young and is yet to earn the trust and reputation that the search engines require.

Naturally, the reason behind this is because there are so many spam sites out there with which you can easily acquire links from. But since those sites have bad reputation and no authority at all, you would be forced to think twice about getting links from them now that you know that search engines value a link that comes from a site with authority and reputation. Getting links from useless, spammy sites is the same as getting wind and putting it in a bottle – it’s simply worthless.

Anchor text

The Anchor text is the text used to link to you for example: Anchor text to SEO-Hacker

This is very important because the search engines read it due to the fact that it immediately tells them how relevant the information of your site is to the website linking to you and why it is linking to you. It is the reason or the ‘why’ the website is linking to whomever it is linking to. And that ‘why’ is very important to the search engines. Just imagine that you are reasoning with the search engine on why you’re giving out this link to this particular site.

These three things should be your focus when you’re getting a link from other websites. It’s not easy – you have to study if the sites have credible authority, reputation and trust, if they will give you a good anchor text and if they are relevant to your website. If you want to know more about links, you can look up a very good resource in the Ecommerce Adviser site

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  • Nice post, cool site, keep it up.

  • Thanks for the interesting article.. a newbie question though.. How does google or any other search engine for that matter determine if a site is ‘relevant’? Surely they are not sophisticated enough to ‘read’ the content and determine this?

    • Hey Anna,

      I would think that it is. Somehow the algorithm determines this via keywords and the links pointing to the site.

  • Intersting to see this 42% break down.. and yes sometimes anchor text use can also penalise you for improper use of it

  • Sean, I love how you break it down in the graph; I sometimes have a hard time getting the sense of words on a page, so being able to visualize it is a great help to me.

    Thank you for posting!

    • Thanks Derek!
      Glad you like this post. I have more updated entries than this. You might enjoy ’em too! In fact, the entries I’m posting now are about link building techniques – you might wanna look into it :) The series is not yet complete though as of today.

  • luck007

    your post is so useful for me, thanks

  • Rahman

    I learned many thing from this post. thank you for making it.

  • link building is very important. but finding quality sites relevant to your niche is really hard to find nowadays. most of the sites are link farms. really really sad T_T

    • Phil

      It takes patience as well as persistence to find relevant resources for SEO link building. Although this is getting rare nowadays, link building is still a viable method of shoring search rankings and getting more traffic through search visibility.

  • Another great article. I was always under the impression that anchor text added a lot more to the link than your research shows.



  • Great article friend, I really like your Site Authority an Reputation part.

  • Very interesting data, Sean. Now it’s time for aplying it in our SEO projets and commenting results.

  • What do you think about domain name relevance.

    Say i have an Australian site and i get a link from a would this be better than a link from a .com if authority etc was on a level playing field?