You could read 50 articles about modern SEO tactics and probably discover 50 different theories. But our friends at the Custom Legal Marketing Lab are less interested in theories and more interested in science. Recently, they conducted hundreds of searches in all practice areas and many major cities in the United States. Then, they conducted a link analysis on the top 2 ranking law firms in each of these markets.
The result? The No. 1 website does not have more links. Just 45 percent of page 1 rank 1 websites had more links than its No. 2 counter part. This is definitive proof that link quantity is no match for quality.
The report discovered that the link makeup of a page 1 rank 1 site contained mostly higher end links and utilized low value connections at a lower percentage. According to the study, “While many of the top-ranked websites had dynamic link profiles that utilized a range of link and resource types, most No. 1-ranked sites linked from fewer free web-directories than their competitors and more regional, government and education-oriented websites.”
This isn't revolutionary. The mantra for many SEO companies has always been to talk about quality on the front end and link their clients to junk on the back end… for many years, this worked.
The promise of a more fair Google search algorithm may finally be coming to fruition, where the cheaters and low-value-link-hoarders are not rewarded for their efforts and the local businesses that choose the high road can be rewarded with high placement.