Everyone loves to get a link to their site or article from another site. A link from another site increases your traffic and introduces your site and articles to new readers. But that’s only the beginning. From a search engine (*coughcough* Google *coughcough*) perspective a link is a “vote” for the site being linked to.
It’s something to consider when you’re linking out to other people.
Google has a rating system called Page Rank that counts the votes a webpage gets from other sites, and the anchor text (what the link “says”) can increase or decrease the value of these votes. For instance, let’s say I link to this article with more details on anchor text relevance. I’ve just created a link whose anchor text is not only relevant to the site and article I’ve linked to, but also relevant to the article I’m linking from. This should be a strong indicator to Google that the article on anchor text relevance I’m linking to is relevant to the subject of this post.
On the other hand, from this same article I could link to another site and indicate in my link that the site is about Bigfoot. If you clicked over to read about Bigfoot (gotcha ‘Coma), you were probably disappointed. Google will be disappointed too. That link is going to pass less Page Rank to the target site because a) This site and article are not about Bigfoot, and b) The site I linked to is about Ninjas. Really cool ninjas.
While it may be easy or tempting to link out using words like “link” or “click”, it’s good etiquette to use some relevant terms in your links as a sort of bonus in the citation because a link with relevant anchor text helps increase the Page Rank of the site receiving the link.
If you’d like to read more details about Page Rank, read this article and continue to follow Google’s Matt Cutts.
- Link Narcissism
- Finally…Let’s Talk About Money
- Headlines and Titles–Writing for Reader AND Search Engines
- Newsrooms CAN Use Twitter
- Interesting Case for NOT Having a Sitemap