Monday, October 6, 2008

Google to change inbound link policy

Links on websites that point back to your website are one of tools that Google uses to find new websites and rank the importance of web pages. Google also uses the "anchor text" that is placed in the link to tell Google the topic of a particular web page.

For example, When someone wants to place a link on their website or blog or forum to Terry's Tips, Google will look at that link and attribute credit to Terry's Tips for the link. How much value is much debated. is one way to link. A better way for Terry's Tips is to link stock options trading strategies at Terry's Tips. This way, Google knows that the owner of the website believes that the Terry's Tips home page is about "stock options trading strategies".

However, there has been much abuse of this kind of linking. Link pages that just have a series of links are common these days and have been a bit effective with getting good rankings. And pages that have hundreds or thousands of links (called "link farms") have spread around the web and have been ignored out of hand by Google for years.

Google has recently hinted that they are adjusting the way they follow and give credit for inbound links. No longer will a list of links on a page give much or any credit to a site. Google wants to see links within the body of a web page that gives the web visitor more information on a topic but will clearly be related to the page that the visitor is currently reading.

So "relevant" links are now even more important than ever. Google has stressed relevant since the beginning of time (OK, well not exactly...there was actually a time before Google). "Black hat" search engine optimization folks have been abusing inbound links for years and Google is finally putting their foot down.