This is a guest post by Corey.
Link quality is arguably more important than the amount of inbound links to your site. A few quality links can be immensely more beneficial to your websites rankings and search results than 100s of links from unrelated directories or forums.
But how do I know the quality of the link opportunity you ask? Well, there are 3 metrics that can be used to quantify the quality of the link that you are looking to obtain on your website.
1. Page Rank (PR) – Page rank is Google’s equation for calculating the quality of the website, ranked from 0 to 10. The basic premise of the ranking is that each time another website link to your website it is essentially casting a vote of trustworthiness to your blog. By linking they are saying that they value your opinion enough to share it with their readers and customers. Links from more popular websites hold more weight as Google assumes that because they have more readers, the link to your site will be viewed more.
Another component to Google’s quality rank equation is the ‘spread’ or ‘share’ factor. This basically means that the more links there are on a page the less SEO juice that you link receives. So, if you are one of only 3 links on a high quality page, you will receive more power to your site. Adversely, if you are the 50th commenter on a low ranking blog post you probably are not going to see much benefit.
2. Domain Authority (DA) – This is another key factor in determining whether or not the link opportunity is worth obtaining. DA is a ranking calculation created by SEOmoz and is intended to calculate the relevance, authority and how likely the website is to ranking for its given keywords. This metric is derived from the root domain of the website and not any specific page. It is very important to be observant to this.
When checking for domain authority is it also key to check the website title tags and description to make sure that the website is somewhat relevant to yours. It is widely know that when ranking websites in search results, Google puts a heavy emphasis on whether or not the backlinks to the website are relevant.
3. Page Authority – Probably the heaviest and most important factor when search for link opportunities. The page authority of the website directly shows how much influence you will receive from the page that you are gaining the link from. High PA pages are routinely shared and linked to in bulk quantities. Both of these characteristic are very important to search engines. This means that people highly value this specific page and if you are able to get a link from it you will gain a boost in the rankings.
I am sure you are wondering how you can check these ranking factors. Well, there are many tools that you can use to do this. Depending on what browser you use, there are a wide array of plug-ins and utilities that you can add on to view these factors. SEO Site Tools and MozBar are the two best, in my opinion, for both Firefox and Google Chrome.
With SEO Site Tools you are able to view the Page Rank (PR) of every website that you visit discretely in you browser window without clicking a button. Then if you want more information bout the site you simply click the tool bar and it reveals a wealth or info about the site. This is a great tool for competitive analysis as well as link building. This is especially beneficial for seeing about the closely related the website is to your topic.
The MozBar is a tremendous tool by that has 2 great functions. First you can enable it to display page information, including domain and page authority, about the current page. Additionally you can see the amount of internal and external link the page has, which are both important for competitor analysis as well.
The other functionality is a search results page overlay. When enables the add-on shows the domain and page authority of every result in your search. This is extremely helpful when using queries for link building opportunities.
Being aware of the quality of the links that you are trying to obtain are vastly important to any link building campaign. These metrics can help you save a lot of time by helping you to focus on the links that are going to provide you with the most beneficial results.