What is Link Diversity? Is it Good For SEO? Read This.

Link diversity can be interpreted differently, and I’ll show the 2 most common ones. One is bad for SEO and the other is good, so stick to the latter.


What is link diversity (LD)? First, the bad kind (schemes).

To explain this method more clearly, I first have to first backup a little bit and talk about backlinks, because this whole subject stems from them…

Backlinking of the “spammy sort” used to be a very common way people would manipulate their site to look good for Google. Here is an example of how this looked:

However, after years of this back door method to higher rankings working, it was finally stopped because Google literally warned people to stop doing it and today, their own webmaster blog officially states this too.

However, backlinking of this sort didn’t just die out once Google warned about it, it continued, but evolved to be more hidden. After all, the temptation to get higher rankings, faster doesn’t just fade away, there’s a huge demand for this and the answers are often illusions because they involve scheming to get there.

Anyway, this is where the whole “LD” stuff comes into the picture (again, it’s the bad sort)…

It’s basically an advanced way of backlinking that evolved after the initial way of doing it stopped working.

What happens here is that people still engage in the same sort of spammy way of doing it, but they just do a better job of hiding it, and by hiding it, I mean hiding their acts from Google spotting it.

Before you used to be able to buy this stuff in bulk and it didn’t matter where you got them from. You could literally have purchased them all from one source and it didn’t matter.

But once it did matter, the next evolution was to get these same, mostly bad types of URLs from numerous different sites, and because there is diversity in regards to where they come from, it’s believed to “hide” the original spammy look these things used to have, and thus you can “technically” still get away with doing this and still get high rankings.

If you can still get away with it, why is it bad? 

This sort of question is asked very often by those who once engaged in this SEO practice and those who wish to get faster rankings today. The main problem is that Google literally says they don’t want to see this (I provided a URL to their blog that says this above). 

So from that point of view, every effort you make to try and still make this work, is already bad itself. Why make the very same search engine you wish to rank higher for, hate you for trying to trick them?

But another way to look at why you don’t want to engage in this stuff is that Google doesn’t just say they don’t want to see this, they literally have an algorithm and very evolved ways to spotting this stuff going on and this is one of the reasons why these schemes, have consistently popped up and quickly died out over the years.

It is very hard to get away with this approach today and even if you do, it is very short lived and almost destined to fail. 

How do I know if I am engaging in this approach?

There are many beginners who just start out with SEO and don’t even comprehend these methods of ranking, who may engage in it and not understand why their site gets penalized afterwards. 

So if you are worried that you may be guilty of this or want to know what NOT to do, there’s a couple of ways I can help you identify if you’re engaging in the bad way of doing this stuff:

link diversity examples

The underlying word behind these 3 methods is…

Scheme and that is ultimately why it’s not a good way to do SEO. Additionally if you’re not experienced enough on understanding this topic as a whole, read this article and you’ll be able to progress safely in the SEO world without worrying about this.

Now let me show you the good kind of LD practice.

There’s many different ways you can engage in backlinking and not all of them are bad. The article I just provided explains how to tell which is which, but let me give you a definition of the good way of going about this…

When it comes to LD, the good kind that is, there’s a subjective way I look at it, that frankly, I believe most white hat SEO experts would agree with me on:

It’s basically the act of diversifying the way you link within your site. Specifically, you mix up your internal and external linking methods to help your site become of better quality to both Google and readers.

Quality is huge here, read this to see why.

But the main difference is that in the past (the bad way), people tried to get outside sites to point to theirs, whereas with the good kind, you focus on your site and engage in pointing it to other parts of it or to other sites outside of it.

3 ways to make sure you are doing LD the good way:

1) On 99% of all the blog posts I write, I provide multiple internal links to other blogs I have.

This is 100% GOOD for rankings and I have listed at least 7 reasons why you should do this. In this blog post for instance, I have done this multiple times. It’s good for my readers, it’s good for Google crawling and it’s good for rankings overall.

2) Additionally, I also make sure to provide URLs externally from my site to other sites, like the one to the Google blog above.

The reason I do this is because firstly, Google does like it when sites do that, and secondly, my goal is to provide my readers with resources that can help further answer their questions, so it makes sense for me to, for example in this article point to a blog post by Google that talks about link schemes, since the subject of this article is also about that.

3) Now a third method I engage in is affiliate linking

Now this methd is actually not good or bad for rankings on it’s own, but it should be mixed together with the other 2 methods above to make sure your rankings don’t fall, because generally speaking, a page which has nothing but affiliate URLs tend to rank worse than one which is mixed together with the other 2 methods.

Note: The third method is actually a form of pointing to external URLs, but it’s classified separately because it doesn’t carry the same value for SEO. For example, if I point to a Wikipedia page, that holds more ranking value than if I pointed to an affiliate site.

These 3 things mixed together produce healthy LD across your site that you will get positive rankings from.

Maximizing the SEO benefits from this:

If you want to have the best ranking results from these 3 strategies I just mentioned, you should stick to the first 2 throughout most of your site and try to minimize the 3rd option.

In my case, I limit my blog posts and pages which have affiliate links on them to a minimum, so maybe 5% of my overall site’s pages have affiliate links on them, while the other 95% stick to just doing the first 2 strategies and provide healthy LD.

