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Are links from "stingy linkers" more valuable?
tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 6:47 pm on Jun 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I was watching a video lecture from a Microsoft engineer about improving the SALSA algorithm for link structure analysis - and I noticed a very casual comment that "links from authors who are very stingy outlinkers are more informative." He said it as if everyone in his audience would already know this.

It was a "duh" moment for me. Such links could be more valuable not just because the PR vote is not split as much (after all, there could be many internal links on the page) but more valuable simply because this particular author rarely links out.

First, I have a subjective impression that this may already be a factor in Google - but I'm not clear how I could test for it without a massive data set and lots of analysis resources. And second, it seems to me that one of the changes in PR calculation over the years is probably a segmentation and different treatment for internal links (especially nav links) and external links.

I do know that the next time I get a link from a stingy linker, I'm going to pay very close attention.

What do you think? Has anyone seen evidence that a link from stingy linker will be a bigger help?

 

internetheaven

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 7:02 pm on Jun 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

segmentation and different treatment for internal links (especially nav links) and external links.

Surely that was all that was being referred to?

The line between an information page that links to a few good resources vs. a reciprocal links page is not that fine ... it's a canyon. I had assumed that search engines worked this out some time ago.

How many outgoing links a site adds per month/update could maybe be a "stingy" indicator if you're looking for one?

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 8:24 pm on Jun 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've always sought links that would put me in good company, and I've assumed (and observed) that links from stingy linkers help.

That said, "stingy linking" doesn't automatically suggest discriminate or peceptive linking. It might simply be lazy or conservative linking limited to the usual suspects in a niche.

Whether the engines can distinguish between various kinds of stinginess may in fact not matter, but if you're building up a high quality site, it may be easier to get links from perceptive linkers than to get links from the lazy or conservative linkers.

Also... I think that, for Google, it helps to be a perceptive linker as well.

ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 9:25 pm on Jun 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

"stingy linking" doesn't automatically suggest discriminate or peceptive linking. It might simply be lazy or conservative linking limited to the usual suspects in a niche.

Or they might just be hoarding PR.

"links from authors who are very stingy outlinkers are more informative."

Do they really think PR hoarding is a sign of quality?

If not, how do they tell the difference between webmasters who are hoarding PR and those who are just very choosy about the quality of the sites they link to?

kevsta

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 11:22 am on Jun 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

>>I've always sought links that would put me in good company

>>If not, how do they tell the difference between webmasters who are hoarding PR and those who are just very choosy about the quality of the sites they link to?

by who else they link to would make sense?

links from quality outlinkers rather than stingy might be the way to think of it.

like for example.. ..here. (can I have a link please? :)

Gomvents

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 5:28 pm on Jun 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

less outlinks is a sign that that they are less likely to be participating in link exchanges or selling links. It shows they care more about who they link out to. The more relevant the outlinks the higher the value to all parties involved.

signor_john



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 5:50 pm on Jun 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Does the recipient of an inbound link from a "stingy linker" benefit because the linker is stingy, or because of the quality of the stingy linker's recipients?

If John Doe links to 20 thin affiliate sites from a page and Jane Buck links to Wikipedia, Nytimes.com, and the Internet Public Library from her page, which sends a more positive message to the search engine: The numbers of links on John and Jane's pages, or the "TrustRank" of the outbound links' targets?

eltercerhombre

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 8:12 pm on Jun 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

This makes a lot of sense to me.

If people who doesn't link to every and choose their links very carefully link to you, then you have carefully chosen.

It doesn't matter if they do it keep PR on their site, they're people who doesn't link too much.

If a good percentage of their links go to good websites, and they don't link too much, and they link to you, then, on aggregate data, you look like a very carefully chosen link.

dhaliwal

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 9:04 pm on Jun 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

nice question raised by signor_john. i would be happy to get view of members on that.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 10:14 pm on Jun 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

I like the idea, too. Quality of external linking could be a sitewide factor - possibly folded into the trust equation. Some patents have talked about monitoring the quality of advertising a site runs, so why not the free links, too!

This would also play into Matt Cutts' enigmatic message that Google's algo does include factors that reward external linking.

However, would that automatically mean that being on the receiving end of a link from such a site is worth more to the target site? Something about neightborhoods on the webgraph comes to mind.

koan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 10:58 pm on Jun 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Maybe there's a scale for linkers and the sweet spot would be in the middle:

No links -> link hoarder
A few low quality links -> SEO
A few high quality links -> trusted, careful linker
Many quality links -> trusted, carefree linker
Many low quality links -> untrusted linker
Excessive low quality links -> spammer

walkman



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 4:48 am on Jun 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Makes sense: If I review cameras and link to 2 versus 5 it probably means that those 2 brands are the top ones.

