May 4, 2011

How to get the most value out of a one way link


Link building is a critical component to getting good rankings. Yet with so many links out there, how can we evaluate the best type of link? Let’s discuss some metrics and see how high they score on the value chain – there are seven things to mark off your check list:

Let’s use a hypothetical scenario in which we would like to get a link back from Nedbank and FNB. How you would decide which site is better?

1. Page Rank

A good way to start when targeting a site to get a one way link is to look at the page rank of the site. This tool can be installed on your various internet browsers. By doing this you can get an indication of how Google views that site. The better the ranking the greater impact the link will have on your site.

2. Traffic

Traffic is key when analysing a site because obviously the more traffic on that site, the greater the chance is of that traffic being directed to you. And of course sites with high traffic normally rank well. There are a number of online tools that can be used to estimate what kind of traffic a site experiences.  I personally prefer Alexa and Google Trends;

Alexa is a good tool to see the actual Alexa Rank, along with traffic and sites linking in. Also, there is the option to compare sites, which is what we would want.

As we can see, FNB has far lower traffic rank than Nedbank and this would be a good indicator as to which link you would want to your site.

Google Trends shows a simpler way to read the traffic, so all you newbies out there would maybe feel more comfortable using this.

Using this we can see the search volume for FNB and Nedbank. Again, you’ll see that FNB is better and that we can even determine what regions these words are searched from as well as how different events affect key word searches with the fluctuations.

Other tools that can be used are Complete, Quantcast and of Course Social media impacts (rss, Facebook, Twitter, comments).

3. Trust


Trust is very important for search engines, thus I would want the most trusted link. Websites that have been around for a long time are trusted as we trust our grandparents.  They are also seen to have authority.  We can use a Domain age tool to check the age of the domain, as well as the Way Back Machine, also checking the domain registration details via .

4. Authority

Another aspect to look at is authority, which goes hand in hand with trust. Here you can have a look at the back link profile. This tool displays all of the links which point back to this site. With this information you can determine the link authority of this page.

There are different tools which we prefer to use because of the amount of data and the simplicity of the interface. If you are new to SEO I would advise using this simplistic tool:



Yahoo Site Explorer

This site explorer is a little bit more complicated but if you know your way around computer jargon you should be fine.

With the rising popularity of social media, we have seen Google using social media reach as a ranking factor and the size of your “base” can vastly increase your authority online.

5. Relevance

This can basically be broken down as such – ‘if I want a link from one of these banks, it will benefit me to be in a related field’. If I am a travel agent it would add almost no value to my site, but if I am a personal finance manager, it is in a relevant field and would add great value.

6. Placement

  • Keywords near the link

Tests have been done to determine if the text near the anchor text will influence the power of the linked keyword – and it does!

Placement of your link can make a huge difference, while the link (anchor text) positioning on the site can determine its value. Multiple non-related links on one page will be seen as link farming and will greatly decrease the keywords value.

  • Page title

Placement on an appropriate page with a relevant title can increase link relevance. In the beginning, crawlers looking at your page will use the title tag and Meta Description to determine under which category your site will be placed. This will be used to determine the relevance of any content on your site.

7. Content

You’ve heard this over and over again, but Content really is King. Google is the most important search engine out there and if they say focus on content, you would be crazy not to listen! The better the content quality the more pages will be indexed by Search Engines. It also helps to see how often the pages are updated; this won’t hurt the relevance factor either.

About the Author

Cale Pissarra
Cale Pissarra
Coming from the small town of Salt Rock, he studied a BCOM PPE at UCT and POST GRAD in Enterprise Management. His passion for his football blog led him to the online world of SEO, and he lives by the saying: "if you not online, then where are you?"


  1. Pete

    Thanks for the post. I just have the following question: Does Google sees more value in .gov or .edu links compared to the .com’s and other domains?

  2. Jessica Redd

    Some really interesting advice there,thanks!

  3. Akiko Villalon

    I have been trying to do Seo for my own site so this is very helpful thank you.

  4. Eleanor Rivera

    I’ve never heard of opensitexplorer before,will definetly have a go at it.Thanks!

  5. Tristan

    Thanks for the great post. I epecially dig the part using Google Trends to read traffic. Keep up the good work!

  6. Akiko Villalon

    I think I can answer your question Pete, One of the reasons search engines, Google especially, favor .Edu and .Gov over other domain extensions is because gov and edu domains can only be registered by institutions that are accredited and so they place more trust in any back links coming from them.

  7. Pete

    Thanks Akiko, I am just asking because I have read they dont give more authority to .gov or .edu links here:

  8. Cale Pissarra

    Akiko that is a common misconception, but in fact they do not have more value just because they are a .gov or .edu. Getting a link from a .com or will have the same effect if they have exactly the same backlink profile. It is however because of the amount of backlinks .gov and .edu site usually have that they carry more value.

Click on a tab to select how you'd like to leave your comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>