The Importance Of Link Diversity In SEO

Diversity LinkAny SEO worth his salt knows that link building is the key to ranking higher in the Search Engines. So, rather than reiterating the importance of link building in SEO, I’ll move one step further and tell you about maintaining link diversity while building links. Because it is crucial, and also because many of us often don’t understand its importance. So, why is link diversity important?

The answer has to do with the SEO holy grail that is natural backlink profile. When a searchbot finds that a big chunk of all the links pointing to your site come from one site in particular, it doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist before it concludes that your are hand in glove with the said site, and that the link profile you’ve established is far from being natural, even if that were not the case. Needless to say, it can go downhill from there in no time, and you can consequently bid adieu to your dream of ranking high, or ranking at all for that matter! Because hell hath no fury like a search engine duped, and you may find your site being dropped from the index before you can say SEO! Now, even if things weren’t to take such a bad turn, a diverse link profile will get better of a homogeneous on any given day.

Research shows that search engines love sites high on the link diversity factor, which they equate with authority and trust, and index them frequently. If that doesn’t motivate you to increase your link diversity, then you are probably one of those people who won’t even blink if Matt Cutts himself offers to index your site!

Also, by diversity I don’t only mean getting links from different sites, it includes so many other things. So, do yourself a favor and keep these six points in mind while trying to build diverse links to your site:

diverse links

Build Links From Different Domains: It may seem that number matters more when it comes to links, but don’t be fooled by this ideology when you are building links. According to Rand Fishkin and other eminent SEOs, aside from mimicking a natural link profile, perpetuating link diversity can also help your site earn some extra search engine love. For example, a site with ten links from ten different sites will stand a better chance of being favored by search engines than a site with twenty links from one site.


Build Links From Different Kinds Of Sites: By this I mean, ensure your link building strategy is a mélange of all the available methods. You know what they are, link bait, blog commenting on do-follow blogs, directory submissions, and guest blogging – do a bit of everything, but never make the mistake of doing just one thing. Links from directories (or blogs or forums) alone don’t a natural link profile make, and don’t get me started on how search engines always find such homogeneous links a little suspect.

Build Links From Domains With Different IP Addresses: But in your effort to build links from different domains that are also heterogeneous in nature, don’t forget to check if they are hosted on different servers. If they aren’t, the point of link diversity becomes moot. Besides, there is the added connotation of patronizing link farms, and any association with a link farm, real or imagined, can severely hamper your SEO efforts.

Build Links To Your Inner Pages As Well: Building a naturally diverse link profile shouldn’t be a practice restricted to the homepage. Nothing would be more unnatural than having a homepage with a diverse link profile with nary a diverse link between all the inner pages. In addition to the professed task of increasing diversity, this can double as a great opportunity to deep link, the benefits of which are so numerous that they warranted a separate post altogether.

Build Links From Relevant Pages: Fair warning: Exercise diversity only within the limits of established linking guidelines. relevanceAnd by that I mean, no matter how ‘diverse’ a site may appear, if it isn’t even tangentially relevant to your site, don’t link to it, especially if you are hoping for a reciprocal link. When you engage in other forms of link building, like blog commenting and guest blogging, this is a consideration to be mindful of. As Eric Ward rightly puts it “for link diversity to have any lasting impact on traffic or rank it must be dependent upon the subject relevance of that diversity”. Your sports blog being linked to by a sports equipment site probably won’t raise the hackles of that errant bot hanging out at your site, but your sports blog linking to and being linked to by an e-commerce site selling Victorian lace doilies, that, very conveniently, also happens to be run by a friend will certainly get its goat. Search engines don’t get how nifty nepotism can be and insist on building links naturally; yeah, make our lives more difficult!

Build Links With Different Anchor Text: While you are out diversifying your links, will it do to service them with just one anchor text, with no room for, say, diversifying them? anchortextNow, you’d probably argue that an anchor text being used repeatedly will only help you rank for that keyword. True enough. But building links with just one anchor text is the SEO equivalent of placing all your eggs in the same basket – not a good idea. So, this is where I introduce you to the radical concept of targeting multiple keywords! That’s right, it can be done! Build your links with as many variations of your targeted keywords as possible, besides helping diversify things, it will add to the ‘naturalness’ of your link profile. Build links to your e-commerce site selling sports shoes, with kinds of anchor text like “Red Sports Shoes”, “Basketball Shoes”, “Tennis Shoes”, “Running Shoes”, “Children’s Sports Shoes” etc. and you’ll find your site ranking for four different search queries instead of just one.

If you find building links hard, building diverse ones will be even more so, which is probably why search engines favor them so much. So follow the points mentioned above & see your link profile diversify… you can thank me later sweeties!

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2 Responses to “The Importance Of Link Diversity In SEO”

  1. Andrew Walker on February 12th, 2010 11:52 pm

    If you have built anchor text links from various sites with same keywords. Would you benefit from going back to those sites and just changing the anchor text on some of the sites. Or are the bots clever enough to spot it as just anchor test a change.?

  2. John Chartrand on June 29th, 2010 6:34 pm

    Just as you are able to change content on a page to make it more relevant to the visitor, you should also be able to change anchor text to make it more relevant to both visitors and search engines.

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