There have been trillions of words written about how valuable it is for search engine optimization to get links back to your site from relevant sites with targeted keywords in the text of those links. So why even bother adding more noise to the conversation? Because I saw something happen the other day that underscores exactly why this is so important.

Yardbarker is like for sports fans. They host a number of pro athlete blogs including Greg Oden’s blog. Greg was the #1 NBA draft pick this year. Naturally they rank #1 in Google for the term “Greg Oden blog”. The result in Google looks like this:

Greg Oden’s Blog

Recently the site had a technical hiccup at the same time Google was crawling and indexing its pages. Shortly after the crawl occurred the same search in Google showed this as the top result:

Application Error

Now why would Google, with its ability to index pages lighting fast and move them up and down in rank at the drop of a hat display this bad result? The only conclusion I can draw is that there are so many relevant sites linking back to this page with the words “Greg Oden Blog” in the anchor text of the links that Google has no choice but to make this crappy page #1.


Full disclosure: Yardbarker is a client

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4 Response Comments

  • Will Scott  October 26, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Amen brother!

    We had two recent experiences which underscore this reality in Google in particular:

    1. A client’s hosting company let his domain lapse and it was replaced by a parking page from enom. As in your example he never lost #1 ranking.

    2. Within the last 6 months we were working on a client’s on-page / off-page initial work. We were going back and forth on content all the while developing directory links. With no similar reference on-site we took the #1 spot for one of her less competitive phrases on links alone.

    Links matter. And regardless of the pundits, even low-quality links can move a site on long-tail phrases.

  • Fouad Ajimi  October 27, 2007 at 7:27 am

    it is also known that G! refreshes the results at different rate than the ranking! I have seen that recently with one of my sites as i forgot to renew the domain name! I was in the first page for my keywords, with the default page of NS!

  • Fouad Ajimi  October 27, 2007 at 7:30 am

    ooops, check that again!

  • Daryl  November 8, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    This is an easy once. They are ranking for the phrase because of sheer link strength from the number of incoming links, as well as having an instance of the search term in the url. Never underestimate sheer link strength, take Wiki for example. Cheers.