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Do Links From Foreign Language Sites Have Value?

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Do Links From Foreign Language Sites Have Value?

Usually, we do not cover forum threads, but from time to time, one does pop up which gathers my attention and is blog worthy. Today on DigitalPoint, a thread caught my eye which is titled : Different links with many language make site popular.

The DigitalPoint member says that “If you have many sites with different language link to you, then your site is more popular than only one language link in.”

I really do not think that sites with more links from various languages have more value than other sites. In fact, I’ll put this in the SEO Myth bucket and send this mindset down the river. However, I do believe that sometimes we tend to forget that even if we run a site which is in English, Spanish or some other language, by only attracting or building links in our own language, we are missing a major chunk of the globe’s linking opportunities.

In terms of Search Engine Journal, one of our most powerful links is from the Google China Blog. The link from the Google China Blog is not only of high value (owned by Google, extremely relevant, lots of relevant incoming links, yada yada yada) but it also drives a decent amount of traffic whenever the blog is updated.

Furthermore, I also work with a handful of companies who target Hispanics in the United States, who sometimes search using the Spanish language. I’ve found that attracting links to these clients in foreign language blogs and sites, does help with rankings for relevant terms in both English and Spanish (dependent upon the anchor text), and since the core theme of the sites we’ve acquired links from is relevant to the target site, then the traffic is also relevant too.

This reminds me of when I met with some members of the Google Japan team in Tokyo years ago. We were discussing anchor text and Google Japan results. One interesting example they used was if you search for Stanford in the Japanese phonetic version of “su-ta-n-fo-du” in katakana; the homepage for Stanford University is #1. On the Stanford.edu page there is not one instance of this term in katakana (Japanese), but the page is still listed in the top result. Why? Because it’s Stanford, and the amount of Japanese katakana anchor text pointing to it from sites with “.jp” or “.co.jp” domains is enormous.

In this situation, an English site is benefiting from foriegn language links.

Take that to the local level (your site) and just think, if you have a site about Forex, which is popular across the world, would you only want links from English sites on .com, .net or .org domains? No. First of all it would not be natural and secondly, you’d be ignoring your global customers.

Do you build links from foreign language sites? And what is your experience?

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Loren Baker

Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing ... [Read full bio]

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