How Google Would Build Links For Mortgage Rankings

Author: Gab Goldenberg

Update: Welcome Sphinn, StumbleUpon users :). How can you rank for competitive keywords like “Mortgage Calculator”? I don’t know about SEOBook, since he’s always talking about it, but here’s how Google would rank for a bigshot mortgage term like that.

1. Buy a ‘make your free website’ WYSIWIG-and-template based website, a la Geocities. Augment with a whackload of cheap hosting across different C blocks and IP ranges. For domains you can use subdomains or include them free (compare that to the cost of buying a link…).

2. Have a bunch of graphic templates made focused on the real estate sector. Pictures of houses, happy families and dogs, simple layouts, obvious email address/phone number etc.

3. Hire students to cold-call real estate agents and offer them free websites, and some resources on where to promote them (i.e. a basic how to do linkbuilding guide and quality directory list). If they ask what the catch is, be honest and tell them that there are links to your mortgage calculator webpage from their own sites.

Presto, you have:


[My SERPs look like this:]

Web Results 110 of about 18,200,000 for mortgage calculator. (0.08 seconds)

Sponsored Links

Free Mortgage Calculators
Easy to Use Mortgage Calculators.
Check Payments and Mortgage Rates.
Sponsored Link

Mortgage Calculator TD Canada Trust Offers A 7% Cash Back Mortgage! Learn More & Act Now

Mortgage Calculator — How Much Can You Afford? | CMHC

This easy-to-use mortgage calculator will help you estimate the maximum house price and mortgage you can afford, as well as your monthly mortgage payments. – 27k – CachedSimilar pages

RBC Royal Bank – Mortgage Payment Calculator

Calculate your mortgage payments and see how you can save thousands of dollars in interest costs – while paying down your mortgage sooner! – 26k – CachedSimilar pages

TD Canada Trust – Products and Services – Mortgages

The calculator is for demonstration purposes only and is not part of the application process Mortgage rates are subject to change at any time without – 11k – CachedSimilar pages

Mortgage Calculators

Online Mortgage Explorer gives you the quickest, most effective way to shop for a mortgage and be instantly approved by one of our leading lenders. – 4k – CachedSimilar pages

In fairness, the last two also carry a pretty big brand imprint which gets lots of free, juicy editorial links. But who the hell has ever head of ‘’ (unless you’re in the market, obviously).

What’s especially sweet about this is that it’s endorsed by Google. Ever seen those ‘Powered by Blogger” badges? On blogspot subdomains… Templated … And links to a mortgage calculator site from a real estate broker – that’s standard in the industry anyways, so it’s not like offtopic links from something else.

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  1. Hehehe... Interesting Stuff Gabriel.

    Comment by Jonathan Villiard - July 20, 2008 @ 5:28pm
  2. The point: "Ever seen those ‘Powered by Blogger” badges?".... Very telling indeed. Thanks for sharing, Barbara

    Comment by Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach - July 21, 2008 @ 4:37am
  3. Good tip.. I've been thinking about doing something very similar lately.

    Comment by chris hornak - July 22, 2008 @ 4:11pm
  4. Hey, remember my post about the initial link value ? (Ed: Unconventional Link Attributes - SEO Scientist ) So even if these "badges" or calculators come from a crappy site, bringing in a constant stream of those over time should keep you afloat for quite a while for some very competitive terms...

    Comment by Neyne - August 3, 2008 @ 8:01am
  5. but making link using by those way is not grayhat? Thanks

    Comment by Prestamos Personales - August 4, 2008 @ 2:51am
  6. Branko / Neyne - that was a great post, thanks for sharing! And you're quite right - a constant stream of even crappy links should have you do quite well. Prestamos - depends how you do it. Look up Brent Payne's post deciphering Matt Cutts's commentary at SMX Advanced.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - August 4, 2008 @ 6:20pm
  7. Wow, you were on to the idea of badge link building a long time ago! While getting great incoming anchor text is important, I've also noticed that, post the Google caffeine update, older domains with high trust and link quantities are ranking more easily through on-page optimizations. I would go as far as to say that Google has partially decreased the value of anchor text as a ranking factor (based on how many sites link build for one term and one term alone). As someone in the mortgage market (hence why I found this post), I've noticed older authority sites doing better and better in the mortgage market post Caffeine. Chris from Your Mortgage in Australia

    Comment by Chris - January 17, 2010 @ 11:33pm
  8. I've also seen anchor text become less valuable, and perhaps even over optimized text triggering filters. Trusted sites can rank more easily w/ on page work, no doubt about that. Thanks for stopping by Chris!

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - January 18, 2010 @ 10:31am

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