SEO: Optimize Your Links

Nov 19, 2012 | Links, Search Engines, SEO

By: Toby Chin

We are all familiar with the "click here" links. They're quite plentiful on the web. And the fact of the matter is that sometimes this is the best way to link to other content. But that does not mean it's always the best way.

However, if you are truly serious about putting quality content on the Internet to rank your site on page one, you'll want to think and work a little harder than saying "click here."

GoogleandBinglook at the content of a website. In some respect, you could say that they read the website. Search engines are smart enough to know what is visible to a user, and they definitely take that under consideration (more on that another time). They are also smart enough to follow links and read the content on those pages. Why do you care? When you link to credible, quality content, that's a very good thing. But for now, let's think about a different aspect of that.

If you are writing a blog about sports, maybe the Chicago Bulls for example, you would probably want to link to their site (and see if they will link back to you). But you will also want to make your link look something like this:

TheChicago Bullsare having a great season.

What's the difference? Well,GoogleandBinglook at the context of the link. If the context of the link is just "Click Here", it's ambiguous to the user and the search engine. The other option is the link will actually contain the keyword. Just like I've done in this post withGoogle,Bing, theChicago Bulls. When the link is optimized, search engines and users will understand that they can get to that content. They will also appreciate not being required to read "click here."

If your site is stylized well, it will be obvious that this is a link (and search engines can tell if it's visibly different to the user), and if your reader is interested, he'll click on it. Sure, this may take some extra thought and may seem odd at first, but having a link attached to text that is relevant to the URL and the linked page's content will be very good for you, your readers, and your website.

Toby Chin
Content Management and SEO Specialist
View Toby's Profile

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