“Links Are King. Links Are Dead.”
Okay, so maybe you’ve heard both sides of this story… and you wonder which is right.
Here’s the skinny on Links and the importance to your site.
IMHO links are the single biggest aspect of successful top rankings in the SERPS. Back Links specifically is what I am speaking about here of course. That is, how many links point to your site.
A little background:
Links or back links are, in effect, votes for your site. That is to say from Google’s stand point or the other top SE’s, the way in which they determine your sites popularity or importance is the number of links pointing to your sites pages. Links = popularity or votes. And the more links or votes the more the SE’s see that your site is relevant and since the primary purpose of a SE is to deliver the most relevant search results for a searcher or their customer… you can see the logic here of why Links=Votes is crucial factor in determining which results to return first to last.
If other sites are linking to you or voting for you, they are saying that your site is relevant for 1) what the anchor text says the link is about 2) and what it is point to on your page– what the content is about. And if both of these things match, then even more power of the vote is given. AND if the site voting for yours falls within topical relevance, well, that’s a home run link my friends.
Case in point: Say your site is about Widgets and you have a link to your site that says “Best Widgets Anywhere” and it goes to your Best Widgets Anywhere Page and the site sending the link is the Widgets Manufacturing Association … well, then you can see that this is a tremendous valuable link given what the search engines are trying to return– which again is? Relevant pages to their searchers/customers.
Let’s turn things around with this example and say the anchor link text to your site instead says “More Info” and it goes to your home page or another page that isn’t as specific as the Best Widgets Anywhere page AND it is from a site that is about Footprints on the Moon. And the Footprints on the Moon links to you from a page that has dozen upon dozens of links going everywhere… Okay, this isn’t going to have the same weight as the first example. Agreed? The SE’s are just not going to think your site is all that and a bag of chips and that link is not deemed as very important. The vote just really doesn’t count.
So while number of links, the sheer size, a site has is still important — The “Links Are King” strategy. But Links ARE Dead in the old manner of thinking that any old link will do. It won’t. The truth is, relevancy of that link is much more important today– especially to the leading SE; Google. So “Relevant Links Are King” is the more accurate way to think of link building in today’s market.
So you want to rank high in the SE’s, then go after contextual relevant sites to link to your topically relevant pages.