Stop trying to rank pages with links. This doesn't work.

splishsplash

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A huge misconception I see all the time is people think that you send links to a page to rank it.

This is an old school way of thinking, and while you do get a slight benefit if you send some more links to a page, it's the wrong mindset.

One of the problems with hitting a page too hard is that the machine learning trained models see it as being user built/SEO'd link building and not real/natural.

The correct way to think of link building is this :-

"I am building links to my site to raise my overall site authority"

This means you plan out your link building to appear natural. You spread your links around to the types of pages that would naturally attract links, and less so to your highly commercial pages.

That doesn't mean you can't link to commercial pages. Just balance it out. If you send 20 links per month, do 7-10 to commercial pages and 10-13 to non-commercial.

The slight exceptions is if you're running a really big site and you have a few high competition pages. In these cases you can go a LITTLE harder to your higher comp pages, but you should have a lot of good links coming in every month that are spread around so it doesn't stand out. There's a big difference between sending 10-15 links to a high comp page when you have 50-60 overall contextuals coming in every month compared with sending 5 links to your commercial page when you are only building 5-8 links per month.

However, I still do recommend restraint even in those cases. I wouldn't do more than 5-6 links to 1 page if I was building 50-60 per month, and the vast majority of pages would just get 1 or 2 links.

So the core takeaway from this is..

Stop building links to rank pages.

Build links to raise your site authority.

If you want a specific page to rank, focus more on having enough site authority, topical authority and make sure the page is satisfying the user intent of the main keywords.
 
D
However, I still do recommend restraint even in those cases. I wouldn't do more than 5-6 links to 1 page if I was building 50-60 per month, and the vast majority of pages would just get 1 or 2 links.
Do you purchase links or build them manually? Are 5 links from spam-free authority sites enough to rank a page that targets very easy keywords.
 
PBNs only to service/commercial pages (advice for those who buy PBNs here).
 
D

Do you purchase links or build them manually? Are 5 links from spam-free authority sites enough to rank a page that targets very easy keywords.

Did you not read what I wrote? :)

You don't rank pages with links. This isn't how SEO works anymore.

The title of the thread is "stop trying to rank pages with links"

Creating a small, thin site that's just trying to 1 page is not really going to work for anything except the most ultra low comp of keywords. Ranking those is a little different and not really the point of this thread. You can rank them with 1 or 2 good links, but "free" links are rarely good.

PBNs only to service/commercial pages (advice for those who buy PBNs here).


My network is probably the most expensive ever, and I often advise clients to send even the most expensive of my links to info pages.

You get great results from targeting unexpected pages.
 
I agree that you want to increase the overall authority of your website, which in turn allows other pages to rank on authority alone, especially with lower-hanging fruit. That being said, I build backlinks to individual pages all the time (many times in large amounts) and they almost always rank. I like to refer to this as building authority from the outside in. I have globs of data to back this up.

Also, there is no threshold when it comes to the number of links you can build to a page. Obviously quality is super important, so building a bunch of garbage to a page isn't the same as building high-quality backlinks (it's strange that I have to make this point in an SEO forum). If you are building shitty links that decay or don't index quickly, that is never good. I've said it a thousand times before; the algorithm doesn't look at positive link velocity (unless it's egregious), but negative velocity can and will bite you in the ass.

*Obligatory disclaimer - There are many factors that go into ranking a website. Link building is still the backbone of the algorithm. Nothing has changed there, but there are many other factors that dictate rankings.
 
A huge misconception I see all the time is people think that you send links to a page to rank it.

This is an old school way of thinking, and while you do get a slight benefit if you send some more links to a page, it's the wrong mindset.

One of the problems with hitting a page too hard is that the machine learning trained models see it as being user built/SEO'd link building and not real/natural.

The correct way to think of link building is this :-

"I am building links to my site to raise my overall site authority"

This means you plan out your link building to appear natural. You spread your links around to the types of pages that would naturally attract links, and less so to your highly commercial pages.

That doesn't mean you can't link to commercial pages. Just balance it out. If you send 20 links per month, do 7-10 to commercial pages and 10-13 to non-commercial.

