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Power Of Link Building

What Does George Bush Have To Say About Power of Link Building

What do you do to dominate Google? Google ranking algorithm was largely constructed around links. Essentially, that’s the way they come up with PageRank as well: how many links and the quality of those links determines your site authority.

What is a link?

A link is simply a way for a website to point to another website. Whenever you see that blue text that says “click here” or whatever and you click it and it takes you to another site is a link.

Essentially, the more links you get, the more Google will love you.

I am not saying that links is ALL you need in Google’s eyes; they do claim about 200 different factors go into their algorithm.

However, WITHOUT links you will simply not be able to achieve and maintain strong authority and high rankings.

So, it’s really simple: the more links you get and the better quality they are, the better your rankings are going to be.

BIGGEST QUANTITY of HIGHEST QUALITY LINKS = HIGHEST SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS

Now it’s very important that those links are one way links.

Let me give you an example of the power of links.

This happened around 2004. A group of SEOs decided to rank George Bush’s White House page for the term “miserable failure”.

So what they did was built a good number of one way links with “miserable failure” as their anchor text pointing back to George Bush’s profile.

The result was both shocking and laughable: for a long time when you typed up “miserable failure” into a search, you would see Bush’s profile as the number one result.

It goes without saying, that nothing on his page ever mentioned “miserable failure”. So by the power of the incoming links alone, Google determined the search term relevancy to the former president’s profile.

Side note: a couple of years after the incident, Google finally changed its algorithm, making it far more difficult for such pranks to happen in the future. More on this at SearchEngineLand.com.

Bush before after

Bush before after

Now, when Obama took over the presidency, he basically dismantled the entire site to avoid his predecesor’s bad fame.

Results?

You tell me. I took the screen shot below on November 17 in Yahoo! Search.

bush yahoo miserable failure

bush yahoo - miserable failure

Ahh, the everlasting power of quality one way link building!


Love it or hate it? Comment to show me that you’re alive!

ana hoffman seo link buildingana hoffman yournetbiz

(post image credit)

Traffic, traffic, traffic... Can't do without it, but don't know how to get it? Ana does, and she freely shares her best advice on how to increase web traffic on her Traffic Generation Cafe blog. And don't forget to pick up Ana's 7 Steps to Complete Search Engine Domination free SEO report while you are at it - stop hoping for more search engine traffic and go get it!

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{ 70 comments… add one }

  • Claire December 29, 2010, 9:42 pm

    I think that prank made it harder for webmasters in general to rank high for certain keywords since the technique used does not hold much power as before.

  • Lucian December 12, 2010, 9:23 am

    I think it is better that google focuses more on the content on the page, but probably it works more like a filter.
    Lucian recently posted..Why Guest Blogging is So GoodMy Profile

  • Leo December 9, 2010, 1:18 pm

    The french president was also “victim” of GoogleBombing, for keywords a lot worse that “Miserable Failure” – if you searched for “trou du c*l du web” (meaning “web’s arsh*le”), his site came first, then his facebook page.

    His son was also the target of one for “fils à papa” – “daddy’s son” pejoratively.

  • Aakash December 8, 2010, 9:36 am

    Though miserable failure is really burning demo of the link building but the way you describe it is really good one.

    Many new bie will be able to learn from it.

    Note – Love your blog and thanks for providing those great tips.

  • Pritam December 8, 2010, 5:25 am

    Yes, this is really interesting fact that Google even does not care about the on page SEO if the off-page is very powerful.
    I have come up with search results many times in my R&D and concluded if you get the powerful backlinks for particular keywords, you can rank well even if you have not written that keyword in your page.

  • Tinh December 8, 2010, 1:25 am

    Interesting article and I love the image of Mr. Bush too :-)
    Tinh recently posted..5 Tips To Boost Targeted Traffic with Article MarketingMy Profile

    • Ana December 9, 2010, 10:19 pm

      Thanks Tinh, I’m glad you like it.

