Proof Anchor Text Links From Unrelated Sites Are GOLD Too

Get links from related sites. Don’t link out to irrelevant sites. Don’t get links from unrelated sites. Sitewide links don’t count. Some SEOs Mantra

More Google seo bollocks, polluting through the web, and by SEO, of all people! If you think that’s controversial….

Google used to say something along the lines of getting links from sites relevant to your website (now Google says tell the world about your site)You see it doesn’t matter if your site has earned links from some industry respected, related by theme, sites around the world:


A crap site with no related links and keyword stuffed text and links ENTIRELY from IRRELEVANT client sites can easily outrank your original content with organic links (you know, the kind Google says is the best links) in SERPS.

In the SEO related rankings anyway.

The site below ranks no3 in Google for a sought after seo related term, and has just about 100% of it’s links from, totally unrelated, client sites….


I guess that search engine optimisation company is giving Google what it wants. Focused keyword rich text links from real sites no matter the relation in terms of industry.

But what can this tell us from a seo point of view?

I surmise and theorise:

  1. Links from REAL but unrelated sites are still EXTREMELY valuable, no matter how you look at it, I don’t see google Caffeine sorting that out.
  2. Google doesn’t give two £$%^ about the SEO vertical and will let manipulative strategies work, no questions asked
  3. On a limb here – The seo community links suffer from some sort of inbred link rot which makes them less valuable (!) links because of all the interlink love going on

Inbreeding is breeding between close relatives, whether plant or animal. If practiced repeatedly, it can lead to exposure of recessive, deleterious traits….

For me when linkbuilding, it’s links from REAL sites that count, regardless whether related or not. The more popular the real site, the better.

I constantly ask myself:

Just how important are UNRELATED links?

In the seo vertical, very.

I also ask myself…

Should I take backlinks from all my SEO client sites?

Defo works, just as well as it did in 2001, it seems lol :)

You can spy on your own backlinks and some of your competitors links using the Yahoo Site Search while it’s still available ;)

Getting links from related sites is cool, but links from unrelated sites obviously have a part to play too – big time.

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9 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    I’m seeing more and more sites ranking with irrelevant links in certain industries. The adult and drug related industries started the whole get any kind of link game, and if it had ever stopped working they’d have switched tactic. Now after years of seeing these guys making money from blatant disregard of conventional SEO wisdom, other industries are following suit…

  2. Rom says:

    If I get links from blogs that are not related those are still good links?

  3. Rom says:

    we paid 3rd party company to get us some links, they have bloggers who post on their own blogs. So blog is kind of general info, but on that specific Day & Page they write content relevant to us and post a link in middle of content. You think its good or not?

  4. Neil says:

    Hi In some ways getting “organic” links from unrelated sites could be seen as a sign of stand-out content, since it has sparked interest from outside the niche. I got a good boost to one of my sites (although a temporary one) from getting onto the top commenter links on a number of totalyy unrelated sites.

  5. The SME SEO says:

    Depends how good their blogs are in general and how good that page is in general. Anyone other than their own little network linking to their blogs? I mean, do their blogs interact with the real world (good) or only with each other (obvious and bad)? You don’t give us this information and your question really can’t be answered out of context, s’cuse me jumping in here Shaun. Actually Shaun the same thing could be said to a degree about what you said above. Who links to the client sites that link to the site ranking well for the SEO term? That said one of my clients has taken on a web design company (who do some SEO too as a sideline) and I noticed they had surprisingly good PR gained solely from IBLs from client sites! A load were from the same IP block as well because they are hosting resellers – and they’ve got this great PR! Amazing! Total nonsense what Google have been telling us for years. BB

  6. Shaun Anderson (Hobo says:

    @Bill, no thanks for piping in some of the comments today have been very high quality – I know a web company who was lucky enough to get a PR 6 because they were lucky enough to land a big client with a PR 7 site. In fact, most web design companies have higher PR than SEO companies. @Neil – VERY good comment :) @ROM – please don’t tell people you are buying links from pay-per-post or paying companies just to make you links…. ;) – for your own good.

  7. David says:

    That HotFrog entry at pos. 2 for [Viargra] a while back shows this to the extreme. Personally, I think that relevant links have little or no influence on SERPs. If you look at who is one page one for the big terms its usually who has the most link text mixed with PR – not who is the authority or who has the most relevant links and lots of irrelevant links certainly don’t hurt – WordPress and W3C would be good examples. For example, I have a lot of natural links from real Spanish sites that are relevant but in different language to my site. Should these be devalues because Google is not sure if they are relevant? It seems to me that Google don’t place much weight in these grey areas and stick to easier to judge metrics.

  8. Dl says:

    Hi Shaun, “The site below ranks no3 in Google for a sought after seo related term, and has just about 100% of it’s links from, totally unrelated, client sites….” Similar to your findings, saw a crappy site ranking top for a seo term and in addition hidden text in white for other seo related terms – on their own site, and hidden anchor text links from their client sites. And yes, till today, they are still ranking top with all these stuff still found on their client sites !!

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