Let’s Talk About Inbound Links

If you have spoken with me about search engine optimization in the past, after exclaiming the virtues of relevant content, at some point inbound links get mentioned – specifically, relevant inbound links!  The more inbound links you get from relevant and credible websites the more Google is going to like you.  Well, in theory, as I always say, but now I have more recent proof.

In going through my RSS Reader to get caught up on all my hundreds of updates I need to read, I came across an article from Google’s Webmaster Central Blog from earlier in the month that I thought was worth sharing.  It backs up what I have been saying and it’s straight from the horse’s mouth – well, the mouth of Google’s Official blog, anyway.  Here are the best excerpts:

“Inbound links are links from pages on external sites linking back to your site. Inbound links can bring new users to your site, and when the links are merit-based and freely-volunteered as an editorial choice, they’re also one of the positive signals to Google about your site’s importance. Other signals include things like our analysis of your site’s content, its relevance to a geographic location, etc. As many of you know, relevant, quality inbound links can affect your PageRank. And quality links often come naturally to sites with compelling content or offering a unique service.

How do these signals factor into ranking?

Let’s say I have a site, example.com, that offers users a variety of unique website templates and design tips. One of the strongest ranking factors is my site’s content. Additionally, perhaps my site is also linked from three sources — however, one inbound link is from a spammy site. As far as Google is concerned, we want only the two quality inbound links to contribute to the PageRank signal in our ranking.

Given the user’s query, over 200 signals (including the analysis of the site’s content and inbound links as mentioned above) are applied to return the most relevant results to the user.

So how can you engage more users and potentially increase merit-based inbound links?

Many webmasters have written about their success in growing their audience. We’ve compiled several ideas and resources that can improve the web for all users.

Create unique and compelling content on your site and the web in general

  • Start a blog: make videos, do original research, and post interesting stuff on a regular basis. If you’re passionate about your site’s topic, there are lots of great avenues to engage more users.
  • Teach readers new things, uncover new news, be entertaining or insightful, show your expertise, interview different personalities in your industry and highlight their interesting side. Make your site worthwhile.
  • Participate thoughtfully in blogs and user reviews related to your topic of interest. Offer your knowledgeable perspective to the community.
  • Provide a useful product or service. If visitors to your site get value from what you provide, they’re more likely to link to you.”

The see the article in it’s entirety, go to Good times with inbound links

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