I was reviewing a contractor’s site a few days ago and I noticed something strange on their “links” page. Now, most “links” pages I have seen extend away from the contractor’s website to their suppliers or local chambers of commerce and if it were up to me this practice would be stopped at all costs for a number of reasons, but that’s a post for another day. The links on this site went to other sites where the contractor had a profile page on the web. Sites like a bunch of different IYP’s and Merchant Circle and a ton of other nondescript directory sites listing the contractor’s name, address and phone number.
So what’s wrong with that?
Well, this “linking” strategy hurts the overall performance of the site because the destination pages that were being linked to did not link back. Now, that’s a good thing, because if they did Google would have no doubt considered the thing a link farm and probably buried this contractor’s site for a long long long long long long time, rendering organic search results nonexistent in this guy’s world. But my main concern was that there was no way for a consumer to find this contractor’s site from these pages. So he was passing link juice from his site to theirs, with nothing in return.
How should links work?
You need as many links pointing TO your site as possible, not away from it! The entire foundation on how Google serves results is based on how many sites link to yours. In other words, Google will use relevancy as a factor in returning search results but they also use “authority” and they base authority on the number of incoming links one site has over another similar site.
Meaning, if the search request returns two similar sites, the one with more (& higher quality) links pointing to it often times wins, so it was a shock to me to see so many links pointing away from the site considering the site was professionally done.
All this got me thinking of a question to ask you, how many links do you have coming to your site? Do you even know? Want to find out? Go to the address bar above and typing the following:
Obviously replace YourDomainName.com with your own domain. As of this writing, I have 780, how about you?