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.
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.