Home – New Forums Tech talk Do you need Relevant Links to achieve 1st position?

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  • #967617
    seocourse
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    This is the question that many of my customers ask me:

    Do I need relevant one ways links from MY SAME INDUSTRY/NICHE to achieve 1st position in Google?

    The Answer is : NO

    (And before you jump and try to kill me… please read this post)

    As I have mentioned before here, Google is an algorithm… a very complicate and expensive one… but still it is just an algorithm and as any that has been created by human, it has flows..

    The theory is that if you have a Loan/Mortgage website, you need links from other mortgage websites and financial websites to rank higher for your website… and that is simply not true.

    (The problem is that people that usually claim that you need relevant links to achieve 1st position in Google… are not always the people that have EXACT DATA to prove that ANY random site, without any relevant niche links can take 1st place in any industry.)

    But let’s continue…

    So for my SEO experiement (I do this for a living so I need to prove that I know what I’m talking about) I will choose the most popular drink in the world (and it is not beer ) : TEA

    What is Tea ?
    Based on Wikepedia Tea is: Tea is the agricultural product of the leaves, leaf buds, and internodes of the Camellia sinensis plant, prepared and cured by various methods. “Tea” also refers to the aromatic beverage prepared from the cured leaves by combination with hot or boiling water….

    Ok, so what happens if I go to Google International (not Google Australia)

    I get this result:
    http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=Tea
    Where the 1st page is:

    Texas Education Agency – Welcome to the Texas Education Agency
    http://www.tea.state.tx.us/

    Doing a small backlink profile analysis… mmm Surprise Surprise : Not one single keyword comes from any food, beverage or nutrition website related to Tea…. instead they all come from Education websites that talk about TEA as the Texas Education Agency.

    So why is this site higher than any other real “tea” websites.

    Trust Level of the domain name (Age / Page Rank)
    Number of Backlinks
    Backlinks Anchor text
    Quality of the Backlinks (by quality I mean trust/pagerank/age instead of relevancy in niche/industry)

    Conclusions:

    1 ) So this means that backlinks relevancy to your industry are not important?
    No… of course they are important but from an SEO point of view, they are NOT vital.

    2) I do predict in the future Google’s algorithms will be taking in the relevancy of the backlink.. but it will take time for the algorithm to be perfect.

    3) This type of no weight for relevancy in the links DOESN’T apply for Bing and Yahoo

    4) Regardless the result your best advise is to build naturally and do it in your relevant industry.

    5) Don’t forget that DATA and Testing can always bring you the best results when learning about SEO..

    Cheers and I hope you learned something interesting.

    #1027555
    ray_223
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    Hi Gabriel,

    Interesting post, 2 points:

    * Your example of “TEA” doesn’t really make sense – it just so happens that the letters “TEA” also represent something other than the “tea” drink. It is commonly held knowledge (in the SEO world) that links from government websites have a greater ranking weight than non government links, which would suggest why that site ranked number 1 in Google for that keyword.

    * Do you need backlinks to be number 1? It really only depends on what websites you are trying to out rank. Everything else being equal, if 2 sites have the same rank and one has good backlinks and the other doesn’t, my money would be on the one with good backlinks.

    So, my take on SEO is … “You only have to be better than your competition“, which is true in general business – why are so many trades people doing so well but have terrible customer service?

    #1027556
    seocourse
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    Hi Ray…

    I’m not 100% sure if you understood the main idea.

    I’m talking that Google concept of Quality Link… is NOT based on the relevancy of the links…

    In fact for google Tea is in fact a drink
    http://www.google.com.au/dictionary?aq=f&langpair=en|en&q=tea&hl=en

    but the 1st page is for a non “tea” (drink) related website.

    In fact Google in it’s own dictionary doesn’t add Tea = as the Texas education website of my example.

    That was my point

    Therefor Good Link for Google has nothing to do with related relevancy of niche/topic.