      Have a nice day,

      Ana

  • TJ McDowell December 7, 2010, 4:34 pm

    Isn’t there a way to say that you don’t want to rank for a certain term? If there’s not a tag for that, it would probably make sense to add one. Well, maybe not – then the pranksters would have moved on to different terms.

    Also had a question for you on your search results screenshot. Are you using a plugin to show the page rank of the pages in your yahoo search results? What plugin is that? Firefox? That would be pretty useful.
    TJ McDowell recently posted..Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 Transceiver ReviewMy Profile

  • Alex December 7, 2010, 11:31 am

    I mentioned this in some other comments I wrote for other articles, that google is very ‘impressed’ with one way linking, too impressed in my opinion.

    I also knew about the Bush prank. The first time I heard about it I didn’t really know what to think about it (from a SEO point of view), but as time went by I started to understand.

    Oh, btw as far as I know, the webmasters that did this had several high autorithy website and with the help of those website they managed to pull this off, (as a response to the comment above me :)
    Alex recently posted..Ferma TaMy Profile

  • Andreas December 7, 2010, 11:14 am

    The problem is practically ‘nobody’ uses yahoo (statistically speaking) because of google’s monopoly, so why should they work on their algorithms, doesn’t matter much anyway.

  • Andy December 7, 2010, 10:53 am

    Goes against everything Google have said about GoogleBombing not working, but it always brings a smile to my face when I see Dubya getting a search engine shoeing.
    Andy recently posted..Google’s on The Warpath AgainMy Profile

  • Charles December 7, 2010, 10:50 am

    Well, who would have thought George W. Bush would have been part of something educational for bloggers. LOL. Poor guy. I wonder if he knows what links and linkbacks are?

    I try to put links in my articles to things I feel are worth looking into but I have seen sites that put links on so many words on their pages that it actually becomes annoying after a while. But I will take this into consideration when writing my articles.
    Charles recently posted..Lisa Reviews Giveaway – a great site- a great contestMy Profile

  • Susan December 7, 2010, 10:01 am

    HA! I had never heard that story about G. W. and the miserable failure before (although I had my opinion).

    What’s google working on these days? If backlinks won’t be that important what will? I noticed PR hasn’t been updated since April.
    Susan recently posted..Fitness Challenge of the Week – Week 3My Profile

  • Alex December 7, 2010, 9:24 am

    That was amazing!! You used some great screenshots to illustrate your examples Ana! Who needs any more evidence that quality backlinking works! Hopefully, if will work to our advantage! I definitely wouldn’t want my name (or business names) on top of search results for “bad” keywords!

  • Kareensolia December 7, 2010, 6:52 am

    wkwkwk…… funny stuff… But it is true that Bush is a miserable failure.Even without the power of the SEO I think it would still rank in top 10 for that keyword…
    Kareensolia recently posted..Another HufffMy Profile

    • Ana December 9, 2010, 10:21 pm

      Hello Kareensolia,

      I think many might share your opinion. Thanks for reading my post.

      Take care,

      Ana
      Ana recently posted..Blog vs Website Faceoff- 8 Simple Reasons for Why Blogs Kick AssMy Profile

    • Lucian December 12, 2010, 9:25 am

      Even if there were no anchor links with miserable failure, if people linked to his profile on pages where they described him as being a miserable failure could have still make it to the first page. But the link is required and i bet most people angry about his management would not post links to his profile.
      Lucian recently posted..Why Guest Blogging is So GoodMy Profile

  • Karan December 7, 2010, 3:03 am

    Interesting stuff here, but I think Google will be dominating the web at least for the next decade as it still holds a large proportion of authority.
    Moreover, the rate at which Google is developing is overwhelming and it would be really tough for any other company to overtake it.
    Karan recently posted..Your First Steps to BloggingMy Profile

  • Patricia December 7, 2010, 12:28 am

    Hi ana

    Interesting post. Just from reading the comments I see that everyone has their own opinion. Just goes to show Google is still king cos they have got everyone still guessing lol

    Patricia Perth Australia
    Patricia recently posted..So Little Time- So Much To DoMy Profile

    • Ana December 7, 2010, 7:23 am

      Hi Patricia,

      Glad to see you again. Everyone indeed has different opinion on this matter but we can’t deny the fact the Google is still number one.

