Ranking Factors Series: Part 3 Backlink Profile

Ranking Factors Series: Part 3 Backlink Profile

It’s a common belief that backlinks (number of times your website gets linked to) are king of the SEO jungle. For example, if website A has 100 links pointing to it and website B has 50 links; website A would rank higher in search engines.

In this article, we are going to explain why that’s not always true and is flawed because it doesn’t tell the full story of backlink profiles. Before we do a deep dive, we need to explain some key terms and what they mean.

Key Terms

Backlink(s): A backlink(s) is when another website puts your URL on their website which will direct (link) their visitors to your website. A site can link as many time as it wants to your site and each one is recognized by search engines.

Referring Domains: A referring domain is the count of the actual domains (websites) that links to yours. Now each website is only counted once independent of the number of times it links to yours.

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Taking You To School

Let’s make this more understandable through comparison.

Google and other search engines are a lot like employers. Say one person refers you to a hiring company multiple times, that’s not nearly as effective as having multiple people refer you to a company.

Let’s say you’re hiring and you have two applicants. One applicant has one person who keeps referring and reminding you of candidate A.  

On the other hand, candidate B has 3 people who are referring and reminding you that they are looking for a job. Who are you more likely to hire? 

Search engines are similar in the sense that a website with a greater ratio of referrers domains to backlinks is considered more relevant. Hopefully, through our job search example, you can see how search engines don’t think much different from us.

To put this in perspective, Moz estimates that first-page results account for 71% of traffic and 67% in the top five rankings. According to Advanced Web Ranking, 27% of web traffic goes to rank one, and 2% goes to rank eight.

The Numbers

The numbers below were generated by SEMRush and we are interpreting the data for you. We are also using clothing sizes again to represent search volume (XL, L, M, S).

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The graph above is telling two stories, and both are very important. First, it shows just how competitive XL and L volume keywords can be and the amount of work required to start competing. The second story is there is a lot of potential upsides and a reasonable amount of competition in the M and S search volumes.

Let’s start by addressing the XL and L categories. These keywords are behemoths and make them nearly impossible to compete. For example, for the XL category, the median is 10,000 referring domains.

If your site were able to get four new referring domains a month, it would take 2,500 months or ~208 years to hit the median amount of referring domains assuming the median doesn’t grow during that time.

Enough of the bad news, let’s move to a brighter spot, the M and S competition level.

These words are more accessible to the common business. At a glance, you will notice that the M and S terms have a minor difference in referring domains when comparing positions 2 to 15 ranking positions.

Now compare that to the XL/L groups, and you will notice a substantial decline in referring domains for the same position range.

Using the same four new referring domains a month example from before, If the median of referring domains is 50, then it would take only a year to have as many referring domains.

How to use these numbers

Although the first part of the numbers section of this article can be discouraging, the second part of it should be very encouraging.

Search Engine Optimization results are in reach, and you can formulate a plan around it.

First, we should mention that SEO is a lot like weight lifting, you shouldn’t expect instant SEO results just like you wouldn’t expect to look like Arnold after lifting weights once.

SEO work is continuous and requires consistency to build your search engine muscle. If you’re ever approached by an “expert” who claims to be able to increase your rankings within days, be very cautious.

You do not want to end up like BMW and get penalized by Google with the potential of never being able to recover from it.

With that said, our suggestion would be to target search terms in the M & S category at the same time.

This way you will see a return on investment sooner than targeting M alone because of the low competition level in the S category.

While you see results from the S search terms, you will be building your authority in the M search terms which bring even more results.

This strategy works particularly well with local businesses because region specific terms tend to be less competitive depending on your city or neighborhood because they are long tailed (3-6 word search terms).

SEO work is continuous and requires consistency to build your search engine muscle.


Today’s topic was very dense and could use a recap.

The key takeaways from Part 3 is having a bunch of backlinks isn’t the only factor in SEO you should be concerned with and should make sure you have a variety of domains backlinking.

It’s also important to take away that M and S search terms are with in reach for local businesses.

Concerned about your backlink profile? Contact us now, and we will do a report for you free of charge that will include your backlink profile.

SEO Ranking Factors Part 2: Videos

SEO Ranking Factors Part 2: Videos

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million words. Sounds great, but how does that translate to making you king of the castle on search engines relative to your competition?

Video has been on the rise since 2014, and there have not been any signs of it stopping. According to Insivia, 74% of online traffic will be video.

Here we are going to dive into how videos on your page impact your search engine factors and how to best utilize it.

on-page videos

You’ve written a great article, and you want to take it to the top by posting a video on the page. You’re thinking “this is for sure going to help my rankings!”

In the SEMRush report, they could not correlate on-page video with ranking results. Does that mean there’s no place for video on your website?

If you want to see all the benefits of having video content on your website, you can find all kinds of video statistics here. 

Not at all, and we think there is SEO value there but not in the way you would traditionally think. Let’s talk about how video can be of use to you in your SEO strategy.

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Video SEO

Some may not know this, but there is such a thing as video SEO. Have you ever searched Google and noticed that a video came up?

At JPDA, we love sneakers so on July 12th, 2017 we searched “shoe cleaner review“ and interesting enough, the number two result is a video.

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Have you ever met a proud parent that thinks their child is the smartest, best looking, and best-behaved child?

Well, Google is not much different from that parent because YouTube is part of their ecosystem of web platforms. Naturally, Google will favor its platform over other sites.

Being on one of Google’s platforms isn’t enough alone. We are going to use the first video in the results to show what they are doing right.

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First, we will look at the data and see what it tells us.

The stats show that this video only has 5,060 views, after nine days, four shares, and 80 comments.

To put these stats into perspective, Amazon, the number one spot, has 1.6 billion links, but this video can rank just below it and ranks above a website with 3.5k website links.

Video can be the great equalizer in terms of competing against giants because his website (notice the SSL certificate) would not show up in search engines because it only has 24 backlinks. The video stats are dwarfed by Amazon and number three spot, but yet he is still ranking.

The second part of his strategy that was done correctly but can be improved; he is linking to his website which can turn YouTube views into website visits.

You will notice though he links to many other areas that don’t relate to the video or website which can confuse his visitors on where to go or will cause them to not click any of the links.

We would advise they don’t place so many links in the description and guide his viewers to where his profits are made.

To put these stats into perspective, Amazon, the number one spot, has 1.6 billion links, but this video can rank just below it and ranks above a website with 3.5k website links.


Video will not help your site or blog article ranking in search engines, but it does have value.

As an on-page method of ranking video should not be part of your strategy but if you checked the video stats I linked to, then you will realize video is powerful in other ways like conversions.

The way to make video work for you in the SEO world is to utilize YouTube and then have others share, embed, like, and view your video.

Ensure that you have you have a clear call to action and link to your desired page so that viewers visit the page you want them to visit.

Case Study

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Today we will pick on the plumbing industry and on how this can be used. The picture above you will see the search term “how to stop drain leak, ” and the first result is a YouTube video.

When you view the video, you will find the uploader executed this perfectly. They have lots of comments, shares, and views.

Also in the in the description, they have a clear call to action of where they want the viewer to go. They likely receive a fee for every person who buys the Amazon product they sell.

If you would like for us to provide you with an SEO website audit, don’t hesitate to reach out and we can provide one free of charge with no obligation. Fill out the contact form below, and we will get it for you within 48 hours.