Search Methodologies – VAVA
When we look at any website’s link portfolio, we look at four key areas: Link Volume, Link Authority, Link Velocity and Link Anchor Text. No matter what challenges a website faces I will look to improve these VAVA™ principles.
We can all easily get our heads around the idea that Google and the other search engines like websites with more links. Though the intricacies of link building require a nuanced approach, very often a website can’t go too far wrong with a strategy that results in more links.
Link equity is far more complicated than just volume although this is still important, it doesn’t matter if you have a pile of links as big as Ben Nevis Mountain if your competitors is as big as Everest.
In real life not all recommendations are created equally, we know who of our friends and acquaintances are experts, and who doesn’t know what they are talking about. If we want advice on a new car, we trust our mechanic friend more than our dentist. Google, when they look at link authority, are trying to achieve something very similar. They make judgments about how much sway any endorsement should have.
If you’ve looked at the volume and authority of your competitors you might find yourself scared stiff, but there is some good news though. Google have realised there is a fault in their algorithm; there is a lag, a lag between a page being important enough to include and when it has received enough links to rank. To rectify this there is a phenomenon, which is sometimes known as a Google Honeymoon Period or officially, “Query Deserves Freshness”, this means new pages don’t need as many links to rank when they are ‘fresh’.
It makes a lot of sense. Imagine two identical sites, one with 1,000 links but static growth vs. another with 500 gained rapidly over the last few months. Which do you think will be the best website to return for a topical search query?
This isn’t the only way link velocity influences rankings, but there is a general trend if you can engineer a healthy link velocity you will benefit more than your link volume and authority may initially suggest.
Link Anchor Text
A varied and inventive link building campaign will usually deal with authority, velocity & volume factors by default, but are you making sure you get the right anchor text?
But what is anchor text? If someone links to you in a piece of text and a few words are underlined and in blue, that’s known as anchor text. It’s the words or phrases people use when they link to you.
Google use these words to understand what your website is about. If someone writes the word “foolproof widgets” and makes it a clickable link to your site, the search engine can be reasonably confident that your website is about “foolproof widgets”