One of the biggest problems with SEO these days is that the entire SEO community is fixated on the third party metrics for evaluating a website for trustworthiness. Unfortunately, it can hurt your rankings if you don’t have the right SEO process in place and can’t read between the lines. In other words, your SEO could suffer greatly if don’t have the ability to decipher all the right signals. After all, what Google thinks of your site matters the most, not the third party metrics or crawlers.
Recently, I had an opportunity to audit a website which was doing well for months but lost rankings during Google’s Fred update. Upon closer inspection of the backlinks, I ran into a site which stuck out like a sore thumb. According to Majestic, it’s TF (trust flow) value showed 20. Most SEO guys would tell you that it’s a decent metric. In fact, you’ll see lots of link peddlers selling link packages and touting it’s one of the safest metrics out there. When I examined other elements, there were signs of red flags.
One of the metrics I use for evaluating a site is its index count as it comes directly from Google’s database. According to Majestic, the index count showed 68. I went to Google and it showed 37. For whatever reason, Google has de-indexed 31 pages.
When I visited the homepage, everything became more clear to me as the homepage relevancy was out of whack. Let’s look at why this could cause an issue. If you are using the homepage to send backlinks, its page relevancy matters. Since the domain name is holy-redeemer-mcc.org, we know that the homepage content should be relevant to religion in order to maximize its relevancy signal.
Let’s scroll down and see if any content piece or outbound links are related to the domain name.
As you can see, all the articles are totally irrelevant content. Relevancy dilution is real and it is a serious disease you can easily cure.
Does this mean you should entirely ignore TF value? TF can be useful as long as you understand how it was derived. The third party crawlers try to crawl everything and have a long-term memory. Unfortunately, it may not necessarily coincide with Google’s memory. Perhaps it once used to be a good ol’ trusted site. The problem is that adding irrelevant content can devalue its SEO standing with Google. If you are buying links from link vendors, beware of what they are doing. Page irrelevancy can hurt you in the long run.
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