SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Why are Backlinks Important?
Why Links Are Important for SEO
Links have long been important in SEO and still matter a great deal today. Here’s how inbound, outbound, and internal links can help (or hurt) you.
In the early days of SEO, web ranking was heavily based on keyword usage within the page’s content.
Without sophisticated search engine algorithms, keyword usage was the easiest way to rank pages.
The logic was simple: the more a keyword phrase was used on a webpage, the more likely that was what the page was really about.
Unfortunately, SEO practitioners of the time took advantage of this system and used keywords unnaturally by overusing the targeted keyword phrase in order to rank higher.
This method is known nowadays as keyword stuffing.
This causes sites to rank for keyword phrases even when the site doesn’t have much to offer on a topic.
A new way to look and evaluate sites on what ranks and what doesn’t was needed and should go beyond analyzing content alone.
Along Came Google: The Emergence of Google & PageRank
Google started in 1996 through a partnership between its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
The search engine’s early ranking algorithm was based on the PageRank algorithm, developed by and named after Page while he was studying information retrieval at Stanford University.
The main idea was to use links between webpages as a ranking factor.
Google’s archived About page states that:
PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.
Feel free to read all about the PageRank algorithm. This is all public information and the PageRank patent is viewable for free online.
It is a very technical document and readers may need more advanced programming and mathematical knowledge to comprehend it in its entirety.
Instead of reading through all of the details behind how Google analyzes and evaluates links, it may be more worthwhile to understand why this algorithm even looks at links in the first place.
Internal, Inbound, & Outbound Types of Links
A link or hyperlink is a clickable object on a webpage that leads from one page to another. Links may visibly appear as text, images, or buttons.
Read more here.