Natural Linking Patterns? I do everything wrong with good results!

MagicMike

Power Member
Feb 3, 2010
702
1,455
I see people all the time talking about creating NF and DF links so that it looks like a more "natural pattern" to google.

I don't think I buy it.

Not even one of my sites has a natural linking pattern (I work with over 40 sites). All of them are extremely top heavy with DF links. Most are auto approve. I don't do link building on a regular basis, it is VERY spiky! I have more high PR links then could possibly ever be gotten by luck alone... It seems that I do everything wrong when it comes to link building, yet just about all of my sites are on the first page of google for their search terms.

The only "law" I hold myself to is that I don't allow myself to create anymore than about 30% more links than my closest competitor. I have never tested this (just a self imposed rule), but my gut feeling is that there is some magic formula for each keyword as far as the number of links there should be before it triggers some additional filters. I don't know if thats accurate or not, but I do know that 30% above my closest competitor has always kept me safe and it still gives me a significant bump in link totals compared to everyone else.

So, I personally get tired of hearing the "natural link building" term... don't know if anyone else has experience with this differently, or if this is just one of those terms that sounds reasonable, so it must be true and we all recite it!
 
Well... thats the thing... some have some age to them, but others are pretty new. I'm not saying I go crazy with links the day I register the site, I take it fairly slow at first... but truly, after a few months I pretty much build links as I like.

Again, I'm not crazy about it, I do have a strategy in mind... but mostly, I do things "technically" wrong.

I build to one main anchor keyword... very little, if any deep linking... you know the drill...

I just think too much weight is put on this "natural looking" looking process. I'm thinking that the bigger worry is to just stay within google's parameters for growth and "link velocity". Other than that, I'm not sure they even notice!
 
I share your views on this, Magicmike.

The single most annoying "pearl of wisdom" spouted on this forum is that it's essential to have some nofollow links in backlink profiles.

It's not a terrible theory I suppose, but what gets me is that it seems to hold so much sway. I suppose people find it attractive because it's a middling position.

I wasn't hearing it uttered much last year, but lately everybody and their dog seems to think nofollow links are essential for a natural linking pattern.

In short:

It's a nice sounding theory, but it has no basis at-all. In fact, there are a lot of reasons to believe that it is not true.
 
The wisdom here is NOT just for SERP.


The wisdom here truly lies in that eventually your site MAY get audited by a human at google. If you are all DF, that might look fishy to them. They in turn, may remove your site from their engine.
 
The wisdom here is NOT just for SERP.


The wisdom here truly lies in that eventually your site MAY get audited by a human at google. If you are all DF, that might look fishy to them. They in turn, may remove your site from their engine.

There's nothing fishy about having only d0follow links.

Most of the links on the internet are d0follow. Nofollow links are for marking user-generated content as untrustworthy or lacking an editorial "vote".

In the vast majority of the link profiles of the legitimate, normal, non money-making sites out there, you would not expect to find too many nofollow links.
 
Hmmmm, interesting points. I have to agree a lot of my sties that do well are mostly me doing randomness with no, umm, specific plan in mind regarding natural link patterns and nofollow.

I think the thing for me is not so much whether you need nofollow links to look natural, but rather that nofollow links are helpful.

I hold and (in my experience my rankings tend to support) that nofollow links are still good to have in that they will help. I don't think I could accurately state the value of a nofollow vs **************** link if all factors are equal, but I would say that nofollow links are not useless and are generally better to have then to not have that link just because its not ****************. (major run-on sentence/thought there).

I will say I have thrown out the "you need nofollow links to be natrual" citation at people who state nofollow links are useless. Lack of something better to throw at them at the time, I suppose. :D Or maybe I thought it wasn't worth the time, but thought I should throw something out.

I think what for sure is true is that for as much quality information that is passed around about SERPs, that there is as much or more misinformation.
 
I don't think we have enough data on nofollow/do follow debate.

