Unlike the US Declaration of Independence, when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), not all links are created equal. In fact, some are virtually useless in building your PageRank (PR) – Google’s way of ranking websites.
- PR is a measurement for a website’s influence or priority. The higher the PR, the more powerful it is. The lower the PR, the less powerful it is … or the less “Google Juice” it has.
The goal is to find relevant inbound links to build your PageRank. There are essentially two types to of relevant links to pay attention to —
- topically relevant links
- rel=”follow” links
Topically Relevant Links
Topically relevant links are links that pertain to the same content as your website. Remember that Google’s goal is to display websites that are relevant to a search term.
Therefore, if you’re a photographer, try to get links from photography related websites. It won’t help much if you have links from a bicycle shop.
A rel=”follow” link is a link that tells Google or search engines that said website vouches for the destination website. By default, all links are this type.
Sometimes websites do not want to share their PR, so they will put a special code in their links that tell search engines to not follow or share their Google Juice.
An example of a “nofollow” code would look like the following:
<a href=”http://www.yourwebsite.com” rel=”nofollow”>Link</a>
The rel=”nofollow” tag in the link code does not transfer any PR to your site. This is important to consider for yourself when linking to others. If you do not want to share your Google Juice, add that code in your HTML.
An example would be sharing traffic with another website, but not necessarily sharing your PR because you’re not 100% sure of that website’s credibility. Linking to a website with negative elements (e.g., porno website) could lead to a potential ban from search engine results.
- To see whether someone put a “nofollow” tag on links, you have to view the source code for the website. To do so, right click in the browser and hit “view source.”
- Source code is the raw content of a website. Next, search the link you’re examining and see if there is a “nofollow” tag in the code (like aforementioned).
It’s important to consider this when trying to increase backlinks. Gaining nofollow links does not help you with PR. Facebook, for example, has a nofollow tag in all of their outbound links. So, it’s fruitless to get any links from them if you’re trying to increase your PR.
Similarly, Pinterest adds a nofollow tag in their links. It doesn’t mean that they’re not worth investing time into. Traffic is still traffic.
All in all, do your research and spend your time wisely when building links!
Other SEO articles:
- Why SEO is Important to Photographers and How You Can Get Started
- Think You Know Where You Rank on Search Engines? Think Again.
- How to Get Your Images to Show Up on Google
- The Most Common Mistake of SEO
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About the Author
Lawrence Chan is a marketing strategist for smart photographers. While he authora a blog, the ultimate pricing e-book, and a real book, unlike tofu, I sometimes wish I could figuratively eat a book. My propensity for eating and reading, sometimes reading about eating, has been a wonderful precursor for ideas in marketing. He so happens to be a photographer. Discover always.