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Link Echoes (aka Link Ghosts) Appear to Be Consistent Parts of Google's Ranking Algorithms

This week's Whiteboard Friday: focuses on a pattern we observe when testing links. Remove the links and the page that moved higher seems to stay ranking, despite the loss of the links that propped it up.
Jorge Gonzalez's profile photoIrène Fages's profile photoJosé Manuel Sánchez's profile photoAlan Stainer's profile photo
Wondering about how "bad" links echoes could work the same way ?
It has often been my experience in local search that once I moved a listing to page one it usually stayed there.  I attributed this to the new traffic and CTR the listing was now getting.
Hi +Rand Fishkin thanks for the excellent post. As I read, it made me think of a question. What would happen if you had a number of links pointing to page A, and then you swapped those links out and replaced them with links pointing to page B? I wonder whether or not link echoes would still apply to page A in the scenario where links are totally swapped. I'm not sure if this is in the queue as an upcoming test, but I'd be interested to see how something like this would play out.
I would be interested to see what would happen if you added the links back to page B but left them off Page A. If that does nothing then change the links to Page B to keyword anchor text and see if that does anything.
+Nick Lucente Hard to say. We did swap out the links in each case, but pointed them to page "C" (a whole new page, not part of the same keyword phrase test). My guess is we'd still see similar behavior if they pointed to B, but hard to know.
One of your best videos I've seen. Actually, one of the best SEO videos I've seen. Nice take back for your community.
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