How does a search engine know that your site is important?

The web is based on the interconnection of websites via hyperlinks. After search engines, links from other sites are the most popular method of finding new websites. Not only do people use these links to visit new websites but search engines use the number and quality of these links to determine the “online reputation” of a site and then ranks them accordingly.

Typical Activities

  • Optimised linking code
  • Link building strategy
  • Link motivator implementation
  • Direct marketing of link program
  • Link building campaign management

Typical Outcomes

  • Increased brand exposure
  • Increased traffic from sites
  • Site ranks higher in search engines
  • Site ranks for more competitive phrases
  • Increased traffic from search engines

More In-depth Information

Linking sites is an often overlooked opportunity but after search and word of mouth linking sites is the next most popular method visitors use to discover new sites, that’s why they call it the web! Linking sites are sites where no commercial relationship exists (not affiliates, banners or text ads). Links are added by site owners or editors because they want to link to your site.

Gaining links on other sites is similar to obtaining press coverage through PR. Sites will link to you if you offer information or products that their visitors would find useful or interesting. So excellent unique content and site features are essential. Online and offline PR and DM can then be used to introduce other site owners and editors to the remarkable content or features your site offers and why it would be useful for their visitors to have access to it.

Producing a “link to us” page is an excellent way to encourage linking sites as well as maintaining some creative and editorial control over the links people use.

Industry Stats

How Websites are Discovered
Online PR How Websites are Discovered
Source: IMT Strategies

Advantages of Linking

  • Free traffic
  • High conversion rates as the link represents a third party endorsement
  • Increased search engine traffic because search engines evaluate links to a site when ranking it.
  • Long term traffic generation
  • Branding impact especially when a well known site links to yours.

Disadvantages of Linking

  • Limited control over creative
  • Take a long time to establish a good number of links (sometimes years)

When to Use Linking

  • Essential element of any online presence
  • Provide linking page and creative to aid webmasters
  • Include URL and linking instructions in all PR