Empirical Article Linking

by Jon Cooper

Recently I read a post on upward linking, which is a secondary linking technique that talks about linking to pages that link to you, such as in article submission. I like this idea because you can increase the quality of your links, which is key to any link building campaign. I went ahead and took this idea to a more extreme next level. The post (I looked for a while, couldn’t find it again) talked about linking a few articles, one link to his site, and one to another article, and let that be that, but I wanted to take that further. Since there are so many article directories to take advantage of, why not use that strategy on all of them? I like to call it empirical linking. (Although it has a similar name to this post, it’s not the same idea for this situation).


Empirical linking is the strategy of establishing a linking empire, with the lower quality sites at the bottom, and the higher quality sites at the top. For article submission, we can establish some of the more authoritative article directories at the top, and some of the lesser ones towards the bottom. For example, if I were to sort and find roughly 10 – 12 article directories for this strategy, I’d have EzineArticles at the top, and maybe The Free Library or Self Growth at the bottom. I’d first make sure all my articles are first found on the top sites, lets say EzineArticles and GoArticles, and then I’d put in proper anchor text links in the author box. I’d then make sure to bookmark and share those articles, as those are the ones I am targeting to yield my highest quality links.


Then, I’d go down the list on the next couple of higher quality article directories. Let’s say the next two are Article Dashboard and Article Snatch – I then would have a decision to make. I can do one of two things – I could either use all of my links towards other articles (on EzineArticles or GoArticles), or I could link 1 link to an article, and 1 link back to my site. You can go either way, and you could very well have an argument for which is better (If you’re thinking about all links going back to your site, you could, but it wouldn’t be empirical linking). After these two article directories, you could keep going down the list, 1 by 1 or 2 by 2.


To get the most value out of this strategy, here’s how I’d do it. I’d make sure all the links on EzineArticles and GoArticles are to my site, and then the next middle group of article directories would have 1 link to an article, and 1 link to my site (given that most sites only allow 2 links in the author box), and then the bottom 2 or 3 article directories would have all of their links pointing to other articles in either the middle groups or the highest group. This makes sure you get at least some direct value from the middle group.


Yes, you could very well argue that you are losing link juice by linking to other articles since you are linking to a page where 95% of the links are not to your site, whereas 100% of the links on your own pages point back into your site, but you would lose the quality factor. There are many article directories worth taking advantage of, but most of those links you build will have little power in the SERPs since they are created in masses, with little to no quality. This idea helps you build quality links as well as a decent quantity of them. Whether you realize it or not, when you submit to 20+ article directories, some of your links might not get indexed because of how unkown some of those sites are, but with this strategy, you not only get them indexed but also a bit of quality. Also, make sure you pick a reasonable number of article directories – I’d say stick to 15 and below. You want to make sure you have enough time to make sure each article gets indexed.


Another tip – make sure you share all of your articles you submit. Each and every submitted article should be indexed so that your links get indexed, otherwise you’d be doing it all for nothing. Make sure your author accounts are user friendly, and make sure to get involved in each of the communities on each site. You want to look like you are there to engage with other writers & readers, and not for the sole purpose of links. You’d be surprised of the value you can gain by putting a little TLC into your different author accounts.


Well, what do you think? Is this strategy worth implementing? Please let me know of any suggestions or opinions in the comment section below!

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This post was written by...

Jon Cooper – who has written 129 posts on Point Blank SEO.

Jon Cooper is a link builder based out of Gainesville, FL. For more information on him and Point Blank SEO, visit the about page. Follow him on Twitter @PointBlankSEO.

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  1. Sounds interesting, I think we might explore this article hierarchy technique in our SEO efforts.


  2. Have you had an succes with this? Did it really improved your page and domain authority?

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Yes, it’s helped. The fact that you’re making these countless article directory links have some value has helped more than not doing anything to them at all. Your best bet is to build links to original content on the directories, because this will carry more weight than an exact copy of an article found on your website.

      If you’re curious, try it out yourself for a few low competition keywords. Make an original article, post it to Ezinearticles, then use 1/2 resource box links from other article directory sites for links to this article. Obviously make sure the links on your original Ezinarticles article is of low competition so you can see the effects. If it doesn’t work for you (which is a possibility, but I’ve got a feeling this won’t be the case), come back and show your findings!

      Thanks Jan!! Hope this helps 🙂

Empirical Article Linking