Importance of quality inbound links (external backlinks)
Inbound links point to a website from an external website. They are still a strong ranking signal that the top search engines use to help decide where a website is positioned in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). For example: when a website user finds a site with great content they may decide to share or link it to or from an external site. This can create an inbound link that is effectively like a vote of confidence for it being good quality content. High quality inbound links are essential when developing a successful website with active traffic. Inbound links from highly regarded websites are also a big part of the recipe to success.
Where should inbound links point to?
Inbound links will generally lead to the home or index page of a website. It is also important to have about 20% of these inbound links pointing to other pages within the site. When people find the link they can be lead straight to the information they are interested in and this can improve the user experience. High quality inbound links can happen organically if the pages within a website have appealing content and informative text and images.
Do high quality inbound links pass on page rank?
Let’s say we have two inbound links pointing to a website. One is coming from a ten year old website with a page-rank 8/10. The other is coming from a three year old website with a page-rank 2/10. A websites own page ranking is actively benefitting from the longer established and highly regarded site more than the lower ranked site. ‘The page rank authority’ or ‘link juice’ is passed on to the website that it links to. Quality links from websites that have a high status give more ‘link authority’. This can really boost a web page high up in the search results.
Build links or let them grow organically?
Major search engines including Google have publicly announced that web masters and search engine optimisers should not build links. Instead they should let them grow organically so that the page rank reflects the true strength of a sites hierarchy on the internet. Of course it would be nice if it was this easy. In reality many small businesses may find it difficult to generate high levels of traffic and customers to their website without quality links pointing to their site. In a competitive marketplace a well connected and well back-linked page is miles in front. Most major companies employ constant SEO and the creation of backlinks in order to keep their places at the top of the search results.
WEB SWIFT SEO best practice
The ‘best practice’ here is to create high quality content that is much better than your competition. A website with great content will generate quality links naturally and eventually create a greater impression on the internet. There are many factors that search engines use to grade websites, so if your just starting out and your competition has thousands of quality links you can still out rank them by making your website better in other ways besides the backlink profile. Another great way to help a website generate inbound links is to make sure your content is ‘share friendly’ and has the correct meta title and meta description tags in place. Attractive informative text is the key, as are clear and compelling diagrams and images. High quality content is one of the best elements to help distinguish your pages in an ocean of lower quality sites.