Not all links are equally useful. A number of characteristics determine their quality and efficiency, and andd by efficiency we mean the influence of links on rankings of your website.
Quality Link Features
We will сonsider in details the key features that Ahrefs experts point to.
Search engines take into account the relevance of a link in estimating its weight, since users are more likely to click on a relevant link than on a non-thematic one.
In particular, Google indicates relevance in the patent Ranking documents based on user behavior and/or feature data.
An example: a real estate website receives two links. One from a community of travelers and another from a site about intrior design. For a search engine, the second link will be more valuable.
The same principle works at the domain level. Users studying the intricacies of buying and selling homes are more likely to click on the realestate.com domain than on howtotravel.com.
Links from strong pages carry more weight than links from weaker pages.
Ahrefs experiments show a clear dependence of traffic and page credibility:
It should be noted that a link from an authoritative page does not always convey more weight. A Google patent indicates that the weight is evenly distributed over all outgoing links from the page. It follows that if a site receives links from two equally authoritative pages, but one of them has more outgoing links than the other, then the first page will convey more credibility than the second.
In reality, everything is somewhat more complicated. Search engines use far more methods and calculations to determine and distribute link weights. However, the basic principle is clear. A link from a page with fewer outgoing links is valuable.
As a rule, more visited pages direct more referral traffic than less visited pages. It is obvious. The question is how much the quality and effectiveness of links from more visited pages is different.
Ahrefs experiment shows that there is little dependence on ranking from links from more visited pages. But the number of referring domains and the credibility of the referring page have a much more noticeable effect:
Follow and nofollow links
It is believed that nofollow links do not transmit link weight. However, it is not known for certain how search algorithms process such links. We strive to get open follow-links anyway.
Users are more likely to click the link, which is located in the more viewed parts of the page (as a rule, this is the first third of the main content). Also, it can be assumed that not all links from the page transmit the same weight and are equally taken into account by the search engine.
Bill Slawskiy, an independent SEO expert and founder at SEO by the Sea, suggests that if the link is in the main content, it is highlighted and uses relevant text, then it can transmit more weight than an invisible link placed in a part of the site hidden from the eyes of users.
This Google patent states that link text affects the weight that it conveys.
But the Ahrefs experiment does not confirm the dependence of ranking on anchor links:
Recommendations for optimizers:
When posting articles, take into account the relevance of the site and the specific page to the subject of the link and the promoted site.
Remember that authority is evenly distributed between all outgoing links.
It’s important to place the link in the main content closer to the top of the page.
Attendance has a greater effect on the forecasted volume of referral traffic than on ranking.
In practice, the anchor text does not have such a strong impact on the ranking, as is commonly believed.