Measuring SEO Value of Publishers & Links

SEO Value of Publishers & Links

Some of the best SEO experts globally came together for a Thursday chat on Twitter on SEO. It is known as the #SEOChat.

Topic for discussion for the #SEOChat was "Measuring SEO Value of Publishers & Links" . Back in the day, when Google's original algorithm was developed, it was on the concept of how many different webpages link to your page. More the number of links you have, more popular your website will be. And this used to reflect in Google Search Rankings. However, as the algorthm evolved, the concept of Page Rank (PR) (based on Larry Page's research) was introduced. Page Rank was a measure of how authoritative your URL is. This was measured using a combination of links, relevance, number of visitors to site, domain age etc.

Of late, Social Media has started to play a vital role in establishing credibility of a webpage. As a webpage is shared more, it will result in more visits, which means the website is more popular.

Although in today's age of Social Media, I still believe in the power of backlinks and PR. In this week's #SEOChat, SEO Experts were discussing about various seo metrics which impact publishers.

Snippets of the #SEOChat on 12.6.2014:


Q1: I don’t condone evaluating publishers on a single SEO metric but if you had to, what would it be? PR? DA? Relevance? Traffic?


 A1: Force me to one metric, it would be traffic, the most direct to conversions. #seochat

A1: In all honesty, I'm not sure I can just pick one. I don't ever evaluate based on just one metric. Just 1 won't tell full story.

A1: Personally I would say relevance is first and foremost.

A1: I'd say CPA, but that feels like cheating since it's derived from two other metrics


A1: That's tough, but I'd have to say "the eyeball test" and check for quality/relevance.

Poll Question: 

Poll: Which software do you trust the most for link valuation? Moz? ahref? Majestic? LinkResearchTools? other? - why?

Poll Answer: 

Poll Answer :  I trust . Comes from overall trust in them as a company w/ being on top of data/trends

Poll Answer:  For link research, Majestic and Ahref are reliable (in addition to Bing/Google WT).

Poll Answer: I'm testing Moz, SEMrush and SpyFu all right now, but cognitiveSEO used to be my choice

Poll Answer: Have used Majestic. I simply love it. I believe a combination of and Market Samurai is really a killer


Question 2:

Q2: SEOs often snicker when Alexa Rank is mentioned. But if AR measures traffic, and traffic correlates authority, where does that leave AR?

Answers 2:

A2: Isn't AR based only on traffic with the Alexa toolbar installed? Or is that just from days past?

A2: I think that's what AR did--not sure on current practice. I just look at it as lukewarm data that's skewed.

A2: I don't ever look at AR. should I?


Question 3:

Q3: Per January video by Cutts, FB/Twit signal are not part of algo. What is ur stance on impact of content engagement on link val?

Answer 3:

A3: Social mentions of URL are still counted short term I believe? just not likes/follows, so engagement's still important

A3: Engagement on FB/Twitter may correlate with, not impact, SERP rankings. Quality/relevance attracts all eyes (SEs and users).

A3: Even if you consider FB/Twit as no follow links, it's ultimately more awareness and (hopefully) targeted enteractions

A3: While social might not be huge for ranking, it can still drive traffic, which is sort of the point.

A3: It may not impact seo for the time being, but social shares/links do help build brand awareness

A3: Agree with everyone else. I don't really care if FB/Twitter is part of Google's algo. Still drives trafficand engagement

A3: I would almost consider it lead gen. You get the traffic and hope to convert them.

A3: If something's truly hot on social, it's typically breaking news & that's going to show in SERPs


Question 4: 

Q4: YOUR OPINION: How much impact do you think 'author rank/authority’ has on the link value of NON-mktg-industry-related posts

Answer 4:

 A4: I think authorship has great link and CTR influence. People may grow weary of nameless posts. (Same with paper editorials) #seochat

A4: but when everyone uses authorship, then that becomes the norm. So your post will not look any different from others

A4: I think Google has enough phds on the payroll to measure, I just don't think Google values it highly, so minimal impact

A4: Not much link juice wise, but I think the author's name is something users get attached to. And then builds from there. The more users click on it and find it relevant, the more likely they are to share, etc and so forth.

A4: I’m a bit skeptical on big G’s ability to accurately measure auth-authority in verticals where author markup is rarely used

A4: Yes! RT Not much link juice wise, but I think the author's name is something users get attached to. And then builds from there


Poll Question 2:

POLL: In terms of link equity, rank these factors in order of importance: TotalLinkRootDomain | PR | ContentRelevancy

Poll Answers 2:

I preface this with my role here (SEO Analyst): ContentRelevancy | TotalLinkRootDomain | PR.

My vote: ContentRelevancy, TotalLinkRootDomain, & PR

  Conent > Total Links > PR

Great content, natural link building, etc are all part of a holistic marketing process


Poll Question 3:


Poll: How many of you strictly rely on link earning through content marketing vs link building

Poll Answer 3:

Is there any form of link building that hasn't been targeted by Google?

As long as the link building can be made to "seem natural" it will never be targeted. Expired domain backlinking is also another way to do this

 We used to rely on just content but it's not effective enough, I'm working on a strategy to change that now

Borders on an ethically grey area. I'd rather earn than build. Build implies arbitrary links IMO


Question 3:

Q3: Google News sites are some of the most trusted on the internet. Any opinions on how to capture links from GN sites?

Answers 3:

A3:  Post on G+ RE current event - posts will often times appear along side news stories in Google News, can increase awareness for site


Value of PR in Google's Algo and its impact on SEO

We hear lot of comments from various quarters that PR is dead and it holds no value in today's scheme of things. However, in #seochat, the participants had a different view:

John Bertino ?@JohnBertino

I’m always surprised by how many SEOs scoff at PR and yet there is a whole school out there that still swears by it

I think PR is misunderstood. SEOs see Google smacking PR and they see it as not as valuable.

It's definitely best to consider all & not discount a whole field. There's value to be had in many channels.

I agree PR is a small part, but it is a very important part in the equation. Have practical case studies