Specifically, here’s how I break it down…

Strategy 1. I use this method 80-90% of the time, across nearly all of my website’s pages.

Strategy 2. I use this 5-10% of the time across my site. I’ll only do this when the subject of the article I write is such that I have to point to other, outside sites.

Strategy 3. Again, I do this the remaining 5% of the time across my pages. Now you may be wondering how I can still make good sales if only 5% of my site has affiliate promotions.

Well this is where I use the first strategy to point to the 5% of pages that have affiliate promotions and as a result, the majority of traffic my site gets actually flows into the pages with affiliate promotions.

And using these 3 strategies, for many years has produced a healthy LD for my sites and good rankings in the process. So now that you also know the good and bad ways of practicing LD, let me know if there’s any questions.

14 thoughts on “What is Link Diversity? Is it Good For SEO? Read This.”

  1. Thanks for highlighting the pros and cons of link building, I have considered getting links in the past but was unsure about the consequences and whether my site would get harmed or not.

    I’ve always asked this question on is it important to concentrate on building links and I see many of the top internet marketer always say to build lots of backlinks through reaching out to other authority sites but I have never been keen on the idea. Plus the training I follow never mentions backlinks.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    • I’m going to be writing about that strategy on attaining backlinks from actual authority sites Joshua, but the advice these internet marketers gave you (the ones who said to go out and find them) do not understand how difficult that is. Authority sites simply do not link to anyone who reaches out to them, that needs to be earned and like I said, I will be explaining this in the next week. I will also provide an internal link to this new article when it’s up and it will help you tremendously. 

      Also with the training you are going through which DOESN’T talk about doing this, I assume, this training is helping you create an authority blog and if this is the case, then you are doing the right things to help the site grow it’s SEO.

  2. Hi Vitaliy! Let me start by commending you on how you took your time to explain in a layman’s language what link diversity is all about. I used to get confused when it came to backlinks and stuff, but after reading your detailed article, I now understand how link diversity evolved from “just” backlinks and what it is all about today.

    Thanks for also pointing out the bad kinds of links and good ones. Your article is quite educating and interesting.

  3. You really are an authority on all things blogging. I’m still a newbie and as such, I don’t have sufficient knowledge regarding SEO as I ought to. However, I’ve learned from your blog and I’ll be adding backlinks to my blog posts to enable me to rank better. Can I use other people’s blogs as my backlinks?

    • You can but that would be a backlink to their site, not yours. The SEO value you’d get out of that is externally linking to another site and as long as that external link is to an authority page that is trusted by Google, your site will get points for this.

  4. Oh my gosh…I’m actually DOING THIS RIGHT! Now, even though I am still learning SEO terminology and best practices, you have just clearly illustrated that I am doing well in my linking strategy despite not really realizing I even HAD a strategy! 

    Thanks yet again, Vitaliy, for sharing your expertise in such an easy-to-understand manner. I always come away from your articles better-informed and much more confident about my own online business-building efforts. 

  5. Some really interesting tips here and as a relatively new blogger myself I loved reading this. This is good and accurate information and I will be checking my internal and external links soon, to make sure that they are in the right proportions and I can get the maximum SEO value out of them. 


  6. Hey. I am still hooked on your content. You are great knowledge base. I am not that familiar with links and the impact they have on SEO. What I noticed is that most authors say how important backlinking is. However, I do not know when I’ll ever get a backlink from an authority site. Like you said, people abusing linking caused it to not be as important as it once was.

    Is internal linking any good for SEO or is it only backlining and external linking that only count?

    Thank you.


    • Backlinking, in the sense that a site links to yours is important, if it comes from a good authority page and brings in quality visitors, doing quality things. 

      However, it is VERY difficult to get any site to link to yours unless the owner of the site is your friend or you have a good reputation. Most people have neither of these things, so when they go out and ask to get backlinks from another site, the other person won’t do it.

      So in the beginning, you have to go another route, which is internal and external linking, which are themselves VERY powerful for SEO (here is an article for this). These things will help your site rank better and get that better reputation and growth.

      My SEO success never came from approaching other sites and trying to get backlinks from them, it came from growing my site via the methods I discussed in this article: Content, internal/external linking and growing that.

  7. So I’ve been following the mantra of internal linking, but I had no idea that I should be posting numerous external links in either of my articles! Out of curiosity, when I link off to a site like a Wikipedia or another authority site should I be marking these links as follow or nofollow? Or does it even matter?

    I know getting follow links from authority sites is usually considered better for an incoming link, but how does it impact outgoing links?

    • Some marketers suggest using “no follow” when pointing to external sites Craig. I personally don’t even bother with that and just link it to the external page without setting that, making it a “Dofollow”. I explain all about these sorts of links here.

      Now regarding impacts of outgoing links to authority sites, they do get more value when I point to them from my site, but on my end, I get more SEO points because I actually point to it and the whole point is, to offer people better value. 

      What I do try to do is explain certain things within my content in a way which makes clicking on the external link useless for my readers, and it keeps them on my page, but I still get the SEO value out of it from Google, because it’s actually there. 


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