Getting backlinks to your website generally helps your website’s SEO. However, there is a massive difference between a link that says “Click Here” and “SEO Tutorials”. Another important difference of websites linking into yours is the quality of those websites. If you have a website with a PageRank of 8 linking to you, it is typically better than a website with a PageRank of 2 linking to you. Nevertheless, having a bunch of backlinks is usually an excellent benefit for your website’s SEO.
SEO Link Quality
The most important metric of all links is arguably the quality of the website that is linking to your website. If a page that has a PageRank of 8 links to you, it is somewhat like all of those sites that link to that site are also partially linking to you. Remember links are the popularity contest of the web. Popularity is one way to improve your authority to search engines, which will make you rank higher in the search results. I am not saying that those little PageRank 1 websites aren’t useful because they certainly are important. However, the PageRank 8 link is much more beneficial to your website’s SEO. Now, you might be thinking that 8 PageRank 1 websites would equal a PageRank 8 link, but it doesn’t really work that way. It is more exponential than multiplication, but of course, that is all speculation.
Another very important part of a link into your website is that text of that link. If that link has the text “Click Here”, that probably isn’t a keyword that you want to rank highly for in the search results (In fact, it is quite competitive because of non-descriptive links). Granted, it might be out of your power what the other websites decide to put in their links that link to your website. But, if you do have the power to change the link text, make the text contain useful keywords that are relevant to your website. It is also worth mentioning that the anchor tag can have the “title” attribute. You are probably familiar with this attribute. Whenever you hover over an HTML element and some new text shows up providing some sort of explanation, that is the title attribute. Search engines also care about the text inside this attribute, but you shouldn’t use the same text that is contained in the anchor tag.
Number of Links
While I have showed you that a page with a higher PageRank is worth much more than many with a lower PageRank, having a variety of different domains linking to you is very important. Search engines like it when many pages vote for you by linking to you. So, just having a big PageRank website linking to you isn’t going to be worth a whole lot if no one else is linking to you. Variety is the best method for your linking strategy. You need a decent amount of links and a few reputable links to help your website’s SEO. It is important to restate that I am just a web developer and I don’t work for the search engines so I am just presenting my best ideas for building powerful links. However, there are only so many variables in the deductive equation of links, so try experimenting with them and see what works out best for you.
Now that I have told you the three major components of a strong link, let’s think about how to use internal links to do the same thing. Reputation does differ between different pages on your website, which means you can leverage the strong pages to help support the weak pages. But, that might also ruin your stronger pages and get them kicked down in the search results. Whatever you decide to do with controlling the PageRank through your pages, make sure you use descriptive and relevant text when you link to your internal pages. This includes the title tag and the anchor content. Internal links don’t get enough credit anymore, but I am positive their importance is well worth your time. Certainly, external links to your website are worth your time. Go forth and build strong links.