Recently we have putting a lot of energy into our “Link-Building” program. While working on this program, several questions have come up. Below is my attempt to answer them as thoroughly as possible. I invite everyone to add more questions or comments where you can.
1. What is linking and why it is so important to my search engine rankings?
When someone links to your site, they are essentially telling people “Hey, I like this site, it’s related to what we talk about on our site and you should check it out”. In other words when someone links to your site they are voting for it. Some votes are counted more than others (hey no one said this was a democracy).
2. Why would one link to your site count more than another?
When it comes to SEO ranking, it’s all about relevancy. In other words, is the site that is linking to you a trusted source for information in your particular field? For example, if you have a site about financial investment, a link to your site from http://money.cnn.com/ is going to be given more weight than say, stevesstocks.com, because it is a trusted source for financial information.
Recently, a coworker asked me an SEO question, “If I have a blog, is it better to have it on my site or do I get more credit for having an external blog link to my site?” This is an excellent question.
From an SEO perspective, I think it is better to have the blog on your own site for the following reasons. When you create good content, people will link to it (a blog, if written well with keywords in mind, is good content). If you host your blog on an external site, you will only have 1 link to your site (from the external blog site to your page) and other sites will link to the site where your content lives (giving the external blog site credit for those links in the engines). When considering organic engine rankings, multiple links to the content on your site will always benefit you more than having only one link from an external blog site.
Its simple, when building a website with SEO in mind, it is important to build community and content. The more topics you can add to your blog, which are relevant to your site, the more reach you have. When people see the content is relevant to their site as well, they will link to it, and when they link to it, you are more likely to reach your target audience. This is all contingent on relevant copy of course.
Recently there has been a lot of talk about Google’s supplemental index. There seems to be some confusion as to what determines if a page gets put into the main results index or the supplemental results index. Recently Matt Cutts, software engineer at Google touched on this issue. In his recent Blog post he talks about how having pages within the supplemental index doesn’t mean there have been penalties applied. The main reasoning behind a particular page being put into supplemental index would be due to its Page Rank. This would mean Google may not be counting the links the page once had or not giving the same weight for those links as before. The solution to having the pages within the supplemental index returned to Google’s main index would be to build high quality links for these pages.