Completely IRRELEVANT backlinks RANK top #1 !?

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So what the hell is this? I'm pretty new to SEO but so far most stuff I've read about backlinks is how "important" it is that the sites which link to it are "tightly" relevant with content.

One of my competitors is pretty much #1 for any keyword I enter (1st page if not #1 result) and he's got about 500 backlinks COMPLETELY irrelevant, we're in the video game niche and there isn't a single link pointing to his site that is related to gaming IN ANY way.

The sites that link to him are about traffic security, ebola, truck driving, health, sports, movies, spirituality, religion, science, online dating, politics, celebrities and other ALL random stuff. It's like he's connected to the whole f**king universe of content.

Why are those links ranking him so well when the content is the most irrelevant one I've ever seen in my life?

EDIT: After further research I've learned that he's on-page SEO is nothing like what people recommend to avoid today, 1/3 of his text is bolded, or underscored, on each post, anchor links are EVERYWHERE, granted he has A LOT of content, really, by post, content is there but it also seems like he is using the same template for each post, and only replacing the keywords and important factors of the game...duplicate content much?

Someone please elaborate, clearly I'm not aware of some big SEO factor which makes backlinks unimportant at all.
#backlinks #completely #irrelevant #irrrelevant #rank #top
  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    Banned
    From what I can see the site doesn't have to be relevant (though that would be an additional plus imo), but page level relevancy seems to play a large role.

    So even though the sites he has links on are not relevant it could very well be that the pages the links are on ARE relevant to gaming, why else would they link to him? I suppose they had something to say about his site, right?

    I see sites with tons of spam still ranking, however >70 percent of the links are contextual and thus relevant on page level. I don't see many sites ranking purely based on bookmark, comment, webdirectory, profile spam, though it's a part of the link profile it's a minority.
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    • Profile picture of the author creat1veone
      Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

      From what I can see the site doesn't have to be relevant (though that would be an additional plus imo), but page level relevancy seems to play a large role.

      So even though the sites he has links on are not relevant it could very well be that the pages the links are on ARE relevant to gaming, why else would they link to him? I suppose they had something to say about his site, right?

      I see sites with tons of spam still ranking, however >70 percent of the links are contextual and thus relevant on page level. I don't see many sites ranking purely based on bookmark, comment, webdirectory, profile spam, though it's a part of the link profile it's a minority.
      About 150 of those links come from the same site, a site which is literally only associated with truck driving, hundreds of posts and videos only about trucks and cars, road safety, I used the search on the site and his content is nowhere to be found, no results, where is the link? I don't get it.

      Other sites I've checked seem to be legit news sites which have been live for 2-3 and 5+ years, again, in no contextual sense associated with his site.

      If nothing, can you please answer the following:

      In a niche, where no one has content relevant backlinks (or any backlinks at all) would ANY kind of backlinks rank you higher among others?

      So if there are 30 sites in the same niche, 29 have NO backlinks, 1 has a lot, will that 1 site be ranked on top? (Considering the 1 site has the same, or better quality of content, on-page optimization etc).

      IF that's the case...
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by creat1veone View Post

        In a niche, where no one has content relevant backlinks (or any backlinks at all) would ANY kind of backlinks rank you higher among others?

        So if there are 30 sites in the same niche, 29 have NO backlinks, 1 has a lot, will that 1 site be ranked on top? (Considering the 1 site has the same, or better quality of content, on-page optimization etc).

        IF that's the case...
        Most definitely. I think thats where this new relevancy overboard thing is just leading people astray. Of course a site with links even if not " relevant" (something that we have no idea how google defines)compared to sites without any will rank higher.

        HOWEVER

        And this is where I think people are getting confused and/or overstating the case.

        SPAM signals may get you if you are just placing links all over the place with other links about other things and half a million different subjects. It may very well may be if you throw of the LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing which relates to context of who certain words tend appear together) that you have an issue.

        So if you ahve a PBN with ten different subjects on a page thats one thing. If you have a blogger who happens to take one post out of his rants on Politics to talk about SEO then thats another matter. The first can probably be detected by LSI going haywire. The second is just a one time diversion that fits into the fact the blogger sometimes talks about other things he likes. (not exclusive to blogging just an example).
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      • Profile picture of the author nik0
        Banned
        Originally Posted by creat1veone View Post

        About 150 of those links come from the same site, a site which is literally only associated with truck driving, hundreds of posts and videos only about trucks and cars, road safety, I used the search on the site and his content is nowhere to be found, no results, where is the link? I don't get it.

        Other sites I've checked seem to be legit news sites which have been live for 2-3 and 5+ years, again, in no contextual sense associated with his site.
        Where is the link? Just check the source code of the page and use the Find/Search function, how hard can it be.

        You keep talking about sites, I'm talking about pages so it seems you haven't understood anything I wrote.

        Answering your question makes no sense if you still struggle with the concept of "page relevancy".

        Of course irrelevant links work to a certain extend, but now try to rank solely with bookmarks, forum profiles and spammy blog comments, wait till the next Penguin refresh and tell us how that went.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

          Of course irrelevant links work to a certain extend, but now try to rank solely with bookmarks, forum profiles and spammy blog comments, wait till the next Penguin refresh and tell us how that went.
          This proves my early point of where people are getting confused and mislead. Those examples are all link spam signals at play. Making a point about relevancy by pointing at bookmarks, forum profile sand blog comments is apples and oranges that may get mixed up in the same bowl but are two different issues.

          Link spam and relevance.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Links do not have to be relevant to have some power. However, relevant links can be much more powerful.

    Without seeing the site, it sounds like he is doing something I call link laundering.

    Basically he is pulling in a bunch of irrelevant links (which still have some linkjuice), and then redirecting their power and making them relevant through internal links.

    Tiered linking uses a similar concept.

