Following hot on the heels of internal linking, comes its bigger, burlier, much more successful brother; external linking! The fact is, external linking is an absolutely crucial part of an SEO copywriter’s arsenal, and what the term “hypertext” is all about. In essence, you link to pages you like and get linked by pages that like your site.
The web itself is woven out of interconnected pages and the search engine spiders follow these links when indexing them. If you don’t have any websites linking to you, then it will take quite a long time for the search engines to find your site.
In essence, a link to your website shows that your site is relevant and important enough to be linked to in the first place, so it scores points with the search engines. Each link can be classed as a vote, and the more you have, the higher up in the search engine rankings your website will appear, providing of course that the website linking to you is relevant and of good quality.
And this is a crucial point…
You see, not all external links are equal and the search engines need to evaluate the quality and relevance of every link in order to determine whether or not it should increase or decrease your position in the search results…
Generally speaking, there are two types of external links that are important for SEO – inbound and outbound links. Outbound links are links that start from your site and lead to others, while inbound links (or backlinks) are links from an external site that direct readers to YOUR website.
As I said, backlinks are very important because they are supposed to be a measure of the popularity of your site, and good quality backlinks will help to improve your Page Rank; a system that scores web pages by their inbound links.
Once again though, not all backlinks are equal. This is because the advantage they give you depends on the quality and reputation of the website they come from.
If these links are coming from sites that have nothing at all do with the subject of your website – or suspicious places like link farms – then they won’t help you climb any higher in the search results, and may even negatively affect your site’s placing.
A far greater effect can be achieved with just a few highly valuable, well-placed links from relevant sources that will drive both traffic and rankings. For instance, one link from a highly trusted, content-rich website will produce better results than hundreds from reciprocal link farms.
As a result, the best way of optimising your website via backlinks is to obtain them the correct way, and from real, relevant websites with similar themes and subject matter. And the best way to do this is to add useful and original content to your site, which will compel others to link to you.
Boring, I know! But if you want good quality backlinks, the only way you’ll get them is to offer good quality content.
If you write it, they will come…
Nick Cobb – SEO Copywriter