Links, whether inbound, outbound or internal, have always played an important role in SEO. Yet more recently the importance of links does not seem to be as critical, at least concerning search. With the many changes Google has made to its search algorithms recently, and how focused search is becoming on user experience, it is no wonder that some believe links for search purposes may be losing some significance. Still, some experts are finding that links continue to be important, and are actually gaining importance in other areas, indirectly helping to obtain the best SEO. Experts working in the best SEO companies suggest that if this theory is true, quality links are just as important as they ever were, just in a different way.
Links for Search are Still Valid
For quite some time it has been obvious that Google rewarded websites based on high quality inbound links because of what those links indicated as far as website quality. Inbound links originating from other important sites assign a measure of value and authority to websites, something that positively affects SEO and page rank. It means that a website holds enough value, that other good websites want to link to it. Google rewards this.
Google’s algorithms have increasingly emphasized these newer values, but the indication for good website links still exist. As a matter of fact, they are easier to monitor than many of the other values used to assign page rank. According to Google themselves, links are still relevant for determining website value in the usual ways, and also in other important ways.
Link Importance Outside of SEO
Despite changes in search algorithms, and the increased awareness of user experience, there is another way that companies seeking the best SEO are finding value in links. This actually comes from results found in other places that possess good links, which indirectly helps to increase page rank. Companies monitoring things like links found on other sites, on social media, in user reviews, and many other ways, find that not only do these links increase exposure, but also increase user satisfaction when the linked website possesses the other qualities that generates good SEO. In other words, the links themselves may not be as prominent in Google’s monitoring, but the results they bring are.
Experienced SEO companies maintain that considering the fact that good links originating from quality websites only come with the hard work that goes into having a decent website, these links indirectly back up the idea that good user experience brings good ranking. Links allow more people to see a website, from many more avenues than just search results.
Links Provide Good Marketing Value
One of the greatest values in marketing that incoming website links have, is also one of the most overlooked. Many of the best SEO companies talk about the value in having quality inbound links because it adds credibility to the website, but it also exposes that site to an entirely new audience. This is free advertising. When a company's website can effectively attract a link from an associated site, or earn the acknowledgement of other businesses, they expand their reach by the size of that other brand’s audience. This also increases the effect a website has in terms of traffic, user experience, and value, since more users will visit.
The verdict, despite the perceived reduction in importance of website links to SEO, is that high quality links are still as important as ever, if not more so. Google still acknowledges linking when rewarding sites with the best SEO, and links indirectly add to increased rates of positive user experiences. To provide great user experience, and get the most marketing value with strategic link building, local businesses should work with the best SEO company in the area for great page rank!