While reading around some SEO blogs this week we noticed that some SEO companies are still advising clients that they feature ‘links pages’ on their websites. In some ways this is worrying, but in others it’s good to know that not every SEO company has quite caught up with the changing face of SEO, even though links pages are from around the year 2000 and should have stayed there.
The idea, albeit misguided, behind links pages is that your website will gain credence with search engines (we say search engines, but obviously we mean Google) by linking to other high ranking, relevant websites. This idea has been thrown about for many years in the SEO community, with some people believing that it works and some people believing that it doesn’t.
In truth, it does work, but how you do it is of huge significance. Creating a page of links on your website and linking to other websites is the way that we saw one SEO company advising people on its blog, and this is NOT the way to do it. Google isn’t stupid, and a page of links on your website will not convince it that you’re a trusted site and should be ranked higher in the SERPs (search engine results pages). You’ll be merely announcing to Google that you have a page of links, reminiscent of a link farm… how nice.
No, a much better, more intelligent, natural and effective way to do this is to link to relevant websites within your content and (this is the key part) ONLY when it is prudent to do so!!!
For example, if you write a post about one of your competitors announcing something on their website, link to them. I know, it sounds crazy. Link to them when you mention them and (this is the part where we lose the attention of most SEO professionals) don’t add the rel=nofollow tag. Allow the link to be followed, go on, share that link juice.
Think to yourself, what does Google want to see from a website when it offers up sites in its SERPs? Does it want heavily SEO’d websites with a links page that may or may not be relevant to the user’s query, or does it want a highly relevant page of content that is specific to the user’s search, and may contain another relevant link to a high ranking, relevant page?
We know which result we’d rather find, how about you?