How To Dump The Link Sluts
Though the future is still uncertain for the overall importance of links, the quantity and quality of inbound links, for rankings, they are, for the time being, the surest way to improve search engine rankings. Aside, of course, from great content.
We went into this last Thursday, and came out still confused. But we work with what we know and what we know is that the quality of inbound links, i.e., the measure how trusted a link source is, far outweighs the quantity of inbound links.
Google and company have made sure of it, as explosions of low quality links to a single source can actually hurt your rankings.
So the questions remain: How do I know who I want to link to me? Who’s a worthy Net companion that won’t drag my reputation down? Who’s the authority on, say, bicycle seats.
Fortunately for us, there are people like Aaron Wall, author of SEObook, who addresses these very questions and gives a nice, basic tutorial on how to test to see if inbound links cut the mustard, if the sites they come from are trustworthy.
It’s not an overnight process, he warns. I especially like his advice on testing with an orphan page:
Point your link at a page that is not indexed and see if search engines index that page. If that link passes trust you can 301 redirect the target page to the page you want to rank. If the link source hurts your rankings you can 301 redirect that link equity to a competitor’s site (if you wanted to be dirty).
Heh. That little nugget should come with a "don’t try this at home" disclaimer.
Anyway, be sure to check out the rest of Aaron’s post. It’s a quick read and worth the time.