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Is the SEO value the same for backlinks coming from other pages within the same site and backlinks coming from another site?

And is there a difference in value between a backlink coming from a site that has the same topic and a backlink coming from a site that has another topic

Thanks.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 5 '11 at 23:50

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I disagree with the accepted answer. It is overly broad and not always correct.

All things being equal a link from another website will carry more weight then one from the same website. But in the real world all things are never equal. For example, if a web page on Wikipedia about greyhounds linked to the Wikipedia page about dogs, and a page on my blog also linked to that same page, the link from the other Wikipedia page would carry more weight then my link even though both pages are on the same site. This is because that page on Greyhounds has so much more weight then my page because:

  • it almost certainly contains more external links pointing to it
  • more valuable external links pointing to it
  • more valuable internal links pointing to it
  • ranks higher for the term "dogs" then my page does

I am sure there's even more to it then that. But as you can see there's a lot of factors in determining how valuable a link is. In fact a big reason why Wikipedia's pages rank so well is their internal linking. They do an outstanding job of cross linking their pages which helps to spread PR as well as "vote" for their own pages and believe me, those votes add up. A lot of web pages would rank better if their website would do a better job of cross linking their pages.

As for your question, pages from website that are related to your topic do carry more weight then links from pages that are not related to your topic. After all, links are seen as votes and a vote from a website related to your topic is seen as more authoritative then a vote from a page that has nothing to do with the topic. So if your goal is link building then you should be trying to get links from website related to your topic and rank well for the search terms you want to rank well for.

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Do you thing that's why some of the moderators profiles on StackOverflow have better PR than most other profiles? They've answered many questions so a lot of the StackOverflow linkjuice points to them? –  Ewan Heming Mar 6 '11 at 23:00
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PR is solely the product of links. In this case they probably have so many answers that they have a lot of links pointing to their profile. It's not because they're moderators but a coincidence because most mods are very active and that's how they got to be mods in the first place. But there are lots of non-mods with high PR profiles as well. –  John Conde Mar 6 '11 at 23:04
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I agree with John, a back-link is from a page not a site, so even though the site the page is linking from forms part of the back-link's weight or value, it's still a page issue, not a site one. The question about actual site/page back-link diversity is even more of a complicated question. –  Mike Hudson Mar 7 '11 at 3:51
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You get much more value from backlinks coming from other sites (sites that are on a different ip as your sites). You get more value from sites that are on the same topic, but the different isn't nearly as big as the your site vs off site backlinks. What you should be looking at is whether the link is no-follow or do-follow. The SEO Quake browser plugin can help you determine this. Also you get more value from offsite backlinks if the site has a high pagerank.

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