As long as link builders can remember Pagerank has been an industry standard for measuring the strength of a website. Even SEOMoz with their Open Site Explorer has what they call Domain Authority. Both these signals aren’t a very good indicator of a quality website. The past few years both of these haven’t been the best signal and as of this year are mostly dead signals. For ranking purposes they are old school barometers.
A few years ago getting a website the front page of Google meant getting links on high pagerank websites. If you wanted to rank for “San Francisco Real Estate” all you had to do is get higher pagerank links with that anchor text than what your competitors had. Do this and you found yourself living the good life on Google’s first page.
In 2012 if you follow this approach you will not get anywhere. So much has changed this year alone you really need to be up-to-date on what link building techniques work and what don’t anymore. The biggest change is pagerank for ranking is dead. If you want to measure what makes a good link here are the important things to look for:
1) Organic traffic
3) Social Media
All three go hand-in-hand but it is important to look at all three separately to gauge how well a link from a specific website will be.
Google is looking to give links that people click and read much more weight as opposed to links that nobody sees. A great check is to use SEMRush to see how well a website ranks. On SEMRush you can enter a domain name and the tool will tell you the keywords in which the website ranks for and how many. This is huge because if Google is giving the website organic traffic then in Google’s eyes this is a quality website.
This can be a tricky one to find out put I will show you a few ways to check. If the website has a public Feedburner widget that displays the amount of subscribers, look for this. Often times websites like to show off if they have a decent size subscriber number. If they don’t know worries you can also look for other quality signs like; comments, and links that point to the website or blog.
One of the best signals of quality is social media. Does the company have social media accounts? If so are they active? Look for tweets and re-tweets on Twitter. On Facebook not only look for likes but look for shares as well. Sharing is a much stronger signal of quality as it tells people this is great content I want you to see.
If you look for these three quality signals and start ignoring pagerank the links you obtain will be much stronger and will carry more weight.
Author Bio: Stuart McHenry provides attorney seo services and reputation management services via McKremie. You can follow Stuart on Twitter @smindsrt.