As I speak with other SEOs and business owners, I’ve noticed a trend that I wanted to address. People will say “oh, I got a link from Forbes the other day,” as if Google doesn’t distinguish between different articles within Forbes. Let’s consider the following two scenarios:
–Scenario #1– Your site gets mentioned on Forbes.com. The article links out to 15 other sites and for whatever reason the post gets very little social media activity.
–Scenario #2– Your site gets mentioned on Forbes.com. There are only 2 other links on the article, and the post gets a lot of activity. People are sharing it, liking it, pinning it, etc.
Which of these two scenarios do you think Google would put the most SEO value on? Scenario #2 would probably give you 10x more SEO power than a link like in scenario #1. Just because you get a link from a high-powered site does not mean you will get a lot of SEO power from it. If there a bunch of other links on the page, the link juice will be greatly diluted and you won’t get a big boost from the link.
Furthermore, Google is able to tell whether an article is popular. Most people don’t think social signals matter, but they really do. They really help Google distinguish whether the article is really important and popular. If you can get a link from a high-powered site with an article that goes viral on social media, you will have a hugely powerful link on your hands. I’ve seen links from high-powered sites give a small boost to a site’s rankings, and I’ve seen the opposite where a site gets a huge jump in the rankings. The difference is almost always the number outbound links in the article and how much social media love the article gets.
Google is getting a lot smarter at being able to tell how worthwhile articles across the Internet are. Just because you are able to get a link from a site likes Forbes.com doesn’t mean it will be an amazing link for SEO purposes. The articles needs to prove to Google that it is popular on an individual basis first.
Understanding this important nuance is very important for your overall strategy. If you are able to get a link on a high-powered site, do whatever you can to make sure it gets a lot of attention on social media. That’s the best way to maximize the SEO power that you get from your link.