I was on the phone with a sales representative from netfirms.com and he had told me that Google has a list of aggregators that it gathers data from to aid ranking pages and sites, one aggregator he had mentioned was reddit.com.
Does anybody know of more? I did some searches on Google, but I haven’t come up with much yet.
I’ve never heard of Google using aggegrators in this way, and I would be very surprised if they did. That’s partly because Google has vastly more data on websites than the likes of Reddit; and partly because if Google did gather data in this way, they would be unlikely to publish the names of the partner sites.
Is it possible the sales rep was getting confused with news aggregating, which is an entirely different matter?
He mentioned the term aggregators and gave me that explanation when I questioned him about it, as I hadn’t heard of this myself. I don’t think he meant news aggregators because he was telling my that the SEO team would write so many articles a week for a couple months and submit these articles to sites like reddit, yelp, etcetera, to help build back linking for their client’s websites. So he may have been referring to these sites as aggregators.
Matt, that sound much more plausible. His use of the term “aggregate” was misleading. What he was describing was simple old-fashioned link-building - and not the best kind of link-building. As you probably know, Google doesn’t give much weight to links on sites where anybody can post any content they like. What he was proposing might get your clients a bit of traffic, but it’s not going to do much to improve their search engine rankings. You are right to be cautious.
The basic theory when thinking about back links and what will have a positive or negative effect on your SEO profile is this.
Give a site a ranking from 1-10 on how easy it is to get a link on there. If getting a do-follow link on a site is considered a 10 then that will likely give you the greatest benefit. A 10 in my opinion would be a government website (.gov) or a .edu site.
Now if someone says to you, you can get 100,000 links on a site or that you could get an article on their today with your links and have no validation in any way by a content manager etc, then I would consider this a 1 and in most cases, you should avoid these kinds of links. This includes majority of directories.
Now Reddit and other social or other sites like stumbleupon are not bad, they are proven to have no real effect on your SEO through the way of back link profile power but they may get eyeballs on your site, which could in turn get someone to write an article linking to a section of your content. That is the power of No-follow or Social Media links in developing new do-follow links. This also relies on the fact that you have to have high quality content to be linked to.
A lot of these Aggregator sites have No-follow links which are proven to have no power. But Google actively knows that sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon are easy to game and if they had a huge effect on your rankings that users would quickly game the system.
I can understand how gaining a back link from a news website like The New York Times would be more beneficial than a website like Reddit. Could you give some examples of sites that are in the 5 and up scale of back linking? I am still learning about this topic and I am not sure of what sites are viewed as more credible.
Take a look at the websites and if articles are well written, not written for SEO and you intend to have a high quality article on that site that points to multiple authoritative websites instead of just your own then you will be fine. I would also hope that the content team or owner of that website will read and vet the articles to make sure that they are great articles. That way you know a penalty can never transfer to your website.
Do keep submitting links to blogging sites and social sites, but keep it to the big ones, not to small content network type websites.
When you are talking about back linking strategy, you need to have a content team focused on getting those great articles out onto other sites. It is hard to recommend one as there are so many factors to picking if a website is high quality or not.
Awesome, Thanks Josh. I have another question, do local news websites have much weight in terms of back linking score? (I am currently developing a site for a construction business in a small city in Ontario and wonder how a larger news entity’s website compares to a smaller entity’s website).
SEO strength that gets passed over depends on the page that it is linked from. As an example, if you have a website with a page authority of 50 and you are the only external link on the page you will receive 25 points to the page that is being linked to. If there are 5 external links, the 25 points will be split evenly among the 5 (5 points each).
So the domain authority (DA) and Page authority ¶ of a smaller site can be equal to that of a bigger site as long as the site has sufficient back links.
Download the Moz toolbar to find out DA and PA of sites and its individual pages.
Relevance is still key here, so the more relevant those links are the better your chances of ranking. Local news sites would still receive links and have good power but I would say that it still may not be as high as a bigger site.
Josh, you’ve give some good advice, and there is little to disagree with. The only (small) point I would take you up on is the one about .gov and .edu sites. Google has stated on several occasions that they give no special preference to sites with these domains. Of course, you would expect a .gov site to be hightly reputable and to have good authority, so a link from such a site would tend to be worth more. But that’s because of the quality of the site, not because it happens to have a .gov domain. As for .edu sites, much of their content includes social stuff posted by students, and is not necessarily particularly valuable.
But none of this detracts from your main argument.
Thanks for defining that for me I definitely think you are right, I like to think of it as an exclusivity point that gets extra power out of edu and gov. This is because they don’t often give out links so the power isn’t being shared around much. Also, they tend to receive links from all places without bias and normally have a good link profile themselves.
So I agree, Google do not give special preference but the nature of the site definitely makes it a 10 in difficulty and in reputation.