Why brand authority outweighs the number of backlinks on your website

After receiving many comments and questions recently regarding backlinks, I thought it might be a good idea to keep covering the topic. I’ve been exploring a theory I have, looking at a number of different sites and categories. The theory is that if your brand is stronger in your category or niche, you’ll rank higher than someone who isn’t as strong, no matter how many backlinks they may have.

I started looking at AdWords Preview for “home loans” rankings. Over 90 days, the phrase Aussie home loans were searched for many more times than than NAB home loans. They’re better known, meaning their brand is stronger and more likely to be promoted by Google. Now, when you go to inspect the backlinks (I’m using the SEMrush tool to do this), NAB has thousands more backlinks than Aussie Home Loans. Aussie has a tiny amount compared to NAB, yet they’re much higher placed in Google’s search results.

Another thing we looked at was the url. All of the pages had the phrase “home loans” in their url, but NAB had its addresses filled with /home/home-loans (amongst other things). There’s a school of thought that if you stuff your url with a lot of words and make a really long address, it tricks Google into thinking you have a lot of depth in your site. That’s not true. What it does do is make it difficult for users to find anything on your site that focuses on their specific search term. This could be a contributing factor, but the bottom line is that whoever has the most backlinks isn’t necessarily the Google ranking winner. Watch the video here

Jim Stewart - Smart Company - 26 July 2017


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