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Can a single backlink affect an entire website?

     
2:38 am on Apr 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hi folks. Can a single backlink from a very high quality website affect the ranking of an entire website?

Example: if a website gets a backlink from CNN, will the entire ranking of the website improve or just the page that was linked?
3:25 am on Apr 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Backlink juice is a page-by-page type of thing, but if the link if from an authoritative source, there *could* be a Trust factor benefit applied to the site.

On the down side, if the link is from a bad-neighborhood, there *could* be a negative impact to the site.
8:25 am on Apr 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It can't be assumed that a link from "a very high quality website" will automatically confer a lot of SEO benefits. There will be some, of course, but the effects might vary a lot depending on what page the link is on. Even on an authoritative site, not every page is a strong page, SEO-wise, so not every link will be a strong one.

>> affect the ranking of an entire website

Probably not. Benefits from a gaining a new link will indeed spread beyond just the page that got the link. However, the effects are relatively localized, and quickly diluted for pages that aren't directly linked from the page that got the link. You'll end up with a few pages that are significantly stronger than before, and many more that are a bit stronger but not necessarily enough to make a difference for queries that matter.

The more links you get, the more that will improve.
1:06 pm on Apr 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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A backlink from a site like CNN could potentially send a lot of traffic to your website. Some of these new visitors might link to your site themselves, mention it in forums, etc. So the total benefit could be more than just the original link.

But for good google rankings, a site generally needs a large diversity of backlinks from many different sites.
5:07 pm on Apr 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So if i have a blog with 30 thousand pages I'll need at least 30 thousand backlinks for each page to rank properly?
6:06 pm on Apr 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's not as simple as a 1/1 correspondence ... and also not as hard!

You want quality backlinks, the more the better, but no two links will have precisely the same effect so don't drive yourself crazy trying to predict things in too much detail.

My opinion: invest some effort in cultivating quality backlinks but treat it as just one part of your overall site promotion, don't make it your sole focus.
4:49 am on Apr 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Halaspike - Yes, I've seen it happening and it still the same in my experience. One of my client's ECommerce website has everything in it but doesn't rank in first five of Google search, and there's a site which has nothing apart from some quality back-links, which they had bought or arranged from somewhere, ranks for the same keyword in the first five of Google's 1st Page.
1:52 am on Apr 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It depends on what is the backlink that you mentioned. If this link was posted in the place which is penalized by Google, the algorithm will see it, but you also can delete it, if you can't ask the site owner to do it.
3:52 am on Apr 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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if the link is from a bad-neighborhood, there *could* be a negative impact to the site

Do there exist sites sooooo toxic that a single link from a single page of theirs to a single page of yours could appreciably harm your entire site? Or, conversely, are there sites so lofty that a single etcetera could elevate the entire site?

I'm inclined to doubt it. At least assuming your site consists of more than ten pages.

Anyway, this is about Google, right? Obviously you'd always want links that result in bona fide humans paying honest visits.
5:01 am on Apr 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@lucy24 - you did hear about the disavow links file right?
6:53 am on Apr 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well, sure, but who would bother to Disavow just one isolated link? (That was the query at the top of this thread: “a single backlink”. I took it to mean literally one.) I can scroll down to the bottom of the Who Links To You list in GSC and find all kinds of trash. But Disavow is for when you get blizzards of unwanted spammy worthless links that completely overwhelm your normal and natural links.
7:21 am on Apr 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well, we don't know what we don't know. There could be other toxic inbound links and that one we discover could be the one that tips the scale.
12:30 pm on Apr 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yes, a single link can be that powerful. It is very rare. I know this from personal experiences.

A single link boosted one of my sites site to a top 3 ranking. I had already been working on that site and gained many backlinks for over two years and was doing well in long tail but had trouble cracking the money term. Then I got lucky and gained a link from a very powerful site in the industry and overnight the site jumped in the serps for the money term.

I also had some sites get killed because of a single link. If you upset Google enough they can go on a manual seek & destroy. A single link is enough for them discover a network and manually kill it. This is rare. I am not afraid of a single link triggering their algo penalties.

For most webmasters and most websites a single link will not kill or save a site. A holistic approach using fundamental marketing best practices is more profitable for most situations.
5:02 pm on Apr 29, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I ran a Moz Site explorer report on our site and the competition.

I wonder if this may be the cause of the google update hitting us hard?

Internal Equity-Passing Links
Us 0, Them 269

Total Internal Links
Us 0, Compeition: 273

Total Links
us 6, them 364

Now I don't understand this, we have all kinds of links out there some are terrific, and we also have a disavow file, but not sure why this report is showing so little links on us. Would someone be so kind as to demystify this? Maybe run a report for us from somehwere else? Please? I know we have more than what that is showing... Is there something wrong with our redirect from www to https? did we miss something?

About to give up on this hocus pocus and move this wordpress site to shopify or volusion. It's getting to technical..
7:18 pm on Apr 29, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I also had some sites get killed because of a single link. If you upset Google enough they can go on a manual seek & destroy. A single link is enough for them discover a network and manually kill it.

Then it's not the link in and of itself causing bad consequences. It's that the wrong link may attract attention, causing someone to look more closely at the rest of your site. I guess for practical purposes it comes out to the same thing--one bad link leads to disaster--but technically it's different.

Total Internal Links
Us 0, Competition: 273
I thought internal links meant, well, internal links. How can you not have any, unless it's a one-page site?
3:16 am on Apr 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@lucy24 I know right! Very strange how moz would not give us credit for links.. i wonder if google bot is having trouble too, we are certainly linked internally. Something is causing us to drop big time
 

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