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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member SCC's Avatar
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    Link Relevance Vs Link Power ??

    I have a question for all you link proís out there. I am quite the newbie in the link world and I am looking for some advice on link relevance Vs link power.
    Letís imagine I am link building for a niche market. Letís say its sportís based and I am looking to get a page about a small sporting event ranking for a relevant keyword term.

    Letís say the page is about the Carling Cup and I want that page to rank for the keyword term ĎCarling Cup Winnersí. This is all an example by the way so do not look this up on Google as it maybe a massive search term! Letís just pretend itís small!

    Now we do a search for ĎCarling Cup Winnersí and we see all the top results are sub pages about the Carling Cup. The No.1 spot is held by a relevant page with a PR 3 and the next five sites are all PR2, followed by 1s and 0s. I know some of you will say PR means nothing, but lets just say the PR values also reflect the amount of in-bound links, domain age and any other important factors. There are not that many websites about the Carling Cup and none that really have any decent authority or PR juice to give out.

    So what would you recommend? Getting as many links from these low level sites that rank for the keyword I want to rank for? Or should I go the other route and get more powerful links from slightly less relevant sites, but using my keyword in the anchor text?

    What do you guys think is more important, relevance or power? Or maybe a mixture of both? I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    O Rly?? JakeJeck's Avatar
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    Power.

    If you had a link from the homepage of Adobe.com with the anchor text "Carling Cup Winners" I'd be hugely suprised if you didn't immediately jump to #1 for that term.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bigalreturns's Avatar
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    There's a happy medium somewhere in the middle, so I'd go for that. I'm not quite certain I agree with JakeJeck about the importance of PR compared to relevance, but clearly they both do have a role to play. So I would look for reasonably well established moderate relevance links mainly, say related to football, or FA cup, and aim to get your anchor text. I do think there is still value in low PR, very related links. Quite considerable value in fact. And of course if adobe.com offers you that link then that ain't gonna hurt either!!
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  4. #4
    O Rly?? JakeJeck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigalreturns View Post
    I'm not quite certain I agree with JakeJeck about the importance of PR compared to relevance
    Adobe ranks in the top ten for words like "Government", "Manufacturing", "Press", "Mobile", "Customer Service", and it goes on and on and on. All of those terms match the anchor text used on their PR 10 homepage.

    There are certainly thousands if not tens of thousands of relevant sites that should be ranking higher than adobe for those terms.

  5. #5
    Google Zombie ssandecki's Avatar
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    I believe that relevant backlinks do provide more weight than non-relevant, but on certain authority sites it can be the opposite. The reason is those sites are trusted by Google, and it's assumed those back links are of value to that search term. I don't think you should be able to jump to #1 for a term just because of one authority link, but again this goes into why Google is cracking down on text links.

  6. #6
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    PR is not an indication of link relevance but if you have a sh*t load of links from good quality sites the chances are good that they are context relevant too and so will help in the SERP.

    High PR could also be an indication of 'authority' status which will also give you a boost, but only if they're relevant to the phrase being used.

    However, I've beaten sites with PR8 or 9 in the SERP because the phrase I was targeting wasn't the one their backlinks contained (which was intentional of course) so I think that relevance is more important than PR. In fact I'm sure of it, nothing else makes any sense.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
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  7. #7
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    Hi

    Well said mcclure, i agree with most of what you have said, what you want is good quality links from relevant sites, pr is not a measure of a quality link as it can be manipulated so going on what pr a site is, wont help you in ur quest !
    ]

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bigalreturns's Avatar
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    Agree with you on that point JJ, the complicating factor is when you are looking at queries that high PR pages are competing on. In this situation, the majority of the links contributing to their PR will be relevant, and therefore their PR will correlate very well with their rankings.
    Returning to the point about a high PR link, such as adobe.com, and the increase in rankings, I will concede that yes it probably would help you massively. The reasoning I can put behind this is that with such a massive PR, even the smallest amount of relevancy can become significant. I.e. the anchor text of the link itself raises the pages relevancty to yours, and combined with the immense PR, this constitutes a highly valuable links.
    To look at it in the simplest sense, imagine the following equation holds true for link value:
    Link Value = Relevancy * PR
    If you get a link from a PR10 site (remembering toolbar PR is on an exponential scale), then even the tiniest bit of relevancy, e.g. the anchor text alone, when combined with the PR, gives a high link value. On the other hand, a low PR, with total relevancy, can also give a high link value. This can explain why any link from a PR10 site will help you so much.
    Where I fall somewhat into conjecture, is the difference between say, a PR4 very relevant link, and a PR7 mildly relevant link. Which should you target more? In my opinion:
    Link worth (PR4, 100% relevant) > Link worth (PR7, 20% relevant)
    Using arbitrary figures of course.
    The real point to take from this style of link value equation is that any link containing your anchor text will be somewhat relevant, and therefore hold some value, so any link is worth having. I would personally target more relevant pages, as it is my opinion that in Google's algorithm, relevancy takes on far more significance than PR, but it's up to you and your own experience how you play it.
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  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bigalreturns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeJeck View Post
    Adobe ranks in the top ten for words like "Government", "Manufacturing", "Press", "Mobile", "Customer Service", and it goes on and on and on. All of those terms match the anchor text used on their PR 10 homepage.

