Have you ever wondered if a link from an authoritative site would provide the same benefits as three links from small sites? If so, you're not alone.
"Would a journalist notice two or more stories mentioning them, or one really good story?" - Rand Fishkin , Moz.com
The answer is yes! But first, let's talk about why it matters.
What you need to know about backlinks before getting too worried about this topic: Backlinks are signals that carry weight with search engines and contribute to achieving better rankings in Google SERPs . Over time, as different types of pages build up trust and authority as indicated by incoming links from other websites , search engines may treat those sites as preferred sources for information on certain topics. Google uses over 200 signals to determine the best results for your search queries , but backlinks are still among the most important.
What's the difference between an authoritative site and a small one? The more powerful domain (and page) is likely to have more incoming links. Generally, these come from other websites that link out to them, strengthening their authority and ranking power. As you might imagine, this means it's harder to rank highly in Google SERPs with just one or two links than it would be if you had many links pointing at your site . Moz offers an Authority metric to help users find out how much influence different sites carry within Google rankings based on similar external links.
Who benefits most from multiple-link scenarios?
In a multiple-link scenario, the site with the most links from other pages is likely to benefit most. This is because they'll have a greater number of signals pointing back at them and passing on their ranking power. While this doesn't mean that the site with just one link will never rank for a given search query, it does provide an advantage to those sites that have more incoming links from others.
On the flip side, there are also certain scenarios where having two or three links from authoritative sources might actually be better than hundreds of low-quality links . In some cases, smaller websites may focus their linking efforts only on high-authority sites in order to improve their rankings quickly. When you consider all these factors together, it makes sense why Rand Fishkin asked the question he did.
In a multiple-link situation, it's sometimes hard to say which site benefits most from those links . It depends on the number of links that each website has and whether they're all similar in terms of authority. For example, if you have three small websites linking to you with only one link each, the ranking power from those links is likely going to be pretty low compared to having just one or two authoritative sites linking to your page(s) instead.
In some cases, links from different types of sites may carry more weight than links from other sources within Moz Pro , so keep an eye on what our latest Authority metric reports for your site(s). As we've mentioned before , you can use Moz Pro link metrics to spot your best links, identify opportunities for growth, and make strategic decisions about how to improve your off-page optimization strategy.
So yes, sometimes it's better to have two or three links from authoritative sources than hundreds of low-quality links pointing at your site. The more links you get (and the more powerful those sites are), the less likely it is that each additional link will result in an improved ranking position.
Which links should I build?
The first thing you'll want to do is figure out where your website currently stands within Google SERPs . To do this, simply enter a few keywords related to what your business offers into their search bar and see which pages come up on top. Try to get a feel for how many links each of these pages have and what types of sites link out to them.
Consider the following questions: Do you rank on page one or page two? If so, do you rank in the top three positions on the first page? Are there any general keywords that your website ranks well for but not others?
Once you've answered these questions, you should have a better sense of how difficult it will be to improve your rankings within Google SERPs . You can then use this information to help prioritize which pages would benefit most from incoming links from other websites.
In terms of building an initial set of high-quality backlinks, here are some helpful tips: Don't try to make your link profile look natural. With the right combination of anchor text, page titles, and internal links , you'll be able to get your site on the radar of Google's new algorithm . Building links too slowly can actually hurt your rankings in some cases. Link out to other sites whenever possible, especially when you're making an effort to promote your business online. Each link that points back at your site passes on ranking power to it , so always do what you can to encourage other websites to link back at yours Shorter pages usually rank better than longer ones simply because they have less content overall. For this reason, you should try creating pages with fewer than 600 words so that they rank for a wider range of keywords . Don't forget about local searches that target users within a certain mileage radius of your business. If you have an office that people can visit in person, then include your address and phone number on each page so that customers can find you quickly.
Keep these tips in mind, and you'll be able to build high-quality backlinks even without Moz Pro . We hope this article helps provide some context about how linking works within SEO. Our team has more than 7 years of experience with link building , so feel free to leave any more questions you have in the comments below!
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