You ask for an objectice assessment of a link but mention PageRank. So first off, you have to understand what to assess. PR should never be a metric for assessing the worth of a link. I've rejected many PR 5+ sites because I assessed their backlinks and content objectively.
I understand the issue with PageRank and I know people here hate it. I am also aware that it is not necessarily indicative of a site's linking value. I've seen the PR 5's you speak of and rejected them myself. But it, as a 1-10 number, is pretty objective and based of some algorithm (it's not like somebody checks every little blog and assigns PageRank by hand) so I was just using it as an example. I do find it interesting though, on a tangential point, that there are rarely, if any, bogus PR 6+ sites out there. Whereas I have definitely seen some bogus 5's! Why do you suppose that is? I have always found that peculiar. It seems to be a defining factor.
Anyway, I guess I will tell you my situation. I am currently linkbuilding with a few other individuals and we are trying to set monthly goals. We figured that instead of saying we need to get a certain "# of links" per month, that we'd set a "link juice" goal based off some basic parameters. There has to be some sort of measure for this. I don't really care if it is dead-on. We just need some sort of motivating factor...something that weighs in quality over quantity.
Any help would be appreciated.
|is pretty objective and based of some algorithm |
No offense, but you think you understand but you do not undestand if you truly believe the Google toolbar is objective. Contrary to what you think, the toolbar is not objective. Google creates that data in part to influence the linking pattern of webmasters. Here is one example: A page of links on a directory, link exchange or resources page might have zero PR showing on the page. However, what the toolbar shows and what Google shows internally are different. That is an attempt to influence how people like you choose where to get links from, which has the effect of lowering the popularity of link exchanges, directory links, and links from pages that are resources for a certain niche. A guy like you will allow themself to be influenced by Google and choose a different link, maybe one with a PR of 5 but with deprecated outbound links.
Here is another instance: Google deprecates PageRank. There are different scenarios for deprecating the outbound links of a website. One instance is irrelevance. Which is one reason the link bait technique is mostly dead in the water in terms of helping you rank.
Ok, well I am with you and I trust you on this. After all, you have much more experience than I do. I actually just found myself researching this only to find answers on Jim Boykin's site where he quotes you...hehe.
So, even though we have established that PageRank is worthless...It still seems extraordinary that they would have the time to assign a number to every page on the internet that will influence "people like me". How do they accomplish this? Some sort of reverse-psychological algorithmic code? I don't mean this to sound facetious, I am just curious to know more than "it is worthless."
So, I will not look to PageRank as a parameter. Can you suggest a better all-around method?
Page Rank is not worthless, what's worthless are the numbers on the Toolbar that "look like" Page Rank.
Keep your focus on building links to reach targeted traffic, rather than worrying about Page Rank. If you keep your focus on relevance and quality, PR does a pretty good job of looking after itself.
The primary question to keep in mind: would the users who'd see and click the link be well qualified traffic for you? If the answer is "probably yes", then it's a good link to get, no matter what the PR of the page it would be on.
Thanks Buckworks :) I try to keep that as my MO when getting links.
However, I'd like to reiterate the original point of my post. I am trying to find a way to rank the quality of my inbound links by a method other than my own intuition. I know that may sound silly, but I am using it to set achievable goals for my team. Is their a reliable program that does this.
Does anybody have any suggestions? If it doesn't exist, let me know too!
BW is right, internal PR is not worthless, and the toolbar itself is not worthless either, however it is a crutch that helps keep people like yourself in the dark about the REAL metrics to use.
|I am trying to find a way to rank the quality of my inbound links... |
Before you can do that it's important for you to change your mindset/brainwash/whatever regarding the toolbar. That is the first step toward understanding real metrics. Now that you are (hopefully) liberated you are ready to understand the real metrics. :)
Every link is as good as it's backlinks. So when you're looking at your backlinks, you have to take a look at the sites that are linking to it. Some quality indicators are negative, some are positive. The best links are the ones that have backlinks from overwhelmingly the same niche. A good sign is if there are links from news sites as well as independent links from forums and blog posts.
Negatives include if the links of those who are linking to you come primarily from directories, link exchange pages (can be an indicator of three way reciprocal link schemes too), no-followed comments on blogs, are one or two clicks away from SEO related sites, wordpress template links, and footer links. These are things that can make a site non-authoritative and lose it's ability to rank well, and as a consequence represent a poor link for your site.
