Date Posted
6th Feb 2013

Weak links and strong links: strong link medium link

Weak links and strong links: strong link medium link

Link building is imperative for website optimization. These are also called back links. We all know this: if a website links to your site that means more traffic paths to your site. Links need to go both ways, don’t they? More traffic paths are good, aren't they?

Traffic Paths

Now I say ‘traffic paths’ because the link could be a path, a track, a lane, a road or a highway to your site. All roads lead to Rome, or something like that. But, highway or dirt track, if no one uses it, then how valuable is it?

I'm reminded of a phrase from my uncle Stew regarding the natural emphasis of rhythm in music. Most music uses a time signature of 4/4. This is four beats per bar, 1 2 3 4, repeated over and over.  The correct emphasis uncle Stew taught me is:

    1                     2                 3                  4
Strong               link          medium           link


Now I know that rock music is backwards to this (medium – strong – weak - strong) and that’s fine – it’s a different style. Other styles have different pulse or emphasis. That’s cool.

When thinking about web links and optimization to improve web traffic to your site, I change the words slightly, when review each back link to my site:

    1                     2                 3                  4
Strong               link          medium           link

You see, not all links are created equal. Not all links are music to the ears of your web master. Not all links are beautiful to hear of when people are surfing your website. But the links should be medium or strong. One day real soon, weak links may be penalized because they don’t make the users experience helpful. Helpful links create strong traffic paths that are more likely to be used.

Strong Backlinks

So what makes a strong link? Well, that’s obvious: a link path built for humans, that lots of humans use, will be very strong.

And it’s best to be incoming rather than out going. Outgoing links sends people away from your site. Some outgoing links can have “no-follow” conditions, which means you don’t get as much credit for this backlink. Outward is not as strong as incoming.

Just like link farms have been outlawed, so too are links to article farms, like Ezine articles or Paul Graham essays. Just by taking the time to submit an article to a website and link back to your site, doesn't mean it’s a strong link traffic path. It needs to be valid and helpful for users. It needs to be a link that people will use, a link that people DO use.


Links need to be from experts in related industries. For example: a link from an orange juice factory to a music store is not that valid. There’s not much authority (unless the music store created the advertisement jingle for the orange juice factory as used on tv – then their site needs to skite about this). Authority links come from people who know about what you do and are keen to send web traffic to you. They like your web page content.

Another tip is to have links from academic institutions, newspapers, television studios. So for a web designer / website developer company like ours, then a link from would be strong. Better still if it came from and article on their leaderboard!

Social Links

The popularity of a link is important. People need to have the opportunity to “like” your article. They need to be able to comment and contribute to your blog. People need to be able to rate something, share their opinion, interact and be involved. The user experience needs to be helpful, fun and worth tweeting about.

So it looks like the trend is going towards social media links impacting your site. (More on social media another day…)

So link building is not very successful, unless you take the time and effort to build strong links.


To learn more on the subject of backlinks and social media:

Search Engine Land

Internet Marketing to Freedom

Search Metrics

Return on Investment from SEO Considerably Higher

Punch Social Services

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