7 Illustrations of How Topical Links Impact SEO, in Theory and Practice

Ecompromo | November 16, 2015 | SEO Resources

Posted by Cyrus-Shepard

The Internet lives on links.

Marketers have long understood the importance of links to SEO. So much so, it’s something we study regularly here at Moz. At their most basic, links are counted as “votes” of popularity for search engines to rank websites. Beyond this, search engineers have long worked to extract a large number of signals from the simple link, including:

  • Trustworthiness – Links from trusted sites may count as an endorsement
  • Spamminess – Links from known spam sites may count against you
  • Link Manipulation – Looking at signals such as over-optimization and link velocity, search engines may be able to tell when webmasters are trying to “game” the system

One of the most important signals engineers have worked to extract from links is topical relevance. This allows search engines to answer questions such as “What is this website about?” by examining incoming links.

Exactly how search engines use links to measure and weigh topical relevance is subject to debate. Rand has addressed it eloquently here, and again here. Over the years, several US patent filings from Google engineers demonstrate exactly how this process may work.

It’s hugely important to look at these …read more



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