    ;)

    #1027557
    ray_223
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    Hi Gabriel,

    I think you are right … I don’t think I do understand the main point of your post, a further 2 points ;)

    * Obviously when Google are ranking websites on a keyword they don’t assume every search keyword is a dictionary word. I would assume the vast majority of common short words are also acronyms for unrelated topics. Google are trying to give the search user the best possible result based on the keyword entered – not the “dictionary” keyword entered – often these acronym keywords are more useful than the dictionary equivalent anyway.

    So for my simple brain your argument that:

    Google thinks “tea” is a drink, therefore a search for “tea” that doesn’t result in a drink website being the first listed means you don’t need quality backlinks to get to number 1 for a “tea” drink website.

    doesn’t make sense to me.

    I agree with what you say, you “don’t need great backlinks to get to number 1”, but I think it is more to do with your competition.

    I happen to live in “Orange NSW”.
    If I go to google and search for Orange – I get the local councils website as the number 1 page – that doesn’t help me if I’m trying to beat other orange growers/sellers (of fruit) with my SEO.

    You only need to beat your competition – it’s not really any help beating people who aren’t your competition.

    #1027558
    seocourse
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    Ray I understand your point… but the fact that Google doesn’t take in consideration the relevance of the links coming to the site, it CAN in deed help you outrank your competition..

    Example with Orange…

    there are more organic searches for Orange as fruit
    than
    Orange as a town…

    but google gives the relevance to Orange NSW, because there are websites from .gov and .edu that link the keyword Orange to the Orange NSW site.

    In Bing the result is not Orange NSW… mainly because Bing uses a different equation.

    you mention;
    You only need to beat your competition – it’s not really any help beating people who aren’t your competition.

    So how this can help you to bit your competition?

    Well.. that means that without any medical link I can take 1st position for a medical term … without any medical link coming to my site. I don’t know if you understand how powerful is this concept.

    #1027559
    exstatic
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    Your example doesn’t actually explain what you are trying to say, and your test is inconclusive.

    What I think you are trying to say is..

    If you have a site about cars, but you have 500 links from childcare sites, as long as the childcare sites are authoritative, it will help raise the ranking of your cars site.

    Whereas, the argument is, if you had 500 links from car sites and your competitor had 500 links from childcare sites, given that your site has ‘market relevant’ links would it rank your site better?

    No.. not yet.

    BUT, Search Engine Rankings aren’t everything..

    High Quality, VALUABLE, Targeted traffic is.

    Imagine you had a car site, and 500 other car sites were talking about yours.. that means you now have ‘The Market’ talking about your site.. so its like personal referrals, you then become a market leader in that niche.. even if you aren’t #1..

    Wouldn’t you prefer car sites to be linking to your car site, than say non relevant sites..?

    Even 5 links from low authority market relevant sites, vs 500 links from high authority sites not in your market is probably better from a qualified traffic point of view, the traffic is targeted and interested in your market.

    So.. maybe the debate should be.. are internal market links more valuable than a #1 search ranking for good keywords?

    #1027560
    seocourse
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    exstatic, post: 32641 wrote:

    BUT, Search Engine Rankings aren’t everything..

    High Quality, VALUABLE, Targeted traffic is.

    So.. maybe the debate should be.. are internal market links more valuable than a #1 search ranking for good keywords?

    This is a post about Search Engine Ranking … not traffic…

    I believe 1st position for the keyword that converts is more valuable that any internal market links in the world…

    At the end of the day, the buyer is usually from organic traffic…

    #1027561
    exstatic
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    seocourse, post: 32642 wrote:
    This is a post about Search Engine Ranking … not traffic…

    That is like saying, sure.. I have an office on a major high street, with 1000 people walking past my shop every day.. but I dont care if they walk in.. I just want to be on a great street.

    Why do people want to be #1 in search engines? To send traffic to their websites!

    So it is always about traffic.

    seocourse, post: 32642 wrote:
    I believe 1st position for the keyword that converts is more valuable that any internal market links in the world…

    At the end of the day, the buyer is usually from organic traffic…

    Incorrect.. and completely dependent on the business.

