Linking Effectively

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Search engines also determine the relevance of your site to someone's search by looking at links from two perspectives: inbound and outbound. Inbound links are ones on other sites that point to your site and though these are very important to search engine rankings, they're beyond the scope of this discussion. I'm concerned here with links in your posts that point to other sites. Search engines look in particular at two aspects of outbound links: relevance to the content of the post and the popularity of the site to which you're linking.

When you're creating links to other sites, always think of your visitors' needs and you're more likely to meet the standards of relevance. If the link promises to send me to a site with more information about great resorts in Jamaica and that site turns out to be a sales pitch for a time-share you're affiliated with, I will not be a happy visitor. What I read is what I want to get (if your link said I was going to find a great deal on a time-share, it would have been a relevant link).

In the popup link editor window of WordPress there's a Title field. It's good practice to enter a short description of what you're linking to, even if it's just the name of the site or the page. It's useful for your visitors and it's thought to have some role in search-engine ranking.

Even when they're relevant, you can help improve the value of your outbound links — both to visitors and to search engines — by doing a bit of research. If there are two very good sites and one ranks higher in search results than the other, go with the higher-ranked site. Either site would be useful to your visitor, but the higher-ranked one may be given more weight by search engines. Of course you would put both sites in a links list, but I'm talking here about making choices within the text of a post — you don't want to crowd the body with too many links or it gets a bit overwhelming.

Quite often you'll also want to have links within posts that take visitors to other related material on your site. This is not only beneficial to visitors, but can be helpful with search rankings, though that seems to be the case only as your site gets more highly ranked.

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SEO Guide for Top Rankings

SEO Guide for Top Rankings

Search engines are special sites on the web that are designed to help people find information stored on other sites. There are differences in the ways various search engines work. Learn more about this topic within this guide.

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