This is the fourth article in a five part series titled Search Engine Optimization – Back to the Basics. Yesterday we talked about your on-page content. Today we are talking about link popularity and how to use your outbound and incoming links most effectively.
Linking from one web page to another is what has made the Internet what it is today. Incoming links to the pages on your website are weighted very heavily in the algorithms of all the major search engines. If there are no links to your site you may rank for a very few terms like your company name, but that’s about it.
Without links to your site, it is as if you are in outer space. There’s nothing really connecting you to the rest of the world wide web.
There are basically two types of links, inbound links to the pages on your site and outbound links from the pages on your site to other sites. You will obviously have more control of your outbound links, but the incoming links are the main thing that will help your pages rank better.
Google’s PageRank puts a very high emphasis on incoming links when it calculates the value of a web page, which determines where it ranks in the search engine results.
Some people will say that outbound links don’t help with your on-page optimization. I disagree. Linking to other sites or other pages is supposed to help the reader have a deeper understanding of the material you are presenting. Each link is there to help the reader in some way. When you are a good steward with your outbound links the search engines tend to reward you for that. Links added just for links sake aren’t necessarily helpful.
The search engines have extremely complicated algorithms that give a score to each link and they can quickly tell if a link is of value or not. That link is also valued based on the anchor text in that link, the words that are highlighted or underlined, that you click on to go to another page.
You have full control of the outbound links on your site. Use them wisely.
A lot of SEO professionals would not include incoming links in a discussion about on-page optimization. However, there are more than one page on your web site, or there certainly should be, and each of those pages can have links to other content on your own site. The beautiful thing about this is you have full control of the anchor text used in those links and you can use them to help define the other pages on your site.
You see a lot about building your incoming link profile. The more links you get from related websites, the better your site will rank. I read an article recently from Michelle MacPhearson called Link Mixology: The 12 Kinds of Links Your Site Needs. I think it’s a very good explanation of where and how to build your incoming link profile.
If you need help with building incoming links to your site we offer a link-building program that helps get you started on getting quality inbound links to your site.
Tomorrow we are going to wrap up our series with an article on traffic as a ranking factor. If I can help you further with this topic please leave a comment below or send me an email.
To your success,