Eric Ward and Debra Mastaler Offer Great Advice, Always.

By Catherine Potts | Jan 21, 2009
More Articles by Catherine

Eric Ward (and his luxurious locks) brings up a good point in his When Link Rehabilitation Is A Viable Option post this week on Search Engine Land. Link rehabbing isn’t something we hear about as the drive is to get more good links but who really ever considers the links already gotten? Well, the search engines do and that’s what matters. If you have links out there (from when you first began the campaign for greater visibility) and they weren’t “merit driven,” you might consider rehabbing. As Eric states, it’s difficult to do and while you may possess the desire to do so, it may not work.

The resume of a perfect candidate site for link rehabilitation would have these five characteristics.

  1. Whether the site is brand new or ten years old, it will have legitimate linkworthy content in the first place.
  2. That linkworthy content will show prior citation evidence indicating it had attracted legitimate merit-driven links. And I don’t just mean a Yahoo and DMOZ directory link.
  3. The site owner will have a sense of the link building history of the site, and it’s a bonus if they know whether or not they have have used link building services, which ones, and when. (double bonus if they have a list of every link they bought)
  4. The site is continuing to add quality new content.
  5. The site is committed to playing by the rules.


Debra Mastaler discusses several things in latest post over at  Search Engine Land. First, the importance of anchor text and it being a key piece to link popularity. It all goes back to who’s lookin’ and how they’re lookin’ at your site. Who do you want to look at your site? Anchor Text helps get the right people:

Vanessa Fox said:

…”How sites link to you has an impact on your traffic from those links, because it describes your site to potential visitors. In addition, anchor text influences the queries your site ranks for in the search results..”

Debra also addresses if internal links are of a big benefit. Because the links are internal, they’re isn’t a voting system to determine relevance and so they’re influence is less than a link coming into the site from a relevant source.

Another point I found interesting as well. .EDU links and their “holy grail” status, as a question in Debra’s post highlights. I’ve often heard they’re more valued because of the trusted content. True but Debra points out that:

There are no TLDs (Top Level Domains) weighted more heavily than others. All links accrue their authority based on the number and type of links pointing at them. By their nature, edu links have higher (visible) PageRank because they’re linked to by other highly credible and authoritative webpages in the academic and business community. If you secure an anchor text link on an .edu page, the weight of the link is no different than if you secure a link on a dot com provided both had the same backlink patterns.

It all comes down to doing your link program on the up and up. Keep your program clean from start to finish (is there ever really a finish in SEO?) and you hopefully won’t have to rehab.

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  • Sound Advice

    It is hard to find better advice than that presented. It takes research and a great deal of work to do things right on the internet. Why is this lost on so many people? Imagine what would happen if the tactics people employ to promote their sites on-line were used to promote businesses in the real world? Imagine the real life equivilent of pop-unders? :D There is a blog post in this, I can feel it.

    Anyway, thank you for pointing me to what is some very sound advice.