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May 31, 2012

New Linking Metrics for the Post-Penguin Web – A SPN Exclusive

In case you haven’t noticed, Google has pretty much flipped the entire web in the last couple of months, disrupting countless well-established sites and replacing them with what Google believes are better quality ones. If you’re the dominant search engine with 65% to 90% of the web’s lucrative search traffic, you can do that with just a few changes in your algorithm code.

We won’t go into details, but anyone who has been marketing on the web, knows on a Post-Panda/Penguin web, things have really shifted. SEO and link building must be viewed in an entirely different light, if you want your site and content to still rank in Google. Over-optimization and the wrong kind of aggressive link building can do more harm than good on this new web.

The over-riding theme, which is becoming more and more evident, is not falling on silent ears. If you try to “game” or “manipulate” Google’s search engine rankings, your site will move down in the listings, instead of up. If you too aggressively target commercial or money paying keywords in your anchor text links and in your internal site structure, you will be penalized by these latest ranking filters.

Thousands upon thousands of affiliate site owners and online marketers are groaning in unison. Along with millions of small business owners who have bought SEO services which have aggressively optimized their content to rank in the search engines, especially Google. Everyone is scrambling to fix these issues in order to keep Google happy and to protect themselves from any future updates, which everyone knows will come.

Keep in mind, this is not an SEO problem, but a Google problem. Optimizing your site and content, even aggressively building backlinks to your content, wasn’t a problem until Google decided this aggressive marketing was unfairly influencing their index and decided to cut out aggressive site owners and online marketers.

Neither Google or anyone else should assume that just because a site was earning a healthy income from the web, it wasn’t creating superior content. In recent years, we have seen a whole online industry built up around Google search traffic, with these site owners working full-time to create quality content. In the process, many of these webmasters built very active niche communities on the web and became recognized experts in their niche. Most will not survive and from this perspective, many believe that Google’s recent changes will eventually downgrade the over-all quality of the web. Google’s short-term gain is the web’s long-term loss.

Regardless, webmasters MUST realize this is Google’s ballgame and they MUST play by Google’s guidelines or suffer the consequences.

Against this whole backdrop, webmasters and site owners, simply need a better way of judging the quality of sites and links on the web. They need a simple way to find quality link partners which will help them combat Penguin and any other changes Google will be making in the future. In a very timely release, a site called MajesticSeo.com has just created two new “flow metrics” in order to better evaluate domains and/or links on the web. This new evaluation consists of two metrics, both measured in numbers (between 0-100) and can be shown graphically.

Citation Flow – how many links are flowing/linking to a domain or URL.

Trust Flow – how much trust is flowing through a domain or URL.

View Link Profile images for SiteProNews and Google

In most cases, your citation flow or number will be larger than your trust flow number. This stands to reason, because in a natural link building process, most domains will have many more links coming from low level sites, which also have low trust flow. This last metric will give webmasters a good idea of how trustworthy a potential linking partner will be in improving their site’s authority on the web. Supposedly, the higher the Trust flow number, then according to the MajesticSeo site, “…proportionally more of that value will ‘flow’ through to the links from that URL.”

Best of all, one can quickly and better judge the quality of a site or link by viewing the graph and the numbers which pop up. It gives more information than a Google PageRank number which has become less important over the years. The only other comparable measurement is probably MozRank by SeoMoz.com which you can find by using the OpenSiteExplorer site – it will show your Page and Domain Authority rankings.

Just how, or if, the SEO community uses these metrics and whether they will become popular with webmasters, remains to be seen. The signup requirement for a free or paid account could stifle adoption. In the Post-Penguin world, however, linking for higher rankings has become much more complex than in the past. The more information you have about a domain and its links, the better equipped you will be at making a wise decision in regards to your own linking and marketing. These two new metrics fit the bill perfectly.


The author is a full-time webmaster with several sites on the web. His main site offers free marketing guides/resources/tools and is located here: www.bizwaremagic.com. He has also just written a very informative report on the Google Panda/Penguin Updates, a must-read if you have been affected by the recent Google changes – you can find it here: Free Penguin Report.

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