Study: Link Quality Holds More Value Than Quantity

Man juggling blocks to illustrate quality links over quantityBacklinks have long been used by search engines to determine where and how to rank websites. If a website has a significant number of backlinks from authoritative, relevant sources, it will naturally rank higher than a competing site with few-to-no backlinks.

This has prompted many webmasters to focus their SEO efforts on building as many links as possible.

But a new study has found that the quality of a site’s links holds more value than the quantity of its links.

In a report titled “Does the Top Ranking Website Have More Links?” by Custom Legal Marketing researchers found that roughly 54% of the websites ranking in the #2 position had MORE backlinks than their competitors ranking in the #1 position. Webmasters have followed the mantra of building as many links as possible for years now, but this study suggests a focus on quality over quantity may yield greater results.

Of course, Google has said that high-quality links are critical to achieving a desirable ranking; therefore, this information should come as little-to-no surprise. Just a handful of high-quality links will prove to be far more beneficial than hundreds of low-quality links, regardless of your site’s niche/topic.

“This CLM Lab report highlights that Google is awarding quality over quantity in practice and not just as a lip service in their Webmaster Guidelines,” wrote the experts at Custom Legal Marketing.

This begs the question: how is a high-quality backlink distinguished from a low-quality backlink? There are a few things to consider when choosing a link source, one of which is the relevancy of its content into relation to your website’s content. If you operate an alternative health website, you probably don’t want links from automotive or tech-related websites — unless they somehow tie back to your site’s health topic. A better approach is to acquire links from other health websites, promoting greater relevancy between the two.

Another indication of link quality is the source’s Alexa Rank and PageRank. PageRank is a 0-10 measurement of popularity used by Google, and Alexa Rank is a measurement of traffic. The lower the Alexa Rank, the better, whereas the higher the PageRank, the better. Focus your link building efforts on sources with a low Alexa Rank and a high PageRank for maximum benefit.

The safest way to acquire high-quality links, according to Google, is to publish unique, relevant content. If your site has the best content for its respective niche, other sites will naturally want to link to it. It may some somewhat counter-productive, but spending your resources on creating and publishing high-quality content will benefit your site’s backlink portfolio.

Publishing high-quality content is just one of many ways to attract backlinks. For other backlink ideas and techniques, be sure to check out our previous blog posts here at AllNaturalLinks.

Do you think link quality is more importance than quantity? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Study: Link Quality Holds More Value Than Quantity
We've been saying having high-quality backlinks is more important than having a lot of lower quality backlinks on your site, and a recent study confirms it.

3 Responses so far.

  1. Carolyn V. says:

    I feel that quality is definitely more important than quantity. An emphasis on quality will always give you more credibility than an emphasis on quantity. If your primary focus is quality and secondary focus is quantity, you’ll rank higher over time.

  2. Sam says:

    Quality is more important – I agree. It takes more effort, but is more rewarding in the long run.

  3. Sarah Lorigan says:

    I try to strike a balance between the two. I think they’re both important.

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