Some Links Shouldn’t Matter – But Do

Links and linking are undeniably a significant factor in search engine ranking algorithms. On the surface that even makes sense. The more valuable a site is, the more sites will link to it. The more sites that link to it, the more search engines trust it. This is the Kool-Aid the SEO industry has been drinking for the past several years.Let’s take a closer look. Why does a website link to another website? In the distant past, it was because information on the internet was not readily accessible. Search engines like Google weren’t around and/or widely used. For that reason, companies began providing helpful links, or “Resource Pages,” for site visitors. This helpful content would entice visitors to come back more often.

Today, however, search engine queries can deliver anything you ask them for in fractions of a second. These resource pages and external links are no longer necessary, nor are they used by visitors. If this is the case, why are search engines still placing such a big premium on links in their ranking algorithms?

Realistically speaking, as a website owner, why would you want to link to another site and risk losing traffic to that very site? Because the search engines tell you to. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are perfectly legit reasons to link to outside resources. In this very article I’ve already linked to two such resources. Linking can strengthen your argument by providing validation of ideas, more information on a topic, tools to help you research an idea or solve a problem, etc.

Take Away – There is usually no need for a resources page (link farm, etc.) on a site.  Build links naturally by creating good quality content that people want to associate themselves with.

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