In the last few posts I’ve written about the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization.) You can find the first post on SEO here and the second post here.
I’ve talked about keywords and about the content of your web page. Those are both important to the ranking of your web site in the search engines. However one of the most important aspects has nothing to do with your web page at all. It has to do with all the links coming in to your web page.
I’m talking about building quality links.
Let’s talk about links for a second. Many of you may be familiar with the old fashioned 1990s way of building links. You would swap links with someone. I’d send an email to you and ask you if we could swap links. You’d put a link to my web site and I’d put a link to your web site. Like this:
This was the old fashioned way. Everyone would swap links. Entire groups of people formed to swap links with one another. You’d buy a link swapping program and install it on your web site to allow you to automate the process of swapping links. You’d buy a program that would send out emails to people to ask them to swap links.
Using this method the more links you had coming in to your web site the more important your web site appeared to be to the search engines. If all things were equal and I had 2555 links coming in to my web site and my competitor only had 300 my web site would rank better in the search engines than his.
Google and the other search engines caught on to this.
First they said, the link needs to be relevant.
If I run a custom greeting card web site…. Then a link from my friend’s CT mobile detailing web site is irrelevant. (Hi Al, a real friend of mine runs that business.) It helps towards my total number of links but Google said this link is off topic. Al has a business on car detailing and I have a business on greeting cards. They are on totally different topics.
The search engines said that a relevant link… one on a similar or related topic would carry more weight than irrelevant links. Perhaps one relevant link would be worth several irrelevant links. If I got links to my greeting card web site from insurance, mortgage, home business, car detailing, etc web sites it would have less importance than if I got a web site with holiday cards to link to my greeting card site. In Al’s case a link from my greeting card web site would have less relevance than a link from a car dealership would.
Relevant links are now important to the search engines:
Earlier this week my friend Diane “mlmblone” Walker emailed me. She had someone ask her about a link. They wanted to do a link swap and the web site was on a totally irrelevant topic. I let her know that was not a good idea.
Second the search engines said that one way links were better than 2 way links…
I’ll talk about 2 way links in tomorrow’s installment of SEO basics.
For now, does the topic of “relevant” vs. “irrelevant” links make sense to you? Leave me a comment and let me know!
PS. If you’re online tonight: Wednesday Sept. 22nd. I’m hosting another “40 ways to grow your business” free webinar. The webinar is at 9 PM Eastern 6 PM Pacific. I’d love to have you on as my guest to learn about how to grow your business. Click here to register for the webinar.
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