Links: What Google looks for

There are many different aspects that impact on your SEO and links have a big role to play. Google and the other search engines have long considered the importance of links, and this means that you need to be aware of what Google is looking for with respect to links.

Authority of the source

It stands to reason that if the search engine trusts or respects the source of the link heading to your site, they will treat the link with a greater standard of respect. This means that you will receive more benefit with a link from a well-established website that has a strong following compared to a new site or social network account with little history or followers.

Any link is better than no link but the benefits you will receive from links from a trusted source are hugely advantageous. Of course, it is often difficult to obtain links from these sources, which partly indicates why a link is so well valued.

The relevance of the source

There is enough evidence to suggest that the relevancy of the source linking to your site is important. You should look to ensure that there is a logical reason for the link, and that there is a connection or reason for the link to be made.

The context for the link

The content that surrounds the link has a large part to play in determining how valid the link is. The leading search engines are keen to see how the link interplays with the content that it is surrounded by, with focus placed on the surrounding sentence, and then the relevant paragraph and then the entire body of the article or piece.
There is also a lot to be said for the relevancy of the anchor text, although this is not as strong as it used to be. These days, it is best to avoid keyword focused anchor text, instead focusing on making the anchor text a natural link.

The destination of the link

The leading search engines are also keen to see what the destination page is for the link. This page should offer strong content that provides value for the readers that traverse from the source page or article.

You want diversity of sources

While you may think that five links to your site is great, the diversity of these five links will have an impact on what search engines are looking for. In general, you will find that links coming from five separate pages or sources will be more appealing than five links which come from the same source.

There is also the fact that when it comes to links, as with all aspects of SEO, don’t just focus on what Google and search engines want. You should always have the user in mind, and this approach will help you to remain relevant.

Links still have a big role to play in enhancing your SEO results, so make sure that you understand what works and what is important for you with respect to links.

65 thoughts on “Links: What Google looks for”

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