If you own a website you want people to see that website. Does your website need incoming links for that to happen? Yes, a linking strategy should definitely be part of your strategy.
SEO can be complex enough and we’ll not over complicate it here but let’s face facts. Google search represents one of the biggest technological developments of our times and plays a part in most of our daily lives.
How Google goes about working out search results is relevant to all of us and has been for a number of years. It’s got to be worthy of some research by website owners.
Search existed before the inception of Google in 1996. To begin with websites were rated simply on the quality and relevance of the ‘on page’ content to the search terms of the person browsing. Enter stage Google’s Larry Page and his game changing PageRank metric (yes it’s named after him).
Google takes into consideration what other people think of your website
Complex algorithms were used to factor in a human dimension. Rather than just rely on automatic crawling of the page for the right keywords the search engine now took into consideration what other people thought of your website. Were they linking to you? If yes then Google was impressed and ranked you higher. Did the people ranking to you have some authority? Were they themselves owners of a quality web publication? All the better, then Google ranked you a bit higher.
From day one a game of cat and mouse has been going on between Google and SEO practitioners of all varieties who have conjured up tricks to get their websites on page 1 of Google. Backlinks have been a huge chapter in this story of getting sites to rank in search results.
For a while it seemed easy, anyone could find out the PageRank of a page. This was measured on a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being the highest value reflecting the number of links pointing to a website or web page.
For good reason Google no longer shares this information. That all ended in 2016 as part of the battle against spammers who were using all kinds of dubious automated methods to get links to their websites. So backlinks had a dark side.
The value of link building remains strong however and can still be the difference between either you or your competitor appearing on page one of Google. Manual link building (i.e. everything other than linkbait) should still form part of your strategy.
Here are three things you can do yourself:
Ask for links to your website from owners of websites you respect
Submit your website to relevant directories
Write valuable content that people want to share.
When deciding on website you’d like to have linking to yours as yourself this question: how strong is the page where the link will be published? The stronger the page, the stronger the link it passes. How do you establish how strong the page is?
To be effective in PageRank does your website need incoming links?
How can you collect PageRank data? SEOmoz provide tools, resources and education. They rate domain link authority as the number one priority in search ranking factors ahead of keyword and content which comes in at number 3. Here’s where you can see exactly what Moz rates as the top ten factors.
Moz have some really useful tools:
The industry’s leading SEO toolbar – MozBar gives you instant metrics while viewing any page or SERP. The graphic below shows the MozBar in action on the BBC website.
Open Site Explorer
OpenSiteExplorer.org – from SEOmoz, allows users to enter a URL (or two, for comparison) and returns link data
The metrics above are useful when evaluating links, just remember that Google and other search engines take action to penalise websites for selling links or otherwise being manipulative which is one of the reasons the PageRank indicator is not available in Google’s Chrome browser.
Does your website need incoming links? Ask us about our Online Business Listings service to boost your local SEO rankings.