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I know most people want links from sites which are PR8 or PR7 and that is sort of the holy grail of SEO.

But it occurred to me that Twitter is a PR-8 site. But if I tweet a link, I don't think it does anything for my SEO. So there must be some way Google distinguishes between different PR7 or PR8 sites.

So how can I know what link might be good, and what link might be less good to get? Thanks, Alex

5

People who chase high PR links have no idea what they are doing or talking about. A long time ago PageRank was very important and a high PR link meant high rankings. But that hasn't been true in a long time. Google has improved their algorithm tremendously since then and other more important signals, ones that actually make sense, factor into a link's value.

Some of those factors include:

  • The content of the linking page (the more closely it matches the content of the linked to page the better)
  • The ranking of the page giving the link for the content of the linked page (related to point #1)
  • The anchor text of the link
  • The text surrounding the link
  • With Panda and Penguin you can infer the quality of the overall website is a factor

There's more but that should give you an idea of what Google is looking at and why chasing PR is a waste of time.

(FYI, PageRank is per page, not per site. So Twitter is a not a PR8 website. It's homepage has a PR of 8).

  • So considering that the link is from a relevant site and page, how do you tell if that link is valuable or not? And how do you determine how valuable it might be? – Genadinik Jul 5 '13 at 16:25
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    You can't. You can guestimate its value but only Google knows exactly how valuable it is. – John Conde Jul 5 '13 at 16:30
  • so if you don't use PageRank, what factors do you use to "guesstimate?" This was really at the heart of my original question. – Genadinik Jul 5 '13 at 16:31
  • It's impossible to estimate, you should consider all links that come from other trustworthy sites that are relevant to your own. – Simon Hayter Jul 5 '13 at 17:41
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Short answer is: The harder it is for you to earn the backlink, the more valuable it is.

I agree with John Conde, don't chase high PR links, there are other attributes that make a 'strong' backlink like:

  • The content
  • The social signals of that page (Google+, Twitter, Facebook, etc)
  • The amount of traffic generated from that link (the link is clicked by real people?)
  • Is the backlink from a website written in the same language of your site?

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