As a webmaster there will be many times when you will need to research backlinks.
*Looking at your own links
*Researching competitors backlinks
*Considering buying a website
However, most people just look at the PR, some look at PR and the amount of backlinks, but only a handful actually look at the quality of those links.
In a future article I will discuss the different types of links to be aware of (comment spam, buying links, topsites, links pages etc), but today I am going to focus on one area where most webmasters make a crucial error.
Quality v Quantity
Personally I would rather have a link on Google.com than on a million blogs. So you can’t go off PR and quantity of links alone.
The easiest way for the numbers to be dramatically altered is via sitewide or blogroll links.
What is a sitewide link = A link that is placed on a template of a website (often in the footer) and therefore features on EVERY page of a website.
Blogroll link = A link that is often placed in the sidebar/side menu of a blog and is shown on EVERY page of a blog.
So why do you need to be wary of these types of links?
Well mainly because the search engines only count a handful of links from a certain url. So if you have a link on 2,000 pages of a blog, then perhaps 1,500 of those links will show in the Yahoo backlink search (Linkdomain:yourdomain.com)
However, out of those 1,500 links that Yahoo has found, only a handful will actually count towards your rankings and pagerank.
From my research it is capped at roughly 5 pages.
Therefore approx 1,495 of those links are not of any benefit to you.
The same can apply to numerous links from the same C Class, but we will come to that another time.
Please note that some webmasters believe that sitewide links actually HARM your rankings. Personally I think that as long as you don’t go overboard you will be ok.
So why do you have to be aware of sitewide links when doing backlink research?
Well lets take an example:
Site A has 10,000 links according to Yahoo.com
Site B has 100 links
However, Site A has 5 sitewide links on 3 forums and 2 blogs. Site B has 100 main page links on unique URLS.
In this case site B would severely outrank site A. But most webmasters would think that site A is actually more powerful.
So next time you do some research on yours or competitiors sites, make sure you pay attention to the quality of the links, and don’t simply be dazzled by the big numbers.