Break Out of the Local Linking Same Old Same Old

March 30th, 2010 by Amy Arnold

It has come to my realization that I am in a rut. An external linking rut.

External Linking Rut!

Well, I knew I needed to revisit linking strategies … it’s one of those things that I never sat down to research and really dig into because I have procrastinated incredibly well, but the past week has propelled me in that direction, not necessarily with my consent. But once I started digging into the data and ignoring the world around me, it was good.

It was good to see what I have been doing right and to discover those little opportunities that I have missed but can now take advantage of.

I have always used locally relevant linking in link building exercises to a certain extent. The links that are obvious have been submitted and published, but I’m really appreciating the value of these opportunities that I have not fully exploited:

  • Links from sites that are not top of mind but have a great trust value
  • Links from sites that may be local in 1 market but may not exist in another (i.e. local newspaper sites, local television news channel sites, etc. are truly local to a given market)


“What is local authority? It’s the popularity (read: link popularity) of a particular site among sites in their topic community. So, a link from Wikipedia or Yahoo!’s directory, despite being on an on-topic page, will not count towards local authority, while a link (even a reciprocal link) from a website in your own industry that’s geared towards a related topic or the same topic as your own website, is a boost in local authority.”

In my client linking profiles, I have always included local link building in the past but treated more as a side item rather than an entrée. This past week as I have been looking at many local sites trying to assess some level of value, and I am lovin’ the really specific, really local linking sites that I am finding. I knew I would find good stuff but didn’t expect to find as much as I have.

If Google were looking only at quantity of external links, we could all submit our websites to low authority global directories all day long. But Google doesn’t work that way, so pretty quickly, we hit a point of diminishing returns. Consistently, over time, quantity of links has a consistency value, sure, but for the real trust building and local relevance, a website needs to be connected to the local online community.

This post is certainly not to argue the value of locally specific search links. That subject is well covered by many more expert than I. The point is, don’t get lazy with your backlink strategy.

It’s not a checkmark on the to-do list. It is not where you can say, “Local links … DONE!”

Local Links: Can't just scratch it off the list.

It should be looked at frequently. Look at what the local competitors are doing, where they are linking and see if those same are attainable, and search for the area’s local online directories and assess what level of value they offer.

Really giving local linking a thorough and hopefully exhaustive review has been my procrastination project for some time, and I am happy to be tackling it and finding great opportunity.

Image Credit: Thanks to koalazymonkey and XowOffroad for the pictures!