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Search Engine Optimisation and Links, What’s the Link?…

In simple terms:

Links work by driving search engine traffic towards whichever sites rank as the most relevant to the search topic. Regardless of whether the links are external or internal the relevance (relatedness) of the link content in comparison to your website plays a major role in this. Keywords play a role in search engine optimisation (SEO), however, the most reliable method of driving traffic towards your content is to use links.  

In summary:

> Links = > traffic to website > more potential customers visiting a website.

It is therefore unquestionable links are the most invaluable SEO tool. Their power should not be underestimated. Understanding the basics of links is not the only key to success if we are looking to drive traffic to our website. It is vital that we aim to understand a little more about how links work….


Traffic to a website is directly proportional to both the quality and quantity of links to a website, with quality taking precedence. Many businesses get into the business of SEO without any real understanding as to how the formula actually works.  What’s wrong is that they use the simple formula alone without any real understanding as to how links actually work. If we want to increase the traffic towards our website it may seem logical from the beginner’s perspective that increasing the amount of links will automatically increase traffic. Money may be wasted in purchasing links to outsourced companies which have little to no value.  

It’s never a good idea to fill your website with links – here’s the reason…  

In the past, a website could gain high rankings through the number of links alone.    That’s because links to a site are essentially akin to validation of the content quality. The better the quality of the content the more likely it would be that more people will visit (link to) a web page. This is the most basic principle of links, however, the internet is ever growing and evolving – as are the standards by which search engines order their ranking systems.  With a growing trend towards businesses purchasing poor quality links as a method of increasing SEO, Google introduced other algorithms to ensure a kind of ‘quality assurance’ of their search engine results.

Not all links have the same ranking order and therefore each link carries its own value.  Look at the examples below; which of the three carries the most value?

  1. 100 links which belong to your personal page from a newly established line of work.
  2. A link from jacks.building.org.uk that has only two subscribers (but you run a bakery webpage).
  3. A link from BBC.Goodfood to your bakery website.

The answer is 3. Popular web pages typically rank higher but we can’t all get a link to Huffington Post. As you will discover if you read on it’s all about building a strong relationship with the search engine. So what can we do?

There are three key points to consider if you wish to build a strong  ‘search engine relationship’ . These are: trust, variety and relevance.


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1. Trust….

Like any strong relationship, your relationship with SEO will be stronger if it is built from a foundation of trust. The authority of a website domain is a ranking between 1 and 100 given to a website to determine if the content is of good quality. Part of the factor’s within the calculation that determines the ranking of a link includes how many other high quality external links are included within the link itself. Google.com would, therefore, rank much higher than a new business which typically has the lowest ranking of 1/100.  The high ranking denotes trust of the site because many ‘customers’ use the website and therefore the content ‘must’ be valuable. The trust and authority of the following types of website are examples of domains which have both trust and authority. Government websites; websites of popular high street brands and popular brands of company. That’s because customers are visiting websites of places which they are familiar with from outside of the internet. This essentially means two things. Firstly, never underestimate the value of advertising your website via post, and two ensure that you are aiming to link to external pages with high popularity. There are several ways which this can be done, the most effective way is to include content which directly promotes the high-status company which you would wish to get a link from, then to contact the company and send them a link to your website asking them of their opinion of your content. It is better to choose several high ranking companies within your own niche and go for them all! In your relationship with SEO, there’s nothing to lose and plenty to gain so really throw yourself in and trust that you can!

2. We need variety…

Ahhh, the good old spice of life. No relationship thrives without a touch of diversity.  The same is true for the diversity of links to your website. This ties into what was mentioned earlier about both trust and about why it is a bad idea to purchase links. Natural “link profiles” are built over time and contain a variety of sources including blogs, directories, Facebook shares, review page articles, and the comments you leave yourself on other webpages. Alternatively, unnatural (bought) links may build an untrusted profile of links which could be flagged by software which is built to detect fake links. You should consider aiming to get as many kinds of natural links to your profile as possible. You could build these up over time through social media or hire a freelancer with experience in social media marketing to boost the variety as well as the number of links.

And 3. Relevance….

In a real relationship relevance is everything. If the relationship isn’t what you are looking for it becomes irrelevant. How would you rank the importance of your last ex or ex-friend as opposed to your newly found crush who shares similar core values to yourself? Without a doubt, your ex is 0 (irrelevant) and your new crush a 1 (starting to be relevant). If a new relationship evolves the ranking of the new relationship climbs upwards (from say 1 to 10). In the same sense if your links gain more authority due to authentic and diverse links the ranking will improve. This will only happen if the content is relevant. Consider the following analogy; if your business is an arts & crafts supply chain links from hobbycraft.co.uk or moonpig.com would increase the efficacy of your ranking potentially tenfold when compared to the value of linking to countingwithnumbers.com. Why? Because if the content of your website does not tie in with the topic of the backlink the search engine will deem your content as less relevant.  

We hope that you have found value in our content and wish you great success in optimising your website search engine results and building the business of your dreams.

Thanks for reading!

Post Author: Kimberley Michelle Barr

Article written by Kimberley Michelle Barr. Author is a single parent, a student, a Biology lecturer in College and a Freelance writer, cleaner and singer.

Kimmy has a very big dream. She hopes to learn all of her lyrics in many languages. The aim of her project is to prove or disprove the concept of synchronicities with numbers, as well as to enjoy the beauty of foreign lyrics.

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