Posted: Tuesday 27th May 2014 in Services.

Link building is an essential SEO technique – but should the emphasis be on quantity or quality?

It could be said that link building has been the bread and butter of SEO since the very beginning of the craft in the early 2000s. Other tactics such as content marketing and local SEO have come to the fore more recently but Google’s search algorithms still look for and give weight to the number of external links that direct a reader back to a page. So although link building is no longer the glamorous tactic in the SEO bag of tricks it’s still an important one.

With that in mind the question we get asked often is what is the most effective strategy for link building; quantity or quality? In the past there’s been a tendency to focus on generating a specific number of backlinks to a given site within a set time period. More recent studies have shown that it’s far more important to focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to link building. The aim of this blog post is to explore these strategies with the retail sector in mind.

The quantity approach to link building

What is it?

The quantity link building approach involves creating a link brief to fulfil on a monthly basis. Subject areas are agreed before searching for suitable links from blogger sites that meet a baseline standard. Metrics like Domain Authority and Flow Metrics can help you determine the popularity of a site and how beneficial it is in terms of boosting SEO value.

Which retailers does this approach work best for?

For outreach there’s a wealth of beauty, fashion and home interior sites so achieving the quantity targets is somewhat easier. However these are also incredibly competitive sectors so building the relationships and gaining the cut through can be challenging. Spreading links out over a pool of mid-range authority bloggers is an efficient approach when it comes to link building at scale.

The quality approach to link building

What is it?

When it comes to building quality links the aim is to get fewer links from higher authority sites. Good quality sites with strong Domain Authority and social following give the most SEO value. Such sites can be fairly hard to get backlinks from, meaning more time has to be dedicated to building trust and a relationship with the site owner.

Which retailers does this approach work best for?

For high-end premium products, building a relationship with authorities in your market is crucial to success with a long term goal of achieving brand advocates. This approach is great for generating a variety of links from different types of content – from blog posts to news articles. Once you’ve built a long term relationship with a site owner/blogger, future campaigns that you work on together are likely to be far more efficient.


For all our retail clients, focusing on quality and building long term relationships with high authority site owners, bloggers and journalists who enjoy sharing the content and products is effective and our preferred strategy. A strategy should be tailored to the retailer and their products before any outreach activity begins.

If you’d like to speak to us about your SEO proposition, or anything else mentioned in this piece, please email us at [email protected].