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Importance of incoming links

This chapter explains the importance of inbound links and how to participate in Link Exchange programs.

In one of the previous chapters, you learnt how search engines work and how they find web sites. Search engines follow links from web sites and index all linked web pages.

The more links your site has from other sites, the more possibility you have getting indexed by search engines. Also, if you have more number of incoming links, search engine spiders will visit your site more often and index more pages from your site.

If you have several links to external web sites, the search engine spiders may follow those links and leave your site without indexing all pages of your site. So, it is a good idea to reduce the number of external links from your site.

But you must have several links to your other pages from each page of your site. This will help search engines to follow the links and find various pages in your site. If you have any web page that is not linked by any other page, that page may never get indexed by any search engine unless you submit the page to search engines.

How to get links from other web sites ?

In some cases it is very easy - just send an email to other web site owners requesting a link to your web site and offer a link from your web site to their site.

But unless you have an established web site, most web masters may not be willing to give a link to your web site for several reasons:

1. If they give a link to your site, there is a possibility that search engine spiders will go to your site, leaving their site. Since your site is not yet an established site, the possibility of search engines coming to their site from your site is very less.

2. If a site is "black listed" by any search engines, all web sites linking to that site will be treated as "bad sites" as well. There is no easy way to find if a site is black listed by search engine or just not yet indexed. So, most web masters may not want to link to sites that has no pages indexed by search engines since there is no way to find whether the site is black listed or not yet indexed.

However, this theory should not stop you from requesting links. Continue to send emails and eventually you will get some quality links to your site.

Quality of incoming links

It is not just the count of incoming links that matters most, but the quality. If you get few links from sites that has very high ranking in search engines for certain keywords, it is much better than hundreds of other links from low ranked web pages.

Before assigning value for a link, the search engines evaluate the rank of the source page itself. If you get links from sites that are related to your content, it has more value.

For example, if your web site is related to .NET technologies and if you get some links from the .NET page of MSDN, your site will treated as a valuable .NET site by all major search engines. Just one link from MSDN's .NET page may be more valuable than 1000 links from other small, non related sites.

So, when you attempt to get links from other web sites, try to get links from sites related to the content of your site.

Next Chapter: Importance of Anchor text in links
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