Thursday, 25 February 2010

How Much Importance Should Be Given To Inbound Links For SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Purposes?

In  the late 90s  when  any site had to be optimized for the search engines, having the keywords in the meta tags and then repeating them in the content  a number of times was enough to make the site rank high in the search engines. This resorted to spamming by the webmasters as they started stuffing the site’s content with keywords  and the quality of the search results was affected.

Google in order to improve upon the quality of the search results  came up with the PageRank Technology.

According to Wikipedia PageRank is a link analysis algorithm, named after Larry Page, - cite_note-0 (Co Founder Of Google) used by the Google Internet search engine that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of "measuring" its relative importance within the set. The algorithm may be applied to any collection of entities with reciprocal quotations and references.

PageRank is a numeric value that represents how important a page is on the web. Google figures that when one page links to another page, it is effectively casting a vote for the other page. The more votes that are cast for a page, the more important the page must be. Also, the importance of the page that is casting the vote determines how important the vote itself is. Google calculates a page's importance from the votes cast for it. How important each vote is is taken into account when a page's PageRank is calculated.

With Google giving so much of importance to links getting more and more links became the most important criteria for any website to rank high in  the search engines. Hence, a so called link building industry with link farms came into existence.

Ideally, inbound links should be gained because there is superlative and informative content on the site. But, with the buying and selling of links this whole purpose is defeated.

Google clearly mentions on its webmaster tools that Buying or selling links that pass PageRank can dilute the quality of search results. If you believe a site is engaged in buying or selling links that pass PageRank, please tell us about it. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google's webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results.

So,  if quality links are important  then the million dollar question is -  How To Get Them?

  • Focus all your efforts on making the site informative, qualitative and content rich to get links automatically.

  • Do not neglect the On-Page Optimization Basics and just go after links. (Very important from the SEO perspective)

  • Participate in social media networks for discussions and sharing of information and mention links to the relevant pages to your website.  (It need not be the Home Page always)

  • Have a social book marking button on your website.

  • Make RSS feeds available on your website.

  • Post comments and voice your opinion on authority blogs related to your industry .           (Don’t forget the link back to you website)

  • Issue Press Releases periodically. Paid press releases have an advantage over free press release sites as they distribute your content to relevant sources from where you can get better inbound links.

When the PageRank concept was framed, the main purpose was to judge the true goodwill and popularity of the website in direct proportion to the no. of inbound links it has.

But with all these ethical and unethical methods of gaining more and more links the whole purpose is defeated.

If the site is having good informative content and with ethical SEO practices it ranks high in the search engines then it automatically gets a lot of links from various sources.

As the main purpose of a genuine searcher is to search for what is available globally and locally. Once,  the searcher finds that it surely gets added and linked by him in various ways.

All the energies and efforts should be concentrated on building the website qualitatively in various ways by adding more and more qualitative, informative and varied content.

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