For many brands and agencies now, linkbuilding means digital PR. Many people have given up doing link building in the traditional sense and just rely on coverage gained through relationships with journalists. For many of us the definition of value in links now comes from trying to obtain coverage from the nationals.
Coverage from the nationals always looks great on internal or client reports but sometimes these links don’t translate as quickly into SEO success. Let's work through some of the mechanics of these links.
Many nationals are filled with content and they want to cross link all their latest and related content. That means they typically have an excessive amount of links going out from each page, links to internal pages or to external sites. The issue with that is that it tends to mean that your link has to share the equity from that page with all these other links, each one waters down the value slightly.
It's also true that many newspapers and news sites in general tend to publish an awful lot of content. The Washington Post for example is reported to publish nearly 500 new stories every single day. Thats an awful lot of content!
The issue for us as SEO’s is that our great coverage in a story today is quickly relegated to a deeper and deeper part of the site. The deeper we end up the further away from the main source of link value in the site, the homepage.
Now it's true to say that link equity isn’t the whole picture when it comes to whether a link is helping your overall marketing but it's important to know that there are factors that dilute the equity you might get.
I would still want coverage from the nationals, they infer trust, they provide relevancy and qualification and of course they can drive spikes of welcome traffic. Just make sure that they aren’t the only thing you’re relying on for link equity gathering as part of your overall SEO strategy.