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How To Measure the Value of Links

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Measuring the value of links has been a continuous challenge. We know it is not about quantity of links, yet people still keep on counting links! Here's a way of measuring the value. Slides from conference at SEODay in Denmark (Jan 2019).

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How To Measure the Value of Links

  1. 1. 1.5 billion
  2. 2. 89 Sites A Month
  3. 3. 0.0046%
  4. 4. We looked at who was ranking for 450k commercial SERPs in the UK (with at least 1k searches a month) Thanks to for the data
  5. 5. The BBC appears 11% of the time
  6. 6. Amazon appears 20% of the time
  7. 7. Youtube appears 23% of the time
  8. 8. Google makes hundreds of changes to its algorithm every year but directionally they have been saying the same things for a decade…..
  9. 9. Brands are the solution… brands are how you sort out the cesspool ” “ Eric Schmidt, former CEO, Google
  10. 10. We actually came up with a classifier to say, okay, IRS or Wikipedia or New York Times is over on this side, and the low-quality sites are over on this side. ” “ Matt Cutts, former Head of Webspam, Google
  11. 11. trusted, accurate or reliable ” “ Obtaining authoritative search results , US9659064
  12. 12. …has a high readership ” “ Website quality signal generation , US8442984
  13. 13. Google has repeatedly altered it’s algorithm to give higher and higher value to sites that are: trusted authoritative highly read routinely receive links from brands and other publishers
  14. 14. The way we report on link building hasn’t meaningfully changed in the last 20 years
  15. 15. “We want 250 links a month”
  16. 16. that’s easy
  17. 17. “50 links of DA 30 or higher” “100 links with an average TrustFlow of 35” “20 links, 300 shares and 5000 views”
  18. 18. We suspected that standard SEO metrics weren’t all that useful
  19. 19. We looked at how well they correlated with rankings (Looking at 1k high-volume commercial terms) Thanks to for the data
  20. 20. and they definitely correlate 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Average TF Average CF Average Domain TF Average Domain CF Page Authority Domain Authority MozRank MozRank - Subdomains Domain Rating
  21. 21. But when you ask ‘what percentage of SERPs can those metrics correctly guess the order of?’
  22. 22. They start to look less compelling: 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% Page Authority Domain AuthorityDomain Trustflow MozRank Subdomain Domain Citation Flow Trustflow Citation Flow Domain Rating Mozrank Percentage of Time Metric Correctly Predicts Ranking Order
  23. 23. You can read more about this study here: https://www.vervesearch.com/blog/SEO-metrics-study/
  24. 24. So we built an algorithm that takes into account off and on site metrics
  25. 25. https://www.vervesearch.com/linkscore/
  26. 26. Score: 14Score: 494 Score: 159 Score from 0 to 500
  27. 27. Scale is an issue with traditional metrics DA 95 DA 43
  28. 28. 22 links moved a client 50 positions for ‘domain names’ 1 11 21 31 41 51 61 01/03/18 15/03/18 29/03/18 12/04/18 26/04/18 10/05/18 24/05/18 Ranking
  29. 29. Those links included… Those total 22 links got a LINK SCORE of 3,000
  30. 30. x 87 x 1,500 3,000 link score is the equivalent of
  31. 31. Traditional metrics also don’t take into account language Trustflow: 72Trustflow: 84
  32. 32. Trustflow: 72Trustflow: 84 LinkScore: 191 LinkScore: 305
  33. 33. how Google sees the sites DA 40 DA 60 site-wide manual penalty
  34. 34. DA 40 DA 60 site-wide manual penalty LinkScore: 84 LinkScore: 34
  35. 35. The LinkScore takes into account over a dozen different metrics including: • Traditional metrics (TrustFlow, linking root domains etc) • Language • Relevancy • Link location • Follow/no follow • Penalty/no penalty
  36. 36. 70 websites everything else
  37. 37. Data Source: SimilarWeb
  38. 38. Create campaigns that deserve more than just links!
  39. 39. Our Work Regularly Receives Print Coverage New York Post Washington Post The Mirror The Metro
  40. 40. Radio Coverage
  41. 41. TV3 (Sweden) NBC ITV AND even TV Coverage
  42. 42. Greenpeace Our work is regularly shared by high-profile organizations WWF NASA
  43. 43. and high profile figures
  44. 44. It’s not bragging if it’s true
  45. 45. FJOLS
  46. 46. 24 Hour London for Lenstore https://www.lenstore.co.uk/vc/24-hour-london/
  47. 47. 159 Links 10,557 Link Score 1.7 million views
  48. 48. It is not enough to do one campaign that gets good links. You need consistently high quality links!
  49. 49. Launched 6 Campaigns in 2018
  50. 50. 358 links 27,838 LinkScore
  51. 51. Their target term, “Contact Lenses”, searched 74k times a month, moved from position 12 at start to position 2 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 01/04/2017 31/05/2017 30/07/2017 28/09/2017 27/11/2017
  52. 52. Non-brand organic traffic increased by 188%
  53. 53. Wheeler Dealer for GoCompare https://www.gocompare.com/car-insurance/wheeler-dealer/
  54. 54. 694 Links 34,356 Link Score 2 million views
  55. 55. 35 creative campaigns (in 7 verticals)
  56. 56. 3,977 links 210,598 LinkScore
  57. 57. on sites like these
  58. 58. 16.2 million online views from the coverage alone
  59. 59. Washington PostThe Mirror Daily MailThe Mirror Detroit Free Press The Herald out Plus a lot of offline coverage The National Post
  60. 60. As well as Radio & TV
  61. 61. 100 Links 5,289 Link Score
  62. 62. By using LinkScore we are able to focus our efforts on links that actually increase rankings.
  63. 63. But we also use the LinkScore internally to focus efforts individually and as a team
  64. 64. Different targets - seniority Senior OutreachNew Person
  65. 65. UKUK Nordic Different targets – market/country Nordic
  66. 66. LinkScore Dashboard - Client
  67. 67. LinkScore has been a huge part of how Verve has been able to scale
  68. 68. #1 How do you guys come up with ideas? #2 How do you guys do Outreach?
  69. 69. #1 How do you guys come up with ideas? #2 How do you guys do Outreach?
  70. 70. It’s really about not giving up
  71. 71. 3 buildings fell through – it took 6 months to get this campaign created.
  72. 72. Can you Spot it? One of the hardest working campaigns of 2018 was from 2017 Links: 69 LinkScore: 7,498
  73. 73. Anyone can come up with ideas, but developing ideas is the key, and that is a team effort.
  74. 74. uper chickens Source: Margaret Heffernanhttps://www.ted.com/talks/margaret_heffernan_why_it_s_time_to_forget_the_pecking_order_at_work?language=en
  75. 75. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcUAIpZrwog
  76. 76. Summary of “How to measure the Value of Links”: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/measuring-value-links-lisa-myers/
  77. 77. Thank You! Lisa.Myers@vervesearch.com @LisaDMyers

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