Why Links Matter
Historically, Hyperlinks were the main method of building the Internet. The links connected sites to each other through HTML and allowed internet users to move around and find what they needed. In a sense, links were like citations in that they provided methods of additional information by going somewhere else.
The PageRank theory was created in the late 1990’s, and provided the basis of the Google algorithm that we know and love today. PageRank is essentially a popularity contest in which the pages with the most support should be viewed as the most important. A page receives “support points” from inbound links, or links that connect to the page.
In Google’s terms, the page with the most links directing to it would appear at the top of the list of search results. Therefore, you should be able to raise your ranking simply by building as many links as possible to it. This said, anyone who deals with Search Engine Optimizing knows that it’s a lot trickier than that.
All Links are NOT created equal
If your website has 200 links leading to it, someone else could have a website with 150 higher quality links and beat your site in ranking. This is because links from authoritative sites such as respected news sources or from .edu and .gov domains tend to be more valuable. For example, a link from a powerful site like CNN’s homepage would be considered of higher quality than a link from someone’s Facebook page.
In the old days of SEO, link exchanges were huge. It was not uncommon to have an entire page devoted to outgoing links in hopes that other sites might return the favor. Also, people knew that they could get a site’s rank up by simply stuffing their site with keywords and links.
Today, many keyword stuffing methods have been detected and accounted for in search algorithms. For this reason, it’s best to focus on providing quality content to readers instead. However, links still matter. They send traffic by making connections and, yes, they are still a large part of ranking.
Inbound links (links that lead to your page) are important and directly relate to Search Engine Ranking. However, as a site creator you have far more control over outbound links. Outbound links are those that lead to another site and play a vital role in Search Engine Optimization. Outbound links help a search engine understand your niche in the market and more importantly, increase the trust and quality of your site by proving that you did credible research. SEO aside, outbound links can help you get involved in the Internet community by building relationships with other bloggers.
How can you get the most out of your links?
There is no perfect science to deciding which links will boost your rankings and send you the kind of traffic you need. However, there are a few simple rules of thumb that can help.
1.Find an Audience
- Link to sites that are used by the audience you are aiming for. For example, if your firm specializes in family law, linking to a page about mediation could be a great source of traffic.
2.Link to Similar Content.
- Provide site users with the chance to find more relevant information. Linking to a local newspaper or company is always a great idea.
3.Vary Link Keywords
- This will enhance your traffic and will also raise your search engine rankings.
- Relevant Visitors can’t be faked, at least not easily. The best way to increase your credibility is to actually provide credible information. Links should provide relevant and useful information which will not only make y site better, but will also raise your page ranking.
While there are no hard and fast rules to assessing what makes a good link, the importance of linking is unquestionable. Now you know why you need links to increase your ranking. Learning how to best use these links take heavy and personalized research.