When you’re starting an online SEO campaign you would naturally want to implement a quality link building strategy. You might then wonder if you need to have links coming to your site only from sites which have the same or a similar theme? For example, if your site is about dentistry, should the links you build be from sites about health, teeth whitening and so on?
We’ve done some testing and found that this is not the case. Google doesn’t seem to impose a penalty on sites with links coming from off topic sites. In their eyes, the more links, the better, regardless of whether those links come from relevant sites or not.
With that said, I think you need to try and get into the mind of Google a little, and imagine what could happen in the future. It makes sense that links coming from relevant, on topic sites will carry more weight than those that don’t . In the future, it’s likely that when websites have links from relevant websites, they’ll be pushed higher in the rankings.
We can’t say for sure but since this is a definite possibility for the future, it would be good practice to start now. If all your websites have links only from ‘on topic’ websites, we think this is a good thing, and will stand you in good stead with Google.
No doubt you’re surfing around the web and will find a whole bunch of opposing views when it comes to this topic but, even though people may think that their site has been penalized because the linking sites are not relevant this may not be the case. The site might have been penalized for another reason entirely. Maybe you have linked to spam blogs for example, which Google doesn’t like, and this might be the reason Google does not like your site.
The fact is, SEO doesn’t happen in a vacuum and there could be a whole lot of factors at play here. It’s actually very difficult to isolate specific variables and say definitively that doing ‘x’ causes ‘y’ changes in the rankings.
Anyway, that’s what we’ve found in relation to quality link building strategies, if you’re keen to get us to apply everything we know to get your website #1 on Google, pick up the phone and call us today.
I’ve also tried ‘thinking like Google’ but then I realized I’m just one guy while Google employs possibly hundreds of search engineers, most of them with doctorates. 🙂
What can you say about sites that are linking to you? Should I worry if some of these links are coming from bad neighborhood? I don’t have control with those links, I’m just worrying that they might affect how Google sees my site.
MJ: don’t worry about those links. If links could harm you – there would be a whole business around that topic. So don’t worry about it 😉
I just got an email last week from a (spam) site and told me that they linked their site to one of my blogs. They even asked me for a return link or else, they will remove that one pointing to my blog. Needless to say, I declined their request politely and from my recent check, they already removed the link. Whew!
That should cover the same thoughts I have around links from bad (spam) sites. =)