    But yes, irrelevant links can rank a webpage. It's why Google has been trying so hard, largely ineffectively, to negate them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      Basically he is pulling in a bunch of irrelevant links (which still have some linkjuice), and then redirecting their power and making them relevant through internal links.
      Mike it thats the case then relevancy from the link source would be completely dead as a metric to google. Any well built site is going to have internal links that will "launder" the links. I could point links from dress shops to your SEO site and the navigation and tags about SEO to your other pages and posts would launder the links for SEO.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        Mike it thats the case then relevancy from the link source would be completely dead as a metric to google. Any well built site is going to have internal links that will "launder" the links. I could point links from dress shops to your SEO site and the navigation and tags about SEO to your other pages and posts would launder the links for SEO.
        It is not dead to the page they are linking to. (And depending on the the quality of these link sources, it still opens them up to Penguin problems.)

        It's why tiered linking can work in less competitive niches with a ton of spam.

        People throw all kinds of irrelevant links at a few Web 2.0 sites. Wiki's, blog comments, guest book posts, image comments, forum links, profile links, and whatever other junk you can think of. The Web 2.0 sites are built to be relevant though, and then link to the money site.

        Heck, it is also why PBN's work. How many PBN sites are you buying that the link profile is relevant? I sure as heck do not find many, but by creating relevant pages to link out from, they sure work pretty damn well.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

          Heck, it is also why PBN's work. How many PBN sites are you buying that the link profile is relevant? I sure as heck do not find many, but by creating relevant pages to link out from, they sure work pretty damn well.
          Thats no proof of anything Mike. In fact its a disproof of relevancy being as strong as you claim. How many PBN Link services are creating whole pages to link from on the same subject?? VERY FEW. Instead there are STILL many sites out there ranking with old school PBN links with each article different. PBNs prove authority is passed on. Doesn't prove relevancy - at least to the degree some people are claiming

          Now as I stated it may be that Google is catching on to the spam component - so many different subjects (and especially anchor text) on one page but it doesn't come close to proving relevancy is as big as some of you are making it out as.

          OPs post proves it isn't so and there are plenty of other examples..
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          • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            OPs post proves it isn't so and there are plenty of other examples..
            Actually, his post doesn't really prove anything. We have no idea how competitive the keywords are they are looking at.

            In easy competition, you could rank a page with nothing but a bunch of crappy blog comments, relevant or irrelevant.

            And are you going against pretty much the entire planet and saying that relevancy plays no role? I might be misunderstanding your argument, but that is what I am getting out of it.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

              Actually, his post doesn't really prove anything. We have no idea how competitive the keywords are they are looking at.

              In easy competition, you could rank a page with nothing but a bunch of crappy blog comments, relevant or irrelevant.
              Yes but the OPs post is not in isolation of other facts. Its just a fact that old school PBNs are working gang busters still in lots of serps with varied subjects so pointing out PBNs as proof of relevancy just doesn't work and can instead be cited as proof that what you are claiming isn't true.

              Mind you whenever you decide to make a page on one subject alone the off shoot is the page is going to have less link spam signals but as I said thats another issue. The principle still applies

              Correlation does not equal causation.

              Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

              And are you going against pretty much the entire planet and saying that relevancy plays no role? I might be misunderstanding your argument, but that is what I am getting out of it.
              Thats, to use one of your words silly Mike. I am not responsible for what you got out of it in your mind - only for what I actually write. I at no time made any such claim that relevance has no role but rather that it is now being over hyped. Said so multiple times.

              You are not only misunderstanding you are butchering what I wrote.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Maguire
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      Without seeing the site, it sounds like he is doing something I call link laundering.

      Basically he is pulling in a bunch of irrelevant links (which still have some linkjuice), and then redirecting their power and making them relevant through internal links.
      It must mean, I'm a Laundrette owner. Love it.
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      • Profile picture of the author nik0
        Banned
        You know what I'm wondering, if you upload a html file to your public_html folder, totally disconnected from the site, and spam that URL big time, so if you run WP then this is site.com/spam-me-hard.html , then link to a different page, perhaps with a buffer in between.

        Would there be a risk to end up with a sitewide penalty?
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        • Profile picture of the author SEO-Dave
          Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

          You know what I'm wondering, if you upload a html file to your public_html folder, totally disconnected from the site, and spam that URL big time, so if you run WP then this is site.com/spam-me-hard.html , then link to a different page, perhaps with a buffer in between.

          Would there be a risk to end up with a sitewide penalty?
          Risks a penalty, safer to send the links through a throw away intermediate site.

          That could be a domain you own or a free blog.

          If you think the links are damaging a site, cut the links from the throw away site. Much easier penalty to recover from than having the links direct to your money site.

          David
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          • Profile picture of the author nik0
            Banned
            Originally Posted by SEO-Dave View Post

            Risks a penalty, safer to send the links through a throw away intermediate site.

            That could be a domain you own or a free blog.

            If you think the links are damaging a site, cut the links from the throw away site. Much easier penalty to recover from than having the links direct to your money site.

            David
            Yeah thought about that for clients actually (the throw away site).
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Originally Posted by creat1veone View Post

    So what the hell is this? I'm pretty new to SEO but so far most stuff I've read about backlinks is how "important" it is that the sites which link to it are "tightly" relevant with content.
    One of the HUGE myths that people have begun buying into in this forum (it seems the two posters above me - besides you - are among them) is that Google has the whole "relevant" thing figured out. Your example site and many other sites just proves this utterly wrong. In my opinion people are just totally mixing up spam signals with relevance signals.

