One of the key factors that search engines use to determine rankings is the number of other sites that believe your site is important enough to create a link to it. A link is essential a vote for the page that’s being linked to. However it is not simply the site with the most votes win. Not all sites are created equal and carry the same link value.
Many factors are used to determine the value of a link. The analysis of link quality is complex and not an exact science. What gets analyzed as part of the link has changed over the years to provide better search results.
Search engines started using links to determine rankings by simply looking at sheer link volume. Sites with the most links won. People did everything they could to create a huge volume of links and watering down their value.
The search engines realized that the relevance of the linking page to the linked content had great value. While sheer link quantity continues to play a role, it is no longer the only factor in link analysis.
Search engines started analyzing link text. The words in the link started to matter. The words spoke about the page it was linking to and therefore when the words match up with the text on the page the more relevant your page became for those keywords.
Next, search engines started looking at the quality of each link. The higher the authority of the site linking out carries more link value than a lower authority site.
Link age became a factor as it was assumed that higher quality links seem to stay in place longer. Links that come and go might say something about the quality of the site being linked to, or if the link was perhaps just an ad purchased. It’s impossible for the search engines to determine with 100% accuracy whether a link was purchased or not.
There is more to a link that meets the eye. As the progression of link analysis has changed, that means we need to pay attention to our links in order to make sure that we are getting the most value out of each.
Anchor Text: Search engines and searchers get their clue about the content of the page linked on the external site. These words weigh heavily in determining the value of the link and deciding if it worth linking. Links should be keyword rich.
Where it Appears: Where the link appears on the page tells the search engines a great deal about the link itself. Search engines try to determine the value of the link by its placement on the page. Links in the midst of the page’s primary content, referred to as Editorial links, are deemed most valuable. These links are relevant to the searchers topic. Links in ad spaces are generally ignored.
We help businesses review their website’s quality links by our technical SEO team.