The slight exceptions is if you're running a really big site and you have a few high competition pages. In these cases you can go a LITTLE harder to your higher comp pages, but you should have a lot of good links coming in every month that are spread around so it doesn't stand out. There's a big difference between sending 10-15 links to a high comp page when you have 50-60 overall contextuals coming in every month compared with sending 5 links to your commercial page when you are only building 5-8 links per month.

However, I still do recommend restraint even in those cases. I wouldn't do more than 5-6 links to 1 page if I was building 50-60 per month, and the vast majority of pages would just get 1 or 2 links.

So the core takeaway from this is..

Stop building links to rank pages.

Build links to raise your site authority.

If you want a specific page to rank, focus more on having enough site authority, topical authority and make sure the page is satisfying the user intent of the main keywords.
Click-baity, but still makes sense.

Is this the case for all niches and all kinds of sites?
Because if a specific page/posy somehow gains traction be it through search or social media and goes viral, it would naturally attract an unusual number of links compared to other pages. Does this mean Google would automatically consider such newly attracted links as user built?

By the way, I do think for small amount of links per month say below 10, one won't experience issues. I of course don't expect one to send 10 links to only 1 page/post every single month, on a site with lots of other pages/posts.
 
If I had the money I'd shotgun all PBNs in your entire network to every single page of my sites.

But sad reality is --> "My network is probably the most expensive ever" :weep:
 
I completely disagree.

Rather than speaking in vague terms heres a specific example;

One of my most successful affiliate sites that makes me a good amount of monthly profit - i'd say 40% of the revenue comes from 1 page.
Not building links to that specific page and focusing on it, would be stupid..
And the fact that I did send links to that specific page definitely helped it rank for the specific term this page is about... so im not sure how you came up with your conclusion that links to specific pages dont work.
 
I agree that you want to increase the overall authority of your website, which in turn allows other pages to rank on authority alone, especially with lower-hanging fruit. That being said, I build backlinks to individual pages all the time (many times in large amounts) and they almost always rank. I like to refer to this as building authority from the outside in. I have globs of data to back this up.

Also, there is no threshold when it comes to the number of links you can build to a page. Obviously quality is super important, so building a bunch of garbage to a page isn't the same as building high-quality backlinks (it's strange that I have to make this point in an SEO forum). If you are building shitty links that decay or don't index quickly, that is never good. I've said it a thousand times before; the algorithm doesn't look at positive link velocity (unless it's egregious), but negative velocity can and will bite you in the ass.

*Obligatory disclaimer - There are many factors that go into ranking a website. Link building is still the backbone of the algorithm. Nothing has changed there, but there are many other factors that dictate rankings.

Generally if a site is more authoritative/older/stronger/more established you can be more aggressive towards a page. I still prefer to balance it a bit, as you will end up with a 5+5 = 7 or 8 situation if you hit a page too hard too fast. There is a part of the algorithm that's looking for unnatural patterns, and when it detects them it will not count the links.

What you're probably seeing is that the page will go up because you're attacking it hard enough with enough quality links, but it's not necessarily the most efficient way.

A better alternative is to spread those links out to tightly topically related pages. This works *very* well. There's definitely a profound effect where if you link to pages about persian cats, all your persian cat content will rise up faster than your general cat content, and much faster than your dog content. You can combine this with a bit of internal linking too. (Just not the old virtual silo technique).

When I have a high comp site I want to rank I focus the links on the highly related content and make sure they're interlinking nicely. Maybe 1/3 to the page its self and 2/3 to the related content. The more related the better, and in many cases I'll have more content done just for the purpose of raising up that page.

My advice is specifically aimed at the general SEO market who are still very much thinking in terms of "I need to every page to rank it" or "The only way to rank my page is to send tons of links to it" who will do better by having a more natural, broader approach to link building.


Click-baity, but still makes sense.

Always. :) It's hard not to be a marketer.

Is this the case for all niches and all kinds of sites?
Because if a specific page/posy somehow gains traction be it through search or social media and goes viral, it would naturally attract an unusual number of links compared to other pages. Does this mean Google would automatically consider such newly attracted links as user built?

