Is Yahoo requiring inbound links from relevant sites?
As little as 1 year ago, you could rank in Yahoo by getting linked from hundreds of unrelated sites. You could buy links from a generic network, do a huge amount on non-relevant link exchanges, and other such techniques to increase your link popularity and rank.
Lately, as of about 6-8 months, Yahoo seems to have changed how they weigh backlinks. They seem to have placed more emphasis on the quality of the backlinks, with factors such as are they relevant? Are they authorities? How many backlinks does the site have?
We wanted to present some ideas to you about how to build your backlink strategy to target Yahoo specifically. We’re going to share some observations and encourage you to make your own.
Also, remember that how backlinks are analyzed depends on the keyword sector and the site in question. For example, large, established sites such as governmental and educational sites require less backlinks to rank well for a keyword, while sites in competitive keyword sectors may require a larger number of links, or a greater number of relevant links.
We conducted this research by using tools to help us spider a large variety of competitive and non-competitive keywords. We analyzed the backlinks of each of the site and looked as factors such as URLs, page titles, site theme, anchor density, and number of backlinks to each site. Here are some of our observations:
» We noticed 2 trends: If a site had a large number of inbound links, ranging in the thousands, then we found fewer categorical backlinks.
» This is why blog spamming still works in Yahoo if you get above a certain threshold of inbound links, the quality and relevancy of the links doesn’t seem to matter as much, just the quantity.
» If a site was ranking with a smaller number of backlinks, we often found that it had a high percentage of categorical links.
» For sites with a smaller number of backlinks, we noticed that the percentage of categorical links was somewhere between 50 and 80%.
» Threshold seems to be low. Under 500 links the more categorical the better. Over that, they links can be non-categorical.
» Sometimes you can determine whether links are categorical by looking at the backlinks and checking out the URL and page title.
» Categories can also be generic. For example, the specific words may not be found in the title or URL, but if you look at the general category using something like Google Site Flavored, you may notice that they belong to the same theme.
» Maybe if a site has authority status it may not need to have many/any categorical links?
» Anchor text density still plays a big role – we found that sites ranking had a high density for the target keyword, with a minimum at 20%
So what does this mean? Unless you can generate over 5,000 backlinks for your website, it’s important that you concentrate on getting links from relevant sites.
To test how many relevant links you need, do some SERP analysis for your keyword sector. Visit Yahoo.com and type in your keyword. Then, open another window and analyze the backlinks for the top 10. How many links does each of the sites have? Are the links categorical (you can tell by looking at the general theme of the page, the URL, and/or the title)? What is the anchor density?
Then you can craft your link campaign to be better than other sites in your keyword sector.
Feel free to share your observations with us.