The power of few good links. 'SEO teacher' link building experiment

It started as a joke from Jose Panzano, a workmate while working in Spain and one of the best SEO and web analyst in that country.

We use to discuss the relevant points or key aspects in any project and I'm one of those who love to grab a marker pen and fill the whiteboard with notes and graphics, That's why he granted the 'SEO teacher' nickname to me with a link to this blog with this nic as anchor text in the middle of an article.

The idea came fast. Let's see how this blog ranks for this specific keyword (seo teacher) without it in the whole site, till now obviously, so the power of a few good links can be tested somehow.

This is also another chapter of 'You are what you tell other you are but also what the rest think you are (and the same happens with websites in search engines)' that I started in last post about the influence of Social Media in SEO.

In this case the thing would be 'You are what the rest think you are although you never mentioned you were'.

Link building experiment

The procedure was simple: ask some friends with blogs about SEO to drop a link to mine with 'SEO Teacher' in anchor text to get link love from related sites ensuring a minimum of quality in those links. Also a twit with a link like tinyurl.com/seoteacher.

Pages linking this blog:

  • http://titojose.wordpress.com/2009/06/19/un-ano-aburriendo-a-las-piedras/
  • http://titojose.wordpress.com/2009/05/21/seo-y-analitica-web/
  • http://www.martijnbeijk.com/about-martijn/
  • http://twitter.com/monchito/status/3361148955

Just four links did the job

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=seo+teacher
August 17th, Ranking position 8th
September 1st, Ranking position 5nd
December 15th, Ranking position 3rd

Link building experiment, SEO Teacher

Nofollow - follow effect

Something we also tested at an early stage of the the experiment, when we only had two links pointing to this blog, was add and remove rel='nofollow' attribute to these links.

If nofollow was present site origin of links ranked better than landing site. Once removed, situation reversed making landing site ranking above. This was tested twice to be a bit more sure of this funny effect.

Conclusion

Of course it is not a highly competitive keyphrase to rank for but I think it is enough to reveal how important and influential are links in SEO at the point they can make you rank for keywords not even included in your site.

This little experiment does not reveal any important link building technique but something to bring in conclusion is you should focus your effort in quality links better than quantity taking into account their power to describe your site.

Link building has changed, stated Rand Fiskin a month ago but the basics are always something to invest effort on. And yes, pretty simple, the more competitive your space in SERPs is, the more of these good links you need. Well, not so.

Update

31st May 2011, almost a year and a half later I can see the wiziq result has been outranked so I'm the #1 SEO teacher :) Don't care but funny though.

Dec 17, 2009
Written by:
Filed under: SEO






4 comments
Jan 03, 2010
Posted by:
Helen #1

Very interesting! Even if the term is not too competitive, I guess it just gives you the idea, right?

Jan 03, 2010
Posted by:
Ani Lopez #2

Hi Helen,
If the terms are not too competitive a few good links works like a charm. Try it and come to tell your conclusions.
Cheers

May 31, 2011
Posted by:
Jackson Lo #3

Interesting experiment Ani! It looks as if you've gotten the four links a month apart, judging from the first two links on your list. As a result your rankings moved up along with the number of links you got.

Any attempts to achieve high rankings just from tweets? Or ONLY social links?

May 31, 2011
Posted by:
Ani Lopez #4

Thanks Jackson.
To say the truth the experiment didn't go further trying to expand it to social media sites once I saw the benefits of those few links.

In fact it was surprising to me finding today wiziq was outranked and I guess it is a side effect of the increasing relevancy this site is getting lately. Not a lot but enough to achieve better results.

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