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October 9, 2012

PageRank and Inbound Links

<img src="Inboundlinks.jpg" alt="blue box with white url link symbol"

Thinking of PageRank as a popularity vote is a great way to understand how it works. If you read my post on 5 Easy to Follow Tips that will Help your Blog Rank Higher, I'm sure you noticed the #1 item on that list was about incoming links to your site.

It's not just about any old incoming link though. You need good quality inbound links. Let's say you run and you have a PageRank of 2. You published an article last year that featured homemade Halloween decorations you made. You're traffic went through the roof. Everyone was stopping by and visiting your blog, checking out your rockin' deco. This year, with a page rank of 8, features in their article on homemade Halloween decorations. They provide a link back to your site. That, my friend is a quality inbound link and it's better to have 5 quality inbound links than 10 regular inbound links.

With that being said, any inbound link to your site will help. Just not as much as a quality one. Encouraging customers, bloggers, readers and subscribers to link to your site is a great idea. Here's a couple other ideas for link building:

  • Participate in Forums. Ask or answer questions on Yahoo! Answers and link back to your site with relevant resources.
  • Link to a previous post you've done within your site when it's relevant.
  • Link to your site in your email signature.
  • Link to your site on social media platforms.
  • Leave reviews on local businesses you've visited on sites like Yelp.
  • Review related sites on Alexa to draw in related traffic streams.
  • List your blog in blog directories.
  • Email a couple friends when you have important relevant news asking them for their feedback and/or if they would mind referencing it if they find your information useful.
The possibilities are truly endless.

Another thing to keep in mind is the way people are linking back to your site, including yourself.

If you are interlinking your post like I did above in the first paragraph, don't do this:

Read our article on how to improve your alexa rank ------> here.

With the word "here" being the link to that article. This is the Link Text. You want the link text leading to your article to be relevant to its content. The words "here" or "site" are not very detailed. The link text basically reinforces the main topic of that page. This is commonly known as Relevance Scoring. If you exchanged links with another Blogger, tell them how they should link back to your site. Many people are unaware that the link text is even important.

Four other things you should know about PageRank and Links:

1. Getting more sites to link to your site is a great way to Rank higher.

2. Links from pages that have a crap load of other links aren't that valuable.

3. If you link to another site it does not drain your PageRank. No matter what their rank is.

4. SEO is not only about Meta Tags because not all search engines use them as a way to determine page content and rank. Google and Yahoo use the full-page content PLUS page rank and link text to decide what keywords you page will score well for.

What ways do you build inbound links?