    I rank quite well for a number of my businesses for high traffic, high value, converting keywords.. but I would still say organic traffic only counts for 20-30% of my sales, the rest comes from word of mouth, online discussions and direct referrals.

    The tradies we do SEO for that rank #1 in search engines phones are ringing off the hook.. but at lot of them are unqualified leads.. the leads are fresh and only ring them as they are #1 and just need a quick quote.. but there is no trust or referral to qualify the lead instantly.. it often takes a bit of ‘sales’ work from the tradie to make sure they get the job.

    If you ran a blog, or an online store or something like that then the figures are different… as these are online businesses and there is a certain amount of ‘trust’ that goes with a #1 position.

    I still think a site that is mentioned in a market as opposed to a #1 ranking site will get much better conversions for sales.

    #1027562
    ray_223
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    Hi Gabriel,

    After reading your post again, I agree

    Do you need “Relevant” Links to achieve 1st position?

    I didn’t really focus on the word “relevant”.

    So, when you go hunting for backlinks to improve your SEO ranking get the highest ranked links available – I’d also suggest you push for niche specific as well ;)

    #1027563
    seocourse
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    My whole comment was from an SEO point of view, but it seems you guys think I’m attacking the quality behind social traffic, word of mouth, referrals, etc.

    Comments like… achieving 1st position for a keyword is not everything.

    I agree. (It is not everything in life… if your traffic sucks… well it sucks… (that’s it!)

    My business is in fact: to achieve 1st position for the keyword my customers request me to.

    Therefor the fact that google algorithm and Bing work different for relevancy of links pointing to your site with relation of your website topic/niche… It is relevant if you are planning an SEO strategy.

    so once again, my post was about SEO, not about the value of the leads… the value of the keyword… in fact if you do keyword research properly, if you do know your market properly… then you can apply this concept to achieve higher ranking.

    this is useful for websites (businesses) that don’t have the option of achieving high value links from related websites.

    You opinion regarding being 1st as a “word of mouth” in the market… vs 1st in search engine ranking… well that’s a different topic. ;)

    good nite everyone …

    #1027564
    exstatic
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    seocourse, post: 32647 wrote:
    My business is in fact: to achieve 1st position for the keyword my customers request me to.

    so once again, my post was about SEO, not about the value of the leads… the value of the keyword… in fact if you do keyword research properly, if you do know your market properly… then you can apply this concept to achieve higher ranking.

    These comments scare me, isn’t the whole point of SEO to deliver valuable traffic? Why on earth would you even attempt SEO for a client if you weren’t trying to deliver valuable leads?!

    And what is even more scary is you have suggested that your business is to use the keywords your clients give you for SEO!?!!

    Anyone can get a #1 ranking for low value keywords.

    SEO is about delivering valuable leads to a website.. so my comments are 100% relevant.

    An SEO Specialist should be suggesting to a client the correct keywords for their market, ones that are being searched and ones that will generate them valulable traffic.

    If you are an SEO specialist and not optimising your clients’ site for the best possible keywords and phrases that are going to generate them business – i.;e send them valuable traffic, then you are ripping them off and wasting their money.

    #1027565
    seocourse
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    Oh my god…

    So let me re-explain this…

    you are the one that mention that you may get leads that don’t convert… yes?
    but you though… hey this keyword is VITAL for my SEO strategy… but guess what after 4 months in 1st position you realize the keyword doesn’t convert.

    Even if you are an SEO specialist you can’t determine what keyword converts in ALL CASES.
    Therefor the value of keywords depend of the business, the offer the business has, the market, etc.

    I can offer keyword research to my clients , I can tell them the DATA, the exact numbers, the % of traffic… but I can’t tell them how much that traffic will convert.

    may be I’m a very sloppy SEO consultant… but keyword research can’t tell you the % of conversion in your market until you put in place.

    As an SEO Specialist you may run software, data analysis, keyword research tools but let’s face it… you are NOT in their industry. So can you guarantee that traffic will convert? I don’t think so.