By the way, I do think for small amount of links per month say below 10, one won't experience issues. I of course don't expect one to send 10 links to only 1 page/post every single month, on a site with lots of other pages/posts.

It's more about ratios. It looks unusual to the algorithm to see 10 strong links to 1 page and none to another.

It's not that you'll get a penalty. I'm just very picky and I like to make sure all the links count.

As I mentioned above there is a part of the algorithm that determines if a link is unnatural or not, and if it is, it doesn't pass juice. In many cases you just won't know you're losing out. You'll just think the keyword takes more to rank than it really does.

Yes, a link can go viral, this has specific patterns and things that are harder to fake. It's also not likely your 3 month old site will have its "best laptops" page go viral :) I always assume google is smarter than it is. This is the best approach. So I assume that, in 2022 if a page is going viral the unnatural link detection algorithm looks at the type of page that's getting the links. Highly commercial pages don't often go viral. Informational content/news stories do. So with that in mind I would rather blast an info article than a commercial page, IF, I want to blast something.

so, you aren't going to ever experience "issues". As I said above, it's a case of 5+5 = 7, or 5+5 = 4 or 5, and you won't even know it.

If I'm only sending 10 links a month to a site I would *never* send them all to one page. With that amount of links it's 1 link per page.

I have pretty good data to back up what I'm saying. Remember the nature of my business.. it's very rare for me to see clients do well when they blast a page. In fact, it's gotten to the stage where I will just go out of my way to put some off doing that, because it NEVER works.

Heck, I can even tell you a story of one specific client I remember who sent about 10-12 links to one page using a variety of exacts/partials. Ok, that does skew up the data a little since his anchors were also bad.. But, he got NO results whatsoever. He cancelled, and I then convinced him to try again(new sites on my network so it didn't look strange to google. You can't just change links), but this time spread the links out and use natural long phrase anchors.. He's still subscribed today.

So when I talk about these things, I'm talking from direct experience. More experience than an SEO agency would have because I'm dealing directly with a higher volume of clients and I'm dealing specifically with link building *and* I'm watching the results of everyone.

If I had the money I'd shotgun all PBNs in your entire network to every single page of my sites.

But sad reality is --> "My network is probably the most expensive ever" :weep:


Not my fault, buddy. Domains are just stupidly expensive and it's getting worse and worse. I struggle to get anything good for under $2k these days.


I completely disagree.

Rather than speaking in vague terms heres a specific example;

One of my most successful affiliate sites that makes me a good amount of monthly profit - i'd say 40% of the revenue comes from 1 page.
Not building links to that specific page and focusing on it, would be stupid..
And the fact that I did send links to that specific page definitely helped it rank for the specific term this page is about... so im not sure how you came up with your conclusion that links to specific pages dont work.


I came to that conclusion because I've done link campaigns for 1000's of sites over the past few years. And that's not an exaggeration. It's well over 1000 sites by now. Probably between 1200 and 1800.

It's very easy to form faulty conclusions when you're only working on 1 site.

It's like doing a statistical study with only 1 sample.

If you've seen what I've seen, you would get it :)

And just to add. For your specific case, you have an aged site, with good rankings and 1 page that's ranking really well. So of course you can hit that page harder. That doesn't mean, you can take a new site, or a new page on a site that's not ranking and blast it, then expect all those links to count.
 
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Did you not read what I wrote? :)

You don't rank pages with links. This isn't how SEO works anymore.

The title of the thread is "stop trying to rank pages with links"

Creating a small, thin site that's just trying to 1 page is not really going to work for anything except the most ultra low comp of keywords. Ranking those is a little different and not really the point of this thread. You can rank them with 1 or 2 good links, but "free" links are rarely good.




My network is probably the most expensive ever, and I often advise clients to send even the most expensive of my links to info pages.

You get great results from targeting unexpected pages.
My guy... You said "Build links to raise your site authority.". Did you even read what you wrote?

Also do you have some data to prove anything? To prove that they don't work? Or is it just "trust me bro" source?

Also what is site's authority that you're trying to build? Did Google finally confirm It's a thing?
 
100% true advice. I did the same mistake in the past. I made backlinks only to the pages and not to the homepage thinking that my posts will rank higher.

