Eying Up a Link Prospect
Posted on September 29, 2011
Eying Up a Link Prospect
A small number of links from quality sites will bring you much more benefit than thousands of links from poor quality sites. But how do you judge quality?
I use these criteria but I don't expect a positive for all of them.
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1. Is it relevant?
I’ll always look for relevance first. But that doesn’t mean limiting your link building to sites within your own industry. A manufacturer of whole grain foods may get links from many different types of sites – business directories, community sites, local universities, charities and so on. All can be relevant in the right context..
2. Is the content well-written?
Well-written content is a sign that someone cares about what they’re doing and has put the time and effort into their site.
3. Has the content been updated recently?
This is another sign that someone cares about what they are doing and are actively involved with their project. But they don’t have to publish every day to be considered a quality link prospect.
4. Does the site link out to many other sites? s
Quality link prospects will link out freely. At Wordtracker we have a policy of freely linking out to good resources or examples. We don’t ask for any reciprocal link in return – we just link because it’s a good resource.
5. Are there real people on the site?
I’ll want to see evidence that there are real people on the site. I’ll look for the names of writers and I’ll also want to see if people have left comments on the articles.
If I find real writers and real engagement with an audience then I’m very interested.
6. Has the site got good inbound links?
The more inbound links a website has, the more important the site is likely to be, and therefore a link from that site will be more valuable.
I will prioritize link prospects according to how many inbound links they have.
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7. Does the site score well on Google PageRank, Alexa, Compete, etc
These figures give an instant snapshot of how important a site might be. But it is only a clue, so don’t take the scores too literally – have a look at other factors too.
8. Is the site well-established?
The longer a site has been around, the higher its profile on Google is likely to be. That enhances the value of a link from the site. But again, that doesn’t mean I’d ignore a new site.
9. Does the site perform well on keyword searches?
I would expect an important site to rank fairly well on popular, relevant keywords and I’d do a few searches to check it out.
However, this is nice to see but it would not be a show-stopper.
10. Are they easy to contact?
Sites that are interested in engaging with their community and linking to good external resources are likely to make themselves easy to contact. They’ll have prominent ‘contact us’ details and make it clear what they’re interested in.
11. Do they publish resources or reviews?
If they do, they’ll to move up my priority list. Such sites exist to inform their audiences – that’s what brings them traffic.
The people behind these sites will want to keep up to date and be as comprehensive as possible. Often, they’ll invite you to email them with news and resources.
12. Do they invite articles or guest posts?
If they do, they’re a great link prospect. However, guest posts require time and effort. Make sure your post is appropriate.
13. Do they interview people for opinion or case studies?
Often, an interview is a good option for content creators, especially if they’re pushed for time. Most businesses are surprised that there are so many opportunities to be interviewed.
Assessing link prospects for your site
Judging the quality of a link prospect is an important task – do it well and you’ll spend your precious time targeting those prospects that can bring you the most benefit.
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