When you are creating content for your website, then the quality of the content is important. However, search engines do not rank your website content on quality alone.
In order to get a better ranking for your website on search engines, such as Google, you will need to establish authority, and this can be done by linking to other websites or your own content internally.
But what is a link? And how does linking work? In this article, we’ll take you through the basics of linking.
What Is A Link?
In website management, a link refers to a hyperlink within a button or text that takes a user to another website, page or a document.
There are a number of different links that you can use for your website. Here are some of the most important ones.
Also known as external links or backlinks, inbound links are essentially hyperlinks that point from your website to another, external website.
This type of link is important because they create a network throughout the internet.
In addition, inbound links are also used as a type of real-life reputation where website owners only link to another website that they fully trust.
This means that when someone links to your website, then users as well as search engines perceive your website as an authority.
Unlike external links, internal links connect your content pages internally to other pages with the same domain.
When you have a larger number of internal links pointing to a certain page on your website, then this is a sign for Google and other search engines that this page is important.
Saying this, it is essential that you avoid “link stuffing” which is when you put too many links onto a page of your site.
Search engines have changed the way they treat internal as well as external links over the past years. Their algorithms continually evolve.
Nofollow links with the attribute “rel=nofollow” tell a search engine not to follow this link. These links essentially do not count towards your authority or trust that you build with a search engine.
Although some search engines still follow the link, this link will then not be perceived as important and it still does not go towards your authority ranking.
But where would you use nofollowed links? They can be ideal when you want to link to another website with untrustworthy content.
Nofollow links are usually external links because they typically point to another external source.
What Does Linking Mean?
When website owners or developers talk about linking then they usually refer to the process of link building.
This is essentially placing suitable external and internal links onto web pages to improve the page’s SEO rank.
The more important and popular a website is, the more weight the site’s links with have in terms of ranking and authority.
For example, a website such as Wikipedia has many thousands of different sites that link to it. This means that many other website owners trust this site.
In turn, this shows search engines that Wikipedia is an authority.
But you do not have to have as much content on your site as Wikipedia to earn the authority and trust with search engines.
However, you will need to add good quality links to your site pointing to other websites that provide trustworthy and credible content.
Best Linking Practices
There are some important techniques you need to consider when building your link profile on your website.
Search engines have clear expectations when it comes to links.
If you do not follow them and your links are against Google’s terms of service, then you run the risk that your page or even your website may be removed from search results within Google or other search engines.
Links Are Relevant
Links should be placed in a website or a page where they are most meaningful. The link to the other website or document should relate to the source website’s content.
That’s why, it is a good idea to add links that are relevant to your topic-specific community. This is not just important for search engines.
If you add links to your websites that are meaningless to your users, then this may be confusing for anyone who visits your website.
Saying this, the domains you link to do not have to be exactly a match to the topic you talk about on your page. They should however be related.
Earn Links With Good Quality Content
Earned links are links that come from other websites to your site.
The right linking here can be achieved by creating good quality content that is popular with users and other website managers who link to your website.
When others link to your website, you do not need to do anything specific.
Anchor Text Should Be Descriptive
Anchor text is essentially the description of the link you are adding. So, if you add in a link to a dog grooming website, then make sure that the anchor text describes in a few words what the linked page is about.
Even if you keep linking to the same page from other pages of your own website, you will still need to place anchor text but you need to ensure that the anchor text varies each time.
Search engines use the anchor text to find out the connection between the two links, so it’s a good idea to place any important keywords here.
Linking is simply the process when you point from your website to another website or another page on your site.
This does sound very easy but you will need to bear a few things in mind to make sure that search engines do not mark you down.
Saying this, the content on your website and the links should never just be about pleasing a search engine. They should be relevant and meaningful to your target audience.
This will not only help bring more traffic to your site but it will also keep people on your website for longer.