As the National Sales Manager at a mid-sized Inbound Marketing firm in Mississauga, Ontario, I often get asked about the importance of inbound links to your web site and the effects these links have on your Inbound Marketing success.
- Are there “good” links to your website pages and “bad” or harmful inbound links?
- What makes one link better than another link?
- After all, aren’t all links created equal?
Assuming you want your website to generate new leads and opportunities for your company then, no…not all inbound links are equal to our illustrious search engines; some links can actually be harmful to your success online.
Five years ago, when we were still in the late stages of the “Wild West of Online Marketing”, Google declared that all inbound links to your site told them (Google) how relevant your website was. Sort of like one inbound link = one vote for your site. The sites with the most votes (links) did the best in the search engine result page (SERP’s) rankings and everyone wanted a link from everyone else.
Not surprisingly sites offering a large number of inbound links, such as the directory sites macraesbluebook.com and ctidirectory.com, became very popular with the inbound link hungry marketers and lots of money changed hands. For a fee, these directory sites would add your listing to their site and create from 1 – 50,000 links back to your site.
Software was created to help marketers reach almost an unlimited number of web masters to request that an inbound link be created to their site. In the end, these sites had thousands of sites linking back to their site. It did not matter where the links came from. Five years ago, quantity won over quality.
Fast forward to 2016. Today inbound links to your web site still play an important role for all companies success online. According to MacRAE’s Marketing, significant changes have taken place in how Google search views these inbound links and “The key to successful SEO link building and link earning is acquiring links on high-quality, relevant websites, or websites with excellent reputations. This means that the site linking to your site needs to be relevant to your web site visitors or the link will not be counted or even count against you if their are too many irrelevant links.
For example, if you are a manufacturer of machine parts in the Midwest, an inbound link from one of your customers websites or a distributors web site will be relevant and useful to your site visitors and this inbound link will help your web site rank higher in search. This link will help your site more if the customer or distributor site has a good reputation.
The opposite case is also true. If the inbound link to your site is from a site that is determined to be irrelevant or inappropriate for your web site visitors, such as a gambling website, the link will not count in your benefit. If you have too many inbound links from irrelevant or inappropriate sites, Google Search can count this against your site and you will appear lower in search results.
If you think you may have a linking problem or just want some feedback on how search engines view your website, send me a note [email protected] and I will help you out.