M.Cutts said nofollow does not pass PR. But then we all can assume that google is using another (more important) measure, namely trustrank, and one can theorize that nofollow will pass trustrank.

do-follow is 5% of wordpress blog universe (my guess). So if you are only playing in that little box, you are leaving a footprint for a manul reviewer. Better to mix it up IMO.

I know Micallef is dead against nofollow's, but I simply don't know, and I do not think anyone has done a scientific study of this (that I know of).
 
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I think the thing for me is not so much whether you need nofollow links to look natural, but rather that nofollow links are helpful.

I think this is a good practise. My approach in obtaining the majority of my linking subjects surround DF targets but every so often I will come across a niche targeted NF blog which has a high PR where I will drop my link.

It is fair to say that a low traffic WP blog with no PR will do absolutely nothing for your linking efforts but a link from a high traffic authoratative site regardless of its linking policy I believe does impact some small part of the G algorythm.
 
I don't think we have enough data on nofollow/do follow debate.

M.Cutts said nofollow does not pass PR. But then we all can assume that google is using another (more important) measure, namely trustrank, and one can theorize that nofollow will pass trustrank.
What makes you think it does? Google clearly states that nofollow does not count at all, so why should it pass anything (PR, Anchortext, Trust). This makes no sense.
 
There's nothing fishy about having only d0follow links.

Most of the links on the internet are d0follow. Nofollow links are for marking user-generated content as untrustworthy or lacking an editorial "vote".

In the vast majority of the link profiles of the legitimate, normal, non money-making sites out there, you would not expect to find too many nofollow links.

I totally disagree.


Also yahoo doesnt care about DF/NF. At least not as much as google does. Forgetting about yahoo is a newbie mistake
 
The only "law" I hold myself to is that I don't allow myself to create anymore than about 30% more links than my closest competitor. I have never tested this (just a self imposed rule), but my gut feeling is that there is some magic formula for each keyword as far as the number of links there should be before it triggers some additional filters. I don't know if thats accurate or not, but I do know that 30% above my closest competitor has always kept me safe and it still gives me a significant bump in link totals compared to everyone else.


That's really interesting. It makes sense that they benchmark you to your nearest competitor (rather than have a blanket rule for the entire web regardless of keyword).

I always thought that they compared spikes in links to spikes in searches - so for example when Michael Jackson died, searches would have gone through the roof and so would links to sites that had info on him - and that would be totally natural, it would be nonsense that sites would get penalised for gaining links in such a situation.

I tend to watch the Google insights for search graph for my main keywords, and when it starts to rise (usually in late Sept to Christmas), I take it as a sign I can be more robust in my linking too. For stable keywords, they usually project what the traffic is going to be, so I plan my link-building around this.

I'm not sure how accurate this theory is, but I haven't gone wrong with it yet (touch wood).
 
Regarding no-follow links - you don't actually have to actively seek them out - you just publish a few articles on the main article directories and there are always people who will republish the content and carefully no-follow all the links (even though they are not supposed to).

When you can get no-follow links that easily :) no sense wasting your time actively building them.
 
What makes you think it does? Google clearly states that nofollow does not count at all, so why should it pass anything (PR, Anchortext, Trust). This makes no sense.

Agreed, nofollow means the link will not be followed, thus the link not be recognized, because it was not followed by the SE spider. This is a good debate, but it's pretty silly that so many savvy SEO dudes are still even debating whether or not nofollows matter. They don't matter, I have done experiments with nofollow links, and I firmly believe that they are a huge waste of time and effort.
 
Agreed, nofollow means the link will not be followed, thus the link not be recognized, because it was not followed by the SE spider. This is a good debate, but it's pretty silly that so many savvy SEO dudes are still even debating whether or not nofollows matter. They don't matter, I have done experiments with nofollow links, and I firmly believe that they are a huge waste of time and effort.

Well, your conclusion is right but I wanted to sure up some of the holes in your statement here.

Nofollow links are found and followed - they frequently show up in Google webmaster tools.

However, they are "dropped from Google's overall graph of the web" - they are not taken into account when calculating search engine placement.
 
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