    One of my competitors is pretty much #1 for any keyword I enter (1st page if not #1 result) and he's got about 500 backlinks COMPLETELY irrelevant, we're in the video game niche and there isn't a single link pointing to his site that is related to gaming IN ANY way.
    And when you think about it - why should they all be relevant. People from all walks of life, ages and interests play and refer to video games. I'm just not buying the relevance hype. On my trial PBNs theres is little control over relevance and all reports I have gotten is the bounce from using them was considerable. I'm not saying Google might not be trying but to me its just ridiculous to think they have it down now. The nuances of human intelligence are still too much for computers to figure out.

    Example . Site is entirely about Prom dresses and suits. Theres a link to an Auto related site from it - not relevant? sure is super relevant. Its a link to a limousine service - very prom related. Bloggers link to all kinds of things and I'll take a link on a top one any day of the week as a powerful links

    The sites that link to him are about traffic security, ebola, truck driving, health, sports, movies, spirituality, religion, science, online dating, politics, celebrities and other ALL random stuff. It's like he's connected to the whole f**king universe of content.
    ROFL.....Yeah thats all over the place but it kills the idea that some are pushing relevance as this figured out thing by Google
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    • Profile picture of the author creat1veone
      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      One of the HUGE myths that people have begun buying into in this forum (it seems the two posters above me - besides you - are among them) is that Google has the whole "relevant" thing figured out. Your site and many other site just proves this utterly wrong. In my opinion people are just totally mixing up spam signals with relevance signals.

      And when you think about it - why should they all be relevant. people from all walks of life, ages and interests play and refer to video games. I'm jus tnot buying the relevance hype. On my trial PBNs theres is little control over relevance and all reports i have gotten is the bounce from using them was considerable. I'm not saying Google might to be trying but to me its just ridiculous to think they have it down now. The nuances f human intelligence are still too much for computers to figure out.

      Example . Site is entirely about Prom dresses and suits. theres a link to cars from it - not relevant? sure is super relevant. its a link to a limousine service - very prom related. Bloggers link to all kinds of things and I'll take a link on a top one any day of the week as a powerful links

      ROFL.....Yeah thats all over the pace but it kills the idea that some are pushing relevance as this figured out thing by Google
      This is great to hear, thank you for your input. Like I said I'm new to SEO, I'm no where near of being on "top of the game" concerning knowledge and resources, but because I've seen people mention this relevancy thing so much, I just kinda went into the stream of thinking that if your links have no relevance, Google will destroy you and your entire life. (xd)

      If you could now relate to my last question in the previous post that'd be great.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMLab
    Concerning your question, please note the following:

    1. Not all backlinks can be tracked using SEO tools or web services. If he has a hidden private blog network, you can't possibly track that if it is blocking those popular SEO analytics tools like MajesticSEO, Ahrefs, Moz and such.

    2. The keyword that he is ranking for might not be a competitive one and thus without not much of efforts, he is able to rank it on top. Make sure to carry out a good keywords research before checking your competitors.

    3. Ranking in Google is not just about backlinks. Backlinks play a big role but it is surely not everything. If he is getting lots of traffic and the bounce rate on his site is low, he would still be able to rank decently even if his backlinks profile is not well optimized or diversified.

    4. Branding: If his website is a known brand with huge authority, then he won't need lots of backlinks to rank any inner-page.

    5. On-page SEO matters a lot. It is highly recommended to host images, videos and proper original content in all of your pages. Link out to authority websites in every post as well.

    Try to balance up your marketing campaigns between link building, social media marketing and paid ads.

    Hope that helps. Good luck with your marketing journey!
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  • Profile picture of the author creat1veone
    I will apologize for not understanding your responses in full. So I will ask this differently;

    No websites have backlinks but me, and my links come from other sites I own, problem is, the sites I own are new (= no authority, PR0, no backlinks themselves). However, they are highly on-page optimized, the content is perfect and I update content lets say every week. Will these kind of links provide any benefit? (again, considering the competitors don't even have that).

    I'll link from those other sites to my money site, 1 link per site, some to homepage, some to other inner pages like tutorials, guides, FAQ etc.

    Originally Posted by IMLab View Post

    Concerning your question, please note the following:

    1. Not all backlinks can be tracked using SEO tools or web services. If he has a hidden private blog network, you can't possibly track that if it is blocking those popular SEO analytics tools like MajesticSEO, Ahrefs, Moz and such.

    2. The keyword that he is ranking for might not be a competitive one and thus without not much of efforts, he is able to rank it on top. Make sure to carry out a good keywords research before checking your competitors.

    3. Ranking in Google is not just about backlinks. Backlinks play a big role but it is surely not everything. If he is getting lots of traffic and the bounce rate on his site is low, he would still be able to rank decently even if his backlinks profile is not well optimized or diversified.

    4. Branding: If his website is a known brand with huge authority, then he won't need lots of backlinks to rank any inner-page.

    5. On-page SEO matters a lot. It is highly recommended to host images, videos and proper original content in all of your pages. Link out to authority websites in every post as well.

    Try to balance up your marketing campaigns between link building, social media marketing and paid ads.

    Hope that helps. Good luck with your marketing journey!
    Thank you for your step instructions, I saved this to my "SEO tips" section. Could you also address the added question above?

    Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

    Where is the link? Just check the source code of the page and use the Find/Search function, how hard can it be.

    You keep talking about sites, I'm talking about pages so it seems you haven't understood anything I wrote.

    Answering your question makes no sense if you still struggle with the concept of "page relevancy".

    Of course irrelevant links work to a certain extend, but now try to rank solely with bookmarks, forum profiles and spammy blog comments, wait till the next Penguin refresh and tell us how that went.
    Did this, the site where most of his backlinks are listed to, shows no results to his domain with the search function, from the source code page.

    About the Penguin thing, I don't plan on building spammy links, I plan on gradually adding relevant link 1 by 1, whenever I see an opportunity, alongside my own blog sites which will also link to the money site.

