Should You Get That Link?

So you see a website on the internet, and immediately, you think to yourself “I want a link here”. I mean it’s a website – as long as it isn’t selling paid links, it has to pass some kind of juice or be of some value to you, right? Not really. Besides the standard evaluation practices, here are a few other tips to determining  whether or not a link is worth acquiring.

Is there duplicate content on the page? Sometimes a page can appear natural but actual be full of torrid, useless duplicate content. Google tends to dislike websites with too much of this. It’s a good idea to grab a piece of text and search for it in Google to see if the site comes up first for the result. If it doesn’t, there’s good reason to not pursue acquiring a link – it may pass no value anyways, even if the website still ranks for its own domain name or title tag.

What’s the cache date? So you found a link page on a personal page on some random EDU site in the middle of nowhere. Try searching for it in Google. Is it even indexed? If it is, when’s the last time it’s been cached? If it’s a top or 2nd level page on the domain and it hasn’t been crawled in a long time, it’s a strong sign of the following things :

  1. The website owner no longer maintains the site.
  2. Google hates the site.

Based on all of these factors, it’s probably a waste of time to even send out a link begging e-mail now that you’ve gotten here. Your response rate is probably super low, and even if it gets posted, it’s probably of no value to you. Even if it is, you likely won’t get the benefit until months later, and it will only be incremental at best.

How does the MOZrank and PageRank match up? SEOMoz’s relatively new website valuation tool MOZRank is a good way to compare SEOMoz’s opinion to Google’s. If the MozRank SEOMoz gives is two or so points more than Google’s, there’s a good chance that the page has been devalued by Big Brother. It should never be the other way around, as SEOMoz does not penalize sites for their transgressions – it just views websites as poor based on standard link valuation policies.

A lot of link evaluation is gut feel and experience. While these tips won’t solve all of your link evaluation issues, they should help push you on the way to getting great, supportive juice to your website today.

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