    So once again, my point was about SEO from the standard of ranking a keyword.

    Nothing to do with the value of traffic or not…

    You can apply this concept for Valuable keyword or not valuable keywords… it doesn’t matter.

    Why doesn’t matter? Because the objective of the original post is to talk about the difference between bing and Google algorithm… not about the relation between keyword ranking and quality of traffic.

    But I guess… you will not agree (once again ) ;)

    #1027566
    seocourse
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    exstatic, post: 32650 wrote:
    These comments scare me, isn’t the whole point of SEO to deliver valuable traffic? Why on earth would you even attempt SEO for a client if you weren’t trying to deliver valuable leads?!

    And what is even more scary is you have suggested that your business is to use the keywords your clients give you for SEO!?!!

    Well it seems that they are businesses out there they already understand their market… and they already know what converts or not. So they come to me and they want to increase their ranking for THAT keyword.

    So why on earth I shoudn’t say yes?

    Anyone can get a #1 ranking for low value keywords.

    My original post theory can also be applies to high value keywords.

    SEO is about delivering valuable leads to a website.. so my comments are 100% relevant.

    No they are not relevant to the 1st post. I was talking about a difference between algorithm between Google and Bing. Not about Value of leads.

    An SEO Specialist should be suggesting to a client the correct keywords for their market, ones that are being searched and ones that will generate them valulable traffic.

    So by running software, doing keyword research… can you REALLY tell your customer. If people click in this keyword and go to your website they will buy?
    Do you provide guarantee of that? Even if you are not in THAT industry? even if you don’t know the mentality of the buyer?
    Just by running software and doing magic SEO you can tell them that one keyword will bring leads that convert?
    That is a pretty amazing statement….

    If you are an SEO specialist and not optimising your clients’ site for the best possible keywords and phrases that are going to generate them business – i.;e send them valuable traffic, then you are ripping them off and wasting their money.

    Who is saying in my SEO business I don’t optimize my clients website for the best possible keywords?

    Anyway… your tone is getting a bit aggressive.

    I don’t waste anyone time, anyone money.
    I just believe (silly me) that my 1st post was interesting to consider in a link building strategy…


    Example: I just achieved 1st position for a very competitive keyword regarding SEO in Australia.
    It is a valuable keyword. It converts ;)
    But the links didn’t arrive from SEO related websites (only) .
    My competition had more links from SEO related websites… but my links where stronger BUT from non SEO relevant sites.

    The result at the end of the day?
    1st position.

    That was my whole point….
    but again, it seems you took the whole discussion in a 100% complete different way.

    #1027567
    exstatic
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    No I don’t agree.. because there is no point in getting a keyword to #1 if it is not valuable..

    It just doesn’t make sense..

    If you can tell me a point for it.. then I am happy to agree.

    #1027568
    seocourse
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    exstatic, post: 32654 wrote:
    No I don’t agree.. because there is no point in getting a keyword to #1 if it is not valuable..

    It just doesn’t make sense..

    If you can tell me a point for it.. then I am happy to agree.

    Example:

    I own a website that is 1st for Buy Ferrari … in fact I do… (well may be 2nd or 3rd)

    The site may convert great for someone interested in knowing more information about Ferrari dealers… don’t you think.

    Well, this is the funny thing, people that buy ferrari don’t go online, they go to their dealers…

    therefor the site is 1st for a great keyword (in theory)
    but when I build the site as an experiment I just based my keyword research on DATA provided by google…

    I never spoke to a Ferrari buyer… to a Ferrari Dealer..

    Search Engine data is not = to customer performance

    this means, that the SEO consultant can’t predictive behavior from the “visitor” just by 1 keyword.

    Therefor yes. A valuable keyword can be valuable, but the conversion of that keyword to proof it’s real value for the customer, can only be analyze and consider when it’s in place and the traffic arrives (and that’s why Google Adwords works so well… you can see what keywords convert in REAL scenarios)

    Anyway, my last point…
    feel free to point your sword back to me ;)

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