Ahhh, Link Diversity…

Linkmoses loves it when a seemingly technical and complex concept can be broken down and simplified, and Rand Fishkin at SEOmoz is one of the best at doing this. Give him a whiteboard and I do believe he could solve global warming. I’ve embedded a video of his that beautifully explains link diversity below.

Link Diversity means different things to different people. Some folks think link diversity is the number of links you give to other sites from your site. Links out, not in. There’s also the school of thought that link diversity is the total number of pages from your site that are linked to by other sites. Meaning if your site has 173 pages, and you have links from other sites linking to 28 of your 173 pages, that’s link diversity. That’s getting closer, but not exactly.

Here’s the most basic definition of Link diversity. Link diversity is the number of different sites linking to your site. To confuse it a bit, link diversity is also when another site links to more than just one page of your site.

We can take this many steps further, and invoke the old quality of diversity mantra. Having links from 652 different domains is useless if all 652 domains come from a link farm to begin with.

Linkmoses takeaway?

Lower diversity numbers from highest quality sites trump higher diversity numbers from low merit sites.

A site with 10 inbound links, where those ten inbounds are comprised of three libraries, two universities, and five non profits, will have a much more appealing and diverse link profile than a site with 100 links from 100 different make money fast domains.

Achieving link diversity is another matter completely

The approach needed to improve link diversity will depend on your site. Sorry, no magic bullets here. The link diversity potential for a site that sells tennis gear versus a site that helps handicapped people find companion animals will be quite different. In that sense, for link diversity to have any lasting impact on traffic or rank it must be dependent upon the subject relevance of that diversity.

Below is Rand’s video. It’s just a few minutes of your time, and well worth it. If it wont load, you can find it at


SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday – Link Diversity from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo.

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  1. says

    Replying to BC… Generating high-quality link diversity (inbound from other sites) is a long-term process without shortcuts, and for an organization like yours ‘http://vermontspecialtyfoods.org/’ you can work to generate relationship links from partners, suppliers, customers and other businesses you work with to help achieve the desired results. Look first to your registered members and develop a compelling reason to get them to add a link to your website. Any member who understands the benefit of getting a .org link back should be happy to provide a link-for-link connection. You might also consider a special offer (discount on membership) or some other type of reason (certification logo – stamp of approval) that compels your members to publish your logo and a link back to your site, as a means for showing their dedication to the high standards that your organization upholds. Don’t overlook your members social network profiles (Linked-in, Facebook, Twitter, etc) as another source for generating inbound links back to your primary website.

  2. says

    reactorr…for me the best practice for informing the target site will depend on whether or not the target site provides a clear explanation for how they prefer to be contacted. Many sites of obviously high quality do not make it easy to find editorial decision makers. This is likely on purpose to discourage spam. I typically spend a few minutes studying the pages of the target site, looking for details that will direct me to the right person. If I can’t find any, but am able to find a phone number, I call them directly.

  3. says

    It sounds like a case of authority providing inbound references to your site. And with increasing references (IBL’s) your site stands to gain a little more than 100 obscure sites linking without that authority factor.

    If this is where quality content/linkbait or similar play a part in acquiring such links, what are best practices to informing such authoritative sites?

  4. Anonymous says

    Our site contains content across many academic disciplines, each with a vital albeit small audeince. I know we need links, but how do I prioritize how I go about this, and how do I manage it all. I guess what I’m asking is how do you expand link diversity for your site when your site cover 30 different completly diferrent topics, each containing peer reviewed quality material?

  5. says

    Understand what you mean here, but how does one go about finding what you call “relevant diversity” link targets? How do I research that in my niche?