Rosalind

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 12:46 pm on Jun 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

How do you define stingy? Are we talking about stingy on a links-per-page level, or per site, or divided by the total amount of non-linked content?

Imagine your website has just one 500-word article, and 10 external links. That may seem generous. Now picture the same website with 50 similar articles, but the same number of external links. That may seem much stingier. So this raises the question, does an increase in content turn you into a stingy linker, or even a hoarder?

Now consider this: a carefully-edited directory will look much the same as one that lists all comers, in terms of the numbers of links per page (if both are paginated the same way) and the ratio of anchor text to total text. So the engines will have to look at a bunch of other factors to determine which links are higher quality, or indeed which directory belongs to the stingy linker.

So I think it's possible these links are more valuable, but until we really know what is meant by the term it's tough to test.

hutcheson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 3:44 pm on Jun 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

More informative, no. Easier to analyze, yes.

Obviously Microsoft and Google disagree on which of those is more important.

signor_john



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 5:04 pm on Jun 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

How do you define stingy? Are we talking about stingy on a links-per-page level, or per site, or divided by the total amount of non-linked content?

It isn't how we define "stingy"; it's how Google does (if it does). But I think any kind of "link quality score" that took the number of links into account would need to be site-based, not page-based, for a couple of reasons:

1) Indiscriminate linkers often use links pages (rather than linking in context);

2) Writers of articles, academic papers, etc. often place citations and links to other resources on the final page instead of embedding them in the body text.

Whitey

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 1:59 am on Jun 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Tedster

This would also play into Matt Cutts' enigmatic message that Google's algo does include factors that reward external linking.

I've often wondered about the effectiveness of this. Where did you see or hear this from MC ?

Bennie

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 2:57 am on Jun 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

If the content is really good I'd expect it to usually be linked to and not linked from very much (variations apply too). All roads lead to Rome style. If you think about some of the patents from a few years back it makes sense that a 'signal of quality' could in fact be a lack of links out as it *is* the 'source'.

ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 3:12 am on Jun 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

So how would this concept affect "hub" sites that link out generously?

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 3:37 am on Jun 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've often wondered about the effectiveness of this. Where did you see or hear this from MC ?

It's in his June 15 blog post about PR Sculpting.

Q: Okay, but doesn’t this encourage me to link out less? Should I turn off comments on my blog?

A: I wouldn’t recommend closing comments in an attempt to “hoard” your PageRank. In the same way that Google trusts sites less when they link to spammy sites or bad neighborhoods, parts of our system encourage links to good sites.

[mattcutts.com...]

Many webmasters here have noticed the effect over past years - going back to Brett's 26 Steps post in 2002 [webmasterworld.com]

anand84

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 10:47 am on Jun 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I would believe it is more dependent on the quality of the page that is linking to me..

A wikipedia-type site with hundred links would still churn out more value to each of the hundred linked pages than a stingy linker whose website is more of an MFA

Whitey

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 11:55 am on Jun 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Interesting ...

Brett's post per above : " From every page, link to one or two high ranking sites under that particular keyword. Use your keyword in the link text (this is ultra important for the future). As you can see from the WebmasterWorld google forum topics, Google highly values links. Inbound links are what people say who you are, and outbound links are what you say you are. Google will clearly use both in a the algo some where. "

So what were the effects that Webmaster's have been reporting ?

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 7:04 pm on Jun 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

As someone who has followed this practice (not on every page, but when ithe context seems to make sense) I can report very stable and strong rankings.

You may notice that many strong sites often receive backlinks from spammy neighborhoods. Why would a spammer do that? They are trying to exploit this factor in the Google system.

Whitey

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 10:55 pm on Jun 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

How does the stability and rankings compare with sites with IBL's ?

[ I think I'm seeing some sites that are doing well only with this - but just wanted to compare notes ]

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 11:13 pm on Jun 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

You need IBL's too, I'd say. Can't tell for sure because all the sites I work with have them.

creative craig

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3938371 posted 12:53 pm on Jul 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have one site where over 95% of my pages links out to relevant on topic pages, some of which people would class as direct competitors - I personally find that it has certainly helped to reinforce the individual pages topics and rankings appear to be good.

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