• Tom Demers

    Wow really comprehensive list thanks Adam.

    One thing we tend to focus on is the relative weight of different quality signals for different link types – so particularly important signals in looking at guest posting opps (for us anyway) would be the way individual blog posts resolve re: PR and mR as well as archiving issues (same question here really) and whether similar individual posts are promoted by the linking site/have their own momentum. Whereas for something like promotion of a free tool or guide into resource links things like willingness to link out, use of no follow, and broken links are stronger factors (with broken links sometimes representing an ice-breaking opportunity in outreach efforts, depending on how actively the site’s maintained).

    Great post thanks for pulling this together.


  • Wiehan Britz

    Lovely article covering some decent points.

    I’m an SEO-noob so I’m trying to find my way around the digital realm and spotting new things to integrate into my own efforts. One thing I battle with is link building. It is easy if you’ve got a massive eCommerce site such as Zappos or whatever, but what about the smaller, less popular sites? That is where my question comes in: How do you tackle link building for a client selling warehouse storages for example? Local directories aint helping, social media is out of the question because no one wants to use it for warehouse storages info.

    Any ideas on that will be highly appreciated. Your site design looks great so by the way!

  • Adam

    Tom – thanks for the comment. How promoted the linked post is might be underplayed in this post. I know one blogger that was mentioned in one link by another blogger months ago and still receives 100+ visits each day from that little link. How promoted and what happens to it after it leaves the homepage of that site can be make or break for the value.

  • Adam

    Wiehan – getting links is a whole separate post or book for that matter. Until you think of something great and test that it will work, I’d use open site explorer and Yahoo site explorer to see the type of backlinks your top competitors are getting. Try & get those. If you’re selling/renting warehouse storage, I’d find complementary businesses in the area that might have a resources section, maybe a local college with recommended local resources for students, or state/city directories that might be able to give you the custom anchor text you need.

  • Wiehan Britz

    Makes perfect sense. Luckily I’m a pro-member of SEOMoz so I will look at the open site explorer and other link building tools to see what the competition are doing. Thanx for the reply on my comment!

  • Gareth James

    Re: #4 – Its also worth noting that putting a link on an old stale page could leave a big footprint. Why would an old page suddenly get a new outbound link? I’ve seen Google’s algo easily discount links like this.

  • Matthew Diehl

    #19 is so money and people don’t even know it.

    Getting a link in a sharable piece of content is great, but getting a link in a sharable piece of content that is backed by a strong set of followers/friends/subscribers is exponentially greater because of the added weight that social has gained with the SEs.

    Great list Adam!

  • Adam Melson

    Gareth – not sure if you mean #4 about caching above, but still noted. If I’m going to put a link on an old page, I’d like to see some new content or new sentence around that new link too.

  • Adrian Drysdale

    Damn that’s a big list. Don’t think you can say yes to all 25. To me a great backlink is one that you didn’t create yourself. If it was natural it’s a win.

  • Kirk Stephens

    I started following you on twitter based on a recommendation by Will. I am glad I did!
    Excellent reading and such to the point material will keep me interrsted. Utterly fantastic!

  • Adam Melson

    Kirk – so glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully some more list posts and tips to come. Adrian – A great backlink is one that drives value & gives a client a bump in traffic or rankings. If one comes naturally that we weren’t even trying for, those are sweet as we’ve’ invested little/no time towards it. For all of our clients we HAVE to go out & create links ourselves or else we’ll be out of business.

  • Tom Demers

    Re: new outbound links on old pages: I totally get the sentiment here but I’ve seen it work both ways in terms of a new link on an old page helping and having less impact than you’d expect. If you’re G it’s sort of impossible to discount this too aggressively because you would be throwing out updates to quality resources, well-maintained directories, etc. If someone compiles a killer list of the best blogs about pet grooming with a bunch of great information, and then adds to it over time as they find new blogs, you don’t want to create a filter to discount that updated link.

    Two signals that might make sense for them to think about would be to differentiate updates to old blog posts versus static pages (easy enough for them to differentiate these by looking at code, URL, etc. – the same things they used to do blog search) and/or number and authority of inbound links to the page that’s being updated. If it’s really authoritative it’s difficult to discount, if it’s something they would have whacked in the farmer update (300 words, no deep links to the page, no social signal, but hung off an authoritative domain) it’s a lot easier. This second one in particular would map with my (entirely anecdotal and unscientific) experience.


  • Goga

    The post is great. Very extensive and yet uncluttered. Awesome.
    But what I really liked is the point #22. I guess I never thought about duplicate content as a link value determinant. But you are completely right on that one. You really gave me new insight into this. Thanks!

  • Chotrul SEO

    That’s an extremely extensive list of metrics by which to judge the value of a link. #22 is very important – a is one example of factors which could devalue that page which contains the link. It’s very important to check anything which could hit the site in the near future – it’s value could change imminently!

  • roey

    i don?t really agree with no. 20-i still think it?s a great way to gain trust and ranking

  • Joel

    Great list! #16 was interesting, never really thought about how hyper-active bloggers/content creators might actually be a detrimental thing.

  • Generic Domain Market

    “To me a great backlink is one that you didn’t create yourself. If it was natural it’s a win.”

    @Adrian Drysdale .. Good point. It’s always back to Quality Content.

    This post prove your point since I came here through a recommendation by another good blog (

  • Jon

    I thought this was a good article. I did not know about getting in trouble. So my question is something like build my rank bad? you write your own content and can put a link in it. You are not buying a link?

  • Maryland SEO

    Thanks for the great list! You provided a lot of insights into locating quality links that are very helpful, Thanks again!

  • w3-logics

    This is a good list, it actually had a few ideas I had not heard of before which really suprised me, but I have never seen a list longer than about 20 ways to build incoming links either though. Good job.

  • Calgary SEO

    Wow this is a killer list. Honestly the bad neighbor website was worth an entire post.

  • Mark in Worthing

    Does the site have a broken link to a previous competitor of yours? You can write and helpfully point out that your site would make a more-than-adequate replacement for the broken link.

    One variant of this is to find unloved, out-of-date or deceased sites in your niche and see if they have any still extant links that might become yours instead (with a bit of work and goodwill).

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