What makes a good link?

I am often asked which is more important, the number of links to your site or the quality of the links.

There is no short answer.  Both are important.

The more high quality links you have the better.  But what is a high quality link?

A high quality link is a link that comes from an “important” page on another site and contains relevant text to your site.  Here the TOP 5 criteria for the perfect link:-

  1. The page the link is on contains content relevant to the content on your site.
  2. The page the link is on is “important” (page rank is 3 or more)
  3. The link contains relevant text. eg. SEO advice is better than www.seotraining.ie. This is particularly true where the domain name itself does not contain relevant keywords.  You will also notice that the title text (the text you see when you hover over the link) is missing from the second link.
  4. People use the link.  Every time somebody clicks on a link it is like a vote.  The more votes you get the better your website will fare as a result of that link.  To that end the positioning of the link is also important.  People often don’t read beyond the first paragraph or two of a page.  If the page has not got their attention in that time they are gone.  If your link is at the bottom of the page it will not be seen by as many visitors.
  5. The text used in the link is repeated on the landing page on your site – preferably in <h1> or <h2> tags as well as in the main body of text.

And to give balance - 5 things not to do with links:-

  1. Submit a link on a link farm or any bad neighborhood.  At best your link will be discounted.  At worst there is some evidence that inclusion on link farms can actually harm your website.  Be careful where you get your links from.
  2. Link from an unassociated site.  If the content is not relevant to your site then the link itself is not relevant.  A link with the text “farm live” is not going to do much good on a page about intel processors.
  3. Likewise a link with text that is not relevant to your sites content is not much cop for you either.  You may have a page about farm life on your site, but if the link goes to the front page of your site where farm life is not mentioned at all then the link will do you little good.
  4. Link from a page with questionable content.  Your site may be about the perils of online gambling, but linking to it from a page that contains links to online casinos and content that mentions online gambling is likely to cause you strife.  Same goes for any pages that mention viagra or any of the things that need spam to get promoted, because the search engines will not support them.
  5. Do NOT get the url of your webpage wrong.  Watch out for caps and lowercase where you are using mod_rewrite on your site.  eg. http://www.mysite.com/SEOAwareness.html may not be the same as http://www.mysite.com/seoawarness.html.  One of them will give you a 404 page not found error.

It’s all very well knowing what makes a good link but how do you get them?  Stay tuned….

About Ian Wortley

Ian is one of Irelands leading SEO consultants with over 8 years experience in the Irish market. Ian discovered his love of all things internet related in 2005 and has been living nearly exclusively online since then, causing much worry to friends and family, but getting great results for clients. Contact Ian: Phone: 01 6854806 Mobile: 086 3817149

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