What Link Metrics Should You Be Looking At?

If you’ve been doing internet marketing for any length of time, then you’ve very likely been trying to obtain links from high-PR (Google PageRank) sites. These links can seem desirable, but just looking at the PR of a page is ignoring several different and very important link metrics.

While incoming links from high-PR sites help improve your own PageRank, do they actually do anything to improve your rankings with the search engines? The answer is it can — if the link meets several other metrics that affect your ranking. PageRank in and of itself is actually a poor measure of the value an inbound link will bring to your rankings.

So let’s put aside the PR craze for a moment and take a look at a few link metrics that really do influence your rankings, shall we?

Important Link Metrics

Domain Authority

Domain authority is a metric developed by the folks over at SEOmoz. It estimates a website’s performance in the search engines. Another way to say that is it assigns a level of authority that a website has on a particular subject.

This metric is calculated using a slew of other metrics that SEOmoz uses to determine a site’s many strengths.

Relevance

Ask yourself, “Is this site relevant to the same kind of thing my site is relevant to?”

If you sell containers molded from KYDEX — a type of plastic that becomes highly malleable when heated — then a website about plastics could be considered to have a similar relevance to yours. However, a website that narrows its focus exclusively to KYDEX would be even more relevant.

A backlink from a site about the relationship between birds and bees on the other hand will provide very little value to your site about plastic trinkets, regardless of PageRank.

Freshness of Content

Imagine a website that reported on the iPhone when it was first released, but then never added any new content thereafter. That site would lose all relevance to just about everyone once a newer technology was released. The same holds true for all websites. Old content is, well, old.

Fresh content means new content. A website that adds new content on a regular basis implies a website that is active and keeping itself up-to-date with the latest information.

Content Originality

With a lot of “article spinning” and other similar tricks designed to try and fool the search engines, having truly original content goes a long way toward showing the search engines that you are a leading authority on a subject.

Every day, search engines get smarter. Content that says the same thing using different words is one of the things they are getting smart about. Websites that do little more than regurgitate information that is already out there will provide your site with very little link value. In fact, backlinks from sites made up of mostly “spun” content can even hurt you.

These are just a few of the more important metrics you should be looking at when considering whether or not to pursue a backlink from a particular website. There are many more. Remember that PageRank alone is an unreliable metric at best; a fool’s errand at worst.

About the Author:
Kevin W. Phelps owns GuestBlogPoster.com, a legitimate guest posting company that uses several of these metrics when helping clients improve their brand awareness and search engine rankings.