The importance of inbound links for SEO

17th December 2012

So what are inbound links?

Inbound links (or backlinks) are links that are directed to your website from some other website. For example, this link points to the BBC news website and is therefore an inbound link for the BBC. Some say that inbound links are one of the most fundamental aspects of determining a websites rank, and we completely agree. In our experience both backlinking and good quality content should be the driving force of any successful SEO campaign.

Why do we need them?

Inbound links are seen as the “currency” of the internet. A website with many inbound links will naturally rank better in search engines.

Before SEO was such a big thing, back in the early days of the web, search engines pretty much determined the rankings of websites based on how many backlinks there were to a given website. Now things have completely changed and SEO is far more complex (especially with Google’s new Penguin & Panda updates). That said, good quality backlinks from relevant sites still do hold a lot of weight in determining a websites search engine position. Backlinking should be approached with caution, and there are a few things that you should bare in mind when trying to obtain inbound links to your site…

  • Links from relevant sites hold more weight – If you own a barber shop and you have inbound links from sites that are related to that subject (such as hair dressing), it is going to be much more valuable than links from a car repair website.
  • Links from good quality, reputable sites is best – John’s family blog is very nice, but it isn’t going to hold much weight in comparison with say the BBC site.
  • Use anchor text correctly – The anchor text is the actual wording that is used for the link. Including your keywords within the anchor text of a link can be good for SEO.
  • Do not spam or use “blackhat” techniques – Linking farms are pretty much dead now, but there are still some companies out there that offer “hidden link”, comment spamming and other shady techniques. Do your best to avoid these, your backlinking should appear to be natural to the search engines.

See here for Google’s guide to inbound links.

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