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SEO & Website Design
Link Networking - Why it is Important
The primary thing that made Google the most influential Search Engine in the world was the concept of determining a site's value based upon the number of its incoming links!
Really quick historical note:
Around 1994, Larry Page recognized that the act of linking one page to another required conscious effort. Such effort was evidence of human judgment about the link's destination. Individually, each link was statistically insignificant. But collectively, millions of these links provided a key adaptation for the natural selection of search results.
Despite constant change and evolution in Search Engine technology, Link Networking remains a major factor in ranking web pages.
How does a site acquire incoming links?
The pure, organic way of attracting incoming links is to build a great site!
In theory, a site that offers (free) valuable information and services will attract incoming links. If you build-in detailed expert content, valuable content that cannot be found anywhere else, eventually, it will attract attention. Other site owners will want to offer this same value to their viewers. The easy, ethical way to do that is to link to your site.
That is how it used to work. When there were only a few hundred million pages on the web, there was a chance that random browsers would find your site based solely on content. Now, when Google indexes somewhere between 3 and 8 BILLION pages, it is impossible to be visible and attract traffic to your site without a professional level of attention to detail and Search Engine Optimization.
Incoming links are valuable only if the site from which they originate is ranked decently by the search engines. Incoming links from pages that have no topical relationship to your site are also worthless. Links from "link libraries', where entire pages are covered with uncategorized links, can actually have a negative impact on your site's ranking.
In today's online world you or your SEO professional, through online research, will select several related sites that hold a decent Google Page Rank (preferably better than your site's current rank) and communicate directly with those site owners. You are looking for sites that can benefit almost as much from a link exchange as can you. Ask them to exchange links.
If your request for link exchange is worded to show that you have already placed their link on your site, your success ratio will be greatly improved.
Before writing the request, design and place an attractive link, preferably text and graphic (with alt text), and at least a full sentence explaining the contents of the target site. Now, when the other site owner goes to your site and sees what a beautiful placement you have given he will be inclined to do the same for you.
Your site's rank depends upon the number of incoming links, the directness of their relationship to your site, the placement of the link on the originating site, and the rank of the sites from which they come.
An isolated site will not be ranked.