The Real Truth about Backlinks: how much is a backlink worth?
Maybe you already know all of this, but maybe not. So I am going to be very direct: backlinks are the best of many signals that Google uses to rank your website. And it’s not my own opinion, it’s a fact. Here it is, black on white.
Do you know Hearst Media? Well, you should. It is an American multinational conglomerate group based in the Hearst Tower in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Founded by William Randolph Hearst as an owner of newspapers, the company has holdings that have subsequently expanded to include a highly diversified portfolio of media interests. That includes brands like Cosmo, Esquire, Popular Mechanics, etc..
Now, try to search “best gaming headsets”. This website will probably rank first: bestproducts(dot)com. And it has been getting better and better just in few months. The first time I saw it climbing the SERPs was around December 2015. Do you really think that normal page deserves to be FIRST??? I don’t.
How is that possible? Simple, they got lot of “footer backlinks” from very important websites of Hearst Media group. You might say “Come on, you are kidding!”. Nope, no jokes: fu**ing footer backlinks. Hey, Matt Cutts! What did you say about quality backlinks related to the content? You can’t tell me that Google doesn’t know Hearst Media or they are too small to care about.
Let me show you the first three of the Hearst Media backlinks sources I am talking about:
Ok, are you ready for more?
RedBookMag.com – “Reviews” more than 12.000 links to Home page
ElleDecor.com – “Decor Reviews” more than 8.000 links to Home page
CountryLiving.com – “Decor Reviews” more than 6.000 links to Home page
Elle.com – “Beauty Reviews” more than 5.000 links to their Beauty page
MarieClaire.com – “Reviews” more than 3.000 links to Hair page
RoadandTrack.com – “Reviews” more than 3.000 links to Car page
Seventeen.com – “Product Reviews” more than 3.000 links
TownandCountryMag.com – “Reviews” more than 3.000 links
WomansDay.com – “Product Reviews” more than 3.000 links
Now look at this graph down here. It clearly shows the domain and linking building work they did in the last months:
What’s the point? There’s nothing like “related content” here. It just seems to be done to manipulate Google’s rankings. And it’s working very well.