As search engines make their way through the vast landscape of the internet, they rely on links, which are like the roadways that go back and forth between destinations. Through link analysis, search engines make a determination of which pages relate to others and how.
Engines look at links for many reasons beyond just popularity. Trusted sites usually only link to other trustworthy sites. Conversely, sites are unlikely to get links from trusted sites. If a trustworthy site links to you, that’s a big point in your favor when it comes to ranking. Links are often considered viable ways of locating reliable pages on particular subjects, as suggested by the Hilltop Algorithm.
What Makes For a Link That Search Engines Like?
The following criteria are used by SEO professionals when creating or revamping websites:
A highly popular website will always have a vast network of sites that link to it. Wikipedia is one such extremely popular site. Obviously, it has untold thousands of sites linking to it. It’s no accident that on searches for many subjects, Wikipedia is virtually always in the top three search choices. Use Wikipedia as inspiration to seek linking partners that will improve your ranking.
Local Popularity, Topic-Specific Popularity
Local popularity refers to the idea that links from topic-related sites are more valuable than links from unrelated websites. For example, if your website sells guitars, a link from Gibson or Fender or another important guitar maker carries a lot more weight than a link from a site of someone who sells pottery online.
Anchor text is a crucial method of measurement by search engines. When dozens or hundreds of links point to a certain webpage with the right keywords, it should come as no surprise that this page will rank well for the keywords in question. This is why things like keyword research((LINK TO “KEYWORD RESEARCH” BLOG)) are so important.
Ever since the beginnings of the internet, users have had to contend with spam. Every year, it just seems to increase. For example, symantec.com says that more than 60% of email content is spam. Web content fares no better. Consequently, we are more dependent than ever on search engines to do the hard work of finding good web content for us. When your website get links from trusted websites, your ranking is bound to go up. Examples of highly trusted websites would include government websites, nonprofit organizations and universities to name just a few.
Spam links are usually “birds of a feather,” meaning that any website linking to spam is probably also a spammer. In time, whole spam universes begin to develop. Search engines like to look at the character of the links on a website. The lesson is clear—don’t link to suspected spammers. When it comes to links, be selective.
The power of links can diminish over time. Websites that were once hot often become passé eventually. When this happens, other sites are less interested in linking to them. That’s why link building is an ongoing proposition. You’ll always need to earn new links because some links to you will become less valuable over time. “FreshRank” is something that search engines use to determine a website’s current popularity. Its popularity a year or two ago is meaningless.
Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are now where people share most content. Search engines definitely notice how information is shared in social media. If you Google many subjects, you will invariably see links to Facebook posts. Exactly how to fully leverage social media is an area of much debate. However, social media is a powerful force that must be factored into any SEO discussion.
With the complexity of links, it’s more important than ever to plan a complete revamp of your existing website, or even building an entirely new one. Dreamscape Marketing can help you build—or rebuild—your website for maximum effectiveness.
Recognized as a Google Partner, Dreamscape Marketing is proud of the fact that 15 of our team members have their Google certifications. We can navigate your website through the complexities of today’s search engine environment to increase your ranking. Call us today at 800-571-8553 and find out how much more effective your website can be.