Why Aren't You Building Links From Relevant Sites?

Today I wanted to take some time to talk about link building with relevant sites. I wanted to start off with a couple of questions, concerns, or push back that we tend to get from clients and people who just don’t understand link building. One of the things that I am told by clients is “that site is not relevant to my site! I don’t know why you are looking at obtaining links from sites that aren’t relevant to mine, because those links are worthless”.

Another concern we hear from clients is the links we are obtaining aren’t passing any page rank, or trust, or authority, or whatever you refer to it as.

First, I wanted to cover what’s relevant and what isn’t relevant in terms of link building. This will help us understand which links are good and which links aren’t the best use of our time to obtain.

The first thing to understand (that I think many people tend to overlook) is the fact that search engines rank pages, they don’t rank sites as a whole. When we understand that search engines will rank a page, and won’t necessarily not rank a page, because the rest of the website might not be relevant to your site; we can understand link building with relevant sites or pages a lot better than we could before.

I want to quickly go over what is not relevant in terms of link building. Two of the biggest factors that make a link not relevant are:

  • Building links from pages that aren’t related to your website. For example, I have a website about MacBook computers that I am trying to get links to. I obtain a link from a page about fishing supplies. Having a link that says MacBook laptops from that fishing page is definitely not relevant and isn’t going to pass as much value compared to another computer or laptop themed website.
  • Building links where you link is surrounded by other “non related” links. For example, if you are linking to your website from a page that has links about viagra, shoes, or jeans, or whatever… if those links surround your link that says Macbook Laptop, those links aren’t going to be the greatest links coming back to your website.

So, what is relevant?

Obtaining links from pages where you:

  • Control the title tag
  • Control the content
  • Control the anchor text of the link
  • Control where the link is on the page

These links are from relevant pages that are related to your website with links coming back to your website and are some of the strongest links you can obtain.

So, here are some examples of these types of pages where you control the aspects of the page:

  • Hub Pages
  • Squidoo Lenses
  • Ezine Articles (other highly authoritative article sites that you can submit content to)
  • Blog posts
  • Some Directories

So again, it all comes back to what is relevant? Links are relevant when you control the title tag, content, anchor text of the link, and where the link is on the page, those are relevant links, don’t ever say that they are not.

So, when I tell clients this, I get back from them, “That’s not true”. Well, yes it is and here are a few examples of why it is true.

Amazon.com is the king of ranking for tons of different products. Amazon doesn’t have a specific theme around it and it can rank for just about anything. For instance, the search that I did in Google for Flip HD. Amazon ranks in position 4 and 5. The only site that is outranking it is the actual Flip website. Click on the image to enlarge.

Amazon Ranking Well In The SERPs

Another example of a site that ranks well for many different search terms, Wikipedia.org. I did a search for Blink 182, Wikipedia shows up in the sixth position for Blink 182. Again, this website has so many different pages that aren’t related to Blink 182 and yet it ranks for Blink 182. You can also click this image to enlarge.

Wikipedia Ranking Well In The SERPs

The next thing that I want to address is the statement, “That page is passing no juice to my website, why would you get a link there?” Ninety-nine percent of the time, you are definitely correct! Ninety-nine percent of the time, that link is going to pass very little value to you out of the gate. Here is the thing, ninety-nine percent of the time, it will pass link juice to your site in the near future. All new pages that come online, come in with zero trust and authority, but as those pages age and obtain trust and authority, they will start to build a reputation that will pass juice to your website. Those links will become extremely valuable in the future.

How can you make sure that those links will pass juice in the future?

  • Look at other deep pages and category pages on the site and see if they have juice flowing to them. If they do, your page will eventually have it too.
  • You will also want to make sure that the links on those pages are not no follow. That will ensure that you have maximum SEO effect from those links.
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  1. Gunjan Pandya says

    It was very nice article and you had given very clear example of relevent and irrelevent links….

    About Link Juice…. sometimes client told me why you are getting links from PR 0 or 1… at that time my answer was also same just like you…. in future it will have PR… So right now we should not ignore links from PR0 or PR1.

  2. Danny says

    What a great article! Link juice is such an important role in internet marketing. It is also important in being successful in this business. I found that the hard way when I was creating and trying to market my search marketing local services. Great info here!!

  3. Nancy E. Wigal says

    great post to reiterate why carefully developing and implementing a link strategy by paying attention to details will pay off in the long run.


  4. Martin says

    Hi Great video but I guess I get no link juice from this comment though due to the nofollow in the page code. However It’s still a great video. Could you give some examples where you could Control the title tag in pages that don’t belong to you. I’m not sure what you meant by this. Interesting

  5. Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny says

    Thanks for mentioning hubpages. I’ve been meaning to take a look at that site. I’ve created a Squidoo lense with excellent back link results. eHow allows the creation of groups where you can leave links to your best posts. In addition, links can be placed in articles written in the “How to” format. I’m always on the lookout for excellent blogging tips from expert bloggers. Thank you!

  6. dian says

    This post is very informative. Like me, a newbie in link building, this helps me a lot in answering my clients about there harash questions. Because some of them thought that after a week of building link, they can get a good PR, well I hope they will be educated too.

  7. MakeBuzz says

    As far as targeting relevant sites, I would also suggest that companies utilize their existing brand relationships to acquire inbound links. Links from sub-brands (manufacturers, sellers, popular affiliate sites) are exponentially more valuable than any pay-per-link strategy, and just like you say, benefit the site in the long term. The most common pitfall of this strategy is communicating the value up the chain of command and getting management level execs to understand the long term value.

  8. Shaun Rosenberg says

    Interesting, I liked the part were you talked about links aging. As links age they become worth more and more. However they aren’t exactly worthless when you first get them. As long as the link is dofollow it still counts, even if it is a new PR 0 page on a PR 0 website it still counts somewhat.

  9. knight says

    Nowadays it’s a better approach to get a few links from relevant sites which in turn push you higher on SERPs.

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