SEO Tip of the Week: Links from Big Sites are Not Always the Best

SEO Tip of the Week: Links from Big Sites are Not Always the Best

90 Digital CEO Nick Garner advises that links from big sites are not always the best in this edition of’s SEO Tip of the Week.

How often have you heard an SEO’er tell you about their link placement on some huge mainstream domain, suggesting its going to get them ranked. I have some bad news…

How many times have you heard that content marketing is the new link building and how getting a link on a HUGE site is the answer to your ranking problems?  Just because it’s a big site, does not mean a link from it will give you a ton of Pagerank.

The premise is that Google looks at the internet in ‘pages’ not sites – it sees sites as aggregations of pages.  (More on the Google PageRank paper)

So if it’s pages that count, then lets look at a huge ‘link target’ like Huffington Post and see how many pages as a proportion of its total page count have good enough PageRank to make a link placement worth it.

Bear in mind, if you want a link on Huffington post, with all the editorial working up, befriending editors there and having a decent PR angle to get a placement, its minimum £1,000 for that link. (my estimations)

According to Google search, it has 18.2 million pages across the site. says 76,800 pages, which to me is the right number.

The domain has some awesome metrics:

SEO Tip of the Week: Links from Big Sites are Not Always the Best

Using Majestic, I downloaded data on the top 10,000 pages and exported it to an excel spreadsheet. I then took out category home pages because they are not a place you can feasibly get a link…

To make this more visual, here are the numbers in a pie diagram:

92% of pages on Huffington post have zero trust flow.

As people who have read other posts from me know, I use trust flow as a core measure for whether a page has a ‘linking’ value, so I have organised my information by trust flow per page.

Aside: Its always hard to work out how deep Majestic has gone into a given site. My general rule of thumb is that it will have picked up the important pages because they are the ones with links going to them and therefore if I’m looking for pages with metrics I can be fairly confident about these numbers.

So what is the answer? Well, I like to go for small sites which give me a better chance of giving me Page Rank (Majestic Trust Flow) on a per page basis. My favourites are sites where the sub domain Trustflow is around 20+ and where the site owner is game for doing a deal where I am likely to get lots of internal links into my link on the doner site.

Of course if you can get a link off Huffington Post, great! It’s trustworthy, but don’t expect to get a lot of pagerank.