The problem soon followed with newer posts not getting ranked easily because they also needed link juice. Had I made links to the homepage to increase the authority, I would have already ranked newer pages easily without backlinks.
 
Generally if a site is more authoritative/older/stronger/more established you can be more aggressive towards a page. I still prefer to balance it a bit, as you will end up with a 5+5 = 7 or 8 situation if you hit a page too hard too fast. There is a part of the algorithm that's looking for unnatural patterns, and when it detects them it will not count the links.

Ahh, nuance. Yes, these techniques definitely work better with aged websites that already have some inherent authority. Newer websites (<2 years old) react differently in many cases, but that's a whole other topic in itself. I think you are giving Google's algorithm too much credit. From my experience, the unnatural patterns they do detect aren't much more sophisticated than they were 10 years ago. Certainly more refined, but nowhere near as sophisticated as some would lead you to believe.

What you're probably seeing is that the page will go up because you're attacking it hard enough with enough quality links, but it's not necessarily the most efficient way.

Disagree, it is by far the most efficient way. Again, it's situational. One size does not fit all.

A better alternative is to spread those links out to tightly topically related pages. This works *very* well. There's definitely a profound effect where if you link to pages about persian cats, all your persian cat content will rise up faster than your general cat content, and much faster than your dog content. You can combine this with a bit of internal linking too. (Just not the old virtual silo technique).

When I have a high comp site I want to rank I focus the links on the highly related content and make sure they're interlinking nicely. Maybe 1/3 to the page its self and 2/3 to the related content. The more related the better, and in many cases I'll have more content done just for the purpose of raising up that page.

I wouldn't call this an alternative, more a strategy. A strategy that should be deployed along with link building to the target pages. Building links to supplementary content is always a good idea when applicable.

My advice is specifically aimed at the general SEO market who are still very much thinking in terms of "I need to every page to rank it" or "The only way to rank my page is to send tons of links to it" who will do better by having a more natural, broader approach to link building.

When you put it this way, I totally agree:)
 
My guy... You said "Build links to raise your site authority.". Did you even read what you wrote?

Also do you have some data to prove anything? To prove that they don't work? Or is it just "trust me bro" source?

Also what is site's authority that you're trying to build? Did Google finally confirm It's a thing?

Yep it's just a "trust me bro" source.

I'm totally new to SEO. I just started last week!

I read a couple of blog posts and now I'm here writing guides!


Disagree, it is by far the most efficient way. Again, it's situational. One size does not fit all.


It's highly situational. SEO is very complex. My particular style though is to take a conservative approach. When it's your own site and you know how it responds it's very different.

It's the same for anything. Some people respond a certain way to lifting weights, but the way they lift would be awful for most.

But I do like the conservative approach, that statistically, gets you the most bang for your buck, most of the time.


I wouldn't call this an alternative, more a strategy. A strategy that should be deployed along with link building to the target pages. Building links to supplementary content is always a good idea when applicable.

Even with your site, I assume you are still building links to multiple pages, so you're probably doing things more along the lines of what I'm talking about.

But, there are always outlier cases. My advice is always aimed in the most general sense to get the largest amount of people good results.
 
Yep it's just a "trust me bro" source.

I'm totally new to SEO. I just started last week!

I read a couple of blog posts and now I'm here writing guides!
I mean it looks like it. Half of the forum stating their opinions as facts with no data.
 
I know a blogger who worked exactly like this. He used to pay people to link any pages on his site on Yahoo answers even if he does not want the page to rank. But the site authority increased because of this and other posts ranked.
 
My guy... You said "Build links to raise your site authority.". Did you even read what you wrote?

Also do you have some data to prove anything? To prove that they don't work? Or is it just "trust me bro" source?

Also what is site's authority that you're trying to build? Did Google finally confirm It's a thing?

My man did open a new account just to reply to this thread. Legend
 
I haven't done SEO in probably 10 years but i'm preparing a project to start next year.

Since things are getting so advanced in 2022, i never planned any link building. Just focusing on the best content i can get and maybe throw a few PPC campaigns on the best pages.

Is it "impossible" to rank without a link building strategy?
 
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