    I am really looking forward to the next any kind of Google update concerning this stuff, just to see how it'll influence his rankings, and my own ofc.
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  • Profile picture of the author hipeopo02
    "link relevency" hahah

    I have porn networks ranking tech and auto sites for christ sake hahah......
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    A crappy product or service by people that disappear from the forum for a long period of time to make it look like they were working on something so when they come back you will want to click on their crappy product or service link

    CLICK HERE! LOL
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    • Profile picture of the author nik0
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      Originally Posted by hipeopo02 View Post

      "link relevency" hahah

      I have porn networks ranking tech and auto sites for christ sake hahah......
      Haha, did you place content about dildo's and sex shows on those domains or articles about gadgets and cars?
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by hipeopo02 View Post

      "link relevency" hahah

      I have porn networks ranking tech and auto sites for christ sake hahah......
      Your selling auto parts to naked people?
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      Hi
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      • Profile picture of the author hipeopo02
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        Your selling auto parts to naked people?
        WITH naked people.

        Nude girls posing with exotic cars.

        Whether you want more info on the girl or the car....I can provide both

        A big Myth about G is that G "hates" porn.

        Why the F do they index it then?

        G hates spam. That's all the F that they hate.....
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  • Profile picture of the author SEO Power
    Some valid arguments here. In my experience, the most important backlink-related ranking factor is PR or link juice of the linking page and relevance of the anchor text. The page doesn't have to be relevant (lots of proof everywhere regarding that).
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    • Profile picture of the author nik0
      Banned
      Originally Posted by SEO Power View Post

      Some valid arguments here. In my experience, the most important backlink-related ranking factor is PR or link juice of the linking page and relevance of the anchor text. The page doesn't have to be relevant (lots of proof everywhere regarding that).
      You're confusing some pages with ALL the pages linking to a site.

      If someone does semi decent link building he naturall has tons of relevant pages linking to them so there's your proof.

      Unless bookmarks, web directories, spammy blog comments, crappy blog networks are your primary source of links and then you will simply tank.

      Heck are you really that ignorant? Why on earth you think all the spammers who know what they do have so much love for contextual links on web2.0's, wiki's, forums, article directories, zendesk support pages and what not.

      It shouldn't get crazier then that here, the whole SPAM industry proves that relevant links are a must, and that's one heck of an example isn't it.
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      • Profile picture of the author habibkhan01
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        why irrelevant backlinks rank you top have any clear view ?
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      • Profile picture of the author SEO Power
        Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

        You're confusing some pages with ALL the pages linking to a site.

        If someone does semi decent link building he naturall has tons of relevant pages linking to them so there's your proof.

        Unless bookmarks, web directories, spammy blog comments, crappy blog networks are your primary source of links and then you will simply tank.

        Heck are you really that ignorant? Why on earth you think all the spammers who know what they do have so much love for contextual links on web2.0's, wiki's, forums, article directories, zendesk support pages and what not.

        It shouldn't get crazier then that here, the whole SPAM industry proves that relevant links are a must, and that's one heck of an example isn't it.
        I'm not ignorant, and you probably aren't too . I've seen firsthand the impact of irrelevant high PR links on a site's ranking and that's how I drew my conclusion. If relevant links were a must, why are sites ranking with SAPE links and irrelevant blog comments? I've ranked sites using just these two types of links.
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        • Profile picture of the author nik0
          Banned
          Originally Posted by SEO Power View Post

          I'm not ignorant, and you probably aren't too . I've seen firsthand the impact of irrelevant high PR links on a site's ranking and that's how I drew my conclusion. If relevant links were a must, why are sites ranking with SAPE links and irrelevant blog comments? I've ranked sites using just these two types of links.
          And do they still rank since Penguin 3.0 / 17 October?
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  • Profile picture of the author creat1veone
    I want to use this thread to ask something about PBNs.

    Lets say I have multiple site and I wanna use them to rank one money site.

    Now, if all other sites I have are new (made last month) - will links from them provide any benefit? (full on-page SEO opt. with unique, comprehensive content etc).

    What is the best link strategy?

    blog site 1 -> money site
    blog site 2 -> money site
    blog site 3 -> money site

    OR

    blog site 1 -> blog site 2 -> money site
    blog site 3 -> blog site 1 -> money site
    blog site 2 -> blog site 3 -> blog site 1 -> money site

    I wrote the examples just so you know what I mean by link strategy, I have never made a PBN before, I am getting ready to start on my first one.
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    • Profile picture of the author tech84
      Originally Posted by creat1veone View Post

      I want to use this thread to ask something about PBNs.

      Lets say I have multiple site and I wanna use them to rank one money site.

      Now, if all other sites I have are new (made last month) - will links from them provide any benefit? (full on-page SEO opt. with unique, comprehensive content etc).

      What is the best link strategy?

      blog site 1 -> money site
      blog site 2 -> money site
      blog site 3 -> money site

      OR

      blog site 1 -> blog site 2 -> money site
      blog site 3 -> blog site 1 -> money site
      blog site 2 -> blog site 3 -> blog site 1 -> money site

      I wrote the examples just so you know what I mean by link strategy, I have never made a PBN before, I am getting ready to start on my first one.
      I'm gonna go with:

      blog site 1 -> money site
      blog site 2 -> money site
      blog site 3 -> money site

      The second one looks like a small link wheel.

      If you think about it, why not take advantage of each and every site you have in your arsenal? Provided that you make all those sites into real sites, not just some site used to rank your money site.
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      • Profile picture of the author GarrettMickley
        Originally Posted by tech84 View Post

        I'm gonna go with:

        blog site 1 -> money site
        blog site 2 -> money site
        blog site 3 -> money site

        The second one looks like a small link wheel.

        If you think about it, why not take advantage of each and every site you have in your arsenal? Provided that you make all those sites into real sites, not just some site used to rank your money site.
        I second this. I've done link wheels as well as set ups like this and this one always works better.

