Branded Linking Protects Internal Pages – SEO Video
Welcome to this weeks SEO video, a couple of weeks ago we discussed ‘is exact match linking dead?‘. We promised that we would look closer at a particular industry and so today we’re going to review the anchor text and linking strategy for Moneysupermarket.com and whether having a strong branded back link profile protects against less natural link building methods.
If you have a client or a business in the finance world, you will know that Money Super Market dominate the SERP’s for a diverse set of keywords ranging from ‘loans’ to ‘home insurance’.
So how are they doing this and what’s their balance between exact match, phrase match and branded linking on their homepage and internal pages. We will also look at some examples of links they have built and take a view to whether they are still relevant in todays SEO landscape.
So we used http://opensiteexplorer.org/ to collate all the information and to find some of the links they have built, we will look at the branded, exact and phrase match percentages for the homepage and a couple of top landing pages.
The homepage has URL links and different versions of branded links which we will group as ‘branded’ anchor text. The landing page doesn’t have many keyword links and we can assume that the majority of the links to this page will be natural.
The branded links equates to over 95% of the profile for this page.
The ‘car insurance’ page ranks position 2 in Google.co.uk, The [exact] match linking is 19% and branded around the 37% mark with synonyms and phrase match building the other 56%. This looks good on face value, but looking at some of the back links, they don’t appear to be that natural…
Examples of poor link building
This first one is a low quality site listed under the ‘vendor links’ section.
The second example is a directory link with 100′s of outbound links.
Secondly if we take a look at the ‘loans’ page, which I must add it extremely user friendly and full of great information and actually the branded, exact and phrase match anchor text is pretty acceptable.
Some of their back links to this page however are questionable, if you look at the following:
All of the websites are the same, with huge amounts of hidden content including ‘bad credit loans’ links back to this particular landing page.
Duplicate link examples
It begs the question to whether this is an attempt of negative SEO or just poor link building which is present across the site? either way it hasn’t affected their rankings, which bring us full circle to our original theory that having a great branded back link profile can protect your SEO on internal pages.
If anything we should take two key points from this exercise, don’t target keywords on your homepage! and build a variety of anchor text to your internal landing pages.
Thanks for watching this week, if you have any questions or comments please leave them on the support blog post.