13 Sep 2006

Why that site with 50 backlinks beats your site with 1000 backlinks.

All I ever hear is numbers numbers numbers.

So and So has this many links, we need this many links, how many links can you get us, buy 100’s of links cheap, get your link on 100 pages, ahhhhhhh.

The numbers game died a few years ago. There’s another line of thinking out there that you might not know about…..

It’s not always "He with the most links" who wins the game……often, "He with the right links" can win the game as well. Really, very often, he with the right 10 links can beat the guy with 1000 of the wrong links – I see it all the time.

I’m sure most of us have looked at search results, and followed it up by checking the backlinks of the top 10 sites….and then scratched our heads and said "Hum….why is that site in the top 10? It only has X amount of links….hum…doesn’t make sense."….I know I used to do that a lot. Upon closer inspection I’ll usually find that the sites with fewer backlinks that rank on the first page of search results have links that are more relevant, or more trusted, or seem to come from the "right places" (trusted industry related sites).

Sure, there’s different ways to play the game of SEO….go for volume of links……or go for Trusted links…..but few go on the angle of "get the right links" and you might not need as many links as you thought you did.

See, a problem with going for volume is that you can’t stop…you and your competitors might be running in a dogs race always trying to get one more link than the other guys….you buy ’em in volumes…you trade ’em in volumes, you 3 way ’em, you site-wide ’em….you do what ever you can to get your total backlinks up, up, and away….problem with that is, is that you often get links from non-trusted sites (artificial backlink sites), you get them on "links" pages (tossing a sign on your site saying "Google, kick me, I’m an SEO trying to artificially inflate my backlinks), you get them for 200 directories (another Google kick me, I’m an SEO sign), and the more you get, the more you fall, and the more you fall, the more you cry "I must need more, more, more", and the further you slip…..it’s really a bad SEO trap that’s been laid out for you.

Now, getting trusted backlinks is way better….finding sites that have "Real backlinks" (not SEO’d sites)…and getting your links on real pages is really cool….and winning by trust can be done…..until the engines start to say "here’s the neighborhood, but you’re not in it" and wa-la, yea, you’re trusted too….just not by your peers, and your rankings slip again.

I truely believe that the engines are trying to find the neighborhood…..and that the numbers game is dying big time. So….remember that site that ranked high, yet had few backlinks? Let’s look at that with some "Jim Pictures"


Ok….see the black dot in the middle? That site might not have the most backlinks….but it’s in the center of the activity….it’s got the right links….the hubs and the authorities….it doesn’t have a link from everyone, but it’s got the right links….ok…I’ll admit, my artwork might not be the best…let me try another picture (I didn’t draw, but it can help to show my point).


Again, see my red arrows that show the sites that have votes from the authorities and hubs of the communities.

Getting a few of the right links, from the right places can be more valuable than getting 100 links from the wrong places.

Here’s this article in German.