Do Backlinks Really Need To Be Niche Relevant?


NOTE: This is exactly the kind of ongoing SEO research that my 5-person full-time team constantly runs here for SEO Traffic Hacks.

There are many misleading ‘facts’ about SEO out there; below is a list of supposed truths about SEO, but they are, in fact, completely false. You’ve probably seen a lot of SEO tips around and those poorly-researched facts will look something like this:

  1. Supposedly, you must have backlinks from relevant sites to rank (heavyweight paid link buyers with incredible rankings/traffic know that this is complete BS).
  2. For local rankings, you must have links from local sites or locally hosted sites.
  3. Expired domains supposedly have all of their link juice erased by Google when they expire/drop.
  4. The top contextual link on the page gets the most link juice.
  5. Supposedly, outgoing ‘link juice’ (formerly Page Rank) is equally divided between all outgoing links—this is also currently how Majestic calculates their TrustFlow. They also give each link on the page equal TrustFlow weight, regardless of the link position on the page (e.g. footer/sidebar/contextual)! Majestic also counts TrustFlow from pages NOT currently indexed in Google – these are 3 big philosophical errors IMO, even though Majestic is still our go-to choice and we spend a LOT with them on API credits every month.
  6. Expired domains supposedly need a minimum of 10 Referring Domains to have any SEO value.
  7. Expired domains with a TrustFlow of less than 20 are also apparently worthless.
  8. Links should supposedly be surrounded with relevant text to have SEO impact.
  9. More than 10 links on a page is apparently very bad for SEO.
  10. Major rankings improvements take months to achieve,
  11. .info domains are supposedly crap for SEO (as Money Sites or PBNs).

With these false-facts in mind, browse through these up-to-date research results below (you can go to Microsite Masters’ links below to view for yourself, ranking results vary by day) and note how many of these SEO ‘facts’ are contradicted (we see the same on many other tests here as well).
In short, as the repeated results below show, having a ‘counter-culture’ mindset and not believing everything you read about SEO (or anything) can be VERY productive and open up a TON of SEO opportunities.

With the live tests below, some keywords DO have local search volume, while some do NOT – but even without apparent local search volume, the breaking of so many supposed SEO ‘rules’ in the way done here should not deliver ANY rankings improvement, should it?

Methodology:

  1. Expired domain found with Bluechip Backlinks + due diligence,
  2. Domain bought,
  3. Archive.org content added/rebuilt by Bluechip Backlinks’ unlimited Wayback Machine Site Rebuilder,
  4. Test Surrogate SEO* links added to expired domain,
  5. 10-cent-a-month HTML Hosting on Amazon S3 using Cloudboss.pro
  6. Rebuilt site re-indexed by Google.

*Surrogate SEO is a technique I use to view the SERP impact of a new link/301 that I build onto other people’s pages ALREADY ranking where there has been no obvious SEO work done on them by the owners in the last 60 days, according to Ahrefs and Majestic (also useful method for 301s).

If a domain passes this test, it goes into normal SEO use with us here.

In all of these link-niche-relevancy tests below, the completely irrelevant target pages were originally ranking around pages 8-11 of Google when a single exact-match Anchor link was added from our irrelevant expired domain site, which was hosted in another country on Amazon S3, the world’s cheapest (HTML) SEO hosting.

Evidence: Exhibit ‘A’

Test Site: Archerynews.info (a TF17 expired domain with just 3 Referring Domains last active in 2006 according to archive.org), a website about archery – obviously – and hosted with Amazon S3 in Brazil, targeting low ranking local keyword pages across the UK only:

Let’s check the UK rankings results from a SINGLE backlink from a NON-relevant TF17 site about bows and arrows hosted on the other side of the world – Brazil! Our link was added around Feb 15/16 2017 (results normally within 48 hours of linkbuilding):

Keyword Target: Maidstone manicurist
Country Target: UK
Starting Rank: #74 on Google
Link Position on Page: 21st
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/815fad680b7e4996cf38d02a7efa61ac


Keyword Target: mortgage broker Winchester
Country Target: UK
Starting Rank: #10 on Google
Link Position on Page: 13th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/2e0a45cf2fa973a05588caef7a5d74c8


Keyword Target: Aberdeen boiler services
Country Target: UK
Starting Rank: #13 on Google
Link Position on Page: 10th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/4564614cd98fc7a50ce91eb98dd43921


Keyword Target: Plymouth removalists
Country Target: UK
Starting Rank: #81 on Google
Link Position on Page: 15th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/e70c462077e434697e0a4ad9e2299677


Keyword Target: flower delivery Glasgow
Country Target: UK
Starting Rank: #83 on Google
Link Position on Page: 8th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/12b7eaf92d3ccc35c450db99f8693dd1


Keyword Target: hairdresser west London
Country Target: UK
Starting Rank: #95 on Google
Link Position on Page: 18th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/d540f3a709c1ea2e4fa75ccd0b9036f