        Just my $0.02
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        • Profile picture of the author creat1veone
          Originally Posted by GarrettMickley View Post

          I second this. I've done link wheels as well as set ups like this and this one always works better.

          Just my $0.02
          I've updated my 3 other sites and will now back link to my main site, all the sites are relevant and two of them are over 18 months old, hopefully these links won't tell Google to drop my ranks.

          I know that's only 3 links, but most of my competitors have none, now, do you think I should link all 3 today or like 1 per week to make it look all natural?

          Also, on the other sites, is it best to post an article and mention my money site with a keyword anchor link, or is it better to have one page dedicated for my main site, considering the page would have same qualities as the post, so post or page? Or stupid question?

          Thanks to everyone for providing insight and advice!
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          • Profile picture of the author paulgl
            Mike A, not only does google not have a handle on such shtuff, I don't
            think they care. Good links are good links.

            Getting deeper on not caring, think about this. Does a book site need
            a link from amazon? Why? Why would amazon give them a link?
            (Ads not withstanding)

            If google takes you to a site that SHOULD answer you query, done
            and done. What's the point of sending you to a page just to get you
            to click on a link to go to another page? Since that is not what google
            wants, why would they care (100%) about link relevancy?

            Turn that around. Chap does something unique in any genre. News sites
            pick it up. Famous bloggers pick it up. Thing goes viral. Where's the
            relevance? But man those links then send this chap through the roof.

            I would even propose a theory. The vast majority of links that google
            likes and counts, are not from relevant sites, but the masses of
            ordinary (and extra ordinary) people who are now linking to them.

            Seriously. What book sites raised amazon's PR and authority?

            How do sites like facebook, twitter, etc. get very high PR and
            authority? From relevant backlinks? Hardly. They get there
            by masses of real backlinks from ordinary people.

            Part of google algorithm includes the chances of landing on your site
            at random. And that randomness is a direct calculation of your internet
            footprint...not relevance.

            However, when buying a link, think contextual, high PR and authority.
            Most people cannot get boatloads of Joe Blow's and soccer moms
            linking to them. That does not negate what I said above. You just
            focus more on what is best for your situation.

            Paul
            Signature

            If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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          • Profile picture of the author creat1veone
            Originally Posted by creat1veone View Post

            I've updated my 3 other sites and will now back link to my main site, all the sites are relevant and two of them are over 18 months old, hopefully these links won't tell Google to drop my ranks.

            I know that's only 3 links, but most of my competitors have none, now, do you think I should link all 3 today or like 1 per week to make it look all natural?

            Also, on the other sites, is it best to post an article and mention my money site with a keyword anchor link, or is it better to have one page dedicated for my main site, considering the page would have same qualities as the post, so post or page? Or stupid question?

            Thanks to everyone for providing insight and advice!
            I'd like to add that I also plan on embedding an image from the money site to one of my blogs, is this too much? I'll post an anchor link somewhere in the middle of the post and the image will be at the bottom, as a preview of the product.

            Also, is it best to link to my main site url e.g. www.sitelink.com or the specific page e.g. www.sitelink.com/theproductpage or maybe both?
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    • Profile picture of the author SEO-Dave
      Originally Posted by creat1veone View Post

      I want to use this thread to ask something about PBNs.

      Lets say I have multiple site and I wanna use them to rank one money site.

      Now, if all other sites I have are new (made last month) - will links from them provide any benefit? (full on-page SEO opt. with unique, comprehensive content etc).

      What is the best link strategy?

      blog site 1 -> money site
      blog site 2 -> money site
      blog site 3 -> money site

      OR

      blog site 1 -> blog site 2 -> money site
      blog site 3 -> blog site 1 -> money site
      blog site 2 -> blog site 3 -> blog site 1 -> money site

      I wrote the examples just so you know what I mean by link strategy, I have never made a PBN before, I am getting ready to start on my first one.
      The important factor in the above is the network are all new sites.

      When you say new I assume you've registered new domains added some content and linked to your money site?

      You could do this with a 100 new domains with half a dozen webpages each and the value is so low it's almost zero right now.

      That's not to say it can't have value, but without working on backlinks to the network the amount of SEO benefit passed is almost irrelevant.

      Creating content is easy, generating backlinks is hard: which one do you think Google considers more important SEO wise?

      If you don't know how to build backlinks registering new domains to link to money sites is wasting your time and money. If you are good at generating links this sort of approach can build a valuable network of sites which can power money sites. I've been doing just that for well over a decade and it works, takes time and effort, but it works.

      Shortcut to this is buy domains that already have backlinks and are ranking for something: don't go buying domains because they are PRX, but when you look at the traffic it's non-existent. If it has no traffic the SEO value is probably low.

      Assume a link from a high traffic site (high organic search engine traffic) website will pass significantly more SEO value than a similar site that has no organic traffic. With a ranked site you know Google hasn't given it any penalties, you know Google is considering it important.

      When buying sites for a network the trick is to find websites with potential, if they are already generating maximum traffic the owner will want more money for it. There's plenty of sites run by bloggers etc... who aren't in it for the money who don't understand SEO and though they generate backlinks their content targets niches with little to no organic search engine traffic. If you are lucky you can buy diamonds in the rough for under $100, improve the content so they gain more traffic and use them for linking to money sites or turn them into money sites.

      David
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      • Profile picture of the author creat1veone
        Originally Posted by SEO-Dave View Post

        The important factor in the above is the network are all new sites.

        When you say new I assume you've registered new domains added some content and linked to your money site?

        You could do this with a 100 new domains with half a dozen webpages each and the value is so low it's almost zero right now.

        That's not to say it can't have value, but without working on backlinks to the network the amount of SEO benefit passed is almost irrelevant.

        Creating content is easy, generating backlinks is hard: which one do you think Google considers more important SEO wise?

