A rising tide lifts all ships — and it’s similar story with increased site authority. What factors are affected as you improve PageRank or Domain Authority, and how? In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus details seven SEO processes that are made easier by a strong investment in link building and growing your authority.
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Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m Cyrus Shepard. Quick Whiteboard this week. I want to talk about links.
We know in SEO we love links. Everybody wants links. But why? What do links do for you? They do a surprising amount for you that we sometimes don’t realize. So the title of today’s Whiteboard, “7 SEO Processes That Get Easier with Increased PageRank and Domain Authority.” So why did we choose PageRank and Domain Authority?
Well, these are both algorithms that measure link power, both the number of links and the quantity of links. PageRank being Google’s algorithm to rank web pages based on popularity and importance. Domain Authority, which Google doesn’t use, just to be clear, Domain Authority being a Moz algorithm that measures both link quantity and quality.
For our purposes, we can basically use them in the same conversation. We’re talking about the power of your links.
The first thing that everybody knows about is links help you rank. They help you rank in many, many ways. You can get higher rankings. You can attack more keywords, but most importantly, you can attack more competitive keywords.
A good thing I like to do is, when I’m trying to see if I can rank for a keyword, simply Google it, check the Page Authority, which is a very similar metric, of all the top ranking pages, see what your Page Authority is for your top ranking keywords, and you can kind of have a pretty good idea if you have an ability to rank for that keyword.
But then we get into the nitty-gritty, the other benefits of having that link equity, one of the most important being crawl budget.
When you have more link equity, Google will crawl more of your pages. If you only have a handful of links and a million pages on your website, it’s going to be very difficult to get Google to crawl and index all those million pages. If you’re eBay or Amazon or Google or a site with like a 100 Domain Authority, yes, you might be able to attract Google to crawl those million pages.
Google will also crawl them faster. You may get Google to crawl your pages with low Domain Authority, but it’s going to take a while for Google to visit those again. So then we get into the idea of indexation speed. With a higher Domain Authority, Google is going to crawl and index your content typically much faster than they would without.
So if you have a page that you’ve updated recently, you’re going to see Google update it quicker the more authority that page has. Also you’re going to see this in the SERPs. If you have outdated title tags or meta descriptions, you can ask Google to crawl it via the Submit URL tool. But generally, the more authority a page has, the more incoming link power, you’re going to see those things updated so much quicker than you would with low link equity.
This is my favorite one. With increased link equity, your own links become more powerful, and this gives you incredible ranking power because your internal links, that you’re linking to yourself, become more powerful with that link equity. So it makes everything easier to rank. The best link building you can do when you have high authority is linking to yourself, and it’s so easy.
But also the links that you link out to other people also become more valuable, which makes you a more attractive target.
My friend Everett Sizemore came up with that word “insulation.” With better link equity, you’re somewhat protected from a handful of bad links. Now if you have low link equity and you get a bunch of spam links to your site, your risk of penalization or being impacted by negative SEO increases pretty high.
But if you have a million links, a handful of bad links just aren’t going to hurt you. A good way to think about this is ratios, because, of course, anybody can get penalized. Anybody can suffer the consequences of bad links. But if those bad links only make up a tiny portion, meaning a small ratio, then you are somewhat insulated by the impact of those bad links.
Now Google says they don’t have an over-optimization penalty. But anecdotally, many SEOs understand that if you’re a small site, you’re just starting out, it’s very easy to over-optimize for keywords with exact match anchor text and not rank. The key usually: in SEO, you want a lot of variety.
With a lot of links, that variety is much easier to get, and you have much less risk of over-optimization in linking internally with exact match anchor text. You can get away with a lot more with higher Domain Authority than you can with less Domain Authority. That’s kind of the key to this whole thing. With higher Domain Authority, you just get away with a lot more. It’s the idea of the rich getting richer.
Rand Fishkin, our friend, likes to talk about the flywheel effect. When you have more links, everything gets easier. When you start ranking and people start seeing you in the SERPs, you’re going to get more links from that content, and more links are going to equal more ranking and the wheel is just going to keep turning and turning.
More people want to link to you and amplify you and work with you. You’re also going to get a lot more spam requests and link requests and things like that, so it isn’t fun. But generally, the more Domain Authority you have, the more PageRank you have, the easier life is going to get, and you just want to start building it up day after day after day. So, like I said, a quick and easy Whiteboard Friday this week.
Hope you enjoyed it. We’ll talk to you next time. Thanks, everybody.