How can you tell what links help rankings?

What is it?

At Kerboo we have two metrics, LinkRisk and LinkValue. LinkRisk is designed to show the risk any link could pose and LinkValue is designed to show the true value any given link may pass to your site. We used to be able to rely on metrics to score the value of a link but Google has made the value of a link increasingly opaque. Link metrics are generally an approximation of the theoretical PageRank a link could pass (with some tweaks etc) but this way of working doesn’t give a true picture any more. So many of the links we have are now being ignored by Google or discounted and LinkValue is the only metric available that can solve that problem.

LinkValue runs from 0-5 with 0 being no value at all, 1 being a small or debateable value and then 2-5 showing increasing levels of value that the link may pass.

How it works?

The way we calculate LinkValue is to initially take the same route as all other link metrics and calculate an approximation of the theoretical PageRank the link could pass. We then discount that value by the things only Google and Kerboo could know.

We start by calculating the Propensity To Disavow (PTD) of the linking domain. The PTD is the ratio of how often we see the domain in Kerboo and compares it to how often the user chooses to disavow the link or domain. For example we might see a well known site disavowed a high number of times but if the ratio of how often its disavowed compared to the number of times we see it is low we can still be confident that this is a good site. Conversely if we’ve seen a site 100 times and of those 100 appearances users chose to disavow it 99 out of the 100 then we can be fairly confident that its a poor site. For sites with a high PTD we are able to discount or even remove the value that the link could pass in the same way that Google are able to.

Then, Calculations

We then take a subset of our LinkRisk algorithm and calculate what we call our ‘Penguin Proxy’. This aims to detect links that have a high risk of being ignored by Google’s real time Penguin algorithm. Again this allows us to also potentially ignore some or all of the value of these links.

We are then able to qualify all of our algorithmically determined scores by comparing it to the actual human opinions of tens of thousands of seo’s who have used Kerboo in the last 5 years. Each time a user gives an opinion on a site within Kerboo this is anonymously tallied in our central data store and this human training set is then used to make sure the opinions of our algorithms are valid and correct.

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