        If you don't know how to build backlinks registering new domains to link to money sites is wasting your time and money. If you are good at generating links this sort of approach can build a valuable network of sites which can power money sites. I've been doing just that for well over a decade and it works, takes time and effort, but it works.

        Shortcut to this is buy domains that already have backlinks and are ranking for something: don't go buying domains because they are PRX, but when you look at the traffic it's non-existent. If it has no traffic the SEO value is probably low.

        Assume a link from a high traffic site (high organic search engine traffic) website will pass significantly more SEO value than a similar site that has no organic traffic. With a ranked site you know Google hasn't given it any penalties, you know Google is considering it important.

        When buying sites for a network the trick is to find websites with potential, if they are already generating maximum traffic the owner will want more money for it. There's plenty of sites run by bloggers etc... who aren't in it for the money who don't understand SEO and though they generate backlinks their content targets niches with little to no organic search engine traffic. If you are lucky you can buy diamonds in the rough for under $100, improve the content so they gain more traffic and use them for linking to money sites or turn them into money sites.

        David
        Thank you for the post and the information. Now, the sites I've got are all free wordpress sites, with a .wordpress domain, the 2 our of 3 sites are over 18 months old, together with 50k+ visitors in total, and are getting a small amount of visits a day, some social signals as well.

        I understand these links are - lets say poor but considering most of my competition doesn't even have that, I think it should help my rankings. If not, I'll gain some experience, win either way I guess.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Obviously confusing spam links with long term links.
    Signature
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    • Profile picture of the author creat1veone
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Obviously confusing spam links with long term links.
      Can you please elaborate?

      Thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Banned
        Originally Posted by creat1veone View Post

        Can you please elaborate?

        Thanks
        Strong links regardless of niche will usually rank a page but spammy link profiles (JcPenney) will never pass a manual review or some algos. (ex: WMT warnings).

        Spammy links can help rank pages for a long time but they increase the odds of getting slapped in the SERPs because they're extremely obvious when looking at a link profile (like you did in OP). That OP example is holding out until the next algo update or manual review, whichever happens first.

        Paid links can sometimes stand a better chance of flying under the radar compared to spammy blog comment links because link wise they're not associated with a bunch of link blasting. I've seen one fiverr gig selling blog post links with 12,000 comments on a single page (a bit obvious). On the other hand I have no doubts JcPenney would still be ranking today with their paid links If they hadn't been narked out (most likely competition) to big media sites (spotlight).

        With relevant links your not running & hiding from Google. It's pretty much impossible to say a relevant link is out of place. I mean If I was building links for Warrior Forum on IM sites nobody would know they're not organic links. Build links on random domains/pages & it's obvious link building.

        You need to decide If you want long term rank in Google SERPs or your building temporary churn & burn sites (spammy link profiles).
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          With relevant links your not running & hiding from Google. It's pretty much impossible to say a relevant link is out of place.
          What a load of Hueey. No wonder Dave keeps pointing out you don't know SEO. I don't know who is worse among seniors. You or Nik0. If you do the same things with relevant content as you do with non-relevant content Google will see and know its out of place.

          Try dropping anchor text a few times in your posts to a site no one but your momma would love

          try ranking and linking for well known spam terms. Yeah yuke. As long as the content is relevant an anchor text link for Payday loans won't look like spam..........ROFL...... sheesh.

          No ever posting but never coming to any truth. Natural and relevant to the whole page or article are not the same thing. You can (and the whole web does) make natural links from "non relevant" pages.
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          • Profile picture of the author yukon
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            What a load of Hueey. No wonder Dave keeps pointing out you don't know SEO. I don't know who is worse among seniors. You or Nik0.
            Funny thing is other people ripping on your ignorant rants/ideas outside this forum. Your buddy Dave is runner up.

            At least I know it's not just me that thinks your an obnoxious clown.
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            • Profile picture of the author nik0
              Banned
              Originally Posted by yukon View Post

              Funny thing is other people ripping on your ignorant rants/ideas outside this forum. Your buddy Dave is runner up.

              At least I know it's not just me that thinks your an obnoxious clown.
              You got that right
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by yukon View Post

              Funny thing is other people ripping on your ignorant rants/ideas outside this forum. Your buddy Dave is runner up.

              At least I know it's not just me that thinks your an obnoxious clown.
              I am greatly beloved in place kiddies congregate

              However glad you did something with your extended time off from the forums even if that didn't include SEO classes. Keep em bookmarked for when you take another vacation.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEO-Dave
    Without you posting the URL and SERP to the site you are competing with, no way to know why it ranks high.

    You don't understand SEO well enough to be able to make the sort of conclusions you are making, could be a few good quality links are powering the SERPs, it can be very easy to miss.

    You say their on-page SEO isn't what is recommended today, but then say "anchor links are EVERYWHERE" like those are a bad thing. You don't understand SEO enough to know why your competitor ranks, so pretty much everything you say is unhelpful in answering your problem.

    You wouldn't send a letter to the doctor with a complaint you aren't feeling well and that's all the info supplied and expect a cure by return post! That's what this thread is.

    David
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  • Profile picture of the author creat1veone
    Originally Posted by yukon View Post

    Strong links regardless of niche will usually rank a page but spammy link profiles (JcPenney) will never pass a manual review or some algos. (ex: WMT warnings).

    Spammy links can help rank pages for a long time but they increase the odds of getting slapped in the SERPs because they're extremely obvious when looking at a link profile (like you did in OP). That OP example is holding out until the next algo update or manual review, whichever happens first.

    Paid links can sometimes stand a better chance of flying under the radar compared to spammy blog comment links because link wise they're not associated with a bunch of link blasting. I've seen one fiverr gig selling blog post links with 12,000 comments on a single page (a bit obvious). On the other hand I have no doubts JcPenney would still be ranking today with their paid links If they hadn't been narked out (most likely competition) to big media sites (spotlight).

