Who links to your site matters… a lot

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On October - 24 - 2010

It’s no secret that Search Engines evaluate who is linking to your website to establish how important your website is within your own industry. WebPages that are linked to more frequently are weighted higher by search engines and are more likely to be visited.

Inbound links or “back links” are considered a vote of confidence for your website. Therefore getting “quality links” is an integral part of ranking higher than your competitors on the search engines.

Quality Links:

  • Come from popular websites in a related industry.
  • Links from higher ranking pages are worth more than miscellaneous links.
  • Links that appear higher up in a page are more valuable than links that appear on the bottom of the page in the footer.
  • Pages that have large numbers of links may be diluted and less authoritative.
  • “Anchor Text” matters. The actual words that link to your webpage are important. For example, linking the phrase “internet marketing orange county” to my website is more effective for me than linking the words “Click Here”.

Where do Quality Links come from?

Sadly there is no silver bullet. A certain amount of links will develop naturally over time, but unless you have a very popular site to begin with, playing the waiting game won’t work. Buying links for a link farm typically doesn’t work well either. Those links are typically low quality and can get you into trouble over the long run due to their dubious source.

The first step (the only step I’m going to cover in this post) is to locate sources of quality links. I want to focus on the low hanging fruit:

  • Websites that already link to you
  • Websites that link to your competitors

In each case it is safe to assume that websites that link to you or your competitors probably link to sites that are relevant to you.  Because those sites are relevant to your market, it is safe to assume that sites that link to THEM are also relevant to you and are probably also good link prospects.

There are a variety of methods for tracking down specific links to your site and to the sites of your competitors. The most efficient method is to use professional software that is designed for that specific task. Two that we user are Wordtracker and Web CEO. Keep in mind that there is a learning curve to use them correctly. There is also the associated expense of purchasing the tools, and the time to follow through with the results. I’ll cover that on an upcoming post.

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