      Regards,

      Ana
      Ana recently posted..Why Plugins Can’t Help You to Rank Better and What You Can Do About ItMy Profile

      • Aakash December 8, 2010, 10:23 am

        No Google have learned from its mistake and they have rectified it.

        That is really good and impressive for a normal internet users because with that they will get the results what they are looking for.

  • Lennart Heleander December 6, 2010, 10:55 pm

    Hi Ana,
    Yes, strong links is important and I was over and read you blog post http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/one-way-link-building/ , really interesting and I found many new tips I didn’t know about. Thanks.

  • Henway December 6, 2010, 9:11 pm

    It’s a shame Google did a handjob and had to take that result out… Google always says Do no evil, but to me they are the ones that are evil.. always censoring stuff…

  • Kevin Martineau December 6, 2010, 6:44 pm

    Hi Ana,

    Wow! Great example of how this works.

    Thanks for the very helpful information.

    Kevin
    Kevin Martineau recently posted..Questions about blogging and blog readingMy Profile

  • mark December 6, 2010, 6:36 pm

    Hi Ana,

    This might have the funniest blog post title of the year. Plus, this is a great illustration of what a few people when they have some hours to kill.

    I remember this, though it was long before I understood back-linking, keywords, or much else related to blogging/IM.

    Hilarious.
    mark recently posted..Bloggers On Niche IdeasMy Profile

  • Jarret December 6, 2010, 6:26 pm

    Ana, the famous George Bush Google bomb was quite the SEO demonstration a few years back, for sure! Oddly enough, I imagine it wasn’t that difficult back then particularly because of the strength of the dot gov domain.

    I don’t think Google bombs are possible any more if all of the words are not found in content on the page. I’ve read SEO experiments and it’s not even possible to rank on meta descriptions alone either if the desired ranking term isn’t included in the post title tag or content.
    Jarret recently posted..Why Detox Diets Are Toxic For Your HealthMy Profile

  • Drew December 6, 2010, 6:15 pm

    Soon Google will phase this out when they work out how they can without affecting search quality, at least I hope they will. I think it’s worth adding that the link building should be keyworded anchor text links, but then again, if you build a proper site, link building is unnecessary ;-)
    Drew recently posted..Infographic- Typography History And EvolutionMy Profile

    • Ana December 7, 2010, 7:19 am

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Drew. I got your point but I still believe in the importance of link building to promote your sight.

      Ana
      Ana recently posted..Why Plugins Can’t Help You to Rank Better and What You Can Do About ItMy Profile

    • Lucian December 12, 2010, 9:28 am

      I don’t think all the algorithm should be based on the page content. This will make people to overuse keywords and content on pages and it will be much easier to cheat the system.

      With a link oriented algorithm, let’s say we are 2 competitors, you are trying to get the most links you can from your frineds websites, from blogs, links brokerage and you may end up higher than me for a specific keyword, but my quality and relevant content gets a reference from a very popuar website and i get in front again. This is what google want, to put higher reuslts that get referenced by trusted websites.
      Lucian recently posted..Why Guest Blogging is So GoodMy Profile

  • Caleb December 6, 2010, 6:02 pm

    I sometimes see sites with high PR yet low backlinks(under50) while at the same time other sites have low PR with high backlinks. For example the post author’s own blog is showing like 82 Google BL’s with zero PR :?:

    ..now I know some might say it’s the quality of those BL’s, but c’mon you all can’t tell me you aren’t noticing some serious inconsistencies :roll:
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  • Dennis Edell December 6, 2010, 4:28 pm

    That’s exactly how a totally undeserved famous blogger also came to power…a very unwise move.
    Dennis Edell recently posted..SBBC is Open! Comments on Both are Open! Conditionally Speaking…PLEASE READ!!My Profile

  • Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach December 6, 2010, 4:27 pm

    What works today will be dead tomorrow…or next week, or next month, or what have you.