    With relevant links your not running & hiding from Google. It's pretty much impossible to say a relevant link is out of place. I mean If I was building links for Warrior Forum on IM sites nobody would know they're not organic links. Build links on random domains/pages & it's obvious link building.

    You need to decide If you want long term rank in Google SERPs or your building temporary churn & burn sites (spammy link profiles).
    Thank you for the explanation, but I don't understand why do you think I'm building spammy links, I built one link so far, its from a 2 year old site, related niche, with 40k+ visitors in total, with social shares, in another words its been running like a real site for the past 2 years (100% organic search visitors, YT and Google) and I don't see how a link from it can be considered spammy.

    Granted, I haven't a clue about all this like you do, but I'm not commenting links... I definitely want to hold out long term in this one.

    Originally Posted by SEO-Dave View Post

    Without you posting the URL and SERP to the site you are competing with, no way to know why it ranks high.

    You don't understand SEO well enough to be able to make the sort of conclusions you are making, could be a few good quality links are powering the SERPs, it can be very easy to miss.

    You say their on-page SEO isn't what is recommended today, but then say "anchor links are EVERYWHERE" like those are a bad thing. You don't understand SEO enough to know why your competitor ranks, so pretty much everything you say is unhelpful in answering your problem.

    You wouldn't send a letter to the doctor with a complaint you aren't feeling well and that's all the info supplied and expect a cure by return post! That's what this thread is.

    David
    Yeah I totally get your point man I can't really be making these conclusions like that but bare with me.

    I'd like you to read few of my last posts on this thread and see what I am trying to figure out now, don't really care about that site anymore.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by creat1veone View Post

      Thank you for the explanation, but I don't understand why do you think I'm building spammy links,
      .
      Because as I pointed out earlier a number of people in this thread are confusing relevant with non spammy as if the one thing that makes link spam link spam is non relevance.

      Its really quite silly. google penalizes sites all theme for selling links and even those that take only link sales within their own niche.
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      • Profile picture of the author SEO-Dave
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        Because as I pointed out earlier a number of people in this thread are confusing relevant with non spammy as if the one thing that makes link spam link spam is non relevance.

        Its really quite silly. google penalizes sites all theme for selling links and even those that take only link sales within their own niche.
        Yep, Google can be a right bitch with sold links!

        I've stopped selling links (used to sell a LOT) and going through Google Webmaster tools found one of my unimportant domains (1,000 unique posts, but not particularly high quality, bit out of date) was carrying an unnatural link penalty. Checked the domain and I'd missed a couple of old sold links to a well known travel brand.

        Only ever sold links in the same niche.

        Perfect for an SEO recovery test.

        Removed all traces of sold links, actually removed all external links to be on the safe side other than one home page sidebar link out to another site I own in the same niche (travel).

        Put the reinclusion request in and waited, got the response a few days back it still has unnatural links.

        So my own site which I've never bought links for is considered unnatural because of a single home page sidebar link to a site in the same niche! Now that's harsh!!!

        I expected a recovery. Time for a new test, removed the link and see if it recovers without a reinclusion request in a reasonable time frame. Since some penalties have a three month time frame, will give it 3 months, if not recovered by then will do another reinclusion request.

        You don't get many opportunities for tests like these, it's worth the loss in traffic for the data.

        David
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        • Profile picture of the author nik0
          Banned
          Originally Posted by SEO-Dave View Post

          So my own site which I've never bought links for is considered unnatural because of a single home page sidebar link to a site in the same niche! Now that's harsh!!!

          I expected a recovery. Time for a new test, removed the link and see if it recovers without a reinclusion request in a reasonable time frame. Since some penalties have a three month time frame, will give it 3 months, if not recovered by then will do another reinclusion request.

          You don't get many opportunities for tests like these, it's worth the loss in traffic for the data.

          David
          Talking about sidebar links, I had this client that ranked at #1 for all his target keywords, he survived Penguin 3.0 at the 17th of October.

          However yesterday he tanked completely. I didn't adjust his link profile much, only one network got adjusted which worked out well for most, and he had some links there as well.

          Decided to check out his link profile and it turns out he got some new links, sitewide links at hyper relevant sites that resulted in 1000's of links, the anchor he used was quite longtail but then in sentence format, so his main keyword was just part of the sentence.

          So relevancy isn't the key to everything of course, but it's a no less then a fact that when you have links solely from pages that link out to tons of different topcis that you get hit so in that sense of the word relevancy does play a role (which was previously not the case)
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      • Profile picture of the author creat1veone
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        Because as I pointed out earlier a number of people in this thread are confusing relevant with non spammy as if the one thing that makes link spam link spam is non relevance.

        Its really quite silly. google penalizes sites all theme for selling links and even those that take only link sales within their own niche.
        That would really explain it, expect it doesn't in any humanly possible way.

        Did you even read my post? Come on MAN, what about the other factors I noted like, website age, website traffic, fact all traffic is organic, fact that traffic shared the content, and yes, as you so clearly noticed, relevant content.
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        • Profile picture of the author SEO-Dave
          Originally Posted by creat1veone View Post

          That would really explain it, expect it doesn't in any humanly possible way.

          Did you even read my post? Come on MAN, what about the other factors I noted like, website age, website traffic, fact all traffic is organic, fact that traffic shared the content, and yes, as you so clearly noticed, relevant content.
          Earlier you wrote:

          "No websites have backlinks but me, and my links come from other sites I own, problem is, the sites I own are new (= no authority, PR0, no backlinks themselves)."

          1st, you don't understand SEO enough to say none of the competitor sites have backlinks. I'd bet good money you are wrong, internal links can be awesome backlinks.

          What's the home page PR of all the sites in the top 5?

