I am a SEO copywriter, SEO executive, SEO strategist, SEO analyst, search quality evaluator at software development company in India.

What makes a quality link target?

Many people use Google PageRank as a measure of the quality of a link target - usually derived from the little green bar that you see when you download the Google toolbar. This is a mistake.

The score that is shown on the toolbar does not represent the real PageRank that Google assigns to the page. It is notoriously inaccurate almost to the point of being meaningless: it should only be taken as a very rough guide and in my opinion should be marked ‘for amusement only’.

So if the PageRank scores Google shares with us are meaningless, how can we gauge the quality of a potential link target? Here are some suggestions:

1. The target website is somewhere you'd like to be seen

This is an absolute must when looking for link targets. Look for respected sources of information in your industry and it's probably safe to say that it will be regarded as an authority site by Google, and a link from them to your site will be valuable.

2. The target website must be relevant to your business

It's likely to be used by people who would be interested in what you have to offer. That doesn't mean you stick rigidly to sites that are exactly on topic. Look also for sites that are related.

For example, a company that offers data recovery services will want to be seen on technology sites. They may also try to get on to sites whose main focus may be on health management, education or local government but have a section on ‘technology in health management’, ‘technology in education’.

3. The website should be able to drive appropriate traffic

That not only means the same target market as your website, but at the right stage of the buying cycle. As John Alexander shows in Wordtracker Magic, the best time to target recent mothers is not after the baby has been born but before, during pregnancy when the mother is searching the web to find potential names for her child.

4. The website should perform well on Google

The pages upon which your link might sit should be found in the Google index. To find out simply select a unique group of about 6-10 words, put them into the Google search box and enclose them in quotation marks. If the page has been crawled it should come up in the research results.

5. The links must be visible to the search engines

There are some dynamic linking techniques designed to hoard PageRank by not letting the search engine robots follow the links on a page. Such links are valuable only for the traffic that they bring: they will not help your search engine rankings in any way. The most simple of these is the ‘no follow’ tag, agreed by the major search engines to prevent ‘blog spamming’.

6. The website embeds the links in the body copy

This is much better than listing them at the side or bottom of an article. I've found that if another writer links to a site in the body of an article it generates more traffic than from an article that includes a link at the bottom.

7. The page with the links should be near the homepage

Search engine bots are unlikely to go more than three levels deep on any website. Links buried deeper may not be found. When looking for quality links look for websites that provide links as close to the homepage as possible. For those of you designing websites, follow the example of the BBC: their rule is that every piece of content on the BBC News site must be available within three clicks of the News home page.

8. The target website lets you use your own linking text

Webmasters know the value of linking text and they should take the trouble to link to you with meaningful text rather than just your URL.

9. The target website links to specific content

External links to your site, particularly if they are included in editorial should link to a specific resource, not just your homepage.


You are unlikely to find link targets that satisfy all these criteria, but use the list as a checklist and concentrate your link building efforts on those that score highest. 1 comments

On-page Versus Off-page SEO Techniques

The first thing most companies talk about when discussing SEO is what can be done within the site. Your site is your greatest asset on the net, and as the focus of all your search engine hopes, it’s only natural to focus on what it can do for you. The next step, however, is to focus on what the net can be doing for you.

It is well known that off-page factors play a significant part in a site’s ranking. The links toward a site and the mentions of it contribute to the weighing of reputation and popularity within the ranking algorithm. While a site can get by while leaving off-page factors to develop independently, it’s much smarter to give your off-page factors a boost as part of your SEO plan.

There is a fair amount of debate within the SEO community as to the right balance between on-page and off-page search engine optimisation. There is little doubt, however, that both types of factors need to be taken into account when you want to mount a successful SEO campaign.

On-page and off-page SEO – what’s the difference?

The difference between on-page and off-page factors in your SEO plan is fairly straightforward. On-page is whatever you can do within your site, and most traditional SEO techniques fall into this category. Things such as keyword placement, meta tags, your URLs, internal links and quality content are regular on-page factors in an SEO plan. Off-page is everything you do outside your site to draw attention to it, usually hinging on the links you can get.

What to do with your on-page SEO

As stated above, on-page SEO has been the focus of techniques for a very long time. The first step for most on-page SEO will be to research a keyword list and decide which keywords the site should compete for. Keywords are then distributed through content, tags are rewritten and internal links re-focussed to support the site’s relevance for those chosen keywords. After that, the paths through the site are tidied up and code polished so that everything within the site will run smoothly whenever a search engine spider crawls past. This is, of course, an oversimplification of what happens for on-page factors in an SEO plan, and you can talk with our consultants at SEO Consult about using your site’s assets to their full ability for your SEO. 2 comments