A link development strategy is intended to improve a website’s ranking with the Google search engine. This is known as the Google PageRank (PR) and is a measure of how “important” the website is regarded to be by the engine. This assessment will directly influence a website’s ranking, and will also determine how visible it is to web users when searches are conducted by entering keywords and search phrases into the search box.
Google bases its relative ranking of websites on the number and quality of their links from other pages on the internet. Creating and maintaining an effective page rank means paying close attention to these two elements: simply including as many links as possible, regardless of where they originate, may prove to be counterproductive.
Including incoming links on all a website’s pages, rather than only on the home page, will significantly increase traffic to the site. It is essential that attention is paid to the quality of the links, something that Google also takes into consideration in its ranking calculations. PageRank will be passed on to the rest of the website by any of its pages that have the appropriate number and quality of links. If the links are not appropriate, or are off-topic, then even if the PR is high because of the number of links, a good position in the search engine results page (SERP) will not be achieved. The trick for a business is to ensure that there are plenty of incoming links but that these are related to the same product or service without referring customers to a competitor. With Google, some links seem to be preferred to others, although to prevent abuse its exact criteria are not in the public domain.
Internal links also assist in bolstering PR across a website, so they should be used as much as possible, within reason. A greater number of quality content pages also raises PR, so in this sense the bigger the site, the better.
With link building being such an important element to any online development strategy it is important to plan carefully in advance. The goals of the strategy should be firmly established before hurriedly creating links. To maximize effectiveness, the results in terms of traffic and ranking resulting from the links needs to be carefully considered, as well as their descriptions and titles.
The most effective type of links to build into a site are those that have been individually negotiated with other website owners. This often involves setting up reciprocal external links to their sites and may entail some site modification to preserve its integrity, but this will pay off in the long run as Google values such links above those to “link farms” and other such spurious sites. Visitors can, for example, be passed between businesses in different parts of the country that do not compete directly but are in the same line of trade, such as real estate agents.
About the Author: Nermin Hadzikadunic from Prestige Marketing Inc. is a certified Google Adwords & SEO professional with an extensive background in Internet marketing.