    There are certainly thousands if not tens of thousands of relevant sites that should be ranking higher than adobe for those terms.
    I just checked all of these keywords out - adobe.com isn't in the top 10 for any of them on whichever Google datacentre I hit.
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  10. #10
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    I have started a serious link building and i have notice an increase in ranking just linking with over 2k directories

  11. #11
    O Rly?? JakeJeck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigalreturns View Post
    I just checked all of these keywords out - adobe.com isn't in the top 10 for any of them on whichever Google datacentre I hit.
    In the US
    Government #9
    Manufacturing #8
    Press #3
    Mobile #10
    Customer Service #6



    The thing I don't like about PageRank is that surfers don't surf in a continuous fashion. When I click a "get acrobat reader" or "get flash player" link, the likelyhood of me then clicking various links within the adobe.com site is small. But the PageRank system ends up giving everything including their privacy pages PR10 because it assumes by clicking the link to get adobe reader you're going to then click on some random links within adobe.com.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Member SCC's Avatar
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    Hi guys, thanks for all your answers... great stuff. I think somewhere along the way some of you got confused when I mentioned PR in my initial post. I did say "I know some of you will say PR means nothing, but lets just say the PR values also reflect the amount of in-bound links, domain age and any other important factors." - So when I mentioned a PR2 site, that site may have been really relevant, but actually had very little inbound links pointing to it, only had a few pages indexed by Google, and maybe had no inbound links that Google recognised. This is by no means an authority site, but it ranks for the keyword I want to rank for. So is this link worth more than an a link from an authority site with less relevance? I know people have said go for relevant, authority links... but my point is in some niches this is not possible as they do not exist. So what would you do, go for the weak relevant site, or the less relevant authority? I guess both.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCC View Post
    So is this link worth more than an a link from an authority site with less relevance? I know people have said go for relevant, authority links... but my point is in some niches this is not possible as they do not exist. So what would you do, go for the weak relevant site, or the less relevant authority? I guess both.
    Sure, do both but the relevant site is going to help you more in the SERP.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bigalreturns's Avatar
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    Well it's all a matter of speculation as to what will help you more. In the end you only have a 3 month old approximation of PR, and no idea as to Google's opinion of the relevance. This means its difficult to really say link x is better than link y, unless its a very clear cut case. Basically, never turn down a link - focus your efforts on pages as relevant as possible, but don't be afraid of casting your net wider.
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  15. #15
    Error 404: Life not found silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigalreturns View Post
    Well it's all a matter of speculation as to what will help you more.
    Not in the context of relevance to search phrases it isn't, it's cut and dried.

    A PR0 site with backlinks relevant to the search phrase will beat a PR5 site with irrelevant backlinks. Quantity of links is also irrelevant.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bigalreturns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    Not in the context of relevance to search phrases it isn't, it's cut and dried.

    A PR0 site with backlinks relevant to the search phrase will beat a PR5 site with irrelevant backlinks. Quantity of links is also irrelevant.
    Quote Originally Posted by bigalreturns View Post
    ...unless its a very clear cut case.
    The problem here is that you cannot know all the backlinks for a particular page, so you can never know to what Google considers it relevant. We can gain an idea through use of approximations like the link: operator, or Yahoos indexed links, but we can never be certain.
    We also don't know with any degree of certainty the true PR of any page.
    We also don't know with any real certainty the relative importance of PR vs. relevance.
    This boils down to an equation like this:
    Link Value = X * Relevancy * Y * PR
    X,Y are the relative importances. We have four factors multiplied together, with immense error bars on each - a phrase that springs to mind is "Rubbish In, Rubbish Out." This leads us to one conclusion only, we cannot say with any degree of certainty what the value of any specific link is, and we certainly can't compare any but the most polar pairs of links and make any assumptions about which is better.
    We can gain a feeling for it, using intuition and common sense, but all the intuition and common sense we like might boil down to complete inaccuracy if we're working from flawed inputs.
    Bottom line is go for all the links you can, if you can get highly relevant links (in your opinion relevant) then great, if you can get high PR links great, if you can get both amazing. Don't get too bogged down in what links to get, and just go all out to get as many half decent ones as possible.
    "The proper function of man is to live - not to exist."
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