Links to and from your website, when used correctly, can build trust with both your visitors and the eyes of Google and other search engines.
Even though it is pretty easy to build links and use them, Google has put forth some safeguards that will ensure that every link that redirects a user to your site or directs them to a site other than yours is safe to use.
That being said, what are these safeguards?
The Authority of the Source
Source authority is one of the major factors that Google uses to evaluate links that are being used. If the link is found on a website that was just created and the bots see that it doesn’t contain a lot of subscribers and content, then the website is deemed as a low-authority figure.
However, if the link comes from well-established pages like CNN or The Huffington Post, then you will get the most benefit considering that they are deemed as high-authority websites and this is great for your SEO marketing.
Relevance to Links
If you are primarily writing about computer parts and one of the links that you’ve used redirects a user to an auto repair shop, then that link is not relevant to the topic at hand.
In the eyes of Google, people who do not link relevant sources will be penalized. Therefore, it is a must that you only use links that are relevant to what you’re talking about. This pertains to both inbound and outbound links as well.
If your website is a “general” website wherein you create articles on a variety of different topics, the rule is still the same. The links that you use should be the ones that closely resemble the topic you’re talking about.
Relevance to Context
When you use your links, it has to be in a way that is contextually relevant to the word or group of words where you’ve embedded the link in. To say it in another way, the words before and after the linked text should be contextually relevant as Google will see how you use words and if it pertains to the topic you’re talking about.
The Anchor Text
The Anchor Text is simply a word or a group of words where you embed the link in. Back in the day, you can get away with using any word as your anchor text. But now, there is a major emphasis in the use of relevant words as your anchor text. This is just to avoid manipulation and to ensure that your chosen anchor text makes sense to the readers.
The Link Destination
Google not only looks at how links are being used on your site, but it also looks at where the link actually leads the user to.
If Google sees that the link that you’ve used directs the user to a website that doesn’t contain relevant information pertaining to the content that you’ve written, then you will be penalized for that.
It does this by examining the title and the body of the page where the user is directed to. It will then gauge if it is useful to the user and if it is relevant to their search query.