Inbound Links to Your Website – Some Are Good, Some Not So Good – Make the Right Choice

Backlink can be helpful and harmful.

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?

One of the truths of SEO is that incoming links are vital to improving your search ranking.  Backlinks are the most important type of links, but inbounds links bring visitors to your website that you might not have found otherwise.  These inbound links are a ranking factor for search engines.  The incoming link from another site has a significant impact on how your website is ranked.  They are not only the ranking factors for the search engine but can also improve the search results of the website.

The more incoming links to your site, the more Google trusts you are creating great content. The more people flock to the site, the more relevant websites will start to link to it. When search engines find a new link to a website, they follow the link until they reach the new page that needs to be indexed, and more quality incoming links to your site helps the bots index.

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 be harmful to your success online.

In 2010, Google declared that all inbound links to your site told them 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.  These sites have high ranking and pass that ranking along to the listed/linked companies.

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.  Quantity won over quality.

Today inbound links to your web site still play an important role for your company’s 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 there 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.

Do you have links to your website that you do not want Google to index?  Using the Google Search Console in your websites backend (WordPress) you can tell Google they should not be considering specific links by Disavowing them.

If you’d like some assistance in coming up with the best SEO results for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact me and we can set up a Zoom call to see how I can help you!!

Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 25 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.