External Links for SEO

Everyone knows how important inbound links to your website are for purposes of search engine optimization (SEO). Inbound or external links are what allow web surfers to find you, and the more of them you have, all else being equal, the higher your site will rank in a keyword search.

However, just having lots of links isn’t necessarily the best strategy for SEO. Quality of link, which will be discussed below, can be as important as quality or more so. Just getting as many external links as possible without regard to quality is a spammer’s method, and while it works to a degree, there are more elegant and less time-consuming ways to achieve the same degree of effect.

What I mean by “quality” refers to how highly search engines are likely to value the link in terms of giving your own site points for it. Search engines tend to use the following factors in gauging how much weight to put on a given external link:

  • The popularity of the page that’s linked to yours, i.e. how much traffic it gets
  • How relevant the linked page’s content is to your own page’s content
  • The number of links from the other page to your page
  • The number of different domains that link to the other page
  • The anchor text used for the link between the other page and yours, and how many variations on that anchor text appear
  • The ownership of the other page as distinct from your own, and what connection there is between the two

A link to your page appearing on another page will be ranked very highly if the page is very popular and has a lot of incoming links of its own, especially to other domains. It will also be ranked higher if the other page has content that relates to your own page’s content – that will look like the link is there for a good reason and not just to create a link for SEO purposes. (Sites often trade links in order to build ranking for both sites.) It will be ranked better if there are multiple links into your page from the other page, than if there is only one, and if the anchor text for the links is related to your page, makes sense in the context it appears on the other page, and is varied from one link to another. Finally, a link will be given more weight if the ownership of the two pages is different and unconnected. All of these factors help the search engine to know that a given link is less likely to be a device arranged solely for SEO purposes, that the two sites are really related, and that the other site linking to yours is an important one.

It takes a little more time, effort, and finesse to arrange for high-quality external links, but the payoff is well worth the extra work.

If you are looking for an SEO specialist than you should know that it can be difficult. But, finding an SEO specialist doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, there are thousands of SEO technicians online and all you have to do is a people search to find them.

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