A link is a link is a link, right?
Not quite. In the same way that not all pizzas are not created equal; there is good pizza and bad pizza (although bad pizza is still better than no pizza), and there are good links and bad links. Links vary in quality, so when (re)considering your SEO linking strategy, keep this in mind.
Let’s look at what makes some links better than others:
Definition: A link that comes from another website to your own; aka a link that comes from a URL unique to your own.
Why they are important: It has long been considered that inbound links to your content is the BEST way to distinguish your site as an authority. And sites with authority get good Google rankings. Hence, the more inbound links you have the better your site will be rated.
What make a GOOD Inbound Link:
- The quality/reputation of the site it came from
- The quantity of inbound links
- How many inbound links exist on the directing page (the most links they post on a single page the more the ‘link juice’ quality is divided)
- The age/page views/popularity of the page
The older and more popular the page is, in combination with the number of links they offer will determine your inbound link quality. As will the reputation of the site it came from. To maintain high-quality links get inbound links on reputable websites who only selectively include links.
Definition: A link from your website to another third-party site with a different URL.
Why they are important: Outbound links are critical because they help define you as an industry authority.
What make a GOOD Outbound Link:
- Reputable sites (like Wikipedia, the CIA Fact Book, government websites, etc).
- Good anchor text offering a ‘definition of the link’.
- Understandability (your users need to understand what the link will take them to, like Michael Jordan and Michael Jordan).
- Opens in new window (these work better on your behalf because you don’t lose users but have made an honest attempt to drive users to an informative site).
Definition: A link from one page of your website to another.
Why they are important: If you aren’t willing to link to your own content, why should it be considered important? Internal links create clear reading paths for your users and demonstrate the quality of your content.
What make a GOOD Internal Link:
- Anchor text (if the page is relevant to your user you shouldn’t be afraid to let them know what it is)
- Reader importance (an internal link should be important to your reader and your content flow
- SEO importance (you should be linking to your strongest pages as opposed to spreading it around because then you lose link authority)
If you are asking yourself which type of link to focus on, let’s quickly address that: all of them are of equal importance. All are needed because as you can see they serve different areas of SEO. IT is not difficult to incorporate them all though, and doing so should take you no more than 30 minutes a month (because this is an on-going process). No go forth and link.
For more tips n’ tricks on how to supercharge your SEO strategy, click here.