How important are links for SEO

In the early days of the World Wide Web (WWW), when Backrub, the precursor to Google, came into being, the number of links pointing to a specific website was deemed a measure of the importance of the website receiving the links.

Soon enough people realised that it was simple enough to setup many low quality websites and add links to one primary website therefore increasing the importance of the website receiving the many links.

Because of the easy manipulation of links via link schemes and link farms, the search engines have built significantly more advanced ranking algorithms for SEO.

Google and Bing now use hundreds of on-page and off-page ranking factors of various weightings when deciding where to show your webpage in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Hyperlinks are still a ranking factor but aren’t as important as they once were. Here are the basic categories of links:

Outbound Links

These are links that you add to your content that link to an external website (all links are easily added in WordPress with the TinyMCE editor).

Google does look at the reputation of websites you link to so don’t take part in link farm schemes as you’ll be linking to low quality websites.

Inbound Links

These are links from external websites to your webpages. It’s difficult to manage who links to your content but it’s a great idea to get links to your website from relevant forums and reputable websites.

Internal Links

These are links between your content on your website. If you use WordPress there are various inbuilt features that automatically link your content such as categories and tags.

If you’re writing a page or post and there is other content on your website that is related and relevant then link to that content from the new page or post.

The most important things to keep in mind about any links are; only link to relevant content, use descriptive anchor text and add a sentence as title text describing the content being linked to.

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