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May 05, 2008

All About Links - Complete Guide For WebMasters


Links Importance

Every website needs links for a number of reasons. No matter what the reason, the sole purpose of building link popularity is to increase your websites prominence on the Search Engines and to improve its popularity and presence over the Internet. The more popular the website is, the more users and traffic will come to it.

Links are specifically obtained for the following reasons:

To improve Search Engine Rankings

Links help in improving a websites ranking/placement on Search Engines. Search Engines consider incoming links to a website as a Vote to that website. The more incoming links a website has, the more votes it has in the eyes of Search Engines.

Each Search Engine has its own policies to the quality of links coming to a website, so different search engines will rank your website differently on their SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages). Also, Search Engines continuously update their ranking algorithms and link quality analysis algorithms to differentiate between good and bad links.

The whole idea behind giving more importance to websites with more links is that websites providing useful content will naturally attract links from other websites, whereas websites that are poorly designed or have inadequate information will have difficulty in attracting links to it.

The importance of Anchor Text of incoming links is also very important and directly related to Search Engine Rankings for that website on Search Engines.

To Get Traffic

Links are also a direct way of improving traffic to your website. Other than improving Search Engine Rankings, a link on another website can bring traffic and users by click-throughs to your website. If your link is placed on a webpage highly related to your website theme, chances are that users browsing that webpage will find it useful to click on your link to find more related information.

The text used to link to your website is very important for both users as well as for the Search Engines. Often, links placed on very relevant sites can bring a constant and regular stream of users to your website. Moreover, if your link is placed on a high traffic website, you can get lots of regular and returning visitors to your site from a single link. Often, this strategy is adopted when buying links from other websites.

Remember, the most crucial thing required for incoming links is a very useful website. Your website must contain useful and interesting content which is up-to-date at all times which will attract traffic as well as get quality inbound links to it.

Links from other websites, not only bring more exposure to your website, and hence more traffic, but the website sees an increase in traffic from the improved Search Engine Rankings also. The more links you have, the higher your search engine rankings and the more traffic you’ll get to your website from the Search Engines.

To Improve Google PageRank

Getting inbound links is one method by which a website can improve its Google PageRank. The higher a websites PageRank, the more important that website is in the eyes of Google. PageRank is actually a measure of the importance of a website or webpage.

Quality of Links

A number of factors affect the Quality of a link. Google also pays importance to quality of links and uses this in deciding the ranking for a website for a particular Search Term. The factors which need to be considered when evaluating the quality of a link are as follows:

Anchor Text of the Link

The Anchor Text of the Link Title is a very important factor in determining the quality of a link. Search Engines consider the Title text of links and see the Keywords used in the Anchor Texts. If these Anchor Texts match the Keywords being used on the webpage being linked by that link, Search Engines will rank the website or webpage higher in its SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages) for that particular Keyword or Key-phrase.

In extreme cases, such as Google Bombing, websites or web pages can rank high on Search Engines for a particular search term if it gets a lot of incoming links to it using a specific Keyword, even if the Keyword is not used on the webpage itself. The best example for this is when you try searching for ‘Miserable Failure’ on Google.

Theme of Other Links On That Webpage

Search Engines also consider the kind of links on the same page, and see whether they are related to your theme or not. If a webpage has links related to the theme of your webpage, or your link text, more weight will be given to the Keywords used in the Anchor Texts of those links. Hence, Google will improve the Search Engine Rankings for your website if your link is placed on a page with the same themed links.

That’s whys it is important to get links from pages which are also linking to your competitors.

Theme Of The Surrounding Text On That Webpage

Similar to the concept of link texts, Search Engines also give weight to the surrounding text related to your link. If the surrounding text has relevancy to your website theme, the link will be of a good quality. That is why it is essential to use a relevant and Keyword rich Link Description with your link text in order to clarify the theme of the links to visitors as well as to the Search Engines.

While browsing a webpage, visitors to that site will be more likely to click on links and resources that match the theme or topic they are currently viewing. A completely unrelated link is highly unlikely to attract any attention by the visitors. That’s why Search Engines also give very less weight to links placed on unrelated themed webpages.

Title Of The Linking Page

If the title of a webpage is related to your website theme or Keywords, that link will be considered a quality link. Users will be more likely to find and click on links related to that particular topic and hence click and land on your website if the incoming link is from a much related webpage. Search Engines work like normal users in many cases; hence they also give importance to links coming from same themed webpages.

Number Of Outbound Links On That Page

The Number of Outbound links on a webpage directly affect the proportion of Google PR that is passed to the linked websites. The more outbound links there are on a webpage, the lesser proportion of Google PR will be passed. So links from webpages that have too many outbound links on them are not considered high quality links.

Type Of Link

A clear link is considered a high quality link rather than a link which is a redirect link or is embedded in a flash file. Search Engines cannot read flash files; hence they won’t be able to track links coming to a webpage through some flash file. Clear, static and direct links are the friendliest links as far as Search Engines are concerned, and are hence given more importance than other kind of links.

Text VS Image

When collecting links for your website, it’s better to focus on Text Links rather than on Banners or Image Links, as images and banners are not indexable by Search Engines. Googlebot and other Search Engine Spiders pay importance to Link Texts, so special attention should be given on deciding Link Texts for your website before you start your links campaign. Keywords used in the Link Titles as Anchor Texts will improve your website Rankings on the Search Engines for those Keywords.

Images and Banner Links with Alternate Text are indexed by Search Engines, where the Alt Text serves as a description to what the site is about. However, preference should still be given to Text Bases links as much as possible.

Prominence Of The Link

The prominence of the link on the links page is another factor in determining the quality of that incoming link. Usually, if your link exists on a webpage which has several other links on it, links towards the top of the webpage will be more prominent and easily to click on. Similarly, a user will be more likely to click on the links which are highlighted or made prominent on the webpage, or which exist near the top of that links page, rather than on a link which is buried deep down in the footer of a webpage, or listed at the end of a long list of 50 other links.

The prominence and closeness towards the top of the page will make the link easily spidered and indexed by the Search Engines and hence it will have better quality.

Complete Guide For WebMasters Collection :
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