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Link Analysis for SEO

 
Here we will show how we examine links from external websites and help build search engine page rank via finding link partners and establishing useful and relevant incoming links.  We also identify sites where it may make sense to advertise or place informational articles.  As with the previous page that covered keyword analysis, we will use the Weather Screen website to demonstrate the process.

Search Engine Results Page Ranks

First let's look at some search engine ranking results, beginning with an analysis of Weather Screen's search engine results page position for various key search terms for the three most popular search engines.  (We could also add results for many more search engines, including ones outside the U.S. and/or specilized search engines; but for this example we are keeping things simple.)  We have applied a filter so that we will consider only terms that appear in the first 30 search engine results (or about the first three pages of results).  [Most searchers will not tend to look at results beyond the first 30 most of the time.] 

Weatherscreen site rankings for selected keywords

We can see, for example, that Weather Screen is the 4th result on Google for the keyphrase "weather forecast software," and is the 3rd result in both Yahoo! and Bing for "long term weather report."  But maybe with competitive link analysis these rankings can be improved, and currently unranked terms can become ranked.

Below is a partial screen shot from our analytical software showing search engine snippets (keyphrases and page descriptions captured by the search engine) associated with the various page ranks in the above table:

Weatherscreen snippets

Next we compare Weather Screen to two competitors on page rank for the three major search engines for selected keyphrases:

Weatherscreen competitive ranking by SE

And here's another view where we also include an indication of how much total Worldwide Web competition there is for selected keyphrases (measured as number of Web pages found by various search engines that contain the keyphrase):

Weatherscreen competitive ranking by keyword

It appears that Weather Screen is already in a superior position relative to the other two sites.  But maybe we can see how to improve its position even more with link analysis.

Next we examine how well indexed the Weather Screen site is for key pages on the three major search engines.  Yahoo! indexes all but one of the key pages; Google indexes all but six pages; and Bing indexes about half the pages: 

Weatherscreen SE indexation 

Again, perhaps link analysis can improve this indexing.  And below is a summary of search engine indexed page count for Weather Screen (selected key pages) vs. the  two competitors: 

Weatherscan competitive indexation

We see that Weather Screen has many more pages indexed than either WeatherBlink or Desktop Weather.  Having more pages on a website, and also having more pages indexed, will improve a website's overall search engine page rank.  But a proper link analysis should be able to improve Weather Screeen's position even more.

And below is a table showing each site's search engine ranking profile across the three major search engines, grouping ranks into categories (e.g., Ranked, Not ranked, In top 5, etc.).  The column at the far right shows the overall ranking score for selected search terms for each competitor.  In this case, only Weather Screen has an overall ranking score; larger numbers are better, so Weather Screen does better on three keyphrases, and not well on the other six:

Weatherscreen competitive ranking score

By finding appropriate link partners (other websites), Weather Screen should be able to improve these results in the future.

Link Analysis

Below is a snippet showing a partial list of Web sites linking to each of the three desktop weather sites:

Weatherscreen summary competitive link analysis 

It shows that although Weather Screen has many more incoming links, each of the competitors has an incoming link that Weather Screen does not have (outlined with a red border in the table above).  Those linking sites could be investigated to see whether it would be advantageous to have them link also to the Weather Screen site.  While neither of the highlighted linking sites has a high Alexa Traffic Rank, at least one of them does get a decent
Google PageRank.  So having their site link to the Weather Screen site might be helpful. 

Below is a more detailed look at the linking sites from the table above, again highlighting with a red border the two sites linked to the competitors but not linked to Weather Screen, and showing specific linking pages for the site:

Weatherscreen competitive link analysis details 

Now that we have a better understanding of Weather Screen's linkage situation relative to its competitors, we need to find more websites that may be either good potential link partners or places to advertise or place informational articles directing visitors to the Weather Screen site.  Based on current linkages as well as keyword analysis, our powerful software comes up with a large listing of websites to investigate more.  Below is a snapshot of just a small fraction of the sites it came up with.

The table shows the site/page URL, the Google PageRank, the Alexa Traffic Rank, the overall Search Engine Rank Score, and how many links, if any, the site has to Weather Screen's competitors.  Additional columns to the right of the Title column are not shown here, but they include a listing of the site's Meta keywords tag and Meta description tag for each listed page:

Weatherscreen unculled potential link partners or ad sites

After examining the listing, we can quickly eliminate many sites from the final listing because they are either government sites or potential competitors, none of which will want to link to the Weather Screen site or allow it to place advertising or informational articles on their site.  After eliminating these sites, we pay a quick visit to the remaining sites to see what they look like, and to determine whether they represent either potential link partners or sites on which to advertise.  Here is a snapshot of part of the narrowed-down list:

Weatherscreen potential link partners or places to advertise

Some of these, such as amazon.com, may offer good targeted advertising placement options associated with their own customer site search results.  YouTube could be a place to have an ad, or perhaps even a brief video presentation.  CNET could be an ideal place to place a product description and a link for downloading Weather Screen's desktop weather forecasting application.  Others may also be good link partners or ad/article placement sites because of their relevance to weather forecasting (e.g., almanac.com, weathermania.com, etc.).

But having good search terms on your site and relevant link partners and/or advertising placement venues is still not enough.  You must also have a well-structured website that:

  • Uses proper physical or virtual siloing
  • Does not contain broken anchors/internal links, external links or redirects
  • Has a good on-page keyword density in the right locations

SmartDrill can assist you with proper siloing and keyword placement.  For a new site, we can help you think about proper physical siloing before the site is built.  For existing sites, we can help you with retrofitting of either virtual or physical siloing.

We also have tools to quickly and thoroughly audit your website to find and report structural or content problems (broken links, missing meta tags, etc.) that can both frustrate site visitors and cause difficulties for the search engines that are trying to catalog your site and assign page ranks.

It is often difficult for webmasters to locate the myriad problems that can arise both during and after the design and launch of pages, especially on large, complex websites.  We are continually auditing sites and identifying problems that webmasters have failed to find.

We will not discuss siloing or keyword density at length.  (Contact us if you wish to discuss our capabilities in more depth).  But on the next page we demonstrate some of the website audit tools we have for spotting problems quickly and reporting them clearly and thoroughly so that webmasters can fix them.


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