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The True Value of Top Publisher Links

I’m often asked about what results are earned through content marketing and digital PR.
So I decided to take a data-driven approach to quantifying the value of links from top-tier press mentions by looking at the aggregate improvements seen by a group of domains that have enjoyed substantial press attention in the last few months. Then I examined which publishers can have the biggest impact on rankings.
My goal was to answer this question: What sort of median bump can be expected when your brand secures media coverage? And how can you potentially get the biggest organic lift?
First off: Top-tier links matter a great deal
This chart represents the correlation between the number of times a site was linked to from within the article text of publishers and its rankings and traffic.

Considering the sheer number of possible variables that contribute to rankings changes (on-site factors, amount and quality of on-site content, penalties, etc.) seeing R-values (which determine the linear relationship) this high is a good result.
In general, the higher the R-score, the stronger the relationship between number of links from publishers and improvements in organic ranking.
We found significant relationships between the number of mentions on news sites ranked in the Top 500 and an even stronger relationship for those ranked within the Top 300.
The likely reason for this is twofold:
Top 300 publishers confer more Domain Authority than less popular sites.Top 300 publishers often have larger syndication networks and broader visibility, leading to more links being built as the result of a press mention, leading to more Domain Authority accumulation overall.
Which publishers link out the most?
When pitching publishers, it can be extremely useful to understand who is most likely to actually provide a link.
Some publishers have policies against outbound links of any type or nofollow all outbound links.
Looking at the huge dataset, I got a better understanding for which publishers link out to other sites most frequently.

Notice the large number of local news sites with high numbers of outbound links. Local news is often keen to link out.
Unfortunately, most local news won’t have large scale syndication, so looking at top-tier publishers with large numbers of outbound links is likely a better strategy when developing a pitch list. So when you remove those from the list, here are the winners.

Read the remainder of the post on Moz