Posted by Julie Warshaw on February 14, 2012
Linking is an important tool for any organic SEO campaign. Linking to your site from highly-ranked, credible websites reinforces your site’s relevancy in the eyes of major search engines. It would be unwise; however, to think that all links are created equal (they’re not). The value of a link depends on several different factors; Page Rank, context, even how the link was created (was it ‘earned’?). It’s important; too, to realize that an earned link on a site with a high Page Rank will not immediately catapult your website to the top of the search engine results page (SERP); it may take weeks or even months for your site to be affected organically.
The methodology utilized by major search engines like Google when determining the impact a link has on a given page is complex and ever-evolving. The amount of time it takes for Google to register the link depends on the page where the link is posted (bots recognize how often sites are usually updated and crawl accordingly). The site’s Page Rank factors heavily into the value associated with the link; a link from a site with a high Page Rank is far more beneficial than one from a site with a low rank or none at all. And Google recognizes when sites are in cahoots to help boost each other’s position on the SERP. Linking to a site which is linking back to you does nothing to promote either site organically. Those links cancel each other out and may even negatively impact your site’s results ranking in the future.
As the sophistication of Google’s algorithms continues to develop, external linking remains an important variable in the SEO equation. However, like most elements of search engine optimization, there are a slew of outside factors which ultimately determine the variable’s overall organic benefit. Effective SEO requires an expert skill-set and extreme patience; when done correctly, it can grow your business exponentially!
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