Keyword Target: Newcastle dry cleaning
Country Target: UK
Starting Rank: #75 on Google
Link Position on Page: 20th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/35f8e9911658140e603a1999a47e8b13


Keyword Target: landscape gardeners Belfast
Country Target: UK
Starting Rank: #101 on Google
Link Position on Page: 2nd
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/eb611f3f6e569e2df5f08427a10f1572


Keyword Target: builders merchants Manchester
Country Target: UK
Starting Rank: #91 0n Google
Link Position on Page: 9th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/80274e674c6dd62dd5ea551e0e78826b


Keyword Target: flower bouquets Leeds
Country Target: UK
Starting Rank: #89 on Google
Link Position on Page: 11th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/c507f1f11bdf171887f94343e8d1e7d7


Keyword Target: London financial consultant
Country Target: UK
Starting Rank: #76 on Google
Link Position on Page: 12th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/73002f7adb31ef575587363f941693f9


Keyword Target: Sheffield house cleaning
Country Target: UK
Starting Rank: #76 on Google
Link Position on Page: 14th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/c35d3ee01770dfc986954671b30392e5


Evidence: Exhibit ‘B

The expired domain ‘idealbrand.tv’, formerly some kind of a Chinese shopping site, has had new links added to target various Australian local terms, hosting in Germany Amazon S3.

not exactly a Trust Flow powerhouse either:

but these were the results on the best of the target sites (remember, we chose these that were already ranking around pages 8-11 for these keywords):

Keyword Target: west Sydney flower delivery service
Country Target: Australia
Starting Rank: #99 on Google
Link Position on Page: 23rd
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/54fd301124a022749aae5e603a559706


Keyword Target: Caloundra building company
Country Target: Australia
Starting Rank: #74 on Google
Link Position on Page: 5th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/91a67d3b762113dfc303132456b70793


Keyword Target: electrician Bunbury
Country Target: Australia
Starting Rank: #74 on Google
Link Position on Page: 11th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/a83e8a5a96bc3fc1cb4fff7b0c6a8894


Keyword Target: Cairns house renovation
Country Target: Australia
Starting Rank: #96 on Google
Link Position on Page: 4th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/07ecec61e65e5606b5aead0104345308


Keyword Target: house removal Warrnambool
Country Target: Australia
Starting Rank: #31 on Google
Link Position on Page: 15th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/a2ce01b494ff1bcd3362d6fdd88e7e06


Keyword Target: Adelaide office relocation
Country Target: Australia
Starting Rank: #94 on Google
Link Position on Page: 6th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/a1b0c485f9f2ccf167f3b7ee65981ace


Evidence: Exhibit ‘C’


Another expired domain, gzrcac.com, was a Chinese railway site hosted in India S3, but now targets local terms across Canada. The results can be seen below:

Keyword Target: south Halifax spa
Country Target: Canada
Starting Rank: #13 on Google
Link Position on Page: 6th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/22a19bfbc29c93c701f6aa8b5ae85c6e


Keyword Target: estate agent Burnaby
Country Target: Canada
Starting Rank: #83 on Google
Link Position on Page: 16th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/4710250b703e5c7e57b5e18470351eb4


Keyword Target: Vancouver gardening service
Country Target: Canada
Starting Rank: #80 on Google
Link Position on Page: 13th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/9dfd4fcd7f4e0bc324a1b0aad57500fa


Keyword Target: Toronto electrician
Country Target: Canada
Starting Rank: #72 on Google
Link Position on Page: 7th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/f5712763dfdaa0bde9c3c62dadb648bc


Keyword Target: Vancouver strip club
Country Target: Canada
Starting Rank: #85 on Google
Link Position on Page: 17th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/62aab6aa9b1289c4de59f506b72792e6


Keyword Target: central Toronto dance class
Country Target: Canada
Starting Rank: #79 on Google
Link Position on Page: 5th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/30b2c7c2a8dd6c094c3bfad4de3f238e


Keyword Target: west Toronto yoga studio
Country Target: Canada
Starting Rank: #47 on Google
Link Position on Page: 18th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/144ee79e01930cb096276bf79b3591b1


Keyword Target: Charlottetown pest control
Country Target: Canada
Starting Rank: #73 on Google
Link Position on Page: 8th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/7ccc2c7f4aa8d82feb15f7c08563d80b


Keyword Target: Montreal roof repair
Country Target: Canada
Starting Rank: #85 on Google
Link Position on Page: 9th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/64978329c9e7be645490e21b82110ffe


Keyword Target: Mississauga divorce lawyers
Country Target: Canada
Starting Rank: #70 on Google
Link Position on Page: 15th
Microsite Masters Rank Checking Link: https://clients.micrositemasters.com/shared_reports/888c9cc9e125f8efe28e06496698aa0d