Links are sometimes referred to as the nuts and bolts of the internet, the glue that connects millions of documents, pages and information. Their proper name, “hyperlink” is the primary method we use to navigate from page to page and from file to file. Without these series of links, our user-friendliness would suffer. Finding the right quality links will insure higher visibility as well since Google uses links to determine the value of a website.
Developing a linking strategy will increase the visibility based upon this value added. Just as we evaluate new business relationships based upon the good references of others who have used that business. likewise, we value web links based upon the relevance of the link.
Make sure each and every link leads to more relevant information. Don’t waste time linking to information unrelated to your product or service. Valuable links can also be added to blog articles of interest to educate the followers of the material.
How valuable are link farms?
As the notion of developing as many links as possible grew, some website owners were adding links for the sake of adding links (with no context or descriptive information). Suddenly full pages of links started popping up on websites with no relevance. These were called “link farms.” Today, that method is no longer valuable and search engines have caught on. Those that attempt to game the system adding links which have no value will soon find their rank will suffer. Search engines are always on the look out for the quality of links and do not put any value on adding links indiscriminately to increase the number of links. Each link must be chosen carefully by considering whether or not the link will add value to the content.
On-Page and Off-Page ranking methods:
On-page linking methods rarely change the Google algorithms. However, off-page linking factors are constantly being refined by Google and other top search engines. On-Page Linking describes parts of the webpage that affect search engine rankings. These are things you have control over and you can change them at any time such as page content, title tags, headings and URL structure. Off-page linking factors focus on promoting content outside the website. This might include your hyperlink strategy, social media likes and followers and online blogging efforts. Guest blogging content is also included in this group.
Only quality hyperlinks count:
Where the link comes from is just as important as the link itself. A link from a more popular website is more valuable than ten links from a site with no relevance. The age of the link and the age of the domain name and the context of the link are equally important. Search engines rely upon anchor text (words used in the link) to find context. If there is no context (information) that leads the reader to what they are searching for then the link has no value. The link you choose is evaluated by Google based upon all of the factors mentioned. Expand your reach online by developing a successful link strategy. This will enhance your reputation, increase search rank and help you to be found by those searching the web.
Jean Holland-Rose is the Chief Creative Officer overseeing brand development and graphic design for Inside Design Orlando. She is also an SEO strategist for many websites nationwide, assisting clients to maximize their online presence through her proven marketing and SEO strategies. She encourages continuing SEO education and is passionate about new smart technologies.