When ugly works for backlink building and when it doesn’t?
Here’s a question for you.
Do you hire the right person for the job or the best looking?
If it’s a fashion modelling gig, then looks are key because attractive people sell clothes – and like it or not it’s a proven formula.
But for a brain surgeon, looks don’t matter at all.
In most cases choosing websites for link building campaigns works the same.
Looks just aren’t a priority in SEO and here’s why.
First, great design is mostly an opinion – it’s subjective.
And opinions on what is correct are often affected by trends (leg warmers anyone?)
So, by their nature opinions are mostly irrelevant to SEO, because SEO is more a science than an art form. Numbers usually tell the story of whether a site is of any use.
It’s important to consider how Google assesses look and feel and whether that plays a part in ranking.
Google is mostly an answers machine.
It primarily assesses the ability of a website to meet a specific user’s needs.
People ask it questions and Google attempts to serve up the correct answer using a website that has ready information in an understandable format.
And yes, colour may play a part in that assessment – in relation to accessibility for example – but it won’t judge the merits of orange versus yellow – that’s a human opinion.
And a big mistake that a lot of people make when selecting sites for their backlink campaigns.
When they should be focusing on at least these three tried and tested criteria for successful backlink building.
- Backlink metrics – the quality, power and lastly volume of backlinks
- Traffic and keyword visibility – how much Google love a site gets
- Content quality and relevance – do you want your site associated with it
So, rejecting a website for not looking ‘nice’ is not optimal SEO practice and will mean opportunities are cast aside that could have been very useful.
Now, as I said, there are occasions where looks can really matter in SEO.
Like when the guy you are interviewing for the babysitter’s job has a degree in childcare but looks like he eats kids.
And sites can be like that too.
They could have great content, but that content is poorly formatted and inaccessible.
Meaning the site offers a bad experience for users and probably gets less Google love (check its traffic).
But in most cases, it’s safe to put your design sensitivities to bed and let the SEO metrics do the talking.