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Link Quality, How To Build Quality Backlinks

Link QualityLink quality is a funny one, it takes quite a while to really understand the importance of link quality.

It’s a factor that I don’t recommend people learn if they’re brand new to SEO. Learning keyword research, link diversity and quantity is more than enough to get started.

Link quality just goes into the factors that will help you evaluate your competitor’s backlinks and boost your own.

Every page on the Internet has page authority. Myself and others like to give pages a score out of a hundred for authority.

The higher the authority of a page, the higher it will rank and the more link juice it will send to your website. Really there are about 5 different factors to link quality:

  1. Base Type
  2. Age
  3. OBL (Out Bound Links)
  4. Page Rank
  5. Inbound Links
  6. Authority

All links aren’t created equal. Certain links carry a lot more weight than others. This is a list of backlinks in order of their base authority/value from least to most.

  1. Commenting
  2. Forum Profiles
  3. Directory Submissions
  4. RSS Distribution
  5. Social Bookmarking
  6. Q & A Marketing
  7. Forum Discussions
  8. Web2.0 Profiles
  9. Video Distribution
  10. Article Marketing
  11. Web2.0 Sites
  12. Social Media
  13. Press Releases
  14. Private Blog Networks
  15.  Pay Per Post
  16. Guest Blogging

A crap load of link building strategies, I know. And that’s not even all of them. Those are just 18 of the techniques you should be using if you’re trying to completely obliterate the competition and take over your niche.

You can get top rankings from just one or a few of the techniques. Anyway, each link type has a base link quality. Comments have the least and guest blog posts have the most if they’re on high authority blogs.

One guest blog post on a Page Rank 4 blog may give you as much link juice as 10,000 forum profiles or 200 private blog network links. Links start with their base value, but can be improved.

Next is age, backlinks tend to gain power over time. It’s been proven many times and I’m definitely an advocate of this theory. Quite a lot of SEO’s believe old links devalue, but I believe as long as you keep building new links the old ones only gain strength.

OBL is an important one that most SEO’s overlook. It stands for out bound links, the less the better. Think of Page Rank as this universal score pages receive based on how much link juice they have. Link juice is always flowing and nearly all websites “let it escape” through their external links.

By building links to a page, you’re sending it link juice. Then if that page links out to another page, some of the link juice will be passed through to it. So the more out bound links on a page, the less link juice it will pass through to your website.

So if you think you’ve found an amazing backlink opportunity commenting on a Page Rank 5 blog post, you’re probably wrong. You’ll probably find that 1000 other people have also left comments and the sheer amount of OBL’s will cause the blog comment to be worthless.

Next is Page Rank, an important quality factor. The higher the Page Rank of the page you’re getting a backlink from; the more link juice it will pass through to your website. At the same time, you must take into account the number of OBL’s a page has.

Page Rank is why everyone spams authority sites to death. For example with web2.0′s, people build their own blogs on sites like Hubpages and Blogger.

They think they’re getting high Page Rank backlinks, but they’re really not. The root domains may well be PR6 or 8, but the micro blogs you build on them have a base Page Rank of 0. However link juice is usually passed all the way from the root domain through to internal pages where your backlinks are situated.

Getting high Page Rank backlinks will help you rank quickly and give you direct authority.

Next is in bound links meaning in bound backlinks. How many backlinks your backlinks have. As I said, link juice flows through open links. So when building backlinks, you should only ever link to 1-3 of your own websites and or pages. Then if you want to increase the quality of your backlinks, you can build more links to them.

Many SEO’s build multi tiered link structures building tens of thousands of links to the lower tiers forcing tons of link juice to flow through tier two and one all the way to the money site.

Lastly is the authority factor. The higher the authority of the site you’re getting a link from, the higher the quality of the backlink. Authority is basically another word for quality. It’s also very similar to Page Rank.

A high authority site is generally one that has high Page Rank, tens of thousands of pages and even more in-bound links. The best links you can get are from niche specific authority sites. Niche authority site backlinks are king.

Sites commonly known as authorities are like EzineArticles.com, Hubpages and Squidoo. They have high Page Rank, tens of thousands of pages and countless backlinks. But they don’t focus on a specific niche. They cover every niche on the Internet which makes them irrelevant. Links from relevant (niche specific) websites have always generated superior results to links from general authority sites.

So just to recap, a quality backlink should be:

  1. -          Aged
  2. -          Low OBL’s
  3. -          High Page Rank
  4. -          Relevant
  5. -          Authoritative
  6. -          Have Many Inbound Links

It’s almost impossible to build all of your backlinks using the above criteria. It’s also a bad idea, diversity is the key. However you should always aim to build a variety of high quality backlinks taking the above criteria into account.

In Prosperity,

David Wood

P.S. Leave me your thoughts, comments and questions below. Also feel free to join the email list on the right for more cool SEO tips, tricks and secrets.

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Really liked this article, I learned what it takes to make a high quality backlink, and now its time to implement what I learned. My 2 faves, that I'm currently doing are article marketing and social media. Found a couple of gems that I can utilize in the future.

Colleen Kelly Mellor
Colleen Kelly Mellor

There's a definite learning curve to this blogging thing...I mean, I've been at it now for almost two years (in July--the 4th to be exact--not exactly my Independence Day, but in a way, it was), and I have never sought to comment on others' sites. My God, I couldn't even remember where I'd been if I didn't make a note of the ones I liked--immediately. Now, I note those special web addresses where I get a chunk of real value. In other words, I'm getting better at discrimination--not usually a good word, elsewhere. But on the world wide web, it's a positive, as we're deluged with less-than-spectacular word vaults, penned by others. Dave, I will be back for you offer quality information and I am ready for this next step, seeking backlinks. Now, tell me, dear sir, am I just a slow learner or does it take pretty much 18 mos. for anyone to get on board in seeking those important back links to their sites?

Maria Eves
Maria Eves

Im getting into commenting on blogs David. Its a lesson that needs discipline which i found very lazily at the beginning i was. Its so extended to extended seo. Im getting the gutz of it day by day it seems to get better and better and really enjoying. You always share value u tooo clever. Blessings to u both...

Ken A
Ken A

Good advice. I'm surprised that you have guest blogging ranked so high (over private blog networks). I have to look into that some more.

Tyronne Ratcliff
Tyronne Ratcliff

Leaving comments on blogs is a good way to linkbuild since your comments have sticking power, a great way to get residual traffic. Thanks for the information.


Thanks for this article David. Guest blogging is definitely something to look into. I've heard of it but didnt pay much attention to it until now.


Hey Dave, nice article! I think link diversity is so important when it comes to getting ranked and staying there. I've noticed I can get to the 1st page with simple strategies like submitting to article directories thru AMR, but have noticed once the campaign ends, my rankings start to drop slowly. This article gave me some good ideas on what kind of backlinks I should be building to supplement that. Thanks for the value as always.

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