When you are building your web site and thinking about increasing traffic (and hopefully, revenue), you want to do everything possible to ensure your site gets ranked as close to the top of the first page of search results as possible for your keywords.
We’ve already looked at the importance of anchor text and selecting the best keywords to use in your anchor text, so now let’s explore internal and external linking.
• Internal links are those links that point to other pages within the same site or domain.
• If you link to another article or more information that is part of your web site, this is internal linking.
• External links point to pages outside of your site or domain.
• An external link takes you to a new website.
Why is Linking So Important?
As we discussed when talking about anchor text, search engines like Google look at your links and decide how relevant they are to the keywords in the text and then rank the page accordingly in search results. In other words:
• The algorithm for deciding how important your site is for your keywords is directly related to the links on your site and to your site.
You can think of links as votes for your site and its keywords. Each link is a vote for your site and helps it move higher up in the search results, but all votes are not equal. This is because the programming that determines a page’s ranking takes into account how prestigious the links are that lead to and from the site.
For example, a link to your site from a very reputable site such as CNN has much more weight in the algorithm than a link from a less reputable site such as spam-filled article dumping site. In fact, just one link from a highly-regarded site can bump your site more than 100 links to your site from a spam-filled site.
But this is all about incoming links, why are my outgoing links so important?
This is an important question. The quality of outbound links also counts toward your page’s ranking in search results, though not as much. Though no one can claim that they completely understand how the algorithm for page ranking works, what is clear is that quality links do have a positive impact on page ranking.
However, the real reason to link to reputable and well-regarded sites is to that you can build relationships that encourage those reputable sites to link back to yours. The whole point of developing a quality site with good anchor text based on keywords and quality external and internal linking is to encourage others to link back to your site. One quality back link can make a significant impact on your ranking.
So what should I do with my links?
As you design and plan your site and keywords, ensuring that the anchor text is keyword rich and that your links point to quality content can go a long way toward increasing your page’s search rank. Just these two simple things can result in immediate increases in your page’s visibility.