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In your opinion how important are links I am having different views thrust at me and what constitutes a good link, I take it one that has immediate relevance to the business I am in?
Unless there is obvious and overwhelming evidence that you are buying links, I'm not sure the SEs can really penalize your site directly. But they can go after those selling links, which indirectly hurts you as a buyer because you may now not get what you paid for... and may continue to pay for the links not knowing that you are being passed Zero link equity from them.
The best links IMO are from authoritative, high PR sites that are relevent to your site, from pages on that source site where they are targeting similar or same keywords as the page to which they are linking on your site, and having the link in the actual text of the source site's page, and the link text for the hyperlink being the keywords you're targeting on the page on your site to which they are linking.
But even a 'click here' link on another site to a page on your site can only help (pass 0 or more link equity), never hurt...
If you're buying links, know where they are coming from... what types of sites they are coming from... get references. And make sure that the growth looks natural.
Great points, Zydo. :) Hey, it was good seeing you at PubCon, too. ;)
I just wanted to add that I think it's enough for the link to be authoritative. What you should look for when a site links to you is if your rankings change or if traffic increases, nothing else matters. Relying on the Toolbar for making decisions, as well as obsessing on how high your PR is, can cause you to overlook good links.
I look for link "justification" along the lines Zydo mentioned and check the SERPs for their navigational keywords, if their internal links pass value there's a good chance their OBLs will too....
You want to look for a link on a page that has plenty of inbound links pointing to it. Ideally a lot of these links are from topically related sites. Another thing to look for is a page with few other links on it, so that each link carries more weight. If a page has 1000 links on it, your link will get 1/1000th of the pages passable link equity, whereas if there are only 10 links, you'll get 1/10th.
- blog feedback comments
- Youtube video text
- social network pages
- Squidoo and similar sites
2) How important is the link text in those types of links... for example, if your site name is in the text or a descriptive text containing a relevant keyword - which is better?