          2nd you have no backlinks, all because you've built a few new sites that also have no backlinks, it doesn't mean they have serious value. One half decent backlink from a quality site will blow away the SEO value of a 1,000 links from the sort of pages you've created and added links from.

          It's very, very, very easy to create content and add a link from it.
          It's very, very, very hard to acquire links from high quality webpages.

          Which do you think Google considers significantly more important?

          You are asking the wrong questions and not supply any useful information to help you. What you own is a new website with no valuable backlinks and don't know how enough about SEO to analyse your competitors.

          Post the URLs and SERP if you want serious help. Seriously, do you think you are in such a good niche that if you post it here thousands of webmasters will start targeting the niche? IF you are in a good niche, others already know it exists, all you are doing is preventing others from helping you compete in a niche you are currently tanking in.

          Oh look, Home Insurance is good money SERP, oh shit this thread will mean millions of webmasters will target the niche :-)

          David
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          • Profile picture of the author creat1veone
            Originally Posted by SEO-Dave View Post

            Earlier you wrote:

            "No websites have backlinks but me, and my links come from other sites I own, problem is, the sites I own are new (= no authority, PR0, no backlinks themselves)."

            1st, you don't understand SEO enough to say none of the competitor sites have backlinks. I'd bet good money you are wrong, internal links can be awesome backlinks.

            What's the home page PR of all the sites in the top 5?

            2nd you have no backlinks, all because you've built a few new sites that also have no backlinks, it doesn't mean they have serious value. One half decent backlink from a quality site will blow away the SEO value of a 1,000 links from the sort of pages you've created and added links from.

            It's very, very, very easy to create content and add a link from it.
            It's very, very, very hard to acquire links from high quality webpages.

            Which do you think Google considers significantly more important?

            You are asking the wrong questions and not supply any useful information to help you. What you own is a new website with no valuable backlinks and don't know how enough about SEO to analyse your competitors.

            Post the URLs and SERP if you want serious help. Seriously, do you think you are in such a good niche that if you post it here thousands of webmasters will start targeting the niche? IF you are in a good niche, others already know it exists, all you are doing is preventing others from helping you compete in a niche you are currently tanking in.

            Oh look, Home Insurance is good money SERP, oh shit this thread will mean millions of webmasters will target the niche :-)

            David
            Yes David that was earlier, recently I figured out log in details to some of my really old blogs, from 2012, which I thought I'd lost at the time I was writing the original post.

            Also I'm not tanking, if this means losing rank, my rank has been increasing ever since 2 months ago when I created a new site, yesterday to my glorious surprise it got to #1 on Google for one keyword, and I linked from one of the old blogs to it, I'm hoping it will help or at least not make it worse.

            Of course I don't "know SEO" most of you here have been doing this for a decade or more, and you are arguing with each other on every thread, I'v been doing SEO practically for 3 months, what else would you except from me...

            Whatever happens I'll take it as experience and lesson learned.

            Now don't think I don't appreciate you guys posting on my thread, I read every word of each post, some I didn't understand at all but still, thanks guys!
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by creat1veone View Post

          Did you even read my post? Come on MAN, what about the other factors I noted like, website age, website traffic, fact all traffic is organic, fact that traffic shared the content, and yes, as you so clearly noticed, relevant content.
          Do you need glasses? I've already responded numerous times in this thread to your OP. I wasn't responding to you but what Yukon said. Stop being so freaking lazy and read the discussion in your own thread. Everything in a thread is not responding directly to you directly but the discussions within it.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by creat1veone View Post

      Thank you for the explanation, but I don't understand why do you think I'm building spammy links,
      I never said you was building spammy links. I made a reference to your OP about the competitions link profile.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMLab
    You need to keep in mind the following:

    1. You can't possibly track all his backlinks. Most professional marketers know how to hide their private blog networks from bots and SEO analytic tools. There is a high possibility that he has high quality relevant backlinks but you still can't spot them for the reason i mentioned above.

    2. If his website has already a high authority and low bounce rate, it will rank well even if his backlinks are not so relevant.

    3. Backlinks are not everything when it comes to SEO and rankings. They play an important role of course but they are surely not the entire marketing game.

    Hope that helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author npoint
    The truth is irrelevant backlinks still work very well but you should not expect extraordinay results in tough niches for really competetive keyphrases, in such case backlinks must come from relevant sources and moreover very trusted ones otherwise sooner or later you will get penalized.

    I am doing a lot of tests every day and I see how those backlinks work, what suprising me much is google doesnt care much about relativeness if the backlinks comes from "quality sites" I never got penalized for that
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    • Profile picture of the author nik0
      Banned
      Originally Posted by npoint View Post

      The truth is irrelevant backlinks still work very well but you should not expect extraordinay results in tough niches for really competetive keyphrases, in such case backlinks must come from relevant sources and moreover very trusted ones otherwise sooner or later you will get penalized.

      I am doing a lot of tests every day and I see how those backlinks work, what suprising me much is google doesnt care much about relativeness if the backlinks comes from "quality sites" I never got penalized for that
      As long as a link is on a page dedicated to your subject your link is relevant and everyone with a natural backlink profile naturally has tons of such links.

      It becomes an issue when you have your links on pages shared with a dozen or more others, like most public blog networks are setup, and same like how most bookmark sites, web directories, blog comments etc are done.

      Site relevancy is not important now though I do think it gives some extra value and I think it will play a bit of a larger role in the future, though Google would obviously never force people to only have links from relevant sites as that's just not how it works in the real world.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

        Site relevancy is not important now though

        He just changes his story from week to week
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  • Profile picture of the author sonjay
    Your observations are purely based on those metrics (more on the backlinks) that you are able to track. Nowadays, Google and all the data trackers / monitoring platforms are not displaying all things they have accounted for, so as to avoid being reverse-engineered, and ultimately so it becomes harder to game the system.
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