Links – the official currency of SEO-land
In this article I often use the words credibility, authority, confidence, reputation, etc. I may be inconsistent with my use of words, but they all refer to the same thing – this abstract currency that flows among sites that link to each other.
When page A links to page B, page A gives page B a fraction of its authority. If page A has too many outgoing links, it will end up with little authority. Similarly, if page B has few links but receives many links, it will end up with a great deal of authority. Keep this concept in mind when you read the new few sections of this article.
The value of an incoming link depends on:
- The content of the linking page
- The link text
- The content immediately around the link
- The number of links on the page
- The position of the link within the content (header, footer, main body?)
- How well the content of the linking page compares to that of the target website
If you’re considering purchasing incoming links, I strongly recommend you consider all the points above before reaching for your wallet.
Incoming links cannot damage your rankings. SEs understand you can’t control who links to your website so you will not be penalized if you receive links from bad neighbourhoods. They will simply be of no benefit to you. The only problem is when you link to a bad neighbourhood (see external links below).
External links are an important aspect of quality content. It’s always good to offer a few links to related quality content. But beware of whom you link to. Incoming links cannot damage your reputation, but an outgoing link to a bad neighbourhood can very much do so.
A link is a ‘vote of confidence’ to the page you’re linking to and you definitely do not want to give your precious votes to poor quality websites – quite simply – it makes you look bad.
I’m well known to be sceptical when it comes to reciprocal links (probably because of this article ). One true, sincere incoming link is much more valuable than a thousand reciprocal links. If you read the ‘Incoming Links’ section above you’ll understand, but here’s why:
- Link is usually on a page with poor or no content
- Links are normally considered poor quality because the content surrounding the link is unrelated
- Content of linking page is almost always unrelated
- Linking pages normally have dozens if not hundreds of external links
- Link pages normally have low PR because of the number of outgoing links
So basically, reciprocal links give you a tiny share of something that isn’t worth much in the first place.One-Way links on the other hand…
- Link is on a page of quality content
- Content is related to the link
- Content of linking page is related to your website
- Linking page with have a minimal amount of outgoing links, usually just yours.
- Article pages can only improve their PRs because they get traffic, they get bookmarked and linked to by people (used as reference).
So basically, you get a big share of something that’s very valuable will only get better! I’m no genius but I know what I’d go for…
So one-way links are a win-win situation. “Oh yeah? How the hell am I going to get incoming links genius-boy?”, you say. Fear not my friend, read on and you shall find the way…