Links to your website can help and/or harm your website when it comes to rankings. Google has, since its inception, used links to your website as a way of gauging, in part, what people think of your website as an authority score for your website. In the dark past days, anyone could link to your website and probably did.
There are two primary kinds of links: Follow and No-Follow. Follow links are set up in such a way that the search engine spider can follow the link to its final destination, and along the way, the Google algorithm makes a count of the link and the value it will pass to your website as a vote. In the trade, we call it ‘link juice’.
No-Follow links allow the users to follow the link but tell the search engine spider in effect to give no ‘link juice’ for this link.
OK, so now you know the basics, what do you need to look out for?
If a site owner/manager agrees to put a link on their website to you, know what kind it is.
- If it is a follow-style link, make sure it comes from only one of their pages; often links are added to page footers. If the site has 70 pages, the search engine crawls 70 links and gives juice for 70 links. When Google finds this, they downgrade your site and can give manual penalties.
- If it is a follow link, don’t use spammy terms for your link description; for example, if I am writing about links, then hiding recruitment web design in the anchor text of a link would be considered spam by Google.
- Search engines look at where your links come from, so if you are promoting your site in the UK index, it is best to gain links from .co.uk domains.
- Links come from many places; make sure that your link partner is not in some form of bad link network – not all links are the same.
- Check your links with link testing tools like SEO Profiler or AHref on a weekly basis; your links can be tampered with and bad links can be sent by your way people who wish to attack your site. It happened to us – it can happen to you.