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Infographics can be helpful or just a sad attempt at link bait. But one thing is for sure, if they are helpful to others then they can helpful to you. This infographic by Vertical Measures illustrates that very well.

What makes this infographic so useful is it’s awesome simplicity. Right away you’ll notice that there are two categories of links based on this graphic. There are PR values and there are link types. The graphic breaks link types down into these categories:

  • Content
  • Blog/Forum comments
  • Purchased
  • Reciprocal
  • Embedded
  • Reclaimed
  • Natural
  • Requested

But which ones are the most important, or most valued?

This is really subjective, but Vertical Measures ranks them according to two metrics – difficulty and quality. In general, the more difficult it is to obtain a link of a particular type then the higher quality that link will be, which translates into more value for the link builder.

From easiest to most difficult, VM ranks them this way: Content Distribution, Blog and Forum Comments and Purchased Links are easiest to obtain. Next are reciprocal links. The third level of difficulty is populated by social media links, embedded content and reclaimed links. Natural links are the next most difficult to obtain and the most difficult links of all are link requests. This is almost a no-brainer.

From lowest to highest again, quality scores are broken down this way:

  • Reciprocal links are in the lowest position (note that they are second level in order of most difficult or easiest to obtain)
  • Purchased links and comments are slightly higher quality than reciprocal links
  • Distributed content and social media links are next on the quality scale
  • Embedded content is a bit higher quality than social media and content distribution links
  • Finally, the highest quality links are reclaimed, natural and requested

Notice some slight jumbling in the order but generally following the same parallel between quality and ease of obtaining?

The most interesting part of the value score that I find, however, is the break down of PR values. A PR1 link, for instance, is the equivalent of 11 average links, according to the infographic. That begs the assumption that the PR1 link you get is above average. The question is, What’s average? Would that be a 3 on the quality scale? If so then that would include social media and distributed content links. But some of those types of links can themselves be extraordinary, can’t they?

Vertical Measures places a PR10 link to have the equivalent value of 28,080,881 average links. In other words, get one PR10 link and that could be enough to push you up to a respectable search engine ranking.

Getting the picture yet?

I think the point is to get you thinking about what types of links you should be going after. Personally, I think you should pursue any links you can get. Many Internet marketers in recent years have tried discouraging their clients from chasing reciprocal links because they aren’t valued as highly as one-way links. But the fact is they do carry value. Get a reciprocal link from a PR7 site when your site is a lowly PR4 then that will be a valuable link.

I think you can over think the question. To build a solid link portfolio you need to build diversity into it. That means not focusing on any one particular type of link or link from sites with a high PR. After all, PR1 links carry value too. And some day that PR1 site might become a PR8 site. Your link will still be there.

When it comes to link building, just do it. Do it smartly, but don’t over think it.

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