By its own admission, Google, the world’s biggest search engine, said that offering links outside your website that eventually leads a user to your webpage is one of the best ways to increase your website ranking in search engines while also improving its relevance. That said, some links are more valuable than others. Here are some of the ways to enhance the value of links:
If you were sick, would you trust the advice of five doctors or 100 medical websites online that would all lead you to believe that your smallest symptom will lead to a diagnosis?
Unless you’ve had a terrible experience with doctors, you are more likely to take the word of five experts rather than that of 100 websites written by amateur professionals, even though the pool of doctors is small. It’s because the quality of their opinion is better and therefore, more valuable.
Search engines like Google also work in a similar way. They count all the links pointing at websites (besides those blocked), except that they don’t count them all equally. Links that are of better quality are deemed more valuable.
And how do you know if a link is of a higher quality? It’s one of those things that “you’ll know when you see it.” But it also depends on where the link is found, it’s more valuable when it is on a large, respectable site rather than when it’s found on a blog. Also, links from sites that are topically relevant to your site (“neighbourhood” sites) may count more.
Millions of links on different websites point at Amazon. Yet, it ranks for ‘books’ and not for ‘boats’. It’s because the links that point at Amazon contain the word ‘books’ in them and relatively few contain the word ‘boats’ because Amazon doesn’t sell boats.
The words within a link, the ‘link text’ or ‘anchor text’, are seen by search engines as the way one website describes another. It’s as if someone’s pointing at you in real life and saying ‘books’ and declaring you an expert on that topic.
You often can’t control the words people use to link to you so capitalise on your opportunities to influence anchor text.
Long ago, more links meant more SEO success; even better if you were getting a whole lot of links from several different sites. But now search engines have learned to better evaluate the quality of links.
While tactics such as viral linkbaiting campaigns, badges, and widgets can help in securing large number of links, it would be foolish to spam blogs by using automated softwares, details of which we’ll explore later in this guide.
For more information about links and link building, read the articles on Search Engine Land: