Google can be seen as one big popularity contest. If someone links to your site, Google sees that as a vote of confidence and approval of your site. If two sites contain similar information, Google will give a higher rank to the site that has more votes. However, it is really not quite as simple as that. It is also important how a link is constructed and where it lives. That is usually the basis of an effective link building campaign.
Link location matters
If I have a big enough ego, I can create a website that says ‘I am awesome, I am the coolest dude on the planet.’ However, this is not going to mean very much, because I am saying this about myself, no one else is validating it, and I can say whatever I like about myself in an attempt to prove my worth.
However, someone else may link to my website. It might only be old Crazy Man Joe, but it at least shows Google that there is someone else in the world who thinks I am worthwhile. His linking to me shows that that my website has something of value to offer.
There is a way that I can be seen to be even more popular, however. If someone like Brad Pitt links to my website, that has greater standing in Google’s eyes than simply getting a link from Old Man Joe. Brad Pitt in his turn has millions of adoring fans who have linked to his website, so his link is especially valuable. If a cool guy like Brad Pitt links to my website, that says to Google that I am indeed cool by association.
Of course you are not going to get all your links from cool and highly successful people like Brad Pitt. Some of your links are going to be from more ordinary folk like old Crazy Man Joe. Probably your website will end up by having a links from a mixture of places like Brad Pitt and old Crazy Man Joe. It pays to remember where your links are coming from, because it is possible to outrank a website that has more incoming links, if you have more links of the valuable variety.
This is just a part of what makes an effective link building campaign. Watch out for our next posts for more linking tips.
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