Links As A Google Ranking Factor

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There is no doubt that almost everybody on the internet knows that Google is the top name when it comes to search engines. It holds the first place with a spectacular difference of 65% from the second holder which is Microsoft's Bing. A report stated that 73% of searches were driven by Google, only 7.1% by Bing. This is based on the most recent status of the search engine market share last November in 2018. 

Apart from that, Google is also taking the lead in mobile and even in tablet search engine use, dominating 81% of the market share. Can you imagine how great is the effect of Google to your website being the number one search engine in the world? It is also known by many website owners and creators that Google uses hundreds of ranking factors in their system’s algorithm. 

If the ratio that affects your ranking is hundreds of factors versus your website versus thousands of enhanced same nature websites, how can you even optimize yours? SEO experts have a lot of speculative factors that can affect your ranking. While there are some that are still controversial regarding its effectivity there are some that are already proven, and one of them is the use of links. 

Do Links Still Matter As A Ranking Factor?

The answer is definitely yes. Links are still important for websites mostly for the new ones. Since, a new website does not have any strong foundation or back bone to support it at the beginning, there is a specific need to make your target audience be aware about the website’s purpose and services. For that reason, having links will surely assist the website to reach the core region of a search engine and there is a big chance of being considered by Google’s system all over the world. 

You must know your function and your specific position. Links are very helpful but you should properly identify if what is the niche of your website. For example, if you sell branded clothes and you have a backlink from the pharmaceutical industry that would be unfitting and just a waste of time and effort. 

Observation Of Correlations 

Specific studies about correlation evaluate whether or not one factor can potentially affect the other. What we are trying to say here is that, there is still a correlation between drinking a hot chocolate and flu. This will not automatically tell that one is the effect or result of the other. The true causal factor of these two events is observably the cold weather. When we are cold, humans tend to drink hot chocolate more often and can easily catch common colds and cough that can lead into flu viruses. 

But you should still be mindful when it comes to linking even if Google expresses thru results that links truly matter. Remember that Google penalizes those sites with doubtful and uncertain application of link building. There should be a clear indication that the nature and quality of the links on your website have a specific impact to the latter. 

Importance Of Link Building 

Even you’re a newbie to link building or have been practicing it for quite some time, we can assure that you will find something useful in this guideline. The structure of SEO and link building is always shifting, presently, the significance of building high-quality links has never been higher. You must clearly understand and implement high-quality campaigns. It is important if you are going to enter and play online, and that isn't going to change any time soon. The guide below is designed to help you go swiftly along the process and keep you on the right track. 

Why Is Link Building Important For SEO? 

Hyperlink Framework 

Firstly, you need to know the story behind every link. Understanding the basics how a link is created, how the search engine see links, and how do they take it is important. 

1. Start Of Link Tag 

Called an anchor tag (hence the "a"), this opens the link tag and expresses to search engines that a link to something else is about to follow. 

2. Link Referral Location

The "href" stands for "hyperlink referral," and the text inside the quotation marks specifies the URL to which the link is directing. It does not always have to be a web page, it could be the address of an image or a file to download. Sometimes, you'll see something other than a URL, beginning with a # sign. These are local links, which take you to a different section of the page you are currently engaged. 

3. Visible Or Anchor Text Of Link

This is composed of few words that users see on the page, and on which they need to click if they want to open the link. The text is usually set up in a way to make it stand out from the other words around it, often with blue color and underlining, telling the users that it is clickable. 

4. Closure Of Link Tag

It indicates the end of the link tag to the search engines. 

When Google started, their method for ranking websites in search was mostly based around the number of links a webpage had. The basic idea was that the more links a webpage had, the more likely that webpage was to have good content. Fundamentally, links to your websites are popularity votes, and the more votes you get, the more famous you are with Google. 

If that’s the deal, why not run thousands of links? It is because not all links are created equal! 

Which of the following two links do you think are more valuable? 

1. A link from an article on CNN.com to your website after they featured the product on your website. 

2. A link from chunzyblog.blogspot.com which has 5 blog posts six months ago. 

It should be pretty obvious that the TV network link is more valuable. Just like making friends with one of the trusted and popular staff in the office, a friendship with a popular staff (or webpage) with some authority is far more valuable to your overall popularity than a vote from a common employee. 

The following factors can contribute to the value of link: 

1. Relativity

If you’re an accountant, getting a link from a website dedicated to accounting services is more valuable than a website dedicated to architectural services. Links from relevant websites help search engines decide if what your site is all about, which helps you rank for that topic. Therefore, if you’re looking forward to rank highly when people search for “California’s Best Coffee,” then links from websites about California or about coffee are great for your site. Search engines are clever, though. If you get a link from a local blog that is based in California, or a website that is about morning drinks, they can figure out that morning drinks are related to coffee, and that a blog based in California is writing about a business located in California. 

2. Authority & Trust

Just like the CNN.com example above, links from trusted and authority websites are more important than less-trusted websites. Local and regional news organizations are a good example of trusted sites. Usually link builders will talk about links from .EDU and .GOV domains. The reason these are considered so valuable is that they typically come from very trusted websites such as universities or state governmental agencies, both of which tend to acquire many “popularity votes”. Do you already understand the flow of the process? So, as a general rule of thumb, you should go after links from more important websites. 

3. Variety

Search engines want you to have a wide range of links. It’s an indicator of trust, and websites that don’t have a natural “link profile” can be red-flagged by search engines. What are the types of links you should target to make sure your link profile is diverse? 

You may consider the following kinds of links. 

- Netizens sharing your website on Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media Platform 
- Reviews on popular sites like BuzzFeed, InsiderPages, Google Places and others 
- Bloggers featuring and reviewing your business o Website indexes 
- Comments that you have left on blogs and news websites 
- Links from local organizations like your Chamber of Commerce 

Above variety of links will assist you to have a natural form of link profile for better performance in search engine rankings. 

Does Having A Lot Of Quality Links Mean That I Am Already Done? 

Of course not! The journey does not end there. The task of link building is an ongoing process. Your competitors are only going to become more perceptive as time goes on and it will be easier for them to understand and know what links you already have. 

Hiring search marketing companies can really help. But you would surely ask. Do I need them forever? Not automatically, but if you do not have the manpower to delegate the task to do the continuous responsibility in order to assure the quality of your website, you might consider employing someone. You need to provide sufficient news in your community to keep the links on your side. 

Author Sarah Del Rosario is a blogger from Mayple. Mayple match businesses with vetted marketing experts and help measure and manage their performance, to ensure marketing success.

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