Posted by MikeTek
This post was originally in YOUmoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of SEOmoz, Inc.
Though it’s certainly not the most hyped, an SEOmoz tool I took an immediate fascination with is the Top Pages tool (found in SEOmoz Labs - PRO only). What it does is very simple yet powerful: you give it a domain, and it returns a list of the pages at that domain that are linked to by the most root domains (sorted highest to lowest).
I’m a firm believer that the second best way to learn is by example (the first is to try yourself and fail repeatedly - if you can afford it).
Since it’s no secret that the SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog is one of the most widely-read in the space (with ~50k subscribers) and Rand & Co. are quite successful at building links I thought I’d turn the Top Pages tool back on SEOmoz and examine the most linked-to posts at the blog here.
The aim: to study a prime example of a link-attracting blog in our space and draw some insight from the style, content and topics of posts that have attracted the most links for SEOmoz - insight that we can (hopefully) all use to improve our own content creation methods.
Note: This data represents a snapshot in time - so some of these numbers will have changed by the time you read this (if SEOmoz has updated Linkscape by then). I also experienced some odd results involving 301 redirects - old blog URLs with ID variables which were 301′d to new URLs weren’t showing up properly in Linkscape (the data set that Top Pages is based on). In short, I had to manually add up some of the In-Linking Domain counts. Yes, it was tedious.
I decided to cap the sample at the top 150 posts. This was mainly to keep the list manageable and focus on the real "home run" successes.
I gathered the following metrics:
On to the meat and potatoes…
Does the list post format ("X Ways to…") attract more links?
The value of the list format for posts and how this helps your content go viral is beaten to death - but we still accept that the format works. How well has it worked for SEOmoz?
Of the top 150 posts, 38 of them were presented in the list format. The remaining 112 posts in the Top 150 were not presented in the list format.
While list-oriented posts are commonly considered a powerful way to make your content more shareable (and attract links) the most successful link building posts at SEOmoz were writtein in a non-list format.
However, list posts can still be quite successful in attracting links (see below).
The Top 5 In-Linked List Posts at SEOmoz:
The Top 5 In-Linked Non-List Posts at SEOmoz:
Do images/videos in posts help attract links?
Most bloggers accept that a post with images tends to be more scannable and sharable. Rand has commented in the past about the boost including supporting graphics in posts provides. How has this translated into SEOmoz’s own link profile?
Of the 150 posts in this sample, nearly a 2/3 majority (90) of them contain either images or video content. The remaining 60 posts were text-only.
SEOmoz has been more successful in attracting links with posts containing images/video than text-only posts. This might sound like common sense to a blogger, but it’s nice to see it backed up with data. The takeaway here: it’s worth taking the time to find or create supporting graphs/illustrations to include in your posts.
What post topics(categories) attract the most links?
The two categories with the most posts in the Top 150 were Link Building and Technical Issues. These two also attracted the most in-linking domains overall:
The real stand-out in terms total number of in-linking domains is the Technical Issues category - followed by Link Building. This is great information when you’re deciding what topic to focus on for your next blog post or article.
It’s also worth noting that the Blogging category, certainly not a focal topic for SEOmoz, was third in attracting the most in-linking domains overall. Think Linkerati - bloggers are a group with the means and motivation to link (and there are loads of bloggers out there). Not a bad segment to aim your next post at. :)
Here are the most in-linked posts from each category (note: I’m not including categories with only one post):
How about YOUmoz posts?
Out of the Top 150 In-Linked posts at the SEOmoz main blog 9 originated at YOUmoz. Let’s hear it for these mozzers:
There are undoubtedly other ways to slice these metrics up - as well as metrics I didn’t include in my research. I encourage anyone with the inclination to download the spreadsheet I compiled and chop it to bits. Just one request: keep me out of it, I’m tired of looking at this data. ;)
About Mike Tekula
Mike is a Web Developer and SEO Consultant working and residing in Long Island, NY. He founded Unstuck Digital, an Internet Marketing agency, in 2008 and blogs at UnstuckDigital.com. He also rambles at Twitter.com/MikeTek.
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