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We all know that a key factor used by search engine algorithms is link popularity. Links are important, we get it. There are many SEO companies that base their entire solutions around link building. But do you know what it takes to make a link good? Why is one link from Site A better than a link from Site B?
There are quite a few factors that can make one link better than another. When looking to build your link inventory to your site pages, here are 11 items to look for:
Anchor Text of the Link - having a keyword in the linking text to your site page helps the engines determine the relevancy of your site page for that keyword. Where possible, try to provide the anchor text to the site that will be linking to you.
Keywords in the Title of the Linking Page - a good, relevant link should have keywords in the title of the page that links to your site page.
Placement on the page that is linking - a link that is found within the copy of a page (as in an article or blog post) tends to carry more weight with the search engines than say a link from navigation, blogroll or the like. (Depending on the PageRank of the pages your page is linked from.)
Page Rank of the Linking Page - obviously a link from a relevant site with a higher PR carries more weight than a link from a lower PR page. Chances are that one link from a PR 7 site will carry more weight than 20 links from PR 0 pages.
Number of Other Links on the Linking Page - if your link is one of 100 on a page then the value of the link is less than if your link was one of say four or five on a page.
Text Links Carry more Weight than Image Links - while links from images are beneficial, standard html text links still carry the most weight in the eyes of the search engines.
Relevancy of Surrounding Page Copy - the search engines look at page theme as well as site wide theme help determine the Inbound Linking Score that the engines place on a link.
Number of Links from the Same Site - if your site is linked to from a blogroll and thus has a large number of links from the same site, the weight of the links are less.
Reciprocal Links vs. One-Way Link - one way links carry more weight than a link that is exchanged between two sites (ie a reciprocal link.) Where possible try to seek one-way links.
Age of the Site Linking - older site tend to be more trusted and more established and as a result, the search engines may factor in age of the site linking to help determine relevancy and the IBL Quality score of the link.
Hosting Issues - If you have links from sites that are on the same IP address, the quality of the links will be less. The weight on the link will become somewhat watered down.
Building the external link inventory to your site pages is critical for SEO success. When seeking links from other sites, be sure to consider the 11 points above to ensure that you are receiving links that will provide the most benefit to your website.