You see what I mean when I say the toolbar keeps webmasters in the dark? It keeps them from progressing to real metrics. These are things no toolbar or software will break down for you in a meaningful way.
There are tools and sites that purport to give URLs a score. Most of them use a rough measure of [PR of links page] and [Links on that page] to say that a PR1 page with 1 link is better than a PR4 page with 50 links.
These tools cannot easily assess the relevancy of those pages, so if you use them then you should manually filter out irrelevant pages.
I agree that Google is increasingly breaking the site: operator and is showing pages from other sites that contain the same words.
I have been trying to build a tool that is very flexible in terms of metrics you can 'feed' the tool to gain insights into link value.
The objective ranking of inbound links is one of the most important and critical items for any experienced SEO - and often the most time consuming.
The actual process of evaluating pages should, in my estimation, always be done by hand.
But the process of large scale collection of pages for evaluation can be done using tools, and by filtering against various properties, one can develop a very usable list which helps to drastically save time in the long haul.
Nicely put @martinibuster; still…
I notice plenty of sites that fall into this category:
|“Negatives include if the links of those who are linking to you come primarily from directories, link exchange pages (can be an indicator of three way reciprocal link schemes too), no-followed comments on blogs, are one or two clicks away from SEO related sites, wordpress template links, and footer links. These are things that can make a site non-authoritative and lose it's ability to rank well, and as a consequence represent a poor link for your site.” |
Outranking those in this category:
But I agree that the domain with quality links has a better “staying power” at the top.
|“Some quality indicators are negative, some are positive. The best links are the ones that have backlinks from overwhelmingly the same niche. A good sign is if there are links from news sites as well as independent links from forums and blog posts. “ |
If you use Yahoo Site Explorer with “except this domain” filter, it will usually show the links in decreasing order of importance.
Thanks a lot guys! Great responses and I really appreciate it. What I am taking from all this is that this endeavor might be futile, as there are so many subjective factors that a automated method will have trouble taking onto account (unless we were Google of course).
anallawalla - what sort of sites are you talking about? I'll give them a look, perhaps they could be helpful.
I'm lost. How would you be able to offer inexpensive SEO to clients if you need to spend all this time analyzing links? There has to be a way to make the link analysis a shorter process. When it comes to choosing the proper links? I'm just lost.
I'm with you, and that's why I was looking for a simpler solution. Sometimes I don't have time to analyze all the backlinks on a potential linking page. Like you said, it would not be cost effective for my clients. Much to my dismay, it looks like (according to the folks here) the only way to get an accurate estimate IS to do this sort of analysis. Oh well...worth a try!
|How would you be able to offer inexpensive SEO to clients if you need to spend all this time analyzing links? |
SEO isn't inexpensive.
Want an easy metric to value incoming links? Try this one: how long did it take you to acquire the link? A few minutes, worthless...a few days, good...a few weeks, darn good.
That is a shame that small to medium sized businesses with small budgets basically get screwed.
|That is a shame that small to medium sized businesses with small budgets basically get screwed. |
How do you figure?
My attitude is that a sharp small business can easily outwit huge companies online. The web is the great equalizer.
You can work hard and be nimble on the web. Those two things can outrank cash any day.
OB1, you've confused quantity and speed with quality. Gaining lots of junk links quickly won't help your client in the least bit, yet you may very well feel that spending a week on that type of link building is worth the time.
If you spent a week getting one, hellofa link for your client it would benefit them *significantly* more than the previously mentioned.
Problem is that may small SEO companies land clients by promising mass quantities of links.
If you educate your clients that quality works and quantity is just a farce, you'd not only be able to spent time the acquiring right type of links but you'd keep them longer.
I guess it is unavoidable. I'm not an advocate for link farms. I just wish there was a more cost effective way to service a $100 a month client. This type of link building is not cost effective at $100 a month unless your only adding a few links a month. Which could be OK if they are quality I guess.
It's super hard to service a $100/month client. In fact, the amount of work you put into a $100 client is just about the same you'd put into a $1000 client.
Upgrade the types of clients you have. It takes time but big businesses need you more than you need them--honestly.