THE TRUTH BEHIND LINK DIVERSITY
If you consult an SEO professional, most of them will be of the opinion that you need a diverse link profile to your website in order
to rank well in search engines. This requirement for diversity in your website’s backlink profile is referred to as “link
diversity” and has always been one of the most talked about ranking factors of a website.
There are an endless amount of links a website is able to obtain. The types of links often fall within a few major groups including Private Blog Networks (PBNs), Web 2.0 links, blog comments, citations, press releases, guest posts, competitor link stealing, content marketing, Sape, GSA, outreach, authority linking, referral pages, and much more.
In this article, kindly note that social signals are not considered as part of the link diversity of a website as they serve a different purpose in search engine algorithms when it comes to ranking.
DO YOU REALLY NEED LINK DIVERSITY?
To answer the question simply, the need for link diversity heavily depends on the size of your website and the difficulty of the niche you are in. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the website, the more you will need link diversity.
Having a diverse link profile will appear more natural in a search engine’s view especially if you are a large website with hundreds of pages. Where you are a small website with only a dozen or so pages, having too much diversity in your links could appear intentional and may receive bad SEO points.
It is therefore crucial to understand the niche you are in and how big your website is. If you are running a medium micro-niche website, chances are, you will not require link diversity to rank your website.
When we say that link diversity is not necessary, it is not equivalent to saying that diversified links do not serve a purpose. In fact, heavily recommendation is emphasised on citations to help create local relevance and boosting link velocity as well as press releases to get out of the Google sandbox placed on new websites.
According to a case study conducted by Matt Diggity on needing link diversity, several website owners were able to rank websites using specific types of links only which mostly were PBNs.
However, if you intend on growing your website into something bigger than a website containing a few dozen pages, growing a diversified backlink profile could benefit you tremendously. Google is not stupid and neither are their algorithm updates that assess ranking factors of a website.
If you are building artificial links through specific anchors, penalisation may happen which was witnessed as one of the major downfalls of PBN link profiles when the Penguin algorithm kicked in.
Caution should be placed with common sense. For example, if you have a brand new website, it seems obvious to not blast it with a lot of high domain authority backlinks as it would appear unnatural and will most likely be penalised by Google.
Diversifying your backlinks with varied anchor texts that contain exact match keywords, domain authority links that are not just from high DA websites, mixture of follow and no-follow links, a good range of external links, and a varied link location to different pages of your website.