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Additional Articles:
Link Development
Inbound Links
Link Quality
Internal Links
Outbound Links
Link Quality - Evaluating links
Direct Vs. indirect Linking
Anchor Text
Linking Site - Theme and Authoritativeness
Links Page Location
Number of Links per Page
Number of Links per Site
Pagerank
Links of Smaller Significance
Bad Neighborhood
Link Farm
Buying the Optimal Link
Do all incoming links count?

The notion that the most important part of site promoting today is the subject of inbound links from other sites isn't very far from the truth. One of the factors that search engine use to determine a webpage's importance is by counting the number and quality of links from other pages that direct to the page.

It is quite obvious how to measure the number of links, but how does one measure the quality of incoming links? In this article I will try to explain the Ten Commandments of receiving a quality link.

Direct Vs. indirect Linking

There are websites in which the outbound links first pass through a program that counts the number of clicks (and other actions) before they reach their target. In many cases, search engines don't know how to trace this kind of links, therefore you should focus only on direct links.

A similar method is a JavaScript link that may also result in blocking the link channel.

However, links that open in a new window by a target="_blank" direction are not problematic (again - you should take beware of PHP, JS, and ASP directions).

Anchor Text

Anchor text links are the best links for site promotion, period. Banners may be colorful and pretty, but an anchor text that contains your important keywords is golden, since its text strengthens your site's placement. For instance: our site that deals with site promotion will enjoy a link that contains the words "site promotion" much more than one that contains the words "click here" or the site's URL. The text that describes the link is called Anchor Text.

A good example:

<a href="http://www.domain.com/">Purchasing Blue Bonbons

Bad examples:

<a href="http://www.domain.com/">click here</a>
<a href="http://www.domain.com/">http://www.domain.com/</a>

Linking Site - Theme and Authoritativeness

If the website that links to you deals with the same theme as your site, then this link will be more significant. If a sex site is linked to animal food site, this link will obviously be of lesser significance. The more authoritative the linking site is (an authoritative site will be: senior, one that has many incoming links, placed high in search results for keywords that are relevant to your site, has an organizational or educational suffix), the more significant its incoming link will be for your site.

Links Page Location

A link from a website's homepage will be much more significant than a link from a remote page on the outskirts. The more clicks it takes the user to go from the homepage to the linking page, the less significant this page will be.

Number of Links per Page

An incoming link's strength is much greater when it is the single link on its origin page, rather than one of many.

Number of Links per Site

If your site has many incoming links from the same webpage, their significance gradually decreases, therefore, it's better to have two links from two different websites than two links from the same website. Pages that have more than 50 links are not worthwhile. You should beware of pages that have over 100 links.

Pagerank

If a webpage has a high PageRank, a link from it will be of higher quality. However, the significance of this factor is gradually decreasing. You should beware of pages with PR0 since this rank may be a result of a penalty. You can see the PageRank in Google's toolbar.

Links of Smaller Significance

There are websites that allow every user to insert as many links as they wish. Links from these sites have lesser value with search engines. Today, owners of this type of sites can completely eliminate the value of their outbound links in the eyes of search engines. Links of this type include:

Guestbooks

search engines are trying to recognize links that originate in guestbooks in order to prevent the trend of people that sign the guestbook only for the purpose of gaining an incoming link to their site.

Blogs

Although links that originate in blogs usually count as other links, blogs have become an easy target for spam links. For this reason, the significance of blog links has decreased for many blogs, probably for blogs whose owners do not perform a regular clean up of irrelevant links on their blog.

Wiki

Websites that use the Wiki method (a web encyclopedia that is freely edited by users).

An additional kind of links with small significance is links from link pages, meaning pages whose file name is "links.htm" or "links.html" (actually anything that is "links.xxx"). These links are counted as links pages, and their outbound links have less significance.

Bad Neighborhood

Links from websites that were penalized for using spam site promoting methods may be useful in the short run, but in the long run, may turn out useless, or even damaging.

Link Farm

Links from websites that are located on the same IP group as your website (first 3 digits are identical) may not be useful and might even be harmful (but not always, since Google and its friends understand that there is a chance that two site owners host their sites on the same level).

Buying the Optimal Link

One of the least addressed issues in Internet advertising in Israel is the subject of buying links. Because of the fact that there are almost no link buyers (not banners!), you can find site owners that will sell you a link for a negligible price. Today you can easily find quality content websites where you can place text such as "this site is sponsored by SEO Israel: website promoting on the internet". This way you achieve three main advantages:

More exposure for your company
A possibility that people will reach your site through the link
The important part - a substantial boost in search results

Do all incoming links count?

Opinions vary on this subject. Some points you should consider:

New Links

There is a pretty solid claim that states that new links are gradually integrated in search results. It takes several months for the process to reach its full effect. The idea is that 'real' links will endure for a long time, and will not disappear.

New Sites

An additional claim is that new sites receive a 'penalty', and that their incoming links go through a cooling period until they are integrated into the placement settings of the search results. New sites should be in the air for several months until they start enjoying the full effect of their incoming links.

PR Differences

Some state that an owner of a site that has a very high PR can't transfer the entire PR to an owner of a site with a much smaller PR. If a PR8 site owner links to PR1 owner, it doesn't mean that the latter will immediately receive a PR7.

Manually Penalized Websites

Links from websites that were penalized by search engines (either manually or automatically) because of anomalities on their site will have no effect.

A customer that couldn't find you is your competitor's customer..

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