Relevant Links Do Not Help!

Well, I admit that the title really is not true. I just wrote this title in a way which would get attention. But I have a point to make in this post.

A lot of SEO service providers (myself included) think that inbound links to your website which come from relevant pages provide a huge boost to your website authority and rankings. This definitely makes sense because Google itself implies that it rewards relevant inbound links.

However, although relevant links are helpful, they are not as helpful as you might think. Here are some points which help in making the case:

1. Terry from the Warrior Forum started a 60 day experiment thread in which, through evidence he concluded that non-relevant and relevant links help in exactly the same way. Read more about it here.

2. In my personal experience I have never used relevant backlinks because they are difficult to find and I am a little lazy. I have always used links which came from authority websites but are not relevant at all! Results? I am ranking in the top 5 for extremely competitive keyword terms with 3-4 months of SEO work.

3. All the successful websites out there have 95% of  their inbound links coming from non-relevant websites. I have yet to see a successful website which has more than 20% relevant inbound links. It just does not happen.

4. The thing is, if you focus only on relevant links, you will most likely leave 90% of the other general links out there which happen to be of good quality. This results in you using less number of links.

5. How does Google determine relevancy? Is the on-page content useful or does it use the data for the whole website? This always leads to a heated discussion so we really have no way in figuring out how relevant “relevant” content really is.

6. All the successful SEO firms out there focus on inbound links from high authority websites and not necessarily from relevant websites.

7. Customers who want relevant links think that they help a lot more with the rankings and for that reason are ready to pay 4X more for the links. SEO companies who want to make some extra cash can always supply the customers with these links, knowing fully well that these links do not really help any more than the “normal” inbound links.

My conclusion is: Relevant and non-relevant links help you just the same.

If you agree or disagree, let me know by commenting!