When it comes to links and SEO, a common misconception is that it is the volume of links to a site that is most important, unfortunately this is not the case. Instead of quantity, search engines are more concerned with the quality of the links.

It is better to have a small collection of high page ranked sites (e.g. PR6+) linking to your site than lots of PR0 sites. If you find you have a lot of PR0 sites linking to you, don’t worry, you won’t be penalised for this. The search engines know you can’t control someone else linking to you.

Other areas to be aware of include:

Link farms
Avoid using link farms. Once they are discovered by the search engine they are often black listed from the results pages, and those who took part may also be affected.

Link exchange
One way links also count for more than reciprocal linking, as these are counted as genuine ‘votes’ for a site.

Buying domains to set up links to a site
If you own multiple sites each with their own regularly updated independent content then by all means link them together as ‘sister sites’. However if the domains only exist to link to your main site and carry the same copy on each site (if any at all) the search engines will filter these links out and you have wasted money buying the domain names.

Unrelated websites
If you run a site dedicated to the latest news about dogs and cats, a link from another site related to the world of dogs and cats is going to carry more weight than a link from a site that reviews pots and pans.

One of the best pieces I have had about SEO if from a colleague who used to work at Google who said the best way to think about Google’s spiders (the software that trawls the web looking at links, design, content…) is the same way as if a person is actually looking at your site.

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