    I remember the google bombing stuff a few years ago…interesting that it still has that effect. You definitely want quality inbound links!
    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach recently posted..Deftly Decide 2 Compelling Upsells – Day 5 of Day 25My Profile

    • Caleb December 6, 2010, 5:51 pm

      And now there’s rumors that Google may be disbanding the whole page ranking system all together!
      Caleb recently posted..ClickBank TopSites ReviewMy Profile

      • Tia December 7, 2010, 1:14 am

        Yeah, I wonder if that is true or not. There has been a major page rank update since April 2010.

        The thing is that Google can’t just “decide not to” have the page rank system now. Too late. Almost every advertiser uses it to determine quality of sites for placing ads. It’s a bit of a messy situation.

        It’s like, once you publish an encyclopedia, you can’t take it back. They should have thought about it before making it such a big deal.
        Tia recently posted..10 Things I Learned About Writing a Food Blog in 2010My Profile

    • Ana December 7, 2010, 7:14 am

      Hi Barbara,

      Things might change really fast.

      Quality inbound links is indeed important for.

      Have a nice day,

      Ana
      Ana recently posted..Bloggers- If You’re Not Struggling- You’re FailingMy Profile

    • Lucian December 12, 2010, 9:44 am

      The idea is that you should provide quality, a non-related link or a spinned article is just no quality, if you provide quality it will work forever.
      Lucian recently posted..Why Guest Blogging is So GoodMy Profile

  • SmartAboutThings December 6, 2010, 3:57 pm

    oh, c’mon, leave that poor guy alone :D
    SmartAboutThings recently posted..How can Drinking Water make You a Prosperous Blogger-Person!My Profile

  • Daniel Sharkov December 6, 2010, 3:55 pm

    Hey Ana,

    So what it turns out is that nothing comes close to the importance of backlinks. If you really want to get on the top of SERPs for a specific keyword/keyphrase all the on-page SEO steps can’t help you if the links pointing to your site are low quality. The example with the prank on Bush is an absolute proof to this. Great work!
    Daniel Sharkov recently posted..How to Stay Focused and Keep Writing in 4 StepsMy Profile

  • Tom December 6, 2010, 3:10 pm

    haha! That’s what happens when bloggers unite :)

    I still think this could work, but the lasting effect may not be there.
    Tom recently posted..Surveys For Cash AustraliaMy Profile

  • Justin Germino December 6, 2010, 3:09 pm

    It is true about how Google ranks SERP that with caffeine, google preview and more I would be surprised if Google doesn’t scan the page being linked to to determine if they keywords matching it should even be ranked. I mean if the keywords are nowhere to be found in the HTML text of a page, META TITLE, META Description or anywhere, why would Google rank it high in the SERP just because many external sites linked there with a “keyword”.

    Good information though, this all happened before I even started a blog and I didn’t know anything about the miserable failure thing.
    Justin Germino recently posted..Ubuntu Linux- Printing to a Non-Post Script PrinterMy Profile

  • Dave Lucas December 6, 2010, 2:57 pm

    Nice article, but moot point – Google is totally re-arranging the way it ranks pages, so your good advice could be fatally flawed by the time this posts! (Then again, knowing Google, it may not!)
    Dave Lucas recently posted..Facebook- Facebook- Everybody FacebookMy Profile

  • Mani Viswanathan December 6, 2010, 2:32 pm

    haha..the SEO’s therein took full advantage. But they must have promoted that link with the anchor text in excess :P
    Mani Viswanathan recently posted..Facebook Profile Pages gets a RevampMy Profile

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