Links are essential for SEO.
How inbound links, outbound links and internal links affect SEO performance? It is time to understand everything about links for SEO.
Before Google or SEO optimization, the common way to rank higher was to fill the page with a ton of keywords.
Without a search engine algorithm, it was easy for marketers to abuse the power of keywords.
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The simple idea that worked behind keyword stuffing was that the more keywords you had on the page, the more quickly it ranked.
This has caused unnatural keyword stuffing to rank higher.
In the past, keyword stuffing was an easy way to rank the page even if that page does not offer the best information or solution.
But now, Google algorithms have changed the way SEO professionals optimize content.
Now it is more about bringing quality content to the front than using keywords. Keyword stuffing is entirely out of the picture.
And all of this happened because of Google.
Google: The Quality checker
Google launched in 1996 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page.
In the early years, Google was ranking content according to Pagerank. Pagerank was the method to consider links between pages or posts to use as a ranking factor.
With this, Google has pushed the SEOs to understand how links work and why SEO links are essential.
What is a Link and Types of Links:
A link is a clickable text or image that open a new page, video, or text with more information.
There are three types of links that you can find in every blog or website.
- Inbound Links
- Outbound Links
- Internal Links
Internal links are the links that connect two pages or blog posts within the site or blog.
Search engine spiders can easily find out if the pages are linked to other pages within the website or not.
Even if your website uses multiple domains, still Google considers them as external links.
Inbound links are the links published on other sites and link back to your website or blog.
Outbound links are the links that you publish on your website but linking to other sites.
Inbound Links: High-Quality Natural Links for Better SEO:
Inbound links are the most important type of links in the SEO world. Yet, they are hard to build.
High-Quality Trustworthy links from Credible sources for Higher Content Authority:
Websites link to each other for a reason.
The most common reason to link to a trustworthy source is to give a boost to the information shared on that page, or link to the page they want to compare or criticize.
Link son a page work as a vote of trust. They show the trustworthiness, authority, and credibility of the page.
The more links a page has, the more authority it can have. But quality is essential here.
The quality of the inbound links can help your content get top position in SERP.
Links that often work as fake votes:
Some links do not come your way naturally. It means that you are building inbound links manually rather than letting others make links without asking for it.
Google algorithms can quickly identify if the link is genuine or fake.
The most common type of links that people can fake are;
These links, also known as artificial links.
Google consider these links as fake or artificial.
Sometimes these links can bring a negative impact on your SEO.
Manual actions and algorithm updates can cause massive damage to the sites with unnatural links.
The best way is to avoid unnatural links and start getting natural links naturally.
To earn natural links, your content must be helpful, authoritative, credible and trustworthy.
Your goal should be to earn link positively without asking for them.
Google Penguin Update focus on Links:
Google has introduced several algorithm updates, such as Panda, penguin, hummingbird, etc.
Google penguin update is there to help Google evaluate the quality of links.
After the Google Penguin update, some people started thinking that links do not matter. But it is not valid.
Links are still important.
Links to a page display the quality and authority of content. As long as links are natural, they will contribute to improving the authority of the page.
Since the first Google Penguin update, the methods of earning backlinks have changed a lot.
Now the focus of natural links is to attract links by creating link-worthy content.
Content marketing is also an excellent way to boost link building.
It is essential that visitors or users naturally link back to your content.
Anchor Text Abuse:
Anchor text abuse is a common mistake.
At the beginning of their professional journey, bloggers, marketers, and SEOs make a mistake to overuse anchor text.
The search engine uses anchor text to understand the relevance of the link.
When publishers were using the exact anchor text on all inbound links to rank in search results, there was a time when publishers were using the same anchor text.
But now, you must be more authentic.
Google penguin and many other updates have forced the SEO’s to ditch the keyword-focused anchor text strategy rather than focus on using raw text in inbound links that appeal to the user.
Here are a few things that you must take care of to improve your link building strategy:
Use branded text such as brands name or publisher name as anchor text rather than just blindly following keyword-based anchor text.
Diversity is important. Not all the backlinks look the same Rather;, you should be using website name, blog URL, visit here, click here etc., as anchor text.
Internal Links to Distribute Link Juice Effectively:
Internal links distribute the PageRank throughout the website.
Inbound links add more PageRank to your website, and internal links distribute the link juice to all the pages connected to that page.
This means the more links you have on one page, the lesser PageRank it can pass.
Your homepage is always the most linked page of the website.
The posts that are available on the homepage will have better PageRank than the pages that are too far from the homepage.
Internal links serve two significant purposes:
Make it easy for visitors to discover old pages or posts.
Make it easy for search engines to crawl your complete website.
Most common examples of internal links:
The website’s navigation menu or blog is the first and most popular place to find internal links.
In navigation, you will find the structure of the hierarchy of the topic or subtopics.
Related pages is the section where you will find all the associated pages or essential pages to the topic of the page you have visited.
The sitemap is the page where you will find links to all the pages and posts on one page. On large sites, you can discover sitemaps related to categories or subcategories.
Whenever you publish a page or blog post, you add some links to your website’s internal pages. These are known as In-Content links. Over optimizing the in-content links will harm SEO.
Whenever you are optimizing the internal links, make sure that they appeal to the visitor.
User first approach is the best to get better results.
Outbound links also impact your website ranking.
You should use nofollow for the outbound links.
PageRank does not work the way it was working before 2009.
Now the best outbound link practices are;
- Do not add too many outbound links.
- Do not nofollow all outbound links.
- Only link to the high-quality sites or sources.
No Outbound links may help you save Pagerank but look suspicious.
The best practice if to link to the high-value resources only.
Remember: Only use links where they look natural.
Links are essential for SEO.
Even though SEO optimization has changed a lot, still links will remain valuable for a long time.
All you need is to give importance to the best practices for using Inbound links, internal links, and outbound links.
You need links but earn links naturally.
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