The internet is full of links. There are links from one page to another within your website, outbound links from your website to others, and links from other websites to your own. Did you know that these links convey essential information about your website to search engines? In this blog post, we’ll talk about how search engines perceive links and the concept of link equity.
Link Equity: What is it and Why do you want it?
Link equity is one factor Google and other search engines use when ranking your website. Essentially, links carry value from one webpage to another. Some links are more valuable than others. If a well-known and respected website links to yours, then they’re saying that they believe you are a trusted source. On the other hand, if a spammy website links to yours, that link won’t help you.
Types of Links: Internal Links
Internal links are relatively self-explanatory. They’re the links going from one page of your website to another. For instance, your home page probably has links going to your About page and Contact page. These are normal and expected links. They won’t have much of an impact on how a search engine sees your website when a bot crawls it unless the links are broken or don’t go to the correct page on your website.
When you include a link from your website to another, this is an external link. Many articles and blog posts include external links when they cite sources or give examples. You’re pointing to these sites as credible sources to back up what you’re saying and giving the other website a boost in the process.
You might wonder if it makes sense to boost other websites by linking to them. It doesn’t hurt you to include external links on your website. It is a little unnatural to have no external links whatsoever. Don’t be afraid to include external links. Be sure that the external links you include link to credible sources relevant to the person using your website.
Backlinks: When Other Websites link to you
These are the links that every website wants. If another website links to yours, they’re giving you some credibility. These links aremore valuable if they come from a well-established website that is a credible source. This allows Google and other search engines to recognize that other websites view you as credible, so your website has a greater chance of ranking higher on a search engine result page or SERP.
How to Get Backlinks
Keep in mind that getting other people to link to your website is to provide a good user experience. You want people who come to your website through a link to find valuable information. The process of getting links to your website needs to be aboveboard. There are specific schemes, which we will talk about later, that will hurt your website if you use them as a quick and easy way to get links.
The first thing you should do to earn links? Produce top-notch content and promote it. Good content won’t get found easily all by itself, so you’ll need to spread the word on your social channels and entice your followers to share it. The more you put your website out there, the more likely others will find it.
Look for any opportunities to share content. Someone in your business may write a guest article or blog for another website in a complementary industry. Make sure that they credit the author, and in a brief bio, they can include information about where the author works, along with a link to your website.
If a newspaper or local news station ever interviews anyone in your company, be sure to have them include your company’s information with a link when they publish the article or share the news story online after the broadcast. These are valuable links to earn since they’re coming from trusted sources.
Link Schemes, or What Not to Do
Some websites link to each other reciprocally to an excessive degree. While it may sound like an excellent strategy to give each website backlinks, it can decrease both websites’ credibility. This is because Google is looking for websites that offer the best user experience. They look for natural linking patterns. Let’s say an article about coffee links to an article about the best processes for grinding coffee beans. This is a link that makes sense. It’s sharing relevant information with the user.
On the other hand, a link that doesn’t make sense in context tends to look suspicious. Two websites that frequently link a lot to each other are suspect, and both can be penalized. This is a comment scheme to manipulate search rankings, but it isn’t the only one. For more information, check out what Google says about link schemes here.
Don’t stress if you realize you have linked to a website and they have also linked to you. There are natural linking patterns that can occur between websites and businesses. For instance, a baker specializing in wedding cakes has likely gotten to know other vendors in the wedding industry and may have a florist they recommend to couples. The florist may recommend the baker. This is natural in business, and Google’s algorithm recognizes this as well.
Keep in mind that earning backlinks is not something you can go out and do all on your own. It will take time, so be prepared to make this a long-term goal. If you need help creating a strategy to produce content that can help you earn backlinks or any other part of your SEO strategy, Zephyr is here to help. Reach out to us today.