Posts Tagged ‘links’

Website Links - Building Site Awareness

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Hyperlinks, or “links” as they are commonly known, are pathways from one website to another. The Internet was built on this series of interconnections between sites. Links are seen on virtually every page on the Internet, and when clicked by the mouse they bring the Internet surfer to another page, either on the same website, or to another website.

A link from your page at “mypage.htm” pointing to another page on another website or domain is called an outgoing or – to be more precise – an outbound link; the link leads out of your page. When you link to another page of your own site, this link is outbound too, relative to the page on which it is placed.

Alternatively, when a page out in the Web or within your website links to your “mypage.htm”, this link is incoming, or inbound link , for “mypage”.

A “reciprocal” or “backwards” link contains both inbound and outbound links to the same two websites.

Links are important for helping human users find interesting, informative and useful content on the Internet, and they have special value to search engines like Google and Yahoo!. Search engines consider the number of links, age of link, and link quality when applying ranking algorithms to pages. They follow a simple logic: the more incoming links a Web page receives, the more other pages and websites have cast their “votes” for this Web page by considering it an interesting resource. Thus, this page should be ranked higher.

Remember that search engines rank pages, not sites. Thus, if the home page of a site is not considered interesting by other webmasters it will have few inbound links to it from other sites. On the other hand, a different page on the same site contains interesting facts or information and could have many inbound links from other sites.

While link quantity is important, quality is even more important. Search engine algorithms are intentionally built to give inbound links more value than others. Simple links are not given the same weight as links with the following advantages:

  • Links from pages deemed to be more relevant, in terms of topic and theme;
  • Links labeled with more keyword rich anchor text and surrounded by relevant descriptions;
  • Links from pages with a higher Google PageRank;
  • Links that originate from content pages rather than from “links pages” and free-for-all link catalogs. However, this doesn’t concern the pages of Web’s most popular directories DMOZ and Yahoo!, as the links from them are considered “expert“.

Inbound links are generally helpful to the site that receives the link, but there are exceptions. Luckily, it is not possibile to get your site banned or excluded from listings if you get a “bad” inbound link from a penalized website; search engines recognize that no one can control who links to their website. Some incoming links, including those from guest books, link farms and free-for-all link pages provide almost no gain in the rankings because they are generally ignored by the search engines.

Becoming involved in any linking scheme solely designed to trick the search engines into providing higher rankings could result in a penalty or even an outright ban. All such schemes should be avoided.

The concept of Link Popularity refers to the number and quality of links inbound to your website pages - the higher the number of links pointing to your page, the higher your link popularity. However, the number itself is not the only factor that determines your site’s importance. The other related factor that determines your site’s importance is Link Quality.

Link quality may be defined as the quality of content in the sites that are linked to yours, as well as the industry relevance to your site. The link anchor text (the actual text of the hyperlink visible to the visitors of the linking site) adds to the link quality if relevant to your content. The number of links on the linking page itself is considered vital by some search engines. The link will not be given much weight if it is placed on a page with thousands of similar links. However, if the page linking to yours has only a few links or a low link-to-content ratio, this is considered a quality link.

A properly written website .html code should be validated by www.w3.org for example, proper use of keywords, titles, density and not contain stop words